Online sales: main challenges for large B2C accounts

5 March 2024

Business Insight

To become the undisputed market leaders,  large B2C marketplaces are setting themselves ever more ambitious targets. By influencing trends or challenging the competition through strategic acquisitions, they aim to become the benchmark for online sales.

However, behind these aspirations lie considerable challenges. In this article, we explore the complexity of the issues that are facing large B2C accounts, from the need for a customer-centric approach to large-scale logistics management, as well as social and environmental responsibility.

Adopting a strong customer-centric approach

Top B2C marketplaces now face the imperative of going beyond the simple commercial transaction. Adopting a customer-centric approach has become a priority to understand end users’ aspirations, preferences, and needs. Customer satisfaction is no longer enough; service excellence must be achieved. The aim? To create memorable and differentiating shopping experiences.

Customised services

Leading B2C marketplaces want to anticipate consumers’ specific needs, offering product recommendations, exclusive offers, and tailored shopping paths. An in-depth understanding of each customer’s buying behaviour is crucial in delivering a personalised experience and strengthening loyalty.

“One-stop shop” platforms

In today’s fast-paced society, consumers are looking for ways to simplify their daily lives and save time. Large B2C marketplaces aim to become “one-stop shop” platforms, centralising a wide range of offers. The marketplace has an undeniable advantage by optimising the customer’s search and purchase time, strengthening its position, and becoming an essential choice.

Treating sellers as customers

Today’s salespeople need to be seen as business partners and customers in their own right. Understanding their objectives, responding to their requirements, and offering them unique services are essential to maintaining an effective and facilitating sales dynamic despite increasingly intense competition.

Optimising international logistics management

As B2C marketplaces grow, logistics management becomes more complex, particularly as international transactions and purchases increase.

To meet this challenge, the coordination of shipping services must be perfectly orchestrated, including across borders. Large B2C marketplaces need to put systems in place to ensure that products are shipped quickly and reliably. This means working closely with high-quality international logistics partners.

It also depends on supply chain management and the ability to balance supply and demand. Efficient logistics strategies must be implemented to avoid stock-outs, which could lead to financial losses for sellers while avoiding overstocking, which can cause operational and financial problems.

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Strengthening social and environmental responsibility

Large B2C marketplaces are facing increasingly pressing demands regarding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The environmental impact of their operations and respect for working conditions, ethics, and human values are now closely scrutinised by consumers, who are increasingly aware of and concerned about their purchases’ social and environmental aspects.

In terms of environmental impact, reducing the carbon footprint of marketplaces and adopting sustainable packaging and delivery processes are requirements to which they must pay close attention, both in terms of their own practices and those of their sellers.

The same attention must be paid on the social front to guarantee ethical working conditions for the employees of the major marketplaces or their sellers, particularly for workers in the supply chain. Transparency in these practices is a major criterion for establishing and maintaining consumer confidence.

With an influence that extends far beyond the simple act of selling, these major accounts need to be aware of their social and environmental responsibility and thus help to shape a more sustainable and ethical society. Top B2C marketplaces need to communicate clearly and transparently about their initiatives in favour of sustainable development and social responsibility. This transparency strengthens consumer confidence and demonstrates their commitment to sustainable practices.

Striking the right balance between innovation and compliance

Large B2C accounts have a heavy responsibility to maintain a good reputation. They find themselves in a delicate position, juggling constant innovation to remain competitive with the need to comply with strict regulatory standards.

The quest for innovation must be closely monitored to ensure that it remains within the bounds of compliance. Any failure to comply with the regulations in force could have negative consequences for the image of these top marketplaces. So, on the one hand, they need to adopt innovative strategies and processes to stay one step ahead and remain competitive, but they must also pay particular attention to compliance with the RGPD and payment-related directives (AML, KYC, DPS2). While innovation must be the driving force behind their progress and long-term survival, it must not compromise their integrity, or the trust placed in them by users. To this end, the management and compliance of financial transactions can be ensured by a payment service provider (PSP). The many functions performed by a PSP are designed to relieve the marketplace of all the regulatory obligations associated with managing payments.

Ensuring smooth and secure payments

Seamless and secure payments are among the most important issues. With large volumes of purchases, guaranteeing a smooth payment experience is not only a major challenge but, above all, an obligation. The confidence of users and sellers depends on the certainty that their transactions are secure, fast, and reliable.

Therefore, marketplaces need to equip themselves with advanced technological tools and make strategic choices regarding payment service providers (PSPs) to guarantee the fluidity and security of their transactions. Fraud prevention and the protection of sensitive data are absolute priorities.

Top B2C accounts can offer a secure and reassuring transaction experience by investing in the right tools and services. In a context where trust is crucial, smooth transactions and secure payments help to build user loyalty and attract new sellers, strengthening the marketplace’s reputation.

Lemonway offers a secure, compliant, scalable payment solution to optimise B2C marketplace transactions. As an authorised payment institution for 29 countries in the European Economic Area, Lemonway has cutting-edge technological assets and a team of qualified experts. This solution is ideal for large B2C accounts, that want to ensure continuous growth. To find out more, contact us!