As the Sharing Economy continues to grow, Marketplaces are appearing left and right but are entrepreneurs understanding what is takes? While they have been experts in creating or innovating the products, there is much more to it to keep a successful marketplace. Here at Near Me, we understand how important the 4 C’s are to establishing your marketplace.
Does your marketplace produce content relevant to your services? There are numerous ways to produce content but not limited to social media, blogs, podcasts, whitepapers and videos. Some forms will be more effective than others but do not get discouraged when results are not produced right away. Many have shown older blogs and videos have a higher ROI than the brand new ones. With content marketing it is all about timing and someone who may not be interested at the moment, may need your services down the road.
While it is great to have or produce content, you must be sure they are credible. If you produce content such as writing blogs, do research before hand to validate your point and tie it into your writing. There are countless blogs out there with a fair share of them being credible. Establishing credibility will not only bring in more readers but keep them coming back for more. It will take time to gather an audience, especially a consistent one, but with social media at the palm of our hands be sure to leverage those outlets in favor of your marketplace.
Not only must your content be credible but also the services that you are providing. Whether you are looking to be the next Airbnb or the next big rental car marketplace, one must be able to build a good reputation in the industry. Provide the excellent customer service we all dream of and take the next step to ensure your clients are happy with their rental or purchase. At the end of the day, no matter how good you think your product is, if the market thinks otherwise then your marketplace may not be around for much longer.
What is your primary goal and do you have a back-up goal? Is it to gain 5,000 new customers by the end of the year? Or is it to capture 1,000 new emails within the next 2 months? Ultimately as a marketplace your primary goal should be to gain a new customer or a new user. Let’s face it, without customers your marketplace will not survive. (unless you somehow have unlimited funding to keep it live). Not everyone will buy into your services but having a set goal in mind will help keep you on track and not get discouraged. Many of us have goals in life and understand that it will not just happen overnight. The same goes with your business goals, as we stick it out one day at a time we will eventually get to where we hope to be.
To help ensure a higher conversion rate, do you have a Call-to-action in place? This is a key component to have on every page of your website whether it is on the end of each page or on the side. A highly successful one is a pop up call-to-action that has a box to input an email address for a subscription. While this does not mean every person will input an email, it simply increases the chances of customers as they have already shown interest by visiting your website and inputting an email address. They may not be your next customer but they may know someone who potentially can be.
Customer / Community
Who are your customers and how will you gain more? Gaining a new customer is the primary goal of your marketplace and to ensure this you must figure out who your target market is. The first thing you must do is create a buyer persona to help understand the type of customers you are looking for to join or buy from your marketplace. While the primary goal is to attract a new customer, you ultimately hope to gain a lifelong customer. This will reflect on how the experience goes with using your marketplace and the level of satisfaction at the end of the transaction. Keep in mind, a satisfied customer will be more than happy to do business with you again when the time comes.
Of course, if your primary goal is to first build a Community, then your primary goal is ensure you have the right focus of content geared for your niche audience or industry.
Building your Community within your existing marketplace will create a reason for people to come back and engage with your site, even if it's not buying / selling / renting products or services.
In fact you might like to focus on building out Community tools, facilitating Groups and Activity feeds FIRST and then offer transactional services like selling / renting / swaping.
Now let’s not forget about your back-up goal. Do you have one in mind?
Well if you don’t then you better get to it. Here at Near Me, we understand not everyone we come across will be a client of ours but hope to provide value to those who come across our content or visit our website. With that in mind, we look to either gain a new email for our subscription, gain a new like on Facebook, or a new follow on Twitter. These are also important for your business as it helps show that you do bring other value to the table besides from your product. Knowledge is a very powerful thing and many seek for it on a daily basis. Why not be the ones to provide it?
As you have gained a bit more insight on the 4 C’s to establishing your marketplace, ask yourself if you have taken these into consideration. Many are eager to just get their products on the market before someone else does but without the proper understand things can fail very quickly. While these 4 C’s are not necessarily the secret to success, it has helped us get to where are are today. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t be afraid to write below. Remember the worst questions are the ones we never ask.
If you need to power a marketplace for People, Products, Places or Community Projects, we'd love to help.