Dos and Don'ts of Building Online Marketplace For Your Business
In the recent years, one of the most common eCommerce questions I’ve received has been about creating a marketplace. So I thought I’d tell you a bit about how easy it is to do it. – quoted by Sumit N. Rajwade, Vice President Technology, Rediff.com
If you’re reading this, chances are that you are contemplating starting your own online business. Marketplaces like Rediff, Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal are giving tremendous opportunities to young entrepreneurs, startups housewives as well as small shop owners to scale their businesses and earn good money. However, there are various factors that one needs to look at before starting up an online business. Without these in mind, one could dig deep into losses.
Regardless of whether you are a small start-up looking to build your business, or you’re an established merchant looking to either expand your reach or test international markets, online marketplaces are great platforms to sell on.
If you don’t have the strategy, it is likely that there are certain problems that are going to arise and keep piling up in a mass:
- The first and foremost thing that majority of the entrepreneurs fail is they don’t know their online customers well enough
- Do not have a better understanding of their customers shopping desires
- Do not offer after sales- customer service
image source: marketingproofs.com
- There’s an incomplete information about the products/services listed online
- There is no interesting image or content that describes the brand
- Last but not the least, try not to differentiate with other competitors
The Set Methodology to Change
Rather relying on some hi-end technology, of getting analysis and tracking the status and success of your products and services you are selling online, why not try “Eye trackers & learnings“. Amazed??? Well, this is the simplest yet most effective ways to know your customer behavior, what clicks and what not.
Why implementing “Eye trackers & learnings” – because, in everyday and learning tasks, the eyes have, firstly, the roles of locating and recognizing objects and then, secondly, directing the actions to make use of them. The use of eye tracking can reveal important aspects about customer’s behavior.
Because eye tracking provides insights into the allocation of visual attention, it is very suited to study differences in learners’ attentional processes.
The Interpretation of Eye Tracking and Learnings
There are many different methods of exploring eye data. The most common is to analyze the visual path of one or more participants across an interface such as a computer screen. Each eye data observation is translated into a set of pixel coordinates.
From there, the presence or absence of eye data points in different screen areas can be examined. This type of analysis is used to determine which features are seen, when a particular feature captures attention, how quickly the eye moves, what content is overlooked and virtually any other gaze-related question.
Beyond the analysis of visual attention, eye data can be examined to measure the cognitive state and workload of a participant. EyeTracking’s patented Index of Cognitive Activity is among the most widely used of these metrics. It has been validated in multiple contexts as a reliable indicator of mental effort.
Your product pages, have to work hard to turn browsers in to buyers – Mr. Sumit Rajwade shares his top insights of “Dos and Don’ts of Building Online Marketplace For Your Business“.
The importance of your product page on any online marketplace can’t be overestimated. This is the point at which a person moves from an interested visitor to a prospective customer and that is when the final buying decision is made. Rather than focusing on Google’s rules…ifs and buts why not concentrate on improving the strategy.
It’s a simple theory – if your product is good, the content/information provided is good, you offer good customer service; the customer are naturally to become buyers and automatically your product will be showing on Google. That is how Google help boost your product sales…..If your customers/buyers like you – Google likes you too.
Know your customer
Selling online comes complete with a global market, so the type of customer will no doubt be different to the customer you may know locally. There are so many great ways to sell online –Online Marketplace being the best, obviously, so it is vital that the platform you choose for your brand is best suited to the customer you believe shops your products. The Online Marketplace customer is a tech savvy, someone who loves fashion, music, technology and likes to find something unique. Is this your target customer?
Never forget your POWERFUL STORY
You need to give a compelling reason for people to use your products/services listed on online marketplace. A lot of people get too excited on the technical aspects and focusing on adding all sorts of product features, they forgot why they’re building it in the first place and what their main value proposition was. You need to stay focus on the powerful story on how it all started for you, the problem you are trying to solve.
You can do this by offering high quality contents, tips, and useful information that keep people coming back to your product page. Tell your story, remind users of what you are about, then people will select your product/service over others.
Narrow your market and geographic focus
You probably want to be successful quick enough in building a marketplace. Often time people think by reaching out to as many customers as possible is the best way to do it. The reality is, it’s better to focus on a smaller group of people.
Cater to your customers shopping desires
Customers online service expectations have really changed over the past couple of years. They want to receive their products quickly and free delivery is becoming the norm. It is proven that offering free shipping improves conversion – why not trial it for a month and let us know how it goes.
Focus great on photography
Great photography is really important on Marketplace; it’s what sets us apart from other similar platforms. Product has to be shot in a ‘real’ way – inside or outside, but always in natural-looking lighting and on a model. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is, but there are a few important things to consider in order for your photography to get to that enviable ‘That’s awesome!’ level. Great styling, a suitable/interesting location and flattering lighting are all crucial.
Discounts, discounts and discounts
Daily deals and significant discounts could land you at #1 for your product category. This also opens up the possibility of appearing on the home page under the “Hot Deals” and “New & Noteworthy” categories, which will generate enormous amounts of traffic.
Write evocative and thorough product descriptions
Product descriptions are absolutely key; they should be descriptive, detailed and as inspirational as the photography. They should also answer the most common questions people might have when purchasing. It is also important that the product page inspires the buyer with a description of the item that goes beyond its technical specification.
Offer incentives and tout your unique selling propositions
Effectively communicating to visitors that buying from you is a better option than purchasing from your competitors is important. What makes your business and buying experience unique is what compels people to purchase — and it builds customer loyalty. Displaying all the selling points that differentiate your business, brand, and website from the litany of other options communicates value and legitimacy, which can directly improve your online revenues.
Highlight the BUY BUTTON
The buy button needs to be the most obvious thing on the page, near the top, just below the price, which should be just below the product title. This is convention, so users are used to it.
Include delivery, returns and refund information
It is absolutely essential to show information on delivery, returns and refund information on the product page. This can be summarized to save space, but always include links to a comprehensive information page or you can use tabs or an accordion layout.
Don’t forget customer service
Managed to nail all of the above? Great! Unfortunately, none of this matters unless you give fundamental, amazing customer service. Once those orders start pouring in remember that the customer is king. Keep them updated on the status of their orders, package them perfectly and maybe even include little treats to encourage them to return.
Providing great service; gaining great feedback, too. Feedback is really important for a brand trying to build a good reputation, so always endeavor to keep your customers happy. That includes by replying to queries in a timely, pleasant manner and offering to go that extra mile if necessary. Including an incentive to leave feedback in the order package has been a proven way to increase the chances of a customer leaving a rating.
Content is the Key
By operating within a niche, you already know your audience and have access to an active community, so make sure you are keeping them interested and giving them a reason to keep returning.
While technology is a key enabler and helps to facilitate growth and scale, using content to create additional value for users will lead directly to building an active consumer base.
Creating a smooth user experience is, of course, invaluable, as is the quality of the products that are available, but create engaging content and you can shape the audience’s understanding of those products and draw them into your lifestyle ideal through a compelling and digestible narrative.
Communication is a two way thing
Once you have matched your audience and vendors, shape a direct and personal way for them to interact in order to build ongoing relationships that will ensure customers return.With a focused audience, you can better tailor your product suit their specific needs.
Build trust in your brand
The next thing to do is to convince people that they have all the right reasons to choose your product/service. You need to build a good reputation and there are few ways to do that. Many online marketplaces website has the rating and review system installed. This will help people to have an idea of what it’s like to use your products/services.
Marketplace websites should also have the feature to create users profile; giving a better understanding of the product, personal story and their online reputation. The more positive reviews and ratings you get from the registered users for your products/services, the higher your credibility.
Focus on keeping your customer for LIFE
Once a customer has purchased your product, this should not be the end of your relationship with them. Focus on keeping a strong relationship with your customer. This will only create more trust and add value to your product.
Make your contact information visible and accessible
Visitors browsing your website for the first time need to feel confident in their decision to make a transaction.
Brief About Rediff
Rediff on the NeT (www.rediff.com) is the most visited India-oriented online service worldwide. From our inception in 1996, Rediff.com has evolved, adding numerous features and services along the way to become a complete online service. Today, in addition to news and information, we offer community features like chat, homepages, and email. The Rediff Shop offers you a wide choice in books, music, gifts and hotel reservations.
Their channels like Education, Singles, Movies, and Cricket cater to different audiences. This portfolio is designed to help you understand what Rediff.com is about and what we do.
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