Use market technology to build an online community around your brand

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Article by Marketplacer APAC Vice President of Sales, Bradley Austin.

Have you heard of online marketplaces and wondered if the hype lives up to the reality? The buzz surrounding the industry has been hard to miss in recent years, and it’s easy to see why.

Online marketplaces now account for half of all e-commerce sales globally, with established behemoths like Amazon sharing the category with a host of smaller players, including local success stories like Kogan and MyDeal.

Businesses that establish their own online marketplace should see a 30-50% increase in revenue in the first year.

They do this without having to risk the capital traditionally associated with an expansion project of this scale, as the additional lines they can offer on their sites are owned, stored and managed by third-party vendors who bear the costs on their behalf. . In effect, it is a two-way exchange of value because, in return, sellers gain access to a highly engaged and often incremental consumer base without the cost of acquisition associated with marketing.

It’s a compelling value proposition in anyone’s book and part of the reason online marketplace platforms now comprise one of today’s hottest technology categories, according to a 2021 report from tech research house Forrester.

Come for the products, stay for the experience

But augmenting your usual lineup with a range of add-on products from third-party sellers doesn’t just mean the ability to boost sales and branch out into additional categories, or own the ones you currently play in.

If you are willing to invest resources in relevant marketing materials and human resources (helpful articles, how-to guides, blog and vlog posts, and moderated forums where your customers can share feedback and experiences), you may be able to transform your site into the hub of a community of customers. Somewhere, potential buyers in your target market are seen as a destination in their own right.

Local bike parts and accessories importer BikeSportz provides an introduction for other market owners to follow. Its online marketplace does more than just sell frames, wheels, tools, and a plethora of other cycling accessories.

With a blog covering a host of topics, from helmet size guides to on-road reports from Tour de France competitors, an advice line and a well-curated social media presence, it’s become a one-stop-shop for everything and anything bike-related.

Make your sales much stickier

Yes, it can be a lot of work. But investing the resources to create a community of customers that dispenses trusted advice and guidance and stocks and ships every product imaginable in your category is a great way to raise your brand profile and build customer loyalty again and again. .

These ongoing interactions usually result in more frequent and “stickier” sales, especially if you fill the virtual shelves with repeat-buy items that regularly make it onto the family’s shopping list.

It’s a boon for any business, especially one whose customers might otherwise make large one-time purchases and then slip off the radar until the next buying opportunity.

Join the market gold rush

In the wake of the Covid crisis, consumers are spending more time and money than ever researching their options and buying online, as our collective bill from last year attests. Australians lost more than $52.24 billion on online purchases in the 12 months to October 2021, according to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index: October 2021.

In this context, an investment of time and resources to create an online marketplace that is a destination of choice for browsers and buyers in your slice is likely to pay you a lot.

Article by Marketplacer APAC Vice President of Sales, Bradley Austin.

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