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What is a marketplace?

The basic principle of an online marketplace

A marketplace is a communications platform, which replicates some of the basic mechanisms of the business world. There is always one marketplace operator, who has developed the platform and makes it available to a large variety of target groups. The platform will be used on the one hand by offerors, who have products, services or information that is for sale. And the other side is represented by persons or companies, who are looking for products, information or services. In some special cases, mediators or brokers will also be active on marketplaces, offering or requesting products, information or services, as a representative of a third party. This leads to the creation of a large variety of business processes, which must be implemented between the individual participants in the marketplace.

With APONDOS, business processes have been developed as modules, which means they can be utilised, modified and expanded in function of the business model and the needs of the marketplace operator. APONDOS is the first marketplace system to offer the possibility of personally designing a database via the Administration menu, for which no programming know-how is required.

The structure of a marketplace

As a rule, a marketplace has three functional domains:

1. The public domain

This is the public area of the online marketplace, which is normally open to everyone who knows the Internet address. This is section displays content, represented industrial sectors, offered products, suppliers and the people making enquiries, while it also explains the functions of the marketplace. In individual cases, added the value is already offered for public users (unregistered users) in the public area, who can, for instance, use the search functions or have the possibility of ordering products.

2. The member area

Only registered users have access to the member area. A variety of different business models can already be taken into consideration during the registration process. Such as for instance test memberships, time-limited memberships or fixed memberships with different cancellation possibilities. Memberships can either be free, free of charge for a certain time period, or subject to a membership fee. Depending on the type of membership, each member will have a certain special functions or information that is available to him in the membership area, which usually represent an added value.

3. The administration domain

This domain contains all the functions which are at the exclusive disposal of the marketplace operator. All of the basic data of the marketplace already signed and controlled from the administration domain, including: ▪ Membership administration, including the definition of different membership types. ▪ Definition of membership accounts (e.g. what type of member has access to which data, product groups or information) ▪ Definition of offers (Listings: Structure, categories, functions and content of the author) ▪ Business and communications processes in the marketplace or between the members (offers, demand, orders, establishing contacts, search procedures, payment processes, mediation processes, commissioning, collection, uploading and downloading processes. Some special features with APONDOS. Besides the many basic functions that are offered by them APONDOS MARKETPLACE, the following special functions must be mentioned:

The MTT technology

APONDOS has developed a special, patented technology, which controls the creation of static and dynamic processes and tables. In practice, this technology is, for instance, used during the creation of listings and forms. This technology makes a completely free and dynamic design of the content of the marketplace possible for administrators. An example. Certain services are offered by members in the marketplace. These services are defined and described in listings. In the case of a standard marketplace systems, the contents (for instance the name, address of the offerer, description of the servers, quantities, time period, download addresses, etc.) must in each instance be programmed. It therefore has to have been decided in advance for the design of these offers and what functions they will contain. This is different with APONDOS. Here of the marketplace operator uses a simple menu to define the contents, functions, categories and the design of listings, which can be changed at any time. Programming is therefore no longer necessary.

If, for instance for the mediation of open jobs, the operator of an APONDOS marketplace would like to add the company logo of an offerer to the listing "Job description", then he simply adds this field with a few mouse clicks, after which this field will be available for all members that want to place a job offer. If the marketplace operator would like to provide a completely new job type, for instance "Executive personnel", then he creates a new listing in the same simple manner. And all this without any programming.

Multiple languages are available everywhere

Some marketplaces are purely "local events". Due to the globalisation of markets and the increasing number of users on the Internet, it no longer makes any sense to offer marketplaces in a single language. That is the reason why APONDOS MARKETPLACE was developed as a multiple-language application throughout. This means that the entire user navigation for offerors, enquirers, mediators and public users is available in a multi-lingual environment. This multiple-language approach even goes as far as system messages. This has been implemented by storing all speech-relevant content in tables, which can be exported to such applications as Excel or Word, where they can be translated and subsequently reimported. This is a great competitive advantage with regard to all other marketplace systems available on the market.

Strict separation between content and design

The entire public and membership areas can be modified with any commercially available HTML editor, such as Dreamweaver, MS-Frontpage and Adobe GoLive. This means that the marketplace system can be adapted by any web designer to the CI of the marketplace operator. Furthermore, the APONDOS designers have created numerous templates for different industrial sectors, which are equally easy to integrate without any programming know-how. Just try it out.

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