Enterprise marketplaces are becoming a popular option among all kinds of businesses, from manufacturers to retailers and distributors. The creation of enterprise marketplaces by large retailers for example, allows partners or third parties to sell directly through their platform contributing to customer engagement, more efficient supply chain and processing and a stimulation of growth. It helps smaller retailers to reach larger audiences by joining a marketplace that’s already established and well run.
As with any addition to your commerce plan, joining or adding an enterprise marketplace will require a well thought through strategy. If you consider adding a marketplace it not only needs to play to your business strengths, but it requires a digital ecosystem that will provide a positive experience for all parties involved; sellers, operators and buyers. Technical and operational issues should be top of mind when choosing an enterprise solution and according to Gartner, there are *11 imperatives to consider, categorised under organization, business model, buyer/seller experience, tools & functions, and solution options.
When joining marketplaces, brands must keep product information as a top priority, supporting buyers with accurate, persuasive, easy-to-find information on all products. The objective is not only to sell, but to facilitate a smooth journey through a customer’s search as they navigate ads, branded websites, marketplaces, and other customer touchpoints. It’s essential to tell a consistent and convincing story about your products across all the new touchpoints you create.
Taking new digital ways of shopping into account is another factor. Consumers are not only buying from websites, but from social media channels and with the aid of digital assistants. That makes it vital to offer product information tailored to the requirements of virtual assistants: get this wrong, and human decision-makers might never see your product listings. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how creative or immersive an experience you offer for your customers—if it isn’t accompanied by clear and accurate product information, you’ll wind up confusing people instead of driving new sales. There are many ways to grow a new marketplace or your customer reach on an established marketplace. In the absence of huge budgets, these are simple but effective ways to start:
Engage with suppliers: For one, suppliers are not risking anything by registering on your platform, it merely provides them with another sales channel. Email campaigns and meeting suppliers in person can help to get your marketplace populated.
Don’t rush: Consumers are humans, they can easily be scared off by complicated and over-populated marketplaces. By keeping it simple and starting with one clear value proposition you are more likely to attract attention. As time goes by, releasing features one at a time will retain interest.
Grow your audience: Simple ways to engage more people are launching a blog, using social media channels and offering incentives for sharing or reviewing your marketplace. All low cost, but proved to be effective.
Is your business ready for this next step in its commerce journey? Joining a marketplace could be the best sales strategy for your team. Get in touch for a call today!