If were looking to build a marketplace platform site 10 years ago, it would have cost you tens of thousands of dollars or more along with the time. Luckily we have come a long way in the last decade and there are many platform providers who can do all the groundwork for you. No need to have a coding background or degree to help run a platform site in today’s world. Taking a look at some of the top marketplace platform software providers such as Near Me, Arcadier, Izberg, or Sharetribe which can all help you get your site up and running. While each solution provides different features and functionalities, it is important to find the one that best suits your needs.
With that being said, it has never been easier to launch your own platform. Whether you are looking build a product based marketplace selling camera gear or a people based marketplace connecting subject matter experts. The software is there for anyone to run with which has lead to the rise. In a recent study conducted by Bigcommerce, 34% of business owners sell using a website building platform and 22% sell through other marketplaces. So how can you get your platform to be relevant in the your space? Let’s take a look at 4 trends to help boost your strategy.
1. Invest In Content Marketing.
Your average consumer is getting smarter and buyers are willing to spend the time to conduct research before making a final purchase decision. In a Forbes article, 47% of consumers turn to social media prior to making a decision. Does your marketplace currently have social media pages and content being published on a regular basis? Content marketing has become a staple of how marketing must be done in today’s world. With the ease of a google search, consumers are looking for answers to their questions before going ahead with a purchase. It may be as simple as looking for feedback on a particular item or ratings for a car.
It is vital for your marketplace to provide content surrounding your industry in order to stay relevant in google searches. For example, if a consumer types in “best place to buy a new camera”. If you have created an article that contains those keywords and have a good standing with Google, your article may be on the first page. While your SEO strategy comes into play here, content marketing is the driving force to get on the first page of Google. Try and keep your content relevant, reliable, and more importantly up to date.
2. More Personalization.
Many platforms already do a great job with personalization with giving recommendations based on your browsing history and purchases. With retargeting ads, social media ads, and email marketplaces can bring personalization to a whole new level. As a marketplace subscriber or member, you are able to create and customize your profiles. With this information, marketplace owners are can then personalize the experience even more to help influence their decisions. With special promotion offers, specific call-to-actions, or even simple email campaigns. Show that you are customizing the experience for each individual and not just bombarding with generic ad campaigns.
Often times when I do my online shopping, in particular with Amazon, I am presented with recommendations based on what I have viewed right on the home page. They even take it a step further and break it down by categories. Amazon has made my experience that must better with customization and often times has persuaded me to buy something new just by showing recommendations. I always like to think: f your customers don’t know, they won’t buy. A simple yet effective way to think about when conducting your marketplace.
3. Create Video Content.
Attention span for consumers is at an all time low with statistics showing an average of 8 seconds. That doesn’t come across shocking considering how people are constantly looking to multiple task and get things done as quickly as possible. Whether that is scrolling through your Linkedin feed, getting through emails, or even trying to do all that on your smartphone while driving to work. Content is simply scrolled by if it is not eye-catching to the reader and often never seen again. Unless you are one of the go-to resources for someone, your content will go unnoticed. Words can only do so much when it comes to your marketing strategy.
So how can you capitalize on those 8 seconds of attention you can possibly get from consumers? The answer is to create video content. Visualization is much more powerful than words and can have a stronger impact. Look to create short clips that help explain what your marketplace does and how they can provide value to your customers. Become a thought leader and share your expertise in your industry to help gain traction. Consumers are always looking for answers and if your videos can do just that, then get ready to market to new traffic.
4. Look Into A Subscription Based Model.
This one may not be for every platform but can be a very effective way to help grow your marketplace. A subscription based model will only work if you have created a community strong enough to back it. If you currently do not have a user base, what makes you think people will be willing to pay for it? You must start with a free model that gives users just enough to use it but wanting more. It can be certain features are unlocked in the paid model or providing free shipping on products. How you structure and charge for your subscription model is up to you, but conduct your research to ensure consumers are gaining value.
If you are looking to go this route, I would suggest taking a look at Amazon and LinkedIn. Amazon has what is called a prime membership that allows users to get free two day shipping on items and in some cases same day shipping.This is a huge contributing factor to the success and growth of Amazon, especially in the Bay Area. LinkedIn’s model is quite different as they give users a premium version which unlocks a few of the benefits such as additional information on users, job insights, and sales navigator to help your sales teams. While these are just two examples, there are plenty more out there you can learn from. The best thing you can do is to try a model, and if it doesn’t work then be prepared to switch things up until you can find the right one for your marketplace.
2018 is set to be a bigger year than ever and you want to be sure your marketplace is part of that success. As you refine and tune with these 4 trends, be sure they are compatible with what your marketing strategy. There is not one size fits all strategy so customize it as necessary. Good luck and let’s have a great year ahead!
Did you notice any platform trends that we missed out on? Share with us by commenting below or find us on social media.