Have you noticed how our relationship with products has changed over the last thirty years? In the eighties you may have heard Madonna’s “Material Girl” playing on the radio, a testament to the philosophy of excess at the time.
Today the sharing economy, powered by online marketplaces, has vastly changed our spending habits: bigger is not necessarily better. In fact, many are turning to small businesses to have a more personalized experience in this “Super-Sized” world.
Build Your Community
Many marketplaces such as Etsy and Erosy, a marketplace for pre-owned diamond rings, understand the importance of creating an individualized shopping experience. As a marketer it is essential to research your target audience to be able to tailor your efforts to the right segment. Where do they live? What do they do for a living? Where do they shop? The answers will lead you to what is called Buyer Personas, detailed descriptions of who your ideal consumer is. One of our team members wrote about this in a previous blog. Answers will vary depending on your industry but there is a general consensus when it comes to customer service: personalized is always better.
People browsing marketplaces can narrow down their selection with drop down menus, see different styles in the comfort of their space and develop a connection to the company via common values and through their community.
Community is the foundation of any successful “Product” marketplace and one that you should brainstorm. Erosy built their brand as a reaction to the turmoil that surrounds the “blood diamond” trade. They wanted to make the market more fluid by incorporating pre-owned rings to lessen the total amount of devastation.
Your mission statement doesn’t have to be as dramatic but you do have to have one. What consumers connect to these days is more than a product so if you haven’t already, start thinking about it: what does your company stand for? How does using your product make people feel about their footprint in this world? A community will encourage customers to be more active and involved with your brand.
- Create a sense of common values
- Develop long-term customer loyalty
- Connect people within the marketplace
- Gather important data for you marketing plan
Secure Payment Gateways for Peace of Mind
Nowhere is the issue of trust and security more relevant than with the purchase of an engagement ring. Near Me worked with Erosy to build a secure and easy to use platform satisfying both sides of the transaction process. The platform has a built-in secure shopping cart, allowing customers to browse different products before going to checkout. If you use a mainstream listing site like Craigslist, for instance, there is no security behind the transaction so it is always a risk.
Gone are the days of paying for things with cash. Today, most people make purchases online and do so with a credit card. Millennials surveyed say they rarely carry around cash as it is inconvenient and dated. Secure payment gateways integrated into marketplaces allows the credit card transactions to be processed safely, giving your customers peace of mind. With so many options for consumers online you want to at least offer them the bare essentials when it comes to security.
Even Facebook is integrating a marketplace to allow people to browse products or services for sale. As they already have a community to build from, what they need to focus on is fine- tuning different niches to attract the potential customers using their platform. It is already a jump from the Craigslist concept that has no accountability, making people distrustful of buying something from a total stranger.
With Facebook as with a custom-designed marketplace, user persons are created via reviews, purchasing history and is overseen by the marketplace owner and managers in tuned with their business. With a custom designed marketplace, you see and read customer reviews, creating trust and accountability. In this day and age an online reputation is just as important as a credit rating if you want to do business with others. Many types of Marketplaces for Products exist:
- Vehicles: cars, motorbikes, bicycles or boats
- Vintage jewelry
- Antique furniture or rugs
- Designer clothing
This is an exciting time for entrepreneurs, especially if you’re building a marketplace around products. Remember, anything that’s worthwhile takes time so keep at it. Do your homework and tune in for our next 4 P’s expanded article to help fine-tune your vision.