Develop an online marketplace that allows service providers to bid on customer tenders.
Axmor developed an online marketplace for those seeking B2C and B2B services. The online marketplace supports electronic auctions similar to eLance and oDesk. The users include customers, service providers, and marketplace administrators. This online marketplace has attracted about 3,000 registered users since its launch in September 2014.
Customers are both individuals and companies. To register, users have to give their names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. Upon registration, a customer account is created, and the first tender request is sent out automatically. Someone with a customer account cannot use it to offer services.
Service Provider Registration
Only companies can be service providers. To begin the registration process, service providers enter the required information (company name, ABN, address) and attach e-copies of their license and articles of association. Then, a service provider account is created but the user still cannot contact the customers until all registration stages are completed. Next, marketplace administrators verify the information and documents submitted by the service provider. When necessary, users with service provider accounts can act as customers as well.
Service Provider Subscription Fee
To complete the registration procedure, the service provider pays a one-year subscription fee. The basic plan allows the service provider to receive information on the tenders only in one category (type of service) and within 300 km from the service provider’s location. Service providers can increase the number of categories and the distance to customers for an additional fee. We provided a calculator that helps determine what the subscription fee would be for different plans.
To get quotes, customers select the category and sub-category of their tenders, provide a description of services required, and indicate the price that they are willing to pay. After the tenders are published, they are verified by marketplace administrators.
Bidding on a Tender
Service providers receive notifications for all the tenders that are available in their categories. They then can send a quote to the customer via an internal message exchange for tenders that they want to bid on.
Selecting a Service Provider
Customers look over all the quotes for their tenders. They can select the best service provider based on the price offered or other concerns. If the customer does not select a service provider within two weeks, the tender is automatically canceled.
Rating Service Providers
After the service provider is selected, all communication with the customer (including payment for services) takes place outside the online marketplace. After the tender works are completed, the customer can rate the service provider on a scale from 1 to 5 and leave a comment. Ratings and comments are monitored by marketplace administrators.
The online marketplace is managed via the administrator panel, functioning as a CRM system and containing detailed information about all customers, service providers, and their interactions. This CRM system is also used to send messages to users and to compile statistics on marketplace traffic. The marketplace administrators approve or reject service provider registrations, tender publications, and the feedback given on service providers.
Axmor integrated this online marketplace with a payment gateway, web mapping service, and email service provider.
Integration with a Payment Gateway
Since the marketplace is integrated with eWay payment gateway, service providers can pay their subscription fees directly through their marketplace accounts using credit cards.
Integration with Google Maps
The online marketplace is integrated with Google Maps API, so that service providers receive notifications about new tenders within the distance allowed by their plan.
Integration with Yandex
We integrated the online marketplace with Yandex API, which allows marketplace administrators to send notifications to users via email in addition to the internal messaging system.
Performance and Fault Tolerance
Axmor deployed the server side of the online marketplace in the Amazon EC2 cloud. This ensured better performance, fail-safe operation, and convenient data backup.
We developed a convenient user interface for the online marketplace that is easy to use on both desktops and mobile devices.