A marketplace can employ one or more fulfilment strategies inline with business goals, such as Dropship, Consignment, Click and Collect or a mix. The choice of fulfilment strategy ultimately has an impact on the marketplaces buying experience and profitability
Dropshipping was originally invented with one main purpose in mind, to reduce supply chain costs and logistical complications.
When dropshipping, retailers or marketplace operators sell products they do not physically stock, which are shipped directly from the seller to the buyer.
A huge benefit of dropshipping is the massive saving on the cost of warehousing and logistics, for the marketplace operator, which also provides massive opportunities for marketplaces to scale without physical limits.
Consignment mirrors in part to a normal online stores operational model i.e. the marketplace operator is responsible for, at least the last mile, delivery to the buyer.
When using consignment, retailers or marketplace operators either pick and deliver buyer or the sellers deliver to the operator first who then deliver to the buyer.
This is a costlier model to operate but does provide control to the marketplace operator in terms of branding and service delivery.
As a fulfilment strategy Click and Collect, also known as kerb-side pickup, is not new. Many businesses employ this today to enable customers to place orders online and allowing it to be collected physically from a branch or an outlet.
Marketcube goes one step further by allowing independent third party seller locations to be incorporated into a businesses offline branch or outlet network, via a common marketplace.
Offering services such booking personal trainers, health care services or food deliveries via a marketplace is a growing commerce trend and one that offers many opportunities online.
Services are non-physical in nature and hence do not require a "shipment" but still are delivered physically and/or virtually.
All services are created as products but have additional dimensions of Location, Capacity and availability along with other standard product information such as description and price.
As a fulfilment strategy this is highly advanced yet hugely flexible whereby marketplaces can offer all of the above mentioned fulfilment strategies across their sellers.
Today many businesses offer delivery and pick up to their customers, however, offering this model across independent businesses through a marketplace has not yet been exploited fully.