Since 2020, many brands have turned into omnichannel platforms online, due to the decrease of in-store sales. According to Forbes, B2C online marketplace worldwide sales could reach an estimated $3.5 trillion by 2024. Right now, many brands adopted the strategy of joining a third-party marketplace and combining it with developing their own platform.
Having a vision of a successful marketplace is a good start, but let’s get into some practical strategies. A lot of elements are important to consider before starting out an online marketplace, such as picking the right revenue model, marketing, selecting partnerships, and choosing the right tech providers.
Choosing the right technology behind your idea
Firstly, the most important building block of an online marketplace is the software. When choosing a provider, make sure to pick one that offers a wide variety of customizable features. You want your marketplace to look clean and aesthetic, but also represent your brand and story. Look into what are their custom design options and whether you will be able to provide all the delivery and payment options for your customers.
Provide excellent website and app usability
The core of having a strong online marketplace is usability and a seamless check-out. Speed and cleanness of the process are the keys to providing an extraordinary customer experience and surpassing other online marketplaces.
For example, a platform like Ordering provides a great selection of features, a very well-organized and clean design, a variety of payment options and their support team can help you to get it all set up in less than a week!
Be selective about partnerships
Having an online marketplace with multiple brands can diminish the feeling of connection between the customer and the product they are buying. That is why a lot of individual brands started moving towards the D2C model, which allows them to fully brand their products.
When partnering with multiple brands and suppliers for your online marketplace, make sure to provide enough room for them to express their storytelling and present visuals, explaining their products more in-depth.
Transparency is one of the primary decision-making factors among customers. They want to see where and how the products or food ingredients are being made. They want to know everything about the sources and whether the brands that they are investing their money in, are authentic and sustainable.
Be very selective and maintain a high standard of products or services that are a part of your online marketplace. Maintaining consistent quality in the eyes of your customers is going to immediately add value and kick-start your journey to acquiring loyal visitors.
The main source of concern for customers who make purchases online is the reliability of delivery. Especially at the beginning of 2020, the rapid increase in online orders caused chaos among online marketplaces. Many platforms were struggling to deliver their products on time and manage inventory accordingly to the demand.
Have a variety of payment gateways
Conduct thorough research on which payment options are the most prevalent and frequently used among your target audience. Including them at check out will help you to reduce the risk of cart abandonment and prevent customers from struggling with their payment methods being rejected.
Good or bad, the first reviews are fundamental when it comes to building an online marketplace. The platform can always be improved and altered over time, so you do not need to get it absolutely perfect the first time. However, reading and analyzing reviews is key to bringing your online marketplace as close to perfection as possible. After all, you want your visitors to have the best experience possible. When they feel like they are being heard and their needs are being met, you are creating a bond and feeling of trust within your online community.
Build an online community
Putting the technical aspects aside, managing your community will bring you closer to your partners as well as customers. Make sure to include an easy way for your customers to communicate with you, such as Whatsapp or a live chat.
Interaction through social media, collaboration with influencers and YouTubers whose content is related to the theme of your online marketplace, is also a great way to build a genuine connection with the customers and make your brand more trustworthy.
There are a lot of things to consider before setting up your online marketplace, but remember, you can improve it as you go. If you are not personally an expert in tech and design, get in touch with Ordering. The team will help you visualize your ideas and give you advice on how to take your marketplace to the next level.
Many brands have already taken advantage of their technology.