In 2021, The Vietnamese eCommerce market size reached 13.7 billion USD, which means the industry is growing rapidly and playing an important role in Vietnam’s economy. 

It forces business owners to find ways to make their businesses stand out and connect with customers.

One of the effective approaches is to implement an Omnichannel eCommerce strategy. This is a marketing method aimed at providing a consistent customer experience across multiple channels. It may be confused with Multichannel eCommerce, where brands sell on various channels but provide different customer experiences on each channel. Although customers can shop on social media, eCommerce websites, physical stores, etc, their experience across these channels could not be seamless. There is also the Single-channel eCommerce model, where a brand only uses one channel for sales. 

Retailers globally recognize the potential and impact of Omnichannel eCommerce on their business operations. According to Report Linker, the market for multi-channel retail platforms reached 5 billion USD in 2020 and is projected to reach 14.5 billion USD in 2027. Industry analysts and experts also emphasize that Omnichannel is the future of eCommerce and is a great way to attract customers and provide them with true value. 

Here are 6 tips to help you, as a business successfully build an Omnichannel eCommerce strategy.

Tip 1: Understand the target audience & their shopping behavior

Tip number 1, regardless of any business strategy, you have to know who your target customers are and their shopping behavior. You can start by gathering relevant data about demographic information, purchase history, etc from various sources, including eCommerce websites, social media platforms, physical stores, etc. Then, you will analyze how they interact with the brand across different channels and create detailed buyer personas. 

6 Tips to Build a Successful Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy - Tip 1_ Understand the target audience & their shopping behavior
Tip 1: Understand the target audience & their shopping behavior

This helps identify effective approaches for each customer segment and tailor messages for each channel. For example, if a significant portion of your customers prefers shopping on mobile devices, you can optimize your suitable marketing campaigns alongside improving the website to attract more customers. Or, you can invest in developing mobile applications to enrich the customer shopping experience and drive conversions.

Tip 2: Map the customer journey

Tip number 2 is to map out the customer journey to visually understand the process that a potential customer goes through when interacting with your brand. It helps you clearly understand their needs, buying motivations, and so forth. When developing an Omnichannel eCommerce strategy, mapping the customer journey allows you to proactively provide personalized customer experiences across channels. It not only enhances cross-selling, and upselling but also improves customer intention and loyalty. 

There are typically 5 stages in the customer journey: Awareness, Interest, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy. 

6 Tips to Build a Successful Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy - Tip 2_ Map the customer journey
Tip 2: Map the customer journey

Here are the basic steps to create a customer journey map:

  • Set clear goals for the map
  • Identify buyer personas and define the target customers
  • Determine the stages and objectives for each stage
  • List out the touchpoints
  • Collect data and feedback
  • Identify areas that need to be improved

Tip 3: Develop a brand image & messaging

Another valuable tip is to develop a consistent brand message and image across channels. It requires you first to identify and understand the brand values, vision, and mission. For example, you can use consistent elements such as colors, fonts, etc, to help customers easily recognize your brand. Moreover, you need to train your staff on the brand message and image to ensure they understand and communicate the message properly across all channels. 

6 Tips to Build a Successful Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy - Tip 3_ Develop a brand image & messaging
Tip 3: Develop a brand image & messaging

This tip not only helps increase brand recognition and customer loyalty but also creates a seamless customer experience.

Tip 4: Engage customers on social media

Next, you can incorporate social media into your Omnichannel eCommerce strategy and focus on engaging with customers on social media platforms alongside other effective marketing channels. With over 3.6 billion social media users globally, building your brand presence in these places is no longer an option but an imperative measure  to effectively connect your brand with customers.

6 Tips to Build a Successful Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy - Tip 4_ Engage customers on social media
Source: Statista

Leveraging social media enables you to engage with customers by responding to inquiries and addressing concerns through messaging or interactions on the news feed in a friendly and approachable manner. In addition, social media provides you with great space to deliver brand messages and voices to customers in a quicker and more intimate way to enhance brand awareness. You can create your own ideas and content or collaborate with influencers. 

To tightly integrate social media with other channels in the Omnichannel eCommerce strategy, you can, for example, encourage users to like, comment, and share posts to receive attractive discount codes for purchases on websites or physical stores. 

Tip 5: Optimize the shopping experience

Tip number 5, for a seamless omnichannel experience, you need to ensure that customers can make purchases through any channel they interact with, such as eCommerce websites, marketplaces, social media platforms, and physical stores.

Additionally, to keep up with mobile commerce trends, you should optimize mobile-friendly and responsive websites as well as user-friendly mobile apps for easy navigation and usage.

6 Tips to Build a Successful Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy - Tip 5_ Optimize the shopping experience
Tip 5: Optimize the shopping experience

Since Omnichannel eCommerce emphasizes consistent experiences across all channels, content and customer-related information such as login credentials, payment details, and shopping carts should be synchronized. This enables customers to move seamlessly between channels and devices while preserving the items in their shopping carts or without the need to spend time logging in or re-entering payment information. Moreover, you can leverage data analytics to personalize product recommendations for each customer, displaying relevant or complementary products based on their behavior and purchase history across channels to increase cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

Tip 6: Measure & analyze the outcome

Tip number 6 is measuring and analyzing the results of the strategy. During the implementation process, you can utilize data analysis tools such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Facebook Pixel, and others to check, track and analyze customers across all channels. It helps identify which channels generate the most traffic, level of engagement, and sales revenue, and identify areas for improvement. In addition, you can gather customer feedback to enhance and optimize your strategy. The work should be conducted to make appropriate adjustments and achieve desired results. 

6 Tips to Build a Successful Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy - Tip 6_ Measure & analyze the outcome
Tip 6: Measure & analyze the outcome

Contact SECOMM now for a consultation on building an Omnichannel eCommerce strategy.

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Mua trước Trả sau trong thương mại điện tử Mô hình và Ví dụ

The Juniper Research report titled “Buy Now Pay Later: Regulatory Framework, Competitive Landscape & Market Forecasts 2022-2027” predicts that the global user base for Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) will exceed 900 million by 2027. In Vietnam, the BNPL payment method is expected to experience an annual growth of 126.4%, reaching 1,123.9 million USD in 2022.

What is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)?

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is a short-term financial arrangement that allows consumers to make immediate purchases and defer the payment to a future date, typically without accruing interest.

How it works

In BNPL, the financial technology (Fintech) organization facilitating the service directly pays the purchase amount to the seller on behalf of the customer. The customer then repays this amount gradually to these organizations over a period, often extending from one to several months.

When using BNPL, customers can make payments through bank transfers or have the amount automatically deducted from their debit card, bank account, or credit card. While the specific terms and conditions may vary between companies offering BNPL services, the general operational mechanism is similar to credit card instalment plans. However, BNPL is often considered much simpler, and additionally, it typically does not involve interest charges; instead, late payment fees are calculated as a percentage of the product or service value.

Buy now Pay later in eCommerce Models and Examples - How BNPL works
How does Buy Now Pay Later work in eCommerce?

Pros and Cons

For customers

With the BNPL model, consumers can make immediate purchases even if they don’t have the financial capacity to pay the entire shopping cost upfront. This payment is divided into shorter instalment periods, corresponding to smaller amounts, reducing financial pressure on consumers. Additionally, BNPL typically does not entail annual fees or hidden charges, and the registration process is simple and quick, averaging less than 15 minutes. In general, BNPL companies usually only require customers to be at least 18 years old and own a bank card, without specifying a minimum personal income.

However, BNPL often comes with a relatively low consumer spending limit, typically ranging from 20 to 30 million VND, to meet the needs of purchasing items such as fashion, cosmetics, phones, laptops, electronic components, etc. If consumers do not know how to control their spending, they may easily engage in excessive shopping as there is no immediate need to pay the full amount at the time of purchase. This can lead to late payments for the instalment periods and additional penalty fees.

For businesses

Collaborating with BNPL organizations to launch BNPL programs with 0% interest can help businesses attract more customers without incurring excessive marketing costs. With this approach, businesses can encourage customers to make purchasing decisions more quickly without extensive financial consideration, thereby significantly boosting revenue. Moreover, instead of offering discounts or freebies, the ability to pay gradually without urgency and without incurring interest aligns with customer psychology and needs.

However, many businesses still hesitate to implement BNPL models due to concerns about not being able to control the debt of individual customers. Additionally, this potential model is relatively new to the Vietnamese market, so there are not many payment service providers offering BNPL services, and there is a scarcity of experienced eCommerce website development units capable of efficiently integrating this functionality.

Compare Buy Now Pay Later with Credit Cards

The BNPL model is revolutionizing the global consumer credit sector, but many people still confuse BNPL with credit card instalment plans offered by banks. 

So, what are the differences between Buy Now Pay Later and credit cards?

Format Buy Now Pay Later Credit Card
Unit accepting payment The seller allows BNPL payment method Banks issue credit cards
Registration process Register quickly, completely online The procedure requires a lot of paperwork
Time 1 to 3 minutes Have to wait for censorship, which can take up to several days, even weeks
Credit limit Depends on buyer profile Depends on buyer profile
Card maintenance fee All free Average 299,000 VND/year
Registration fee All free Average 50,000 VND/card
Conversion fee in instalments All free Average 200,000 VND/transaction, or calculated as a percentage of transaction value

Comparison table of Buy Now Pay Later with Credit Card

Despite trailing behind the global trend, the BNPL model in Vietnam is forecasted to explode due to the market falling into a favourable timeframe. This is influenced by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has significantly propelled the development of online shopping and eCommerce. Additionally, the BNPL model aligns more with the preferences of Generation Z than traditional credit cards.

Case studies

Tiki and Sendo – Two of the four kings of eCommerce participating in BNPL

Two out of the four largest eCommerce platforms in Vietnam have begun implementing BNPL, affirming the tremendous potential of this model in the online shopping market.

In 2020, Sendo was a pioneer in eCommerce by early adoption of BNPL through collaboration with financial solution provider Atome, offering Buy Now Pay Later services. With BNPL, Sendo aims to make shopping more convenient for customers, removing concerns about financial issues often associated with credit cards, such as increasing interest rates for late payments over an extended period.

Buy now Pay later in eCommerce Models and Examples - Sendo
Buy Now Pay Later program in Sendo

Since the beginning of 2022, Tiki has collaborated with two financial service providers, Home Credit and Lotte Finance, to launch the ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ project, enhancing smart payment solutions directly within the Tiki app. This initiative not only supplements intelligent payment options for Tiki users but also empowers customers to manage their personal finances better when engaging in online shopping, thereby further enriching the overall eCommerce experience for consumers.

Buy now Pay later in eCommerce Models and Examples - Tiki
Buy Now Pay Later program in Tiki

Laybyland – The leading brand in the Buy Now Pay Later model in Australia

Laybyland was established in 2012 in Australia with two key eCommerce business models: Layby (Pay Later) and Shop Now Pay Later (Shopzero). Over its 10 years of eCommerce operations in the Australian market, the business has witnessed remarkable growth. Starting with +10,000 products across two initial websites, it has expanded to offer over +400,000 products daily across five online stores, including Laybyland, Shopzero, Mylayby, and Layawayland.

Shopzero, a part of Laybyland, provides BNPL services through seven main partners: Afterpay, Zip, Openpay, Humm, Latitude, Klarna, and Wizpay. Notably, Shopzero maintains complete control and operation over all BNPL activities and payment processes within its system. Pioneering the BNPL market has brought Shopzero significant success, especially in the electronics, office supplies, fashion, cosmetics, furniture, gardening tools, children’s toys, and travel sectors.

It is evident that BNPL is contributing to a significant revolution in consumer payment habits, shifting from a payment method choice to a crucial factor in customer purchasing decisions.

Buy now Pay later in eCommerce Models and Examples - Laybyland
Buy Now Pay Later program in Laybyland

With extensive experience in implementing eCommerce solutions in various countries, especially in the Buy Now Pay Later market, SECOMM understands the challenges businesses face when exploring how to establish Buy Now Pay Later systems.

Contact SECOMM now or call us via hotline (+84)28 7108 9908 for a free consultation on detailed eCommerce system development solutions!

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What is Social Commerce? A Trend That Keeps Heating Up

As per Statista’s data, Social Commerce worldwide generated 992 billion USD in revenue in 2022, with projections indicating a potential surge to 2.9 trillion USD by 2026. This positions Social Commerce as a highly valued and potential trend in the future of eCommerce.

What Is Social Commerce? A Trend That Keeps Heating Up
Source: Statista

What is Social Commerce?

Social Commerce is a term that combines two key concepts: “Social” and “Commerce”.

It represents a business model that seamlessly integrates social media and eCommerce, aiming to create a shopping experience that is more interactive and connected for customers.

What Is Social Commerce? A Trend That Keeps Heating Up
What is Social Commerce?

Social Commerce enables users to view and purchase products directly through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

This approach allows customers to delve into product details, read reviews, engage with comments from other users, and even make direct purchases through business posts, advertisements, or social platform storefronts.

The Social Commerce model often comes with interactive features, product-sharing capabilities, and personalized product recommendations.

Social Commerce takes advantage of the widespread popularity and extensive user base on social media platforms to naturally amplify the reach and influence of products and brands.

How does Social Commerce work?

Social Commerce vs eCommerce

Social Commerce and eCommerce are two distinct online business models, yet they share the common goal of online commerce. Here are the differences between these two models:

What Is Social Commerce? A Trend That Keeps Heating Up
Social Commerce vs eCommerce

Types of Social Commerce

There are various popular types of social commerce, and the choice depends entirely on the scope and objectives of each business. Here are some common types of social commerce:

  • Influencer Marketing: This marketing form leverages the influence of users with large social media followings. Businesses collaborate with celebrities or influential individuals to promote their products and brands.
  • Affiliate Marketing: In this strategy, businesses empower influential individuals to promote or review their products/services in social media posts by embedding links, and incentivizing sales. In return, these affiliate partners earn a percentage of the revenue generated from those links.
  • Social Media Advertising: This type of social commerce centers around using social media platforms as advertising spaces. Businesses can run ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc., to reach their target audience.
  • User-Generated Content (UGC): By encouraging customers to share their experiences using products or services on social media platforms, businesses aim to build trust among both current and potential buyers. 
  • Live Streaming: Hosting live streaming sessions on platforms like TikTok, YouTube, or Twitch allows viewers to interact directly with the business. This involves introducing products/services, fielding questions, and receiving user feedback during the broadcast, ultimately boosting online interaction and sales.

Benefits of Social Commerce

Enhance brand identity

Social Commerce facilitates businesses in reaching millions of users across various social media platforms, particularly globally popular ones like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

This approach not only boosts brand awareness but also promotes businesses’ products and services to the extensive user base on these platforms, creating organic traction through user sharing and interaction.

The renowned sportswear brand Nike has successfully implemented Social Commerce by leveraging engaging posts, videos, and advertisements on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The brand consistently runs advertising campaigns encouraging users to share their product experiences. Through user-generated posts and the strategic use of specific hashtags, Nike has sparked natural virality, resulting in an increased level of brand recognition.

What Is Social Commerce? A Trend That Keeps Heating Up
Enhance brand identity

Optimize the shopping experience

A key feature of social commerce is its focus on creating a seamless online shopping experience for users, simplifying the transition from product browsing to actual purchases. Customers can buy directly from posts, advertisements, or online stores on social media platforms.

This not only streamlines the shopping process but also enables businesses to optimize customer experiences, save time, and boost the eCommerce sales volume for the brands.

The cosmetics brand L’Oréal has created various TikTok channels for each target market in its beauty chain, such as lorealparis (global), lorealparisusa (U.S. market), lorealparis_vn (Vietnamese market), lorealparisid_shop (Indonesian market), lorealparisth_store (Thai market), and so on.

This approach not only allows the brand to reach the right target audience but also takes advantage of TikTok Shop, enabling customers to purchase products directly through L’Oréal’s TikTok channel.

What Is Social Commerce? A Trend That Keeps Heating Up
Optimize the shopping experience

Monitor & measure performance

Presently, social media platforms offer comprehensive analytics and data measurement tools for businesses. For instance, Instagram Insights provides demographic information such as gender, age groups, and geographic locations.

Facebook Audience Insights goes a step further in collecting detailed data about a business’s target audience, while TikTok Pixel allows tracking vital metrics like clicks, views, and conversion rates, and assessing the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

Leveraging these data sources assists businesses in creating more efficient social commerce campaigns compared to traditional retail operations. A noteworthy example of the successful implementation of Social Commerce with optimized tracking and measurement is Fashion Nova.

This prominent American fashion brand specializes in offering women’s clothing and accessories. Fashion Nova’s Instagram posts often incorporate sharing and user tracking features, enhancing the dissemination of information about products and the brand.

Furthermore, Fashion Nova utilizes Instagram’s measurement features and analytical tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the brand’s marketing and advertising campaigns.

What Is Social Commerce? A Trend That Keeps Heating Up
Monitor & measure performance

Boost engagement & customer service

Embracing social commerce enables businesses to seamlessly engage in direct interactions with customers and gather their feedback regarding the brand or product through posts, direct conversations, comment responses, and messages.

This facilitates quick customer support, addresses inquiries promptly, fosters satisfaction and fortifies customer relationships. Moreover, based on this valuable customer feedback, businesses can refine their products/services to align with customer expectations.

Tarte Cosmetics, a renowned cosmetics brand specializing in makeup and skincare products, has effectively utilized social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to implement social commerce. The brand consistently engages with customers across social media channels.

The administrative team promptly responds to user comments and messages, addressing inquiries and offering technical support. This approach builds trust and satisfaction among customers, actively strengthening positive customer relationships.

What Is Social Commerce? A Trend That Keeps Heating Up
Boost engagement & customer service

The Bottom Line

Here are insights, advantages, and examples of businesses effectively embracing Social Commerce. Depending on each business’s strategy, administrators can blend social media and eCommerce to engage customers and establish a brand in the current digital era.

Related Reading: eCommerce: Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Contact SECOMM or directly call the hotline at 02871089908 today for complimentary guidance on implementing eCommerce Marketing overall and Social Commerce specifically.

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14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace

The surge in demand for online shopping via eCommerce marketplaces over recent years has been remarkable. So, it comes as no surprise that numerous businesses are looking for ways to build their own marketplaces to diversify their product offerings and engage with a wide range of customer segments.

Operating an eCommerce marketplace differs significantly from managing an eCommerce website. The key is to ensure that the experience is user-friendly and efficient for all involved parties, including administrators, sellers, and buyers, during both the operational and transactional phases. 

Depending on the strategy, scale, budget, market, and target audience, businesses will make suitable adjustments. However, the following online marketplace features continue to be crucial when implementing the majority of eCommerce marketplaces today.

Operator Features

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Operator features
Operator Features

The operator, also known as an administrator or owner of the online marketplace, holds a pivotal role in managing and running the platform. They possess the authority to access and govern all data and carry the responsibility for the platform’s overall performance and growth.

As a result, essential features for operators include:

Seller Management

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Seller management
Seller Management

The operator’s role involves helping sellers register on the platform, gather their information, and grant access to tools that aid their business operations. Additionally, other aspects of ‘Managing Sellers’ that businesses should consider include:

  • Communication and Support Channels: This entails providing customer service and addressing seller accounts and technical issues through channels like email or a hotline.
  • Content Management:  Ensuring that products, content, images, and videos uploaded by sellers comply with the eCommerce platform’s established standards and regulations.
  • Monitoring Seller: Tracking and evaluating data related to seller activities, such as sales volumes, customer feedback, response times, and adherence to platform policies.
  • Transaction Management: This covers policies regarding commissions, transaction fees, and payments. Businesses must ensure they furnish comprehensive documentation, accurately and promptly process payments, and offer support in resolving related concerns.

Marketing Management

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Operator features - Marketing management
Marketing Management

To expand the pool of registered sellers and draw more customers to shop on the online marketplace, operators continually rely on marketing efforts. Some methods include optimizing SEO, leveraging influencer marketing, running targeted advertisements, devising in-platform promotional initiatives, and more.

However,  it’s crucial for businesses to possess a set of features and tools to proficiently craft and manage marketing campaigns across multiple channels. This aids in the effective promotion of their marketplaces, the attraction of additional sellers and customers, and the establishment of a distinctive presence within the competitive eCommerce landscape.

Supply Chain Management

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Supply chain management
Supply Chain Management

Given the substantial order volume, operators need features that offer them full control of order fulfillment. This includes inventory management, overseeing multiple warehouses, configuring automated workflows for handling and transporting orders between warehouses, and delivering them to end-users.

Plus, to optimize the delivery process, businesses can partner with third-party shipping providers to provide customers with various choices, such as standard, express, or expedited shipping methods.

Analysis & Reporting 

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Operator features - Analysis & reporting
Analysis & Reporting

Through comprehensive data analysis and detailed reporting, businesses can gain insights into their overall operations and make informed adjustments. Key data points include:

  • eCommerce Performance: This encompasses metrics related to sales, revenue, user engagement, and satisfaction levels to assess the current state of the platform and make strategic decisions.
  • User Behavior: This includes data on new account registrations, conversion rates, browsing habits, and search trends on the platform. It helps identify lingering issues for improvement and provides a better user experience.
  • Marketing Reports: Operators need in-depth marketing reports to assess the ROI of marketing campaigns, analyze customer acquisition channels, and evaluate the impact of various promotional programs and incentives.

Seller Features

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Seller Features
Seller Features

Sellers, also known as suppliers or merchants, are individuals or businesses that offer products or services on the online marketplace. Their responsibility is to manage their operations and optimize sales performance.

Therefore, eCommerce marketplace features for sellers to conduct efficient business operations include:

Easy Onboarding

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Easy onboarding
Easy Onboarding

Sellers have many choices in the midst of multiple online marketplaces. So, offering a swift and uncomplicated registration and store setup process is an effective way to attract a wide pool of new sellers to open their stores.

Businesses can offer detailed step-by-step guidance to sellers, from creating an account and verifying their seller identity to decorating their store and listing products. Furthermore, businesses can provide instructional videos, FAQs, and blogs to guide them on optimizing their store, promoting products on the platform, as well as understanding the fees associated with the eCommerce marketplace’s sales policies.

Product Management

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Product management
Product Management

Beyond listing products, helping sellers manage their product catalog effectively on the marketplace is equally important.

This includes tasks like adding and removing products, maintaining high-quality product descriptions, images, and videos, handling product variations and attributes, updating inventory, setting product prices, applying discounts, prompting product reviews, and moderating and verifying reviews based on the platform’s standard.

Marketing Management

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Seller Features - Marketing management
Marketing Management

Sellers need tools and features for setting up marketing campaigns to promote their stores and products, driving increased sales. These commonly used marketing tools on online marketplaces include in-site and off-site advertising, promotional messaging, flash sales, bundled deals, shipping discounts or free shipping promotions, creating discount vouchers, live-streaming sales events, and participating in platform-wide promotional activities.

Order Management

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Order management
Order Management

Providing sellers with effective order management capabilities also impacts the customer experience on the eCommerce marketplaces. This means offering sellers features to manage their order lists, track the status of orders, fulfill orders, handle returns, and efficiently address any issues that may arise.

Analysis & Reporting

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Seller Features - Analysis & reporting
Analysis & Reporting

Sellers rely on data analysis and reports to track and manage their business performance on the online marketplace effectively. These reports provide valuable insights for making data-driven decisions and optimizing their operations.

  • Sales Performance: Sellers have access to data including total sales, revenue, order volume, and average order value to evaluate the success of their products or services and make informed decisions.
  • Inventory Reports: Data related to inventory levels, inventory turnover, best-selling products, and less popular products help optimize inventory by adding popular items or reducing/limiting the sale of low-demand products.
  • User Behavior: This includes data on purchasing behavior, feedback, customer reviews, and ratings for products and services, allowing sellers to enhance the customer experience and service.
  • Expense Reports: This covers financial aspects such as transaction fees, commissions, invoices, payment receipts, and taxes. Clear financial reporting helps sellers manage cash flow efficiently while adhering to the marketplace’s policies.

Buyer Features

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Buyer Features
Buyer Features

Buyers, also known as customers, refer to individuals or businesses that purchase goods or services from sellers on the eCommerce marketplace. Customers play a crucial role in driving the success of the marketplace. Therefore, feature development is focused on enriching the shopping experience.

Advanced Search

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Advanced search
Advanced Search

When accessing an eCommerce marketplace, the first thing most users do is use the search bar to find the information and products they desire. However, the product catalog on marketplaces is extensive and can be overwhelming for buyers. 

Therefore, beyond maintaining well-structured and organized product categories, businesses should offer advanced search capabilities to simplify and enhance the customer’s product discovery experience process. Common advanced search options include filtering, image-based, or voice-based search (optimized for mobile devices).


14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Personalization

Features like product recommendations, push notifications, personalized content, and customer service tailored to individual shopping behavior and preferences are crucial for enhancing the eCommerce experience. Studies have revealed that 74% of customers feel frustrated when encountering non-personalized shopping experiences on websites. 

By integrating advanced search capabilities with personalization, companies can offer a more enriching user experience, leading to greater satisfaction, higher levels of engagement, and increased customer retention. This transforms their marketplace into an ideal shopping destination for buyers.

Simple Checkout

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Simple checkout
Simple Checkout

Out of the various reasons for cart abandonment, issues related to long and complicated checkout procedures make up 17%, according to Baymard. it is essential for businesses to streamline the payment experience for customers, removing unnecessary steps, offering a transparent payment process, or implementing a one-page checkout. 

Moreover, businesses can diversify their payment methods to suit their target markets, including options such as Cash on Delivery (COD), credit card payments, eWallets, and buy now, pay later options.

Order Tracking

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Order tracking
Order Tracking

To boost the trust of buyers and sellers in the eCommerce platform, it is crucial for businesses to offer real-time order tracking and status-checking capabilities. 

Buyers can track their orders through the marketplace’s mobile app or website by using their unique order IDs. This way, both the seller and the buyer can communicate promptly if any issues arise with the order.

Review & Rating

14 Must-Have Features to Develop Your Online Marketplace - Review & Rating
Review & Rating

With a diverse range of product choices offered by different sellers, customers may find it challenging to make purchasing decisions when they lack trust in either the product or the seller. Hence, the review and rating feature is essential for building trust and expediting decisions.

The review feature allows buyers who have made purchases to leave comments, reviews, and ratings for a product, customer support, and product packaging, regardless of the seller. 

Whether these reviews and ratings are positive or negative, they have a significant impact on a buyer’s decision-making process. Therefore, this serves as a motivation for sellers to enhance the quality of their products and services and for the eCommerce marketplace owner to provide an improved user experience.

Above are the 14 essential features for operators, sellers, and buyers that businesses should keep in mind when building an online marketplace. With many years of eCommerce implementation experience for numerous clients in various countries worldwide, SECOMM has gathered valuable insights to boost the development and operation of your business’s marketplace swiftly and effectively.

Contact or call SECOMM’s hotline (02871089908) today for a free consultation.

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The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace

Unlike building eCommerce websites for simpler models like B2C or B2B, implementing an online marketplace requires a higher level of technical knowledge, programming skills, database management, system administration, and more.

In this article, SECOMM will share the essential steps for successfully developing an eCommerce marketplace, from market research and business planning to designing an appealing user interface, developing functional systems, and more.

Conduct market research and business planning

Market research and business planning are essential and indispensable initial steps in starting an eCommerce marketplace or any business operation.

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace - Conduct market research and business planning
Conduct market research and business planning

Here are some considerations for businesses when undertaking these activities:

  • Understanding customers and market needs: Market research helps businesses gain a better understanding of their target customers, competitors, and industry-influencing factors. By exploring customer needs, preferences, and shopping behaviors, businesses can make strategic decisions to create the best online shopping experience and seize effective business opportunities.
  • Setting goals and business strategies: Business planning helps companies identify specific objectives and devise strategies to achieve them. Companies need to define their core and secondary products/services, market access strategies, customer engagement approaches, and competitive value creation methods. A business plan helps create a detailed roadmap for how the business will build, develop, and operate its eCommerce marketplace.
  • Defining USP (Unique Selling Point): Market research allows businesses to comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors. This helps businesses identify distinctive features and competitive value that their brand can provide to attract customers. Determining the USP enables businesses to leverage these elements in branding, marketing, and operational strategies to gain a competitive advantage in the eCommerce marketplace.
  • Risk and financial management: Creating a financial plan and managing risks before embarking on the online marketplace development process is crucial. Businesses need to evaluate the financial resources and requirements for project implementation and establish long-term financial plans to ensure the sustainability of the business.

Select eCommerce platform

The eCommerce platform is a crucial element in the process of building an online marketplace. If the right choice is not made from the beginning, businesses may find themselves entangled in the whirlpool of technology when implementing their marketplace.

Typically, there are two types of eCommerce platforms for businesses to choose from: SaaS and Open Source.

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace - Select eCommerce platform
Select eCommerce platform

SaaS platform

SaaS (Software as a Service) eCommerce platforms are a software distribution model for building websites.

In this model, data is stored on the provider’s server, and the platform is responsible for handling technical aspects for businesses. Some popular SaaS platforms today include Haravan, Shopify, BigCommerce, and more.

  • Pros: User-friendly, quick development time, high security, 24/7 customer support.
  • Cons: Increasing development costs over time, limited customization, functionality, and scalability, and businesses may not own the source code and data.

Open-source platform

An Open Source platform, or open-source software, is software with publicly available source code that anyone can use for free. Open-source platforms are an optimal choice for businesses looking to develop complex eCommerce systems, especially tailored to the specific needs of an online marketplace.

Prominent examples of Open Source online marketplaces include Magento, WooCommerce (a plugin for WordPress), OpenCart, and more.

  • Pros: These platforms offer high levels of customization and scalability, a wide range of additional features and utilities, and businesses have ownership of the source code and data.
  • Cons: They are not very user-friendly, involve high development costs, and require extended deployment times.

Each platform type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, businesses should either have an in-house team or collaborate with an experienced and highly skilled eCommerce marketplace development agency to effectively advise on the selection, development, and operation of the chosen platform.

Outsource or build an in-house team

The initial decision regarding resource allocation for starting an eCommerce marketplace system has a profound impact on a company’s early business direction. Companies can choose to either collaborate with specialised development firms or establish their own in-house teams.

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace - Outsource or build an in-house team
Outsource or build an in-house team

Opting for an in-house team entails investing time and budget into the recruitment and training of staff. However, it provides effective resource management, enabling businesses to adapt and develop the online marketplace system in alignment with their original vision.

Alternatively, when companies decide to seek external partners, they need to collaborate with various firms to identify the most reputable one. However, upon finding a partner with extensive practical experience in marketplaces across multiple platforms, businesses benefit from consultations and a multitude of solutions from diverse perspectives even before system development begins.

Moreover, these firms possess a wealth of experience in promptly addressing emerging issues during system development and operation. This not only ensures that the requirements are met as anticipated but also facilitates valuable knowledge and experience exchange among all parties involved.

Design UI/UX

The User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are often considered two inseparable aspects in the process of designing the interface for an eCommerce marketplace.

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace - Design UIUX
Design UI/UX

Here are the key steps in the UI/UX design process:

  • User Research: Research and gain a deep understanding of the target user audience, including demographic information, behaviour, needs, and expectations. This helps the business identify important elements to focus on and design accordingly.
  • Create Wireframes: Wireframes are simplified outlines of the website’s structure and layout, helping the business determine the placement of interface elements such as menus, buttons, images, and content containers. Wireframes provide an overview of the interface and assist in building the basic layout for the marketplace.
  • Optimize User Experience (UX): Ensure the website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and meets user needs, such as enhancing interactivity, mobile-friendliness, optimizing page loading speed, and more.
  • User Interface (UI) Design: Create UI components such as buttons, menus, forms, images, and graphics that align with the brand. Make sure to use appropriate colors, fonts, and images to create a professional interface with a touch of the brand’s identity.
  • Testing and Evaluation: After completing the UI/UX design, conduct testing with a user group or use testing tools to assess the effectiveness of the interface.

Design architecture and database

Starting from business requirements, the technical team will build the system architecture for the eCommerce marketplace based on the appropriate technology framework or platform. Various architectures can be used, such as three-tier architecture, microservices architecture, hybrid architecture, headless architecture, etc. Each type of architecture has its own advantages and limitations, so businesses need to carefully consider and work with experts on the team or partners to choose the most suitable system architecture for each stage.

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace - Design architecture and database
Design architecture and database

Another equally important next step is to establish security and data management. Businesses need to define security measures to protect user data, payment information, and other critical data. Ensure that data is encrypted and transmitted securely via an SSL connection. Implement data protection measures such as access control, user authentication, data encryption, and data integrity checks.

Depending on the operating model of the marketplace, system and database design may need to be customized to be suitable and effective.

Develop functional system

After completing the essential functional systems, businesses should continue to develop specific features for their online marketplace, such as:

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace - Develop functional system
Develop functional system

Operator Portal: Full control of platform information, including seller management, product categorization, customer segments, supply chain management, ad content control, and more.

  • User Groups and Administrative Levels: Categorizing users into various groups and granting different permissions to different users.
  • Supply Chain Management: Warehouse and inventory management, assisting sellers in order fulfilment by routing orders, and more. 
  • Marketing Tools: A range of tools support marketing strategies, including search advertising, live streaming, gamification, and more.
  • User Experience Personalization: The ability to display personalized products such as favorites, similar products, past purchases, and facilitate order communication with sellers.
  • Analysis and Reporting: Analyzing and measuring the performance of the online marketplace to develop future business strategies.
  • Integration with Other Systems: Seamless integration with external systems.

Seller Portal: Sellers self-manage their presence in the marketplace, including product listings, orders, and activities, etc

  • Category and Product Management: Add, edit, delete product categories and products within categories; manage product attributes and variations (color, size, etc.); manage inventory quantities.
  • Content Management: Create and optimize content, including text, images, videos, banners, widgets, templates, branding, messaging, and more.
  • Order Management: View order lists and their statuses. Track shipments and deliveries. Update order status (processing, delivered, canceled, etc.).
  • Advertising and Promotions: Display advertisements, banners, promotions on the website. Manage discount codes, promotional programs, and more.
  • Payment Integration and Transaction Processing: Integrate payment gateways for online payment processing. Confirm and track payment transactions.

Customer Portal: Allow users to perform and manage basic information such as phone numbers, email addresses, delivery addresses, adjust payment options, request quotes, manage shopping lists, check order status, etc.

  • Account Registration and Management: Register new user accounts (buyers and sellers), log in, and manage personal information, delivery addresses, payment methods, etc.
  • Product Search and Viewing: Search for products by keywords, categories, brands, etc. View detailed product information, including images, descriptions, prices, ratings, and more.
  • Cart and Checkout: Add products to the cart; edit product quantities, remove products from the cart, calculate and display the total amount in the cart; select payment methods; enter payment information and delivery address; confirm and place orders. 
  • Reviews and Comments: Rate and write reviews about products; view reviews and comments from other users.
  • Customer Support: Provide contact channels for customers to ask questions, request assistance; offer real-time support through direct chat, email, phone, and more.

Q/C Testing

Whether you’re building an in-house team or enlisting the services of external development agencies, the quality testing phase of a project holds immense significance. This critical stage is where businesses validate that the system functions as expected and complies with the initial requirements.

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace-QC-Testing
Q/C Testing

Step 1: Define Testing Objectives

Identify the objectives and scope of the testing process. Set specific criteria and requirements that the business wants to verify to ensure the platform operates accurately and meets the specified requirements.

Step 2: Test Planning

Determine a detailed test plan, including test cases, scenarios, and data. Identify the resources, timeline, and scope of the testing phases.

Step 3: Functional Testing

Verify all website functions to ensure they are working correctly as expected. If the business’s website supports multiple languages and regions, it should also verify compatibility and display of each feature in different geographical areas.

Step 4: User Interface (UI) Testing

Ensure the interface is designed beautifully and user-friendly. Evaluate information display, buttons, links, and user experience on various devices, including mobile and tablet.

Step 5: Browser Compatibility Testing

Test the website on popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge to ensure compatibility and correct display on all platforms.

Step 6: Performance Testing

Assess website performance, including page load speed, concurrent processing, and scalability. Ensure the website operates smoothly and can handle the expected traffic load.

Step 7: Security Testing

Examine the platform’s security by testing intrusion potential, data security, and user authentication. Verify security methods such as SSL, data encryption, and security certificates.

Step 8: Issue Resolution

Document and track any errors and issues that arise during testing. Identify the root causes, rectify the errors, and retest until the testing process is approved, and the entire system is ready for go-live and operation.


Go-live is the final stage in the process of starting an eCommerce marketplace when the system is officially launched and becomes operational.

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace - Golive

To ensure a successful go-live process, businesses should prepare a checklist known as the Go-live checklist. This is a list of tasks that the deployment team needs to perform to prepare the system for go-live. The checklist includes task items, responsible individuals, status, and how they affect the system.


  • Prepare the Production environment and configure the domain.
  • Ensure that the entire source code of the go-live preparation system is the final version of the quality testing process.
  • Data migration: Execute the data migration process from the old system to the new system using the established method. Then, verify the data after migration to ensure the integrity and accuracy of data in the new system.
  • Content update: Review website content, including text, images, videos, and other materials. Ensure that the content is displayed accurately without spelling or formatting error
  • Backup all website data to ensure safety and data recovery capabilities when needed
  • Identify and prepare customer guide and support materials

Finally Golive 

  • Implement the transition process from the development environment to the actual production environment.
  • Monitor website traffic and activities immediately after golive.
  • Ensure system stability and performance throughout the go-live process.


  • Monitor and analyze user feedback
  • Address issues and problems that arise post-go-live
  • Ensure the system’s stability and performance over an extended period after golive
  • Ensure compatibility of integrations with external systems
  • Train employees and managers to use and maintain the system effectively

Continuously update & develop features

Regularly updating the system is important for businesses to adapt to the ever-changing customer needs, improve customer experience, stay abreast of emerging technology trends, enhance competitiveness, and more. Moreover, continuous bug fixes and security patch updates enhance the brand’s credibility, safeguard users from internet threats, and so on. 

Moreover, the development of new features empowers businesses to capitalize on market opportunities and scale their operations more professionally. For example, after a period of operation and accumulating a specific customer base, businesses can introduce features tailored to loyal customers. 

The Complete 9 Steps for Building an eCommerce Marketplace - Continuously update & develop features
Continuously update & develop features

Running a thriving marketplace involves a multitude of factors, such as the business model, financial capabilities, and building strategic partnerships with diverse brands. However, a well-functioning eCommerce platform with high performance plays a vital role in the path to success. The journey of marketplace development is anything but straightforward. It requires substantial investments of time and resources for thorough research and the seamless alignment of solutions with each development phase.

Recognizing the challenges and hurdles that businesses face during the process of starting their eCommerce marketplace, feel free to contact or call SECOMM directly at (02871089908) for a free consultation.

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Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce

According to data compiled by Statista, over 82% of retail sales take place in brick-and-mortar stores. Within that, more than 81% of customers have spent time researching products online before deciding. This demonstrates both online and offline business activities must be aligned for the optimized overall operation. That means you, as a business, need to consider implementing an O2O commerce strategy in line with your business goals and capabilities.

Define objectives

To establish objectives, it’s important to determine your vision for O2O commerce implementation. It represents the future look that you aim to achieve, and then you will set specific and measurable goals. You can also use SWOT to make sure you understand your strength, weakness, opportunity, and threats. 

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Define objectives
Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce – Define objectives

Clear objectives will keep you focused on what is important, minimize risks, and achieve O2O commerce success.

Plan the strategy

Next is to work with your team to develop O2O strategies to achieve the established objectives. 

You can use performance analysis software to measure and analyze, identifying pain points and touchpoints throughout the purchasing journey. This way, you can determine which O2O model to implement and which channels are suited for the chosen model. 

After choosing your business model, you will select resources to facilitate O2O commerce. 

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Plan the strategy
Plan the strategy

Here are 3 great ways to pool resources:

Number 1. Plan to build your in-house team for both online and offline sales channels

Pros: You can manage and shape your team to develop the business the way you want

Cons: It requires significant costs and time to recruit and train your in-house team, making your market entry to be slower than the competition. 

Number 2. Collaborate with an O2O-experienced developer

Pros: You can learn a lot from your partner

Cons: It’s not easy to find trustworthy and professional partners with expertise that suits your needs. 

Number 3. Facilitate the O2O commerce with an expert developer along with building the in-house team to maintain it.

Pros: You can quickly develop the O2O system and control it in the long run

Cons: It takes time to find a trustworthy vendor, as well as the costs to recruit and train your in-house team.

Those approaches can help you in effectively outlining your O2O commerce plan, encompassing aspects such as budget allocation and implementation timeline.

Optimize the offline commerce system

Typically, businesses that implement O2O strategies are those that already have an existing offline business system. However, to effectively fulfill O2O orders you must optimize your offline commerce capabilities. The optimized offline system will strengthen your O2O operations with some management software such as POS, CRM, ERP, and PIM instead of using manual management processes relying on paperwork or Microsoft Office tools (Word, Excel, OneNote, Access, etc).

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Optimize the offline commerce system
Optimize the offline commerce system

POS (Point of Sale) is where the buying and selling transactions take place. A POS system combines hardware and software to create a complete transaction process. Some popular POS systems include Magestore, mPOS, VNPAY, and KiotViet. 

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is software that helps plan and manage all operations of a business. Some world-renowned ERPs include Odoo, Sage, TomERP, Oracle, and SAP. 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a software that allows you to manage information and interaction of your existing and prospective customers. CRM helps you to collect, store, and analyze customer data to improve customer interactions and enhance sales capabilities. You can use CRM tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, Zendesk, Zoho, and Pipedrive. 

PIM (Product Information Management) is a system used to store and manage your business’s product information in a centralized manner. Product information includes technical specifications, descriptions, images, videos, size and color information, multilingual product descriptions, and other relevant information needed by marketers or sales staff. There are some popular PIM solutions including Pimworks, Salsify, Akeneo, and Inriver.  

Depending on the current level of digitization in your offline operations, you can consider upgrading existing systems, transitioning to different platforms, or implementing additional suitable software solutions. 

Develop the online commerce system

Select platforms

Typically, building the online commerce system including websites, and apps, you can choose between 2 types of platforms: SaaS and Open Source.

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Select platforms
Select platforms

SaaS (Software as a Service) platform is a service delivery model where the website system is provided as software. In this model, data is stored on the provider’s server, and the platform is responsible for handling technical issues for the business.

Some popular SaaS platforms:  Haravan, Shopify, and BigCommerce.

  • Pros: Easy to use, quick development time, high security, 24/7 customer support
  • Cons: Increasing development costs over time, businesses have limited ownership of source code and data, limitations in functionality and customization, and scalability.

The SaaS platform is often a popular choice for startups or SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) due to its reasonable cost and implementation time. 

The Open Source platform refers to software with publicly available source code that can be used by anyone free of charge. Open-source platforms are the optimal choice for businesses to develop comprehensive websites and apps. 

Some notable Open-source platforms include Magento, WooCommerce (a plugin for WordPress), and OpenCart. 

  • Pros: High customization and scalability, diverse critical features and utilities, you have ownership of source code and data. 
  • Cons: Not user-friendly, high development costs, lengthy implementation time. 

The Open-source platform is the perfect choice for enterprise-level businesses requiring complex customization due to its high flexibility and scalability.

In addition, you can also build your store on popular eCommerce marketplaces such as Shopee, Lazada, Tiki, Sendo, and Amazon. Marketplaces give you a great opportunity to reach out to a wide pool of potential customers and increase sales. Moreover, using eCommerce marketplaces helps you save costs on ads, shipping, and customer relationship management (CRM).

To succeed on marketplaces, you will need optimized store pages and an effective strategy. It’s easier said than done, however, relying on eCommerce marketplaces in the long run may result in a loss of control over customers and their data. Marketplaces will have their own policies regarding customer data management and contact information making it difficult for you to directly access their customers and may lose these potential customers to your competition. 

Overall, to effectively implement O2O commerce, you can choose to develop an online system alongside your offline system or proceed with it after getting the offline system done. 

Create UI/UX design

After choosing the platform to build the O2O e-commerce website and app, you will create the UI/UX design that aligns with your brand’s characteristics. 

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Create UI UX design
Create UI/UX design

There are 3 recommended approaches:

  • Using pre-built themes: This helps you save theme costs. Both SaaS and Open-source platforms offer a variety of themes ranging from $300 to $500.
  • Customizing based on pre-built themes: This approach allows you to customize the theme to suit your development needs. 
  • Create the UI/UX design from scratch: This helps you to develop your brand image uniquely and creatively compared to the majority of competitors. It may incur higher costs compared to using pre-built themes but the “tailored” design will meet the market needs and your business’s requirements. 

Develop critical functions for the digital system

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Develop critical functions for the digital system
Develop critical functions for the digital system

After you’ve done with your design, it’s time to develop some critical functions for both eCommerce website and app implementation. Below are a few suggestions:

  • Catalog Management: involves managing categories, functions, prices, and product images/videos to optimize your operations.
  • Sales Management: focus on managing order information, and being aware of customer shopping behavior.
  • Marketing Management: integrating features such as URLs, meta tags, and internal links to optimize SEO, and combine with other effective marketing campaigns to boost sales. 
  • Content Management: All about generating and optimizing engaging content for CMS, including text, images, banners, widgets, templates as well as blogs, and branded content, v.v
  • Customer Management: All about storing, managing, and analyzing customer data and segmentation to boost your marketing strategy and optimize the customer online experience.
  • System Management: All about managing and assigning permissions to administrators to operate, secure, and maintain the eCommerce system. 
  • Store Management: All about using inventory management tools at main stores, branches, and warehouses to ensure an efficient supply chain. 
  • Cart and Checkout Management: All about the shopping cart and payment information.
  • Analysis and Reporting: All about analyzing and measuring the performance of the eCommerce system to help you make decisions based on data. 


Testing serves as a vital undertaking to help you uncover any lurking bugs that may emerge within a website and app, all in the pursuit of aligning the entire system seamlessly with the precise demands of your business. By doing testing, you will not only grant a comprehensive overview of your project but also provide the means to evaluate targets and even proactively manage risks as you navigate the realm of eCommerce.

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Testing

There are several testing methods:

  • White-box testing: In white-box testing, the code and algorithms are examined. Testers access the source code to perform the tests. 
  • Black-box testing: This method tests the system’s functionality based on specific requirements.
  • Gray-box testing: It combines black-box and white-box testing. 

In general, conducting testing based on test scenarios is an important step that helps you ensure quality and provides a solid foundation for a smooth operation.

Legal Registration and Launch the app

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Legal Registration and Launch the app
Legal Registration and Launch the app

Declare with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade

The final step to developing the online capabilities is to complete the legal procedures to make sure your eCommerce operation is legit. You can follow the step-by-step guide in the eCommerce Management Portal. 

This is a mandatory requirement set by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade for individuals or organizations having online businesses to fulfill their obligation to register/notify within the specified timeframe. 

Publish the app on Google Play and App Store

To publish the applications on these platforms, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Register a developer account on the App Store and Google Play
  2. Create your developer profile and register the app
  3. Create and submit the app, including necessary information such as name, description, images, videos, and other features. You must ensure the app complies with the regulations and requirements of these platforms.
  4. Check and confirm the app registration. When the app is approved, you can start promoting and managing it on the platforms. 

By pushing the app to Google Play and the App Store, you take one closer step to mobile users.

Measure performance

After facilitating your O2O commerce system, it’s time to take a look at the collected data to measure its performance for further critical decisions. Several tools can be integrated into your business system such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, TikTok Tracking Pixel, and more.

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Measure performance
Measure performance

Moreover, you can integrate BI (Business Intelligence) tools, which are intelligent management reporting systems, to gather large amounts of data from various sources and use them to make predictions. Some popular BI tools include Magento Business Intelligence, Tableau, Power BI, and Looker.

Optimize customer experience

Having the analysis and reports in place, you can now develop appropriate strategies to optimize customer experience. Some popular strategies include Loyalty Program and Omnichannel.

Ultimate Guide for Vietnamese Firms to Deploy O2O Commerce - Optimize customer experience
Optimize customer experience

The Loyalty Program is a marketing strategy designed to encourage customers to continue to shop associated with the program. This enriches customer shopping experience and keeps them engaged with your brand. 

Omnichannel is a multichannel sales approach that focuses on providing a seamless shopping experience by marketing and selling on all channels where potential customers are present, from mobile devices, social media, and eCommerce websites to brick-and-mortar stores.

O2O Commerce Solution at SECOMM

Established in 2014, SECOMM is a company specializing in providing O2O commerce solutions. Over the years, SECOMM has accumulated a vast portfolio of O2O commerce projects with large domestic and international clients such as Annam Gourmet, Trentham Estate, and much more.

Regarding O2O commerce solutions, SECOMM offers a diverse range of services to help businesses enhance their competitive capabilities and dominate the retail market in the digital age. These services include Solution Consulting, Team Development, and O2O System Development including:

O2O Commerce Model

eCommerce System

Developing an O2O commerce system to provide a comprehensive experience for customers:

  • Deploying eCommerce websites on platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento, etc
  • Building eCommerce Apps using platforms, technologies, and frameworks such as Flutter, NodeJS, ReactJS, Ionic.
  • Building and managing online stores on popular eCommerce marketplaces such as Shopee, Lazada, Tiki, Sendo, and Amazon.

Management system

Deploying and integrating management tools and software to efficiently operate business activities for the enterprise.

  • ERP: Odoo, Sage, TomERP, Oracle, SAP, etc.
  • CRM: Salesforce, Hubspot, Zendesk, Zoho, etc.
  • POS: Magestore, mPOS, VNPAY, KiotViet, etc.
  • PIM: Pimworks, Salsify, Akeneo, Inriver, etc.

Customer Experience System

Building and integrating platforms to support businesses in enhancing customer experience.

  • Mobile Applications: Flutter, NodeJS, ReactJS, Ionic, etc.
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Omnichannel Commerce

Data System

Integrating tools to support the analysis and reporting for the business operations.

  • Data analysis and reporting: Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Tiktok Tracking Pixel, etc.
  • Business Intelligence: Magento Business Intelligence, Tableau, Power BI, Looker, etc.

To learn more about the O2O commerce model as well as the best solutions to conquer the retail market, please contact SECOMM today for a free consultation.

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Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs

Loyal customers contribute significantly to the profitability and development of eCommerce businesses. Therefore, as a business, you need to focus on strengthening relationships with customers and encouraging repeat purchases. Among the methods available, building and convincing customers to participate in Loyalty Programs is an effective strategy.

Below is the ultimate guide to successfully build and implement an eCommerce Loyalty Program. 

Related Readings: Everything To Know About eCommerce Loyalty Programs

Set Objectives

The first step of the process is to establish the goals of the eCommerce Loyalty Program, which includes identifying the objectives (e.g. increasing customer retention rates, promoting repeat purchases, attracting new customers, increasing CLV). These objectives should align with the overall development strategy and business goals. 

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Set Objectives
Set Objectives To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs

In addition, as a business, you need to clearly define the target audience of the Loyalty Program by analyzing the demographic and psychographic characteristics of those audiences to design a suitable program that meets their expectations. 

You also can research the Loyalty Programs of competitors, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and then create your own program to differentiate your business and provide unique value to customers. 

Develop eCommerce Loyalty Program

Determine types of Loyalty Program

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Determine types of Loyalty Program
Determine types of Loyalty Program

Currently, there are various types of eCommerce Loyalty Programs, but the most popular ones are point-based programs, tiered-based programs, and subscription-based programs. 

  • Point-based Loyalty Programs

This allows customers to earn points for each purchase or specific action and redeem them for rewards once they have accumulated a certain number of points. You should pay attention to the value of the rewards customers will receive and the reasonable time to redeem them to make the programs attractive. 

  • Tiered-based Loyalty Programs

This program encourages customers to strive for higher tiers to receive higher-value rewards and benefits. It will require customers to invest their time and money in shopping and engaging with your brand, meaning the more they spend, the more benefits they receive, and the higher their loyalty to your brand.

  • Subscription-based Loyalty Programs

This Loyalty Program requires customers to register as members and pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee, depending on the terms of each program. Because of that, customers are more likely to commit to engaging with the brand, which is higher than other types of programs. Typically, these programs will have a trial period for customers to decide whether or not to join, and this is also an opportunity for you to convince them that the value they will receive is worth every cent. 

The choice of Loyalty Program type depends on the budget, resources, and overall strategy of your business. 

Choose rewards meaningful to customers

After choosing the right type of eCommerce Loyalty Program, you will want to select rewards that are suitable for that program. For point-based Loyalty Programs, common rewards include:

  • Discounts on the next purchase;
  • Free shipping;
  • Free gifts;
  • Priority support;
  • The opportunity to join exclusive events 
  • The latest product updates.

The SHEIN Bonus Point Program is a typical point-based Loyalty Program, where customers will earn 1 point for $1 spent. In addition, customers can also earn reward points by taking specific actions such as verifying their accounts, reviewing products, etc. When reaching the required number of points, customers can redeem them for discounts of up to 70%.

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Choose rewards meaningful to customers - Shein
The SHEIN Bonus Point Program

For the type of tiered Loyalty Program, the tiers will determine the equivalent benefits that customers will receive and require effort to maintain or upgrade. Therefore, rewards will be designed to reflect the brand’s characteristics and personalized for each customer at each specific tier. This makes the customer’s efforts worthwhile. 

For example, Aldo Crew is a tiered Loyalty Program from the famous fashion brand – Aldo, with 3 main tiers: Crew, Plus, and VIP. The program offers customers attractive and personalized benefits such as special pricing, free birthday gifts, birthday discounts, 20% off handbags when purchasing shoes, exclusive privileges and surprises, and account sharing with friends.

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Choose rewards meaningful to customers - Aldo Crew
Aldo Crew

Most membership programs are applied by leading and well-known businesses worldwide due to their credibility, product value, and high-quality service that make customers trust them to spend their money to sign up. The rewards of this type of program tend to be exclusive, only available at the brand and for registered members. 

For example, customers who register for the Walmart+ membership program will receive benefits such as product discounts, shipping policies, gas service, and movie watching with Paramount+ that non-members cannot receive.

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Choose rewards meaningful to customers - Walmart+
The Walmart+ membership program

Depending on what Loyalty Program you choose, you will select rewards that are appropriate for both your customers and your business. However, you should consider the cost of each reward as well as the benefits it brings to the business before applying it to the program. Providing valuable rewards can not only increase customer retention and loyalty but also boost sales and increase the CLV. 

Choose Loyalty Program Software

Next, you will need software to develop,  and manage eCommerce Loyalty Programs, track customer activities, and distribute rewards. The choice will be based on some factors such as ease of use, integration with eCommerce websites, and the price of the software. There are some popular Loyalty Program software on the market today, including, Loyalty Lion, Yotpo, S Loyalty, and so forth. These softwares can be easily integrated and work effectively with eCommerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. 

Design the program rules

The next step is to design the rules of the program. You need to ensure that the rules and conditions for participation are presented clearly, easy to understand, and easy to follow.

For example, the Sephora Beauty Insider program is based on a tiered system where customers earn one point for every dollar they spend, and the conditions for participation and advancement are clearly presented.

Quy Trình Xây Dựng Và Triển Khai eCommerce Loyalty Program-Xây dựng thể lệ chương trình-Sephora
Sephora Beauty Insider

Again, with Walmart+ as an example, customers easily recognize the benefits they will receive for joining the program as a member, and the cost of $12.95/month after a 30-day trial as well. 

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Design the program rules - Walmart+

In addition, the registration process should be easy to execute. Typically, brands will require customers to create an account on their website or fill out a registration form, or even simpler, just log in with Facebook to participate. These actions are quick and easy to execute.

For example, in the Sephora Beauty Insider program, customers can click “join now”, fill out the form, and join the Insider tier. Or, if they already have an account, they need to log in to see their points balance and tier.

For the Aldo Crew program, customers need to fill out a registration form on the website or log in with their Facebook account to start.

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Design the program rules - Aldo Crew
Fill out the form to join Aldo Crew

In addition to ensuring the clarity and understandability of the program rules, you also want to ensure that the conditions set are appropriate for customers to quickly earn rewards and maintain the attractiveness of the program, while also bringing profits to the business.

For example, the Amazon Prime membership program offers customers a 30-day free trial and a range of pricing options. The most noteworthy are the monthly payment plan at $14.99/month and the annual payment plan at $139/year. The majority of customers are likely to choose the annual payment plan ($139) to save money, which is also Amazon’s intention as the profits they earn will be higher.

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Design the program rules - Amazon Prime
Choose a suitable plan to join Amazon Prime

Implement eCommerce loyalty Program

Integrate the program to eCommerce website

To implement a Loyalty Program, you will need to integrate the program into your eCommerce website and display the point balance and rewards on the Shopping cart page.

Taking Sephora as an example again, the Profile page displays the customer’s current membership tier and current point balance.

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Integrate the program to eCommerce website - Sephora
Integrate the Loyalty Program to your eCommerce website

Train the team

For the success of your eCommerce Loyalty Program, you have to educate your team about the program, including participation requirements, point accumulation methods, rewards, and more. 

Moreover, you want to ensure that your team knows how to answer customer questions about the program and handle any arising issues. This activity should be done regularly along with the changing of your Loyalty Program to fit market trends. 

By providing effective training, your team is able to promote and manage the program accordingly. This contributes to the success of your eCommerce Loyalty Program.

Launch & promote the program

When launching your Loyalty Program, you will want to make it popular so promotion is necessary. To do it effectively, you can prominently display the program on the Homepage and Navigation menu of your website. Also, you can promote the program on social media or use eye-catching graphics and compelling content for email marketing. 

An Influencer marketing campaign is an effective way to increase the program’s awareness and engagement. Referral Marketing is also a commonly used marketing strategy in Loyalty Programs today, encouraging customers to refer new members to the program to expand the customer base.

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Launch & promote the program
Launch & promote the program

Popular Loyalty Programs such as Sephora Beauty Insider, Amazon Prime, Walmart+, Aldo Crew, and eBay Plus all have referral programs. When someone signs up for the Loyalty Program through a referral link, both the referrer and the referee will receive a small bonus of $1-$10 or a discount on their next purchase. 

Measure outcomes & keep customers engaged

You will need to track and measure the results of the Loyalty Program to ensure the objectives are achieved and make adjustments if necessary. 

You can use KPIs like customer retention rate, repeat purchase rate, or average order value of members compared to non-members. Moreover, you can collect and analyze customer feedback and reviews on their satisfaction with the program to identify what to improve.

You also need to keep your customers engaged by regularly improving, updating, and promoting the program. At the same time, you should provide personalized rewards and experiences based on their interests and behavior to increase customer satisfaction and interaction.

In addition, you can consider building a community of members by providing online and offline events and special offers exclusively for program members. Again, Sephora does this well, they offer exclusive events for all Insider, VIB, and Rouge members in addition to other incredible experiences. This gradually creates a community of loyal Sephora customers who love beauty.

Step-By-Step Guide To Develop eCommerce Loyalty Programs - Measure outcomes & keep customers engaged - Sephora
Exclusive Events for Sephora’s all-tiered customers.

Retention isn’t about convincing customers who were going to leave to stick around. Instead, retention is about providing so much value to your existing customers that they never go anywhere else and become your strongest benefit.

Therefore, enhancing your customer experience through attractive Loyalty Programs is an effective way to increase customer retention and loyalty.

Contact SECOMM now for a free consultation on developing a comprehensive eCommerce Loyalty Program.

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