In today’s ever-evolving landscape, eCommerce platforms face increasing demands for tailored customer interactions and efficient business processes. That’s why many eCommerce operators (including companies that want to develop custom telecom marketplace) adopt a platform approach that lays behind the concept of “composable” technology. Such an approach prioritizes flexibility and scalability, emphasizing the quality of components within a technology stack.
According to Gartner, composable commerce entails orchestrating digital experiences based on specific customer and touchpoint requirements, enabling seamless scaling from the MVP to a full-scale launch.
One of the leading Eastern European telecommunications operators decided to develop an enterprise marketplace for telecom to leverage their assets, enhance the customer experience, differentiate themselves from competitors, and create new revenue streams. As a result, the telecom provider aimed to capture a larger share of the customer wallet. We opted for the marketplace for a telecom business based on the composable commerce technology for this case.
Our client also aimed to expand their connectivity expertise and develop a solid partner program with the ecosystem to capitalize on B2B opportunities. Given this, turning the telecom partner marketplace into a B2B2X ecosystem will be a further challenge for us.
Three ways to get your marketplace up and running
The need for highly scalable applications and the increasing complexity of business operations have revolutionized the engineering of software applications, especially in digital commerce. That’s why we favor three popular software implementation approaches in marketplace architecture:
Opensource and other packaged business capabilities adaptations
The core of the composable commerce architecture of the telecom marketplace revolves around what we call packaged business capabilities (PBCs). These components are designed to address specific business challenges and come equipped with robust features and functions tailored to solve them. Moreover, PBCs enable sophisticated business operations at scale, enabling adaptation and customer engagement through personalized, seamless experiences across various channels.
While substantial functionality comes readily available with out-of-the-box solutions, organizations can still heavily customize the platform. When considering such a platform, several factors need to be carefully considered:
NopCommerce as opensource option
NopCommerce is a popular choice for businesses looking to establish an e-commerce presence with a customizable feature-rich and customizable platform. Platform’s open-source nature and active community make it a versatile solution for businesses of various industries and sizes:
- Feature-rich: multi-currency support, SEO features, multilingual support, Right-to-Left (RTL) support
- Wide partnter network (164 partnes)
- Premium support available
- Based on ASP.NET core
- Well-structutured and rich marketplace: 1830 plugins and 170 themes
Custom marketplace development
A custom approach entails constructing a marketplace eCommerce platform from scratch, which holds its allure. However, this also means that the development team is responsible for making, executing, and taking credit or accountability for these decisions. Development must continue beyond basic features but continuously innovate to stay competitive and ensure a seamless customer journey. However, certain critical factors could influence the decision:
Custom portal environment invention
The third approach involves building marketplace platforms based on modern MACH principles (Microservices support, API first, Cloud native, and Headless), tailoring platfrom precisely to their needs and customers’ needs. The key to its flexibility and modularity lies in its headless nature, where the front end is separated from the back end., resulting in complete independence and control over back-end data. Consequently, organizations can personalize customer experiences, improve agility, and scale rapidly.
Cloud-native nature of solution allows seamless compatibility with any programming language. Developers can work with their preferred cloud provider and technologies that best suit their business needs. Being a modern SaaS platform also ensures transparent pricing, minimal entry costs, and continuous updates.
The modular nature of composable commerce allows businesses to develop and deploy only the required functionalities and features. This results in a leaner, faster, and more agile solution than all-in-one monolithic commerce solutions. With commerce tools, the ability to customize features to work natively as part of the platform opens endless possibilities.
A series of steps are required to ensure the successful development and operation of a telecom marketplace. Here is a high-level overview of the steps and services involved in developing a custom telecom marketplace like the one we built for our client.
Platform design and architecture:
MACH architecture (microservices, API-first, cloud-native, and headless) and composable commerce are frequently used interchangeably. Composable commerce offers significant advantages as it enables business growth and customization on a large scale.
However, before adopting this approach, there are essential questions to address, such as assessing your business’s digital maturity, the availability of development resources, your existing tech stack, and business objectives. Taking these aspects into account, the platform design process consists of the following steps:
Technology stack selection:
- Select the appropriate technology stack to build the marketplace, including programming languages, frameworks, and databases. Intellias can propose several options depending depending on your preferences.
- Ensure scalability, performance, and compatibility with future requirements and regulations (such as the GDPR and SOX).
Vendor onboarding and integration:
- Establish a vendor onboarding process, including verification, contract management, and product/service integration guidelines. This is a core marketplace process achieved either by granting access to a seller UI or by creating an integration as described below.
- When integration is needed with a partner or third-party back end, we define APIs or integration protocols to enable seamless data exchange between vendors and the marketplace. We can extend this stage by integrating an external product catalog and related logic for selling and ordering, executed by an external order management tool.
User registration and authentication:
- Develop user registration and authentication mechanisms, including options for individual customers, businesses, and vendors.
- Implement secure authentication protocols to protect user data.
Product catalog management:
- Design and implement a robust catalog management system to handle the listing, categorization, and searchability of products and services. When designing custom partner integrations, we can also sell products from an external catalog using tailored order orchestration.
- Add product descriptions, images, pricing, and inventory management features.
Transaction processing and payments:
- Implement a secure payment gateway to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers.
- Integrate with payment providers and ensure compliance with relevant financial regulations.
- Develop order processing and tracking systems to manage the fulfillment and delivery of products and services.
Rating and review system:
- Incorporate a rating and review system to enable users to provide feedback and share their experiences with products and services.
- Implement moderation mechanisms to ensure the authenticity and fairness of reviews.
Analytics and reporting:
- Integrate analytics tools to track marketplace performance, user behavior, sales data, and other relevant metrics.
- Generate reports and insights to support decision-making and identify areas for improvement.
Continuous improvement and maintenance:
- Regularly monitor and analyze marketplace performance and user feedback.
- Implement updates, bug fixes, and feature enhancements based on user needs and market trends.
- Ensure ongoing maintenance, security updates, and scalability as the marketplace evolves.
As a result, our customer gets a solid brand position with a distributed ecosystem of customers and suppliers.
Intellias engineers provided expertise on our client’s journey to differentiate themselves from competitors and enhance customer retention and loyalty. We proved our efficiency in every aspect of product development, achieving essential milestones:
As a result, our customer got their composable commerce telecom marketplace up and running to engage new partners. Having already become a trusted connectivity provider, our client charted a course towards a B2B2X marketplace. As part of our further cooperation, the next challenge will be to orchestrate a fragmented group of stakeholders to bring new solutions to customers.