The Critical Case of Account Structure in Online Marketplaces18 Oct, 2023
eBay, Etsy, Amazon, AliExpress – These are just four examples of some of the most recognizable brands in the world. If Amazon’s daily revenue is over $1.2 billion, think of how many transactions are happening everyday online across the globe.
Given that these deals are executed with the touch of a button, it’s important for these marketplaces to stay organized financially.Setting up account structure is no different than making sure puzzle pieces are in their correct places.
This guide is a “how-to” for organizational structure in order to attain financial success for your online marketplace.
The first step to take is to understand who’s using your marketplace. Buyers, sellers, administrators, logistics providers, support, etc. What will each of these roles be doing? Who is the target market? Understanding who’s who in this situation will help you get organized from the get-go.
Setting up different account types based on what they plan to do. If you have an online gourmet pet food marketplace and you want to win market share, you don’t want to give buying permissions to a company selling dry dog food. This is often the first question asked when logging onto a marketplace: “are you a buyer or a seller?” This minimizes confusion, increases ease of use and prevents unauthorized access.
Users want everything laid out for them as easily as possible. There are companies that literally employ teams to constantly optimize user friendliness and experience. Buyers and sellers should be able to view things like: transactions and payment history, accounting operations, revenue, inventory, etc. These kinds of dashboards should be easy to access panel for financial data.
In 2023, modernization is not an option. It’s a must. Online marketplaces should have orders, payment statuses, inventory and invoices completely automated so all users have to do is look and monitor the information. Something as simple as an automated notification for sent or completed payment can increase your trust and relationship with your users immensely and it’s a necessity for your marketplace.
Make it as easy as possible for your marketplace to integrate with systems that users already have setup so they’re not making it a heavy lift to use your platform. Examples of these integrations are things like PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Zelle, etc. where users can use and trust them to deliver a safe financial transaction between buyer and seller.
As marketplaces go global and continue to modernize, it’s imperative that cross-border transactions are supported. Finding a provider that tracks inventory and payments through units rather than specific currencies is a great way to ensure accurate, customized reporting. This helps marketplaces of materials like timber and wood as well as logistics marketplaces and other service providers send shipments worldwide.
Companies aren’t making business decisions based on data from six months ago just like sellers aren’t looking at numbers from last year. Give your users as much real-time financial data as possible so they’re able to positively impact their business based on the financial info you’ve empowered them with.
This one is major and arguably the most important step. Protect your data. Protect your users. Implement steps like data encryption, multi-factor authentication and other advanced measures. While this is paramount, it also could involve a year’s worth of work to maintain PCI-compliance.
A great way to minimize the work and let experts in this area handle your data is to offload the burden to a company that is PCI-Tier 1 compliant already. This allows you to reuse customer card data without the need to touch it. The protection of data is indescribably important to your users’ safety.
Account structure is the backbone of your online marketplace. It organizes the entire foundation through carefully and customizable designed roles, dashboards, integrations and access control. With properly crafted account structure, you create a place for smooth and seamless financial transactions for your users who will come back and help you scale endlessly.