5 Biggest Challenges For Launching An E-commerce Marketplace
1) Seller and buyer retention
Besides the constant challenge of any e-commerce marketplace how to acquire buyers & sellers, there is one even more important problem to solve – making them active for a long period of time.
The issue of buyer retention can only be solved with the help of marketing efforts, wide ranges of sellers and providing the best shopping experience. However you won’t be able to engage a lot of sellers at once, so you should come up with an idea of how to make sellers stay active, whilst gradually increasing their amount.
Typically, this issue is solved in two ways:
- Matching Buyers & Sellers
- Providing additional value
The purpose of the first method is to manually or automatically help your buyers and sellers find each other. This method also includes buyers completing seller accounts and providing further assistance to the sellers during the cooperation to minimize their time and effort in using your marketplace.
Another option is providing additional value to sellers through some very valuable and clear features, which can make their life easier and improve their business. Firstly they will use your e-commerce marketplace because of the features you provide them with. But since you will grow critical amounts of sellers and begin to attract customers, these sellers will start to consider your marketplace as an increasingly important sales channel.
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2) How to connect buyers with relevant sellers?
To solve this issue you should use different practices and methods like:
- modern behavior driven on-site search systems
- personalized matching algorithms and trigger based emails
- auto filling sellers accounts (and tips for their rational filling)
- handy navigation
Complex engagement of these solutions and a proper integration of them in your marketplace system may give your partners the ability to find each other quickly and painlessly. Automate everything you can automate!
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3) How to make buyers trust sellers
To build trust in your business you should take into account:
First of all, the most important aspect of any testimonial is its authenticity – so keep it real! But it doesn’t mean that you cannot affect their number and quality. To get the feedback you need, you have to reach out to your customers with some strategically structured questions, like:
- What specific feature did you like most about this product?
- Has this product helped you in any way? If so, how?
- Would you recommend this product to others? If not, why?
- Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Adding a personal touch to the customer engagement process by scheduling a time to email these questions out can really boost your response level. Do not send them email immediately after purchase – give them some time to experience this product!
Build actionable rating systems for everything you could rate – product rating, seller ratings, buyers, etc. But remember – never sell ratings! If you do this – ratings become useless. If you sell some premium accounts to the sellers (or something similar), then don’t touch ratings!
Uber became the most expensive marketplace ever, due to paying a lot of attention to ratings. You’ll never see a driver or passenger with lower than a 3-star rating on Uber, and as a result, people don’t worry about abusive or fraudulent service! Only fair ratings help people to trust that they will get what they are expecting.
You will lower the entry barrier for new users and increase the average number of purchases just by promoting that many other people are using and loving your products.But how can you do this if your marketplace is young or even under-developing? No-how… But you should give yourself the ability, in the future, to connect all testimonials or reviews on your marketplace with real people! Customers don’t trust the system, they trust people! Read this amazing article of Aileen Lee about Social Proof to understand how this is important.
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4) A Good First Impression
The first impression is the longest lasting! In the modern era of mobile commerce and multi-channel shopping, it`s very important to provide the best user experience on any device. Also don`t forget about the design and your user’s first touch! For this, the Getaround is a great example – when you first download the app, it walks you through several introduction screens that tell you the story and show you how easy it is to get started.
With such soft first touch with your marketplace, you build trustworthy relationships between your users and your brand.
5) Shopping experience
The best shopping experience is the essence of all above, with amazingly beautiful multi-device design, intuitive UI and personalization.
Context-based personalization is one of the main trends of the e-commerce in 2016. It can help to map the customer’s journey and anticipate their needs, providing shoppers with the information they need, when they need it.
It’s never too late to improve your shopping experience of your e-commerce marketplace, but it’s better to think it over beforehand. So start doing it right now!
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