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market

Online Marketplace

How to build an online marketplace?

Online Marketplace is one of the major trends in Russian eCommerce market.  In US and Europe Marketplaces became popular even in 2000-2004 after Amazon has grown to huge online retailer and has established relations with a lot of suppliers.

As you may already know, an online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a type of e-commerce site where product and inventory information is provided by multiple third parties, whereas transactions are processed by the marketplace operator. Online marketplaces are the primary type of multichannel ecommerce. eBay and Amazon are the most famous marketplaces of them all.

Is building an online marketplace really that hard? Nowadays building an online marketplaces are become easy with the readymade software and it is one of the best way to grow business in an easiest way. Here I’d like to share a history of the company providing an online marketplace platform that enables retailers and publishers to launch their own online marketplaces.

In 2004, a special engine has been created with API for sending products from different suppliers to Amazon. Strange as it may seem that the project has been realized by Ixtens Inc., a company founded in Russia. Eight years they successfully grow in the sphere of support and maintenance a supplier onboarding process for several online marketplaces.

In 2011 they have launched the first Marketplace for media in the world. At this moment Ixtens has research and development office in Novosibirsk and sales offices in New York and London.  The company staff numbers more than 70 employees.

Platform Specifics

особенности платформы ixtens

The platform has been developed on Java. It’s enabled every ecommerce storefront solution becomes an online marketplace powered by marketplace backend.  The marketplace backend provides a portal for suppliers, delivery services and marketplace owner to aggregate product and inventory information into a single, unified catalog and route the orders to the appropriate supplier(s) for fulfilment. The portal works as a web-service and supports popular protocols and data formats like

  • Flat files
  • EDI (Electronic data interchange)
  • Data formats of popular ERP systems

The marketplace platform helps to automate the Marketplace as much as possible. Some of its functions are enumerated below:

  • automated product import/export from suppliers’ ERP systems/websites to Marketplace
  • automated verification of imported products to meet Marketplace criteria
  • automated aggregation of inventory of the same products came from different suppliers
  • automated analysis of product descriptions to provide customers with comprehensive information about products
  • large document exchange system with order routing and invoice management business logic
  • easy interface for supplier profile management and configuration of the portal

платформа ixtens

Company Success

Among the company customers there were Amazon.com, MTV, Tesco, Benefit, Lifetime brands.

In 2013 New York company Ixtens Inc. was rebranded to Merchantry Inc. and  raised $7m in Series B financing. The round was led by Kite Ventures, with participation from Greycroft Partners and e.ventures. The company intends to use the funds to continue to expand its sales team (read here) and its client base throughout the U.S. and Europe.

coffe-tree

History

To develop software company

I have a coffee tree in my office. I was gifted a small coffee tree when we start the software company more than 15 years ago. Now my coffee tree has delightful green leafs, strong trunk, and full of vital energy. This coffee tree had been moving with me from office to office as company grow. It adjusted to many places stayed always green. This tree is a constant reminder to me that for success we need keeping adjusted and keeping grow all the time.

The people are the leafs, trunk, and vital energy for company. It is not a secret in software world that the people affect how successful your company becomes. Nowadays the technologies are changing very quick. To bring company next level you need to hire for potential instead of experience.

This idea together with an atmosphere of openness, honesty and respect for one another let us to develop the company capabilities over the years.

  • 1999: Alexander Sutormin, Julia Malinina and Alexander Saraikin start work together on software development projects
  • 2000: We meet Eugene Nikiforov and open our first office.
  • 2001: Develop of business components for Intershop Enfinity (cartridges)
  • 2002: Starts first Amazon Integration for CBS Sportsline
  • 2003: The first company has been founded as Ixtens Russia
  • 2004: Launch Zabars on new Demandware eCommerce onDemand service
  • 2005: Bebe as a pilot Item Content Management (ICM) solution with Amazon.com
  • 2005: Move to new office  and grow up to 60 people
  • 2006: Builds the merchant integration engine for Amazon.com’s enterprise offering and launch M&S as first customer of this engine
  • 2007: Builds and support SAAS Inventory and Order Management Service for Ixtens US
  • 2008: The second company has been founded as Kyberpark
  • 2010: Builds Marketplace product for Merchantry
  • 2012: Move to new office and grow up to 95 people
  • 2013: Builds Supplier Hub product for Merchantry
  • 2014: Build Product Information Management System for Merchantry
  • 2015: Start new company and new product

Long term we were dedicated team for SAAS marketplace software development powers the development of Merchantry’s cloud-based software which supports multiple suppliers/sellers of products, aggregating product and inventory information into a single, unified catalog. The retailer then merchandises marketplace products on their online storefront. Once a shopper places an order, the items in the order are routed to the appropriate supplier(s) for fulfillment.

J2EE, Java 1.4 – Java 7, Tomcat, JBoss, Terracota BigMemory, Terracota Quartz Scheduler, SOAP, REST, JSON, Struts, GWT, jQuery, Hibernate (JPA), Datanucleus (JDO), Jersey, Axis, XSLT, JAXB, xmlbeans, Oracle

so we are here now to move forward!