Introduction of Online Marketplaces
An online marketplace is a platform that combines buyers and sellers to sell off their products and services online. Uber that is used everyday by masses to travel, is a fine example of an online market place where drivers offer rides to travelers. Similarly, you might have heard of Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc. These are all examples of the successful online marketplace of the year 2020.
If you are someone who is looking so get on the bandwagon of the online marketplace for your own business, this article is for you.
In this article, we will outline five essential steps for you to take your business to the level of an online marketplace.
Steps For Online Marketplace
The following are a few essential steps that you should be taking for successful online marketplaces.
- Business Idea and Research:
The first step for any business is to have a business idea based on lots and lots of research. It is not wrong when we say that if you invest in quality research at the start of your business, you might save yourself from a lot of monetary losses.
The following are a few questions that need to be answered before you start your online marketplace:
What is your product? And who will be the suppliers of this product? If your product is a skill like arts or tech skills, it’s easy to market them because it doesnot require a lot of investment. However, if your product is tangible you can get the inventory from other sellers and suppliers as well.
Dropshipping is also an option for you. Many businesses offer dropshipping services which are risk-free. Buying off from suppliers and selling it on retail to the end seller.
For a marketplace to be successful it is important to have a lot of sellers. So it is important to explore and get authentic sellers with good quality of products to feature on your marketplace
- Use of Technology and Software:
The type of technology and software decide the kind of marketplace you are planning to launch. Once you have the perfect business model, you have to take this business idea a step further and build the marketplace.
For this purpose, there are a few questions you need to answer:
- Wholesale, retail, or Dropshipping platform: Before building the marketplace you need to decide whether you will be allowing new products to be sold to the end seller or preloved items will be sold.Another question is to define the category of trade that will be taking place: that is, is your marketplace for wholesalers, retailers, or for dropshipping?
- Budget: The kind of funds you have available to invest.
- Outsource the website building or build it yourself: One option is if you have the skills and know the codings etc you can build yourself a marketplace or you can use different software and tools to do it. The third option is to hire a professional to build this marketplace for you.The process includes getting a domain name for your business, getting it registered, and then decides on website layouts, designs, etc.The secure payment gateway also needs to be designed for your website to ensure the privacy and reliable buying and selling of products. Many use PayPal, certified card payment systems, etc.
- Launch and Market your Online Marketplace:
After you are satisfied with the design and layout of your online marketplace, the first step is the test drive the platform. If that gives you a green light, it is time to launch your marketplace and invest in marketing campaigns to bring traffic to your site.
It is important to target the marketplace to the selected audience to avoid unnecessary traffic. Many social media sites offer social media campaign packages to help out businesses. The marketplaces require constant updates to build demand and supply of buyers and sellers.
For the marketplace to be successful, it is also important to building PR in the industry. Since the environment in the digital world is competitive, it is very profitable to build authentic and quality relationships in the industry that will help you grow.
- Use Online and Offline tools:
Use tools like photo and content creation to market your business, invest in advertisements, SEO optimization tools, Email marketing, influencer marketing to grow, and market your business as much as possible.
- Grow your Marketplace:
Analyze the performance of your marketplace bi-weekly or monthly and keep updating your marketing campaign to keep up with the changing dynamics of the digital world and online platforms.
Many social media sites provide analytics of your business; it is worth investing in these services to get the most accurate performance analysis of your site based on website traffic and conversion rates.