Success starts from within and if you do not have the right vision, you will soon find yourself failing. Have you done your research and understand what it takes to launch your marketplace platform? Take a look at Airbnb, who is one of the top players in their industry. They have had their fair share of hiccups but continue to make their visions come true. Do you see where your platform will be in 10 years from now? Let’s take a look at a few questions that need to be covered before launching your marketplace.
Are You Targeting Buyers And Sellers?
While you have determined your buyer persona(s) and target market, you must be cautious of what you are marketing and promoting. As you have yet to launch your marketplace, you need to be careful not to start marketing as if your product or service is live. Think of the negative backlash you will be getting if you start offering discounted prices to a product with a link and people visit the page getting error messages. This will draw negative attention to your platform and start off on the wrong foot.
So who should you be targeting? Divide your market into buyers and sellers. Develop campaigns that are solely targeted to these audiences to get them to join your marketplace. For example, to sellers, you are looking to establish a partnership. You must entice or incentivize them to join. Offer them a bigger percentage of the sales that are made on the platform or offer to take care of the shipping costs. Whatever it may be, it HAS to be enough to move them over from what they are doing now. Why should they move on to your platform if they are doing just fine with their current ones?
As for buyers, you must build the momentum as much as possible prior to the launch of your platform. Get people excited via social media, emails, advertisements, and what you can to increase your reach. At this point, it is all about brand awareness and getting people to understand what you are doing. Put yourself in their shoes and think of the questions they may have. Market your product so well that it leaves people wanting to purchase or try it, rather than leaving doubt in their minds and having a whole list of questions.
Are You Active On Social Media?
“In 2017, 81 percent of U.S. Americans had a social media profile, representing a five percent growth compared to the previous year.” – Statista.com
If you are not using social media for your marketplace platform, then you are missing out on a huge market of potential buyers, sellers, and partners. Sure social media isn’t for everyone but for a business, it is a must. Think of social media as an extension of your sales and support teams. No need to pick up the phone or exchange emails back and forth. Simply reply via your social media channels and everything will be documented as well. Forget the “he said or she said” on phone calls, and focus on creating a better name for your platform.
A big question that will arise is having the time to manage everything. Hire a social media specialist to help manage your accounts and create a strategy for growth. How are you attracting new followers or likes to your account to establish credibility? This goes back to the point of raising brand awareness and building a buzz around what you are doing. Are you generating great social content to keep users on your pages and wanting more? As you establish a team to help do so, ensure they will be a great fit for each other and are willing to work together. Nothing is worse than team members being in it for themselves and forgetting the concept of a team.
Are You Look At The Data?
Now that you have a better understanding of your market and social media, you’re all set to go right? Not quite but almost there! As you have started to gain traction prior to your launch, don’t forget about the analytics. Look at what the data is telling you and how it aligns with your original business plans. Are you targeting the right people or gaining traffic to your website? If you are having hiccups this early on, you may want to rethink before you launch. How can I improve my content strategy and make it more enticing?
How are your ads doing and which ones are the more successful? Maybe you want to readjust your budgets to get a better ROI or even stop the ad completely if it is unsuccessful. Keep in mind what your benchmarks are and try to reach those on a regular basis. Leverage the data you are being given to help push your marketplace in the right direction.
One of the most important things is to understand your marketplace will take time to perfect and it definitely won’t happen as quickly as you’d hope. Take your time with each element and do what you can to instill the best practices.
Are you running into any issues with your marketplace? Comment below and share your stories or find us on social media!