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Marketplace: 5 tips to effectively onboard merchants

2 November 2020

Business Insight

No sellers means no products. No products means no offers. No offers means no marketplace. The success of a marketplace depends on onboarding high-quality sellers. As a marketplace operator, you must ensure that merchants start using your platform correctly so that they enjoy the best possible experience and realise many sales. Here are our 5 tips for successfully onboarding merchants.

 

Why is onboarding merchants crucial for a marketplace?

Onboarding means registering new merchants and giving them the knowledge and skills necessary to become efficient and independent members of your marketplace. A successful onboarding must help new recruits understand how your platform works so that they can make the most of the tool and play a key role in increasing sales.

 

1.      Emphasise the advantages of joining your platform thanks to an outstanding merchant experience

Depending on the payment service provider (PSP) that you use, you may be able to offer a merchant experience that stands out from other platforms thanks to certain benefits. For example, by working with Lemonway you can emphasise on two functions that will impress your new merchants: 

  • Faster Money Out. This feature allows merchants to see the result of their sales instantly (if their bank is eligible) or the day following the transaction otherwise. This function allows for outgoing payments to arrive on the beneficiary account 24 to 48 hours quicker.
  • Dedicated descriptor. By joining a marketplace, a merchant relies indirectly on a PSP. The latter generally offers flow-monitoring tools that help identify where a payment comes from. Lemonway provides a dedicated descriptor that significantly reduces chargebacks.

 

2. Clearly explain KYC rules to your merchants 

Before they can start selling on your platform, every new merchant must go through the KYC stage: Know Your Customer. Introduced by the ACPR, the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority, this mandatory procedure makes it possible to check the identity of merchants and prevent identity theft, tax fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing, in accordance with LCB-FT, the French anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing law. By outsourcing the provision of payment services to a PSP, this falls under their responsibility.

> See also: Marketplace: 5 reasons why you should use a payment service provider

To avoid time-consuming back-and-forth messages between you, the new merchants and the PSP, we recommend carefully reading the PSP’s KYC rules so that you can share them with your merchants as clearly as possible. As such, the UX Design of the onboarding interface is key to ensuring that merchants can upload all the documents necessary for the KYC step. We are aware that this technical and regulatory step can be difficult to fully grasp, which is why Lemonway’s teams are available to support you and ensure that they perfectly understand the processes and tools involved.

 

3. Automate concluding agreements with merchants  thanks to electronic signatures

Customers are more and more demanding, so you must offer a seamless and intuitive digital experience. A good practice is to automate your contracting process with merchants thanks to electronic signatures as soon as the PSP validates the KYC step. By doing so, you will ensure continuity and avoid losing merchants along the way.

Moreover, for individuals, Lemonway has set up an instant identity verification process (KYC) combined with a real-time payment activation system to make your in-house processes smoother and to make communicating with your users easier.

 

4. Train and support every merchant 

As a marketplace operator, you must ensure that your merchants receive all the necessary tools and trainings to feel independent and self-sufficient on your platform. FAQs, tutorials, how-to videos, technical documentation, practical guides… You must provide extensive support during the onboarding  phase, in the first weeks following integration. The goal is for your merchants to master all the subtleties of their merchant dashboard , from managing their catalogue to tracking orders.

If possible, offer support such as Project Timeline. This project visualisation tool to onboard merchants on your marketplace is a hallmark of professionalism and will increase the chances to make every onboarding a success. 

 

5. Keep your merchants happy and loyal

 Your role is more than just validating the merchant’s catalogue. Once the onboarding phase is complete, you must keep your merchants happy and loyal by helping them improve their business performance. You can offer recommendations on what products to showcase and how to enrich product descriptions. As a marketplace operator, you must keep an eye on your merchants so that you can identify the ones  who are struggling or who don’t play by the rules. Number of transactions and complaints, incident rate, response times… You have many KPIs at your disposal to guide and manage your merchants effectively.

The best way to keep your merchants happy and loyal is to send business their way, as part of a win-win partnership. As such, don’t forget to keep your marketplace lively by regularly offering deals designed to generate traffic and sales for your merchants.