Build Your Website Marketplace with Sharetribe 

So you have decided you build your proprietary eCommerce marketplace. Congratulations! Creating a marketplace is an incredibly adventurous experience and a journey full of learning. You must be familiarized with what you actually want to offer to the audience and more importantly who all will be the stakeholder of your application. Picking the right marketplace software is the most critical decision to take as it will decide how and where the major chunk of your budget will be spent. If a wrong decision is made, it can cost heavily and also the delay in the project.

But before you dive into the sea of all the software solution available, you need to determine how you are going to take the right approach to build the marketplace. You can either:

#1 Code it from scratch.

#2 Pay to the third party developers to code it from scratch.

#3 Build it on top of the existing marketplace like Amazon.

#4 Pay to the third-party developers to build it on top of the existing marketplace.

#5 Build it yourself using Software as a Solution.

Each of the approaches has there own set of pros and cons and thus tremendous brainstorming is required within the team.

Even if your concept is ‘great’ but no one uses it, then your solution is actually not solving the problem.

Sharetribe is the simplest way to create your online store and start generating the revenue within a day. It is a platform where the entrepreneurs can create a marketplace to rent or lease, sell goods, spaces or services online. It is a self-hosted platform that required no installation, no download, and everything could be done without any help of a code developer. Sharetribe handles all the transactions online payments, and client’s application hosting. Sharetribe would take care of the technical part, you take hold of your business.

It is a SaaS-deployed on cloud and its code is open source which makes it an ideal option for many new enthusiasts. Sharetribe has an excellent team of customer support that would definitely answer all your queries that too within an hour. Get a fully-functional marketplace avoiding a huge amount of money and time investment by re-inventing the wheel of building some the most basic features which are provided by almost every marketplace development platform. Sharetribe provides features like payments, messaging system, rating system, search, filters, authentication, user profiles, image handling, geolocation, responsive layout, and so on for free.

The software has been MIT licensed which means if a store owner persists technical team or has 3rd party developers who can create the custom plugin compatible with their current Sharetribe marketplace, they can do it easily. The codebase of the framework is battle-tested bu many other marketplaces, and over the years the developers around the globe have been making deliberate efforts to calibrate and modify the Sharetribe. This means the most of the nastiest bugs have been demolished and squashed. When you create a marketplace from scratch 80% of the time goes into polishing and fixing the potholes. In the case of Sharetribe marketplace, most of the work has already been done and ready to use. Also, there is a huge community of open source developer who develops plugins on top of Share tribe.

Sharetribe Marketplace Features

Products on lease/sale/service:Need a marketplace to facilitate your audience with the products they want. You can either sale or put them on rent as Airbnb does. Airbnb is known to collaborate with people owning property and put them on rent for the days a customer want to stay with a feel of being at home or a site with booking services. We support them all. Your buyers could an individual or an enterprise as well. For a product on sale, the designated seller could add the description, pricing, images, geolocation, etc.  

Global Payment Option: It would take only a few minutes to set up payment options and start receiving payments globally. Sharetribe Go enables the product vendor to receive the amount from the buyer directly into their bank account. Payment could be made through all globally verified payment cards like Visa, Maestro, Master Card, Amex, and many others, Stripe and Paypal as well. Sharetribe works with more than 190+ countries and in 20+ currencies. The setting could be made by the store administrator to charge fees on each transaction from vendors enrolled in its marketplace.

Secure payment: The payout for an item to be delivered can only be done once the product reaches to the buyer. By this practice of delaying payouts, the buyer can feel safe as their money is in the hands of the Stripe and doesn’t reach to the seller until the product is delivered. This would inculcate more of online payment habit in the buyers.

Booking Systems: With share tribe marketplace, the owner can manage their store on their own. They can support portals to hold the booking for rooms, vehicles, and electronics like television and many others. The availability management system enables the seller to list availability per day, per night or maybe per hour. The booking calendar widget helps double bookings and thus increases user satisfaction. 

Keep a track and manage the store: Store administrator can have a complete view of what is going in the store at a glance from its dashboard. Admin can also restrict the seller's access to manage their own store as well. Google analytics could be activated on the running application to get the whole view of the peak buying hours, top search products, the location of buyers, and the visitors to the web app. Store owners can also keep a track of what all products are being sold and who all are registered on their store. 

Search What is Desired: Find the information you need through the search bar widget. Sharetribe Go helps to embed search bar, filters, and other advanced tools to categorize products. Content could be searched using the keywords and on the basis of location as well. Products could be browsed as a list or on the map through local vendors. Store owners can set up the categories and sub-categories, and various filters like price, color, etc. to help people what they want. 

Show creativity through your own storefront: Ideas of every individual differ from each other. The liberty to design your own storefront helps you to showcase what you got in a better way. A registered vendor can design according to their likings and public taste. They better know it what audience they are targeting. The storefront will also display their “Bio” which is nothing but a brief about the store, listing and the products they sell. Just like any social media “Follow” button, here as well the vendors can follow each other to get an update who is selling what.

Responsive Design: It is proven that responsive design will promote sales rather than a non-responsive design. More than 120 million purchasing is done through mobiles and tablets. Our robust servers load component of the content quickly on any device. A Sharetribe marketplace is 100% all device responsive guaranteed. Sharetribe Go always make sure that your design looks good on all screen sizes and the listing is displayed in a justified pattern so that everything can be seen on the go.

No Language and Currency Barrier: Sharetribe marketplace works fine with languages all over the world. There is the support to more than 190 country’s languages and currency acceptance to more than 25 types of currencies. Few of the most frequently used language in which the portal gets translated are English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. 

No! Not everyone can join: Admin can definitely have constraints on who can buy, sell, and view to prevent any suspicious activities on their store. They can also open the doors to view and buy but restrict the people who can join as a seller using some criteria. Criteria can be like people with the only invitation or email address can join the portal. With Share Tribe, you can decide the control level and provide access to teammates to help manage the store.    

Off-the-Shelf Solutions and White-Label Designs: Add your brand name, logo, Colour scheme. We make sure that there is no hassle in adding your own custom branding, cover photos, and sire domains. Changes in the theme could be done as the source code is open to read and edit. This helps your marketplace look and feel the same as what you want it to be. 

Rating and Reviews: Reputation in the market can be developed through genuine reviews of products and vendor ratings. With sharetribe marketplace, the store owner can allow the buyers to write reviews and rate vendors on the basis of their shopping experience. This helps to weed out the market spoilers and build trust between the service providers and users. Sellers with better reviews able to get the demanded price for the same product than the other vendor.  

Increase your visibility: Get user login using Facebook. Allow people to share the products using the share button on facebook and twitter. Generate quality content and link your store through links and references with your storefront. Email marketing is an efficient and influential way of gathering footfalls. Sharetribe marketplaces are SEO optimized hence they do get full visibility of search results.

Communicate with Vendors: The word of mouth always help you retain your customer base. With simple and easy to embed chat widget the buyers can directly connect with sellers and ask their queries. This message inbox helps them keep track of the packages they have to deliver as well. In fact, members of the same marketplace can connect with each other as well.  

What’s New? Sharetribe Flex!

A flex platform is made using the latest technology. The platform helps you own a marketplace which is available through the website and mobile application. Flex templates for the web are made using React.js. Also through flexibility has gone to another level, that you can develop your own storefront in any programming language of your choice.

Flex help to automate every manual task like inventory and console management, user management, bulk listing, listing automation, powers the transaction process with complete logs and rollback management. For instance, interaction with external API is required to embed some sort of functionality, Javascript endpoints are available in the Javascript Software Development Kit.

A console is nothing but the dashboard of the store controllers. This helps you manage your day-to-day activities at the store from a commonplace. It helps moderate user activities and their offerings. It also shows the users, their performance statistics, listing and transaction reports.

Let’s Check the Downside of this platform

There are two sides of a coin and here comes the downside. It is been reported that many of the emails sent as a part of social media marketing or as an invitation to the new user are sent to the spam folder by default. Besides being a savior for startups, this platform would not be an umbrella to all of your business requirement. The features being offered are the most easily available features. It is also reported that the updates are not that frequent and custom development cost heavily.

Besides being an open source platform, many of its crucial functionalities are not ope to the full extent in freemium version. Pricing depends on the number of application users rather than the number of transactions happened on the portal. Therefore, a new venture which s not taking off may end up paying debts.

Discounts and Coupons are the most amazing things that attract customers and such offers do increase sales. Sharetribe has no column to generate coupon codes and define discount rules.

Sharetribe is a Content Management System which is fruitful to use only for certain business purpose. Using it for other purposes may do more harm than generating more revenue. If you are thinking to develop an eCommerce application that showcases uses an algorithm where suitable service provider based on the seller’s request is subjected to an end user has to be made, then forget using Share Tribe. For example marketplace like Uber and Handy, cannot be created economically using Share tribe. In fact, if a user doesn't have access to Share tribe flex and still need to extend the functionality by leveraging open source code than the developer should have a good command of Ruby on Rails. This has constrained the technology stack to be used.

Hence, it is always advisable to pen-down what you want to deliver and make a list of the possible platform to achieve what you want to build and decide which one could solve your purpose. It is aways advisable to follow an agile methodology to overcome any uncertainty in this roller coaster venture. 

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