In 2021, Amazon and eBay held sway over all other online marketplaces in the world in terms of visits.
When it comes to gross merchandise volume, Taobao ranked first.
And most sellers in the United States opted to use eBay.
With the number of new platforms being launched, striking it big requires hard work to attract buyers.
Especially in attracting your very first buyers.
Make Sure Your Online Marketplace is Easy to Use
The first rule of Google's Ten Things Philosophy says, "Focus on the user, and all else will follow."
There are many reasons why this has become the number one cornerstone of how Google does things.
User experience is one of the most potent levers a business can use for success.
Experts say enhancing user experience can boost business KPIs by more than 80%.
Businesses that spend one dollar on improving usability may see around a hundred dollar return on their investment through increased conversion rates.
88% of them will not revisit websites that they don't consider to be user-friendly or usable.
What does a friendly online marketplace look like?
UXDesign.cc recommends incorporating the following features into your online marketplace to deliver superb usability:
Product description: A Salsify survey found that about 87% of shoppers consider product descriptions important to their purchase decisions.
When considering a product, 76% of them will look at the description -- and 50% of customers will return a product if they feel it didn't match its description.
Photos: Equally important to a buyer's purchasing decision is the existence of product photos.
75% of shoppers depend on product photos before deciding to buy a product.
Airbnb also realized the power of uploading professional, high-resolution photos after seeing their revenue double when they uploaded high-resolution photos of listings on their platform when they were starting.
Videos: Did you know that videos contribute to increasing return on investments, sometimes up to 89%, according to video marketers?
This is why 96% of marketers have reportedly spent a portion of their ad budgets on video.
84% of Internet users say videos have been instrumental in convincing them to buy a product or a service.
Your online marketplace should feature customer product reviews to attract buyers
93% of consumers read reviews to decide whether they will buy a product or not.
And 91% of those aged between 18 and 34 consider testimonials or reviews as trustworthy as personal recommendations.
Here are a few more considerations:
- Work on featuring various color options for products and product availability across multiple physical stores.
- Make your online marketplace mobile-friendly, as mobile users are five times more likely to leave your website if they don't find that it is optimized for their devices.
- Eliminate broken links and 404 errors; these can be caused by a host of things, such as changing a directory in a page, moving a page, or not checking whether links are working.
- Reduce load time; 1 in 4 visitors will leave a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load, and 46% of them won't come back.
Ramp Up the Marketplace Design to Attract Buyers
According to market studies, 94% of first impressions are founded on website design.
Why does good web design attract buyers?
First, it sets the tone for your credibility.
GoodFirms also notes that 61.5% of visitors will leave a website with bad navigation, while almost 40% will do the same if your online marketplace has an outdated design.
Moreover, 75% of people say that they assess a website's trustworthiness based on its design.
This is also called surface credibility, and various design elements contribute to it.
These include grand color schemes and easy-to-read fonts.
85% of shoppers say they buy a product primarily because of color.
In the same way, your buyers will perceive your website's worthiness judging by your color scheme.
Applying the right colors to specific areas is especially beneficial, as color psychology can impact your buyers' moods and your sales cycle.
Choose the right colors for your logo, landing page, menu bars, cover photos, and social media posts.
It has been said that "Web design is 95% typography.
Optimizing typography is optimizing accessibility, usability, [and] overall graphic balance."
Choose your fonts according to your brand's personality.
More playful fonts like Pacifico are best suited for less serious content, such as fun facts about a product or service you want to feature.
The more critical a block of text is, the bigger its size should be.
Regarding readability, the ideal measure for each line is between 45 to 75 characters.
In addition, your web design should also focus on delivering high-resolution images, a professional logo, and quality content.
Another consideration when designing your online marketplace to attract buyers is the intent.
Depending on whether your marketplace is a B2B or B2C platform, buyers have differing intents.
For B2B customers, business priorities are of the utmost importance.
As such, your website design should leverage both online and offline sales strategies and methods, from social media to in-person demos.
For B2C customers, Think With Google asserts that cognitive biases shape shopping behavior and ultimately influence purchase decisions.
Your website design should consider these biases, which are:
- Category heuristics
- The power of now
- Social proof
- Scarcity bias
- Authority bias; and
- The power of free
But before you plan both your website's user experience and design, step back and ground your practices on two important anchors:
- Site purpose or objectives
- Target audience
To Get Better Buyers, Attract Better Sellers for Your Online Marketplace
Get the right sellers!
The success of an online marketplace demands a delicate balance between having quality buyers and quality sellers.
But according to Thales Teixeira, a professor at the Harvard Business School, finding the right suppliers will result in not only getting customers -- but also generating marketing through your customers.
How do you do this?
First, find sellers where they are.
There are a lot of platforms that you can use to connect with sellers and encourage them to give your marketplace a try.
Top of the list are forums such as Web Reyailer and Ecommerce Fuel Forum, as well as Q&A websites like Reddit and Quora.
Similarly, you can leverage connections made through other marketplace platforms like Amazon or eBay.
Or you can do what Etsy did and use offline methods of reaching sellers.
Before their launch, they checked out different craft fairs in the United States to find the best vendors and pitch their platform to these sellers.
Uber similarly cold-called their very first drivers to see if anyone would be interested in giving their platform a try.
Also, offer an irresistible value proposition to your sellers.
This can be in the form of lower commission rates, access to premium features, or other perks.
Or you can set your website apart from the competition -- including more established marketplaces -- by transforming their weaknesses into your strength.
For instance, Fiverr sellers typically complain that the platform tends to be very strict about its rules, making sellers feel like they can get booted out of the website anytime.
On the other hand, Amazon sellers have to compete with millions of sellers.
Newbies often have to fund their inventories initially because they won't get their profits from the website.
If your marketplace can address the common pain points experienced by sellers on other platforms, that can be a magnetic pull to your business.
And if you have already started marketing, you can similarly entice sellers by showing them the potential rewards they can get from joining your platform.
Hopefully, this has been helpful in spurring ideas on how to attract buyers for your online marketplace!
Feel free to send us any questions you might have.
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