The significance of multi vendor stores for small businesses had been overlooked until recently. You might have thought of putting up only your own store and wait for traffic. This worked well in the past, but the situation has changed as millions and millions of online stores have come along.
How can you change it?
The answer is... by working together! For example, if you have a flower shop, you may consider joining with other merchants in the local area selling chocolates, wines and flower vases. Or, your bookstore may consider partnering with a video store.
Your online store will now look bigger and the customer not only gets the convenience of ordering different items together, but will consider an item they hadn't thought of buying initially. Your shopping cart can recommend companion products.
But, how does it work?
How will your store that once stood separately - like the boutique shops in a shopping mall - suddenly join hands with another?
Solution is in the multi vendor shopping cart software. It can identify the items belonging to different stores and dispatch the orders and shipping details separately. The customers will not even know that they have been to three separate stores.
Here is your business idea
The multi-vendor store presents you with an excellent opportunity. Whether or not you have your own merchandise, setting up an eCommerce site and signing up vendors will help create a "virtual mall".
As the store administrator, you get a commission or rent from every participating vendor. The more vendors in the system, the higher the profits without additional cost.
The participating vendors benefit in the low cost of setting up and administering the store as well as by getting increased traffic. The variety of products in the mall will attract more visitors than each separate store can on its own.
The future of multi vendor stores
If the current trend continues, within a couple of years you will see that most successful online businesses are part of one or more multi vendor stores. Also, many more virtual malls will emerge to cater for local vendors.
Arapaut Sivaprasad, Ph.D. is the founder of WebGenie Software (http://www.webgenie.com) and has been at the forefront of many innovative technologies in the IT sector.
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