Marketplace success doesn’t happen overnight. Any marketplace owner or entrepreneur can tell you how much blood, sweat, and tears they have put into making their dreams come true. As you continue to experiment with what is working and what isn’t, we are here to share first-hand experiences that we have learned through our journey.
Put Your Customers First
The success of any business relies on their customers. Even with the best products or services, if you have no clientele base then you will not obtain a positive cash flow. For any business, it is important to have a customer support team and channel. Whether it’s to handle the onboarding process, questions about your services, or even simple emails. These aspects must all be covered in order to keep clients happy and improve your trust in the community. Put the concerns and issues of your customers first to keep them coming back.
Let’s take a second to think of your favorite restaurant. Why is it your favorite? Sure the food must be incredible but how about the service? I know I wouldn’t come back to a place that treats me poorly and doesn’t come to check up on me. Success will start with your team and the mindset of putting your customers first. The rest will fall into place once you have done that.
Understand Your Competition
Many marketplaces fail to do this. This must be done in the research and development stages in order understand what direction you will take. A simple google search can help answer the question of who your competition is and what they are doing. You don’t want to get sued for “copying” another marketplaces’ business with colors, logos, etc. Take the time to do a quick search and it can save you a big lawsuit down the line.
As you gather a list of competitors, keep up to date with what they are releasing and sharing. Are they releasing new products, lowering their prices, or working together with a new marketplace? You want to stay competitive with the market so if they suddenly drop their prices, you may need to review and see how or why they are doing so. As the old saying goes “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”.
Collaborate With Other Marketplaces
As a new marketplace, this is ESSENTIAL. How will you build your brand’s name and become a big player in the market? Collaborate with other marketplaces to spread the word with new content, podcasts, guest blogs, and sharing across various social media channels. You may find others who are interested in what you guys are doing and vice versa. Getting retweets or shares from other trusted marketplaces will help increase your trust in the community.
Spread your wings and don’t be shy to reach out to marketplaces you come across on social media. Introduce your marketplace and establish a relationship with them. The worst thing that can happen is they just ignore your message but at least you made the effort.
Utilize Social Media
One of the strongest marketing tools in today’s world is social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. All these platforms, if optimized properly, can generate strong interest for your marketplace. Gaining traffic to your website from your content and posts can help increase leads. Some marketplaces utilize it as a customer service channel which is easy and an effective way to build trust with your customers. Showing you are active and do listen to what your audience has to say can make all the difference.
Be Strategic With Product Launches
Have you ever seen Apple release a new MacBook, iWatch, or iPhone at the same time? While they may have a revealing of all the products at the same time, they strategically release them at different times. This allows the general public to create a buzz and anticipation for the next big thing. Sometimes you only have to wait 1 month while other times it can be up to a full year.
Why does Apple do this exactly? It’s all apart of their grand scheme of staying fresh and relevant. Some may say Apple isn’t the same since Steve Jobs (which I agree), but regardless are still one of the most popular brands today. It’s iconic logo and designs are recognizable anywhere you go.
Use Eye Catching Photos
We live in the generation where visuals are more important than ever. From platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr the average person has grown somewhat of an interest for aesthetics. Don’t worry if you aren’t a professional, you can use stock image sites such as Shutterstock or Pexels. These are great places to get the photos you need, high-quality, and more importantly the ability to download different sizes. Choose a theme for your marketplace and run with it to be more consistent with your images.
You’ll be surprised how many people look at a photo and assume that is the real size of the item. It’s important that you disclose the size or dimensions of the products you are selling. This will give people a better sense of what they are purchasing and if they need to take measurements before purchasing. Take furniture for example. Many have limited space in their home or office so sharing the full dimensions of the items can help with the purchase decision. This will also help you save time with emails and questions about “what size is this? Or “please compare it to the size of this?”.
As you go down this list and look for what areas you can improve on, share with us! We’d love to hear what adjustments you need to make and if there is any information we can help with. Don’t forget you can always tweet us as well @MrktPlacePfm!