1. The price is right
The marketplace model has shifted the e-commerce world and it has become easier for your everyday user to buy, rent, or swap items. Whether you are in the sports, tech, or even gaming industry there is a marketplace out there. With each niche, a community is built and users embrace it. How can I get more people to sign up? Here are 4 tips to help get users on your marketplace platform.
This is where your research and development will come into play. What was your costs to produce your products and more importantly to build your marketplace. Those expenses must be kept in mind as a marketplace owner has spent so much up front. Factoring all the overhead, production, salaries, and getting a positive return on your investments. While it will vary depending on your marketplace and what you are selling, costs may take one year or even years to get a positive return. On average, a startup takes about 3-4 years to achieve a positive return.
So what about items listed on my marketplace? While a marketplace will have items from many listers, setting a set listing fee and user fee will help make up the prices. For example, if you list your tickets on Stubhub they will charge 10% of the buyer’ fee. This helps their marketplace earn revenue on products that aren’t even theirs but simply hosting the post. Find out what your competitors are charging and evaluate your costs. Have a set percentage or equation for your hosting fees. Incentivize users to create more listings on your marketplace by offering discounted rates if they list more than 20 items. Whatever number you come up with, ensure that they are receiving value in return but also you are not cutting into your own profits.2. Find your target market
Who is your target market? Have you outlined your buyer personas to identify where or who to advertise your marketplace. What good is building your marketplace if it is being pushed to the wrong niche of people? If you are an accounting marketplace, then it wouldn’t make much sense to advertise to high school kids.
A great way to find your clients is setting up social media accounts. Sign up and extend your reach through your own network. Ask questions and run survey’s to figure out what others like to read and talk about. This will help you create your content strategy and engage new users to your platform.3. Put yourself in “their shoes”
How are your users and sellers using your marketplace? Sign up as a new user yourself and understand the step by step process one must go through to join. Is it too long? Are you asking for too much information? These are all questions you must ask yourself to make improvements. More than likely, if it takes too long or takes too much effort for your average user to sign up, then you will lose them.
Are there errors or bugs within my site that are pushing potential customers away? Don’t put too many pop-up ads or spam as that is a red flag for many. Let your customers make the decision and simply place call-to-actions on each landing page. The more pushy you come off, the more users will shy away. Customers are smarter than ever and plenty of research goes in before making purchase decisions.4. Stand out from the competition
Why should I choose your marketplace over the other? Advertise your features and benefits to entice users to join. Do you have a referral program in place? Companies are always looking for ways to benefit their own, so what’s in it for them? Are you offering a discount if you refer an x amount of clients? This will not only help build your clientele base but create connections that your competition may not have reached yet. The more connections you make, the higher the chances your marketplace is talked about over your competition.
There is an old saying “Keep your friends close but your competitors closer”. Why you may ask? It’s simple, they can put your marketplace out of business. Often times we refer clients to our competitors such as sharetribe if the fit is not there.