What comes to mind when you hear the world “marketplace?” If you’re on the younger side, Ebay and Amazon may instantly spring to mind. Depending on your age, those websites may have been around your entire life.
While that’s the case for some consumers, others will remember the days when the term “marketplace” referred to a physical space that people visited to buy items they either wanted or needed. For centuries, marketplaces were places where people gathered to buy and sell things face to face.
Whether you think of a marketplace as a website or a more traditional image comes to mind, the notion of a marketplace has certainly changed over time for just about everyone on the planet. If you run an online marketplace, things will continue to change rapidly and you’ll need to perfect your digital marketplace to stay competitive.
Optimizing Your Digital Marketplace
Optimizing your online marketplace to remain competitive may seem like common sense. While that may be true, it’s not always an easy thing to pull off. You have to make sure you’re on the right platform. You have to have an effective strategy for growth. You need to be able to analyze your marketplace’s performance. And you need one more key thing – patience.
If you want to optimize your marketplace, you should start by answering a few insightful questions. Here are a few of them:
- What’s the appropriate design for my digital marketplace?
- Is there any available technology that can improve the efficiency of my marketplace?
- Do I have the resources that are necessary to sustain the optimization of my marketplace?
- How can I measure the return on my investment?
Once you’ve answered the questions just listed, it’s time to get started with optimizing your online marketplace. While we can’t help you develop patience beyond suggesting that you try some deep breathing techniques, we can offer some advice for developing a strategy for growth, implementing an e-commerce platform, and analyzing your marketplace’s performance.
Keep reading for some helpful advice about optimizing your digital marketplace now!
Establishing a Strategy for Growth
According to “The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper,” which was prepared by UPS and comScore, 97 percent of individuals who shop online, shop at digital marketplaces. The survey further revealed that 38 percent of shoppers begin their Internet searches on a marketplace. Out of all the marketplace shoppers surveyed for the UPS and comScore study, 90 percent of them said they shop on Amazon.
How did online marketplaces like Amazon evolve into websites that attract such a large percentage of online shoppers? They had a strategy in place to establish themselves and grow, of course.
To create your own strategy for growth, you need to analyze the opportunities that exist in your market and create a vision for your digital marketplace. You also need to select the business model that’s best for your marketplace and determine your strategy for pricing the things you plan to sell.
You also need to figure out how you’re going to process transactions so that your checkout process is seamless and secure for your users. You should develop a plan to scale your online marketplace so it can keep up with your growth as well. You should identify the key performance indicators you’ll use to gauge the success of your marketplace, too.
Implementing a Platform
While it is possible to build your own platform, it requires some advanced technical skills. If you don’t have these skills, you may be better served by using a pre-built platform like Ebay.
If you’re going to set up your online marketplace on a pre-existing platform, you should make sure the platform you choose has certain characteristics. The platform you select should have enhanced search and filtering capabilities, for instance. It should support customizable branding and user experience as well. Of course, the platform shouldn’t only be mobile-friendly. It should also be optimized for mobile.
Analyzing Marketplace Performance
Just as analysis is important in other businesses, it’s essential for online marketplaces. As your marketplace grows, it may complete more transactions than you can monitor yourself. This is a great thing, but it requires you to analyze your marketplace’s performance closely.
By analyzing your marketplace’s performance, you’ll be able to recognize what’s currently happening and identify possible future trends. This kind of analysis is vital to your ability to match the right products with the appropriate buyers at the right time.
Here are some of the capabilities you’ll want your analytics provider to offer:
- Easy data integration from both internal and external sources
- Predictive analytics that can help you identify what might happen in the future
- The ability to identify the things that are influencing pricing in your market and the capability of quantifying their effect on your prices in particular and pricing in general
- An intuitive user interface that has dashboards that you can customize to your liking
- The capability to search, mine and filter data efficiently
Optimize Everything or Nothing
If you’re tempted to take a shortcut and only optimize one or two of the things just discussed, you may be better off doing nothing at all. In today’s competitive marketplace environment, you need to optimize everything about your marketplace to even have a chance of succeeding.
Remember – your marketplace is competing against giants like Amazon and Ebay. With both of those websites selling just about anything you can think of, your marketplace will still compete with them even if you choose to sell on one of those platforms.
If you understand the value of optimizing your online marketplace but simply aren’t up to the task of making the necessary changes, Sunlight Media can help. We offer a full suite of digital marketing services that can help your online marketplace thrive the way you always dreamed it would.
We can optimize your marketplace to ensure it performs as well as possible and provides the greatest return on your investment not just today, but tomorrow and every day thereafter. To learn more about what we can do for your online marketplace, contact Sunlight Media. We look forward to working with your Los Angeles-area business to optimize your digital marketplace soon.