Today, the online marketplace is the place to be. Everyone wants everything online because it's better, it's easier, it is more convenient and it's faster. An online marketplace is also known as an online e-commerce marketplace. It is a website where products and services are sold by different vendors but the transactions are being handled by the marketplace operator.
Examples of successful companies that were built on an online platform are Airbnb, Etsy, and Fiverr. They have proven that the marketplace model is very flexible, and can, therefore, be applied to almost any area of business. Building a successful marketplace is not easy. There are no shortcuts to victory, but with perseverance, the rewards are great.
5 Things To Help You Grow Your Marketplace Website
1. Specialize in a specific niche, then branch out after a while
Focusing on a niche will keep you sustainable in the long run. It also helps with your brand awareness so that people can link what niche it is that you are offering and relate it to your website. Seller’s reputation is also cemented because your buyers are not confused. When you have already established a solid customer base, it is easier to grow from there.
When trying to first penetrate the online marketplace, you need to have a sound strategy and a few best practices in mind. Here are a few other ways to help you grow your marketplace website:
2. Focus on SEO
It is important to learn SEO or Search Engine Optimization if you are not that familiar with it or how it works. SEO is learning how your website can show up on top of search engines. For example, if you have a website that sells shoes, you want your website to show on the first page when people search for “women’s shoes.”
Having this advantage means growth for your sales, growth in the number of customers, brand reach, and engagement.
There are a number of ways to help your website rank better in search engines. Google has a certain algorithm that you can use as a guide:
- The greater the number of links that point back to your website the better.
A “link” is when another website “links” back to the content of your website. Google “crawls” different websites through these links. This acts like votes in a popularity contest. The more links that are attributed to your website will generally make you rank higher on search engines.
- Important keywords are placed within your content.
Having keywords in your content, titles, URLs, and subheadings help Google associate your pages with what people type when they search the web.
- Content quality and depth.
Google looks into the quality of your content and from it decides if your content should be ranked. Stay away from content that does not bring any value to those who are searching for answers.
- Website speed and how long your page loads
A page that loads faster is ranked higher by Google as compared to those who take a little more time.
- Mobile optimization
It is best that if you have a website nowadays that it is optimized for mobile use. Since everyone is on their mobile, many people use it to search anywhere. This is why websites that are not optimized for mobile browsing do not rank well in Google.
3. Start locally then branch out globally
You have to start locally first on your country page. When you have finally built your reputation, you can move to the overseas market by signing up for listings on global pages.
When you have decided to expand globally, it is best to localize. According to Channelsight, 75% of customers want an online marketplace in their own language. Even the website’s navigation is best to be in their local language.
Language is important in the shopping experience. In addition to this, shopping on local currency is also something that people like. It’s easier for them and in fact, some even abandon a purchase if they see that it is listed in the currency of USD only.
One thing that you can also think about is “COD” or “Cash on Delivery.” This is a popular option in many countries today where digital payments are not yet that supported or common to people. This means that you can cater to these kinds of customers as well.
4. Invest in your website’s design
Investing in your website is something that people sometimes take for granted. Your website is the heart of your business and whenever you have a campaign you will need to direct people to your website. This is why when they look into your website it should have a positive impact on them. You can include visuals and infographics on your website to keep things interesting. Also, finding the right color palette can also help your website design. This is all because, how they view your website will determine how they view your business. It’s a make or break. Your design will determine if they will stay or leave your website.
One of the most important aspects of your website’s design is that it should flow smoothly and not confuse your consumers as to where things are.
5. Utilize the use of social media
Social media marketing should always be a part of your plans for growing your marketplace website because the right use of social media will help you obtain new leads. Today, there are many social media sites that you can take advantage of, most of them are free.
Social media also gives you a chance to advertise your products organically but also gives you the flexibility to utilize paid ads. Organic content includes posting status updates, photos, videos, and links that will engage your audience to interact. Social media also has paid ads that you can use to reach new leads that don’t know about your business yet but might be interested in it.
There are 5 ways to help grow your marketplace website. First, you specialize in a specific niche, learn SEO, start locally then branch out globally. Invest in a good design for your website and then utilize the use of social media to reach new customers and increase interaction on your website. Growth takes time, and progress is not easy but working hard will be rewarded in the end.