3 Reasons Engaging Your Online Marketplace Users Early is Vital

January 20th, 2023 | 9 min read

Early interactions create maximum impact! It's important to engage your users early while launching your online marketplace.

Why focus on engagement?

  • User engagement gives you an idea of how to engage your customers across various channels.
  • It allows your online marketplace to align with your user's preferred channels.
  • By engaging early, you decipher what content and interactions users value.
  • Ultimately, you'll create a stronger emotional connection with your users.

By engaging early, you decipher what content and interactions users value. Ultimately, you'll create a stronger emotional connection with your users.
  • Further, to create meaningful customer interactions, you must provide your users with valuable content experiences. When customers feel that they are getting more than just a product or service from your brand, they will be more likely to form a connection with it your brand.

How did Airbnb do it? In 2015, Airbnb conducted extensive user research and launched the Airbnb Open conference. They launched the forum to understand the needs and preferences of its hosts.

Based on the early research, the company made several updates to its platform, including adding a host-to-guest messaging system, a review system for hosts, and a feature that allows hosts to set custom house rules.

Based on the early research, the company made several updates to its platform, including adding a host-to-guest messaging system, a review system for hosts, and a feature that allows hosts to set custom house rules.

These changes have helped to improve the overall experience for hosts and guests on the platform and have contributed to Airbnb's continued growth and success. Similarly, Uber, the ridesharing platform, used its research team to improve its platform.

The company has a team dedicated to user research and regularly collects feedback from riders and drivers to inform updates and improvements to its platform. Uber introduced a feature called Real-Time ID Check, which was developed based on feedback from riders who wanted an additional layer of security when using the service. Real-time ID checks increased Trust in the platform.

The company has a team dedicated to user research and regularly collects feedback from riders and drivers to inform updates and improvements to its platform. Uber introduced a feature called Real-Time ID Check, which was developed based on feedback from riders who wanted an additional layer of security when using the service. Real-time ID checks increased Trust in the platform.

On we go - let's dive into it! Let's review three principles as to why you should engage your users early in the launch cycle.

Engage Your Online Marketplace Users to Gain Valuable Insights

Engaging your online marketplace users gives you valuable insights. These insights help you gather valuable insights about the user's needs and preferences  (stop thinking you're going to do this on your own you solopreneur).

These insights inform decisions about your future updates and features, ensuring that your platform actually meets your user's needs. Engagement helps you identify areas for improvement, such as the ease of use of your platform, the simplicity of publishing and selling products, and your seller's ability to navigate their seller environment.

Engagement helps you identify areas for improvement, such as the ease of use of your platform, the simplicity of publishing and selling products, and your seller's ability to navigate their seller environment.

Not convinced yet? Listen to these stats.

Successful companies make it a practice to incorporate feedback. In 2018, Etsy launched a new feature called Shop Updates. Shop Updates allowed sellers to share news, promotions, and behind-the-scenes content with their followers.

Shop Updates was developed based on feedback from sellers who wanted a more efficient way to connect with their customers. Since its launch, Shop Updates has been widely popular among sellers! Shop Updates helped to drive sales and increase customer engagement on the platform.

Shop Updates was developed based on feedback from sellers who wanted a more efficient way to connect with their customers. Since its launch, Shop Updates has been widely popular among sellers! Shop Updates helped to drive sales and increase customer engagement on the platform.

You'll do well by getting valuable insights from users of your platform and applying what you learn from your users.

Like how Etsy launched Shop Updates that helped connect sellers to their customers and drive up sales or how Airbnb launched the Airbnb Open conference that allowed them to develop additional features that improved the company.

User feedback should not be underestimated!

Engaging Your Users Early Establishes Trust in Your Brand

Early engagement can lead to building Trust and credibility for your online marketplace. Building trust is essential. Well-established and larger websites like eBay and Amazon might not experience as significant of an increase in conversions from trust signals. Your smaller and newly built marketplace will!

Building trust is essential because while well-established and larger websites like eBay and Amazon might not experience as significant of an increase in conversions from trust signals, your smaller and newly built marketplaces will.

Larger marketplaces have been operating for decades, and consumers already know and trust their platforms. Your new online marketplace needs to gain your user's trust. You might add trust seals by creating marketplace rules that provide security for sellers and buyers.

You might add trust seals by creating marketplace rules that provide security for sellers and buyers.

Building trust takes time and requires consistency from your online marketplace. Further, Trust can fluctuate over time based on the actions of your marketplace. By engaging users early, you can learn what signals trust in their minds.

If your marketplace demonstrates its ability to handle customer information responsibly and provide good post-purchase support, customers will likely make future purchases and share personal information. Implementing measures to reduce risk can help to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

If your marketplace demonstrates its ability to handle customer information responsibly and provide good post-purchase support, customers will likely make future purchases and share personal information. Implementing measures to reduce risk can help to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

  • 18% of respondents on a survey done by Baymard Institute stated that not trusting the website with their credit card information is why they abandoned their shopping carts.
  • 42% conversion rate was the increase experienced by Blue Fountain Media in their RAQ form by adding a Verisign trust badge on the checkout page.
  • 61% of respondents reported not purchasing on a website due to the absence of visible trust badges or logos, according to a survey by Econsultancy.
  • 45% of online households reported that their concerns about security and privacy prevented them from engaging in financial transactions, purchasing goods or services, posting on social media, or expressing opinions on controversial or political issues online.
  • 54% of respondents reported being more likely to buy if a business accepts PayPal, especially in unfamiliar situations.

There are other ways an online marketplace can establish trust and credibility. Etsy is a trusted platform for creators and artisans globally, in part because of its platform rules.

The platform is rather strict about its definition of handmade items, and they have a set of rules implemented to ensure that all items sold within the website are handmade.

Etsy is a trusted platform for creators and artisans globally, in part because of its platform rules. The platform is rather strict about its definition of handmade items, and they have a set of rules implemented to ensure that all items sold within the website are handmade.

By doing so, Etsy guaranteed sellers that they would not compete with a mass producer within Etsy and that buyers would only get handmade products sold.

Aside from trust seals, your online marketplace can establish trust and credibility by having your sellers' and buyers' backs. Etsy has increased trust through its platform rules, or Swappa, with its listing requirements and approval process guaranteeing buyers that they will not end up with broken pieces.

Trust can be accelerated by creating policies that involve curating products sold on your marketplace or an approval process to guarantee a product's authenticity.

Etsy has increased trust through its platform rules, or Swappa, with its listing requirements and approval process guaranteeing buyers that they will not end up with broken pieces. Trust can be accelerated by creating policies that involve curating products sold on your marketplace or an approval process to guarantee a product's authenticity.

Engage your users early and discover what would make them feel like you have their back.

Engage Users Early to Create Your Supportive Community

Early engagement fosters a sense of community within your marketplace. You can create a sense of belonging by encouraging your users to interact with each other.

By creating engagement, you'll be able to strengthen the sense of community within your online marketplace.

You can create a sense of belonging by encouraging your users to interact with each other. By creating engagement, you'll be able to strengthen the sense of community within your online marketplace.

If you foster a sense of community, you'll create a more positive and enjoyable user experience for your customers. Customers who feel like they are part of your community will more frequently engage with your marketplace.

Engagement, by nature, leads to increased customer loyalty.

Engagement, by nature, leads to increased customer loyalty.

In addition, a sense of community can also help to create a stronger brand. Your users are more likely to recommend your marketplace to others. Engaging users to create community drives growth:

E.g., Etsy is an online marketplace that successfully created a sense of community among its users. The company talks about community as being the heart of everything they do. The Etsy community is explicitly designed for artisans and craftspeople.

By doing so, Etsy strongly focuses on supporting and promoting small businesses. Etsy has several features that encourage users to interact with each other, such as forums and groups. Etsy also hosts events and workshops for sellers to connect and learn from each other.

Etsy has several features that encourage users to interact with each other, such as forums and groups. Etsy also hosts events and workshops for sellers to connect and learn from each other.

These efforts contribute to creating a supportive community among Etsy's users.

There are many ways you can engage users to foster community. It can be done by hosting forums, events, or discussion groups like Etsy or simply encouraging user-generated content, like reviews and photos of their experiences with products and services, like Amazon.

Next, let's summarize!

Summary

Engaging your online marketplace users early is vital for several reasons.

  • Firstly, it allows you to gather valuable insights from your users, which can help you improve the overall user experience and make your marketplace more successful.
  • Secondly, early engagement helps to build Trust and credibility with your users, which is essential for establishing a solid reputation.
  • Finally, engaging your users can help to foster a sense of community within your marketplace, creating a sense of belonging and connection among your users that promotes loyalty.

Finally, engaging your users can help to foster a sense of community within your marketplace, creating a sense of belonging and connection among your users that promotes loyalty.

Early engagement is essential to a thriving online marketplace and should not be overlooked!

  • As a consumer, does a sense of community within the marketplace make you want to join that marketplace?
  • What made you sign up for the last marketplace you joined?
  • What kind of engagement do you want from your online marketplace?

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