Customers today expect more from online marketplaces than just the opportunity to shop. Customers want to feel like they’re a part of something special. So, you need to build a community around your online marketplace to attract interest, gain loyalty, and retain customers. Any marketplace’s heart and soul are its cultures. It brings people together and gives them the impression that they contribute to creating your brand story.
So, as a marketplace owner, what steps can you take to build a strong bond between your brand and your customers? Building a community can be done in a variety of ways. What works best for you is determined by the stage and type of market you’re in. We’ll go through some of the more popular tactics now.
How To Build A Community For An Online Marketplace?
Check out the different steps to build a community for an online marketplace:
1. Explain your goal
The first step in forming a group is to consider your values. What is the aim of your online marketplace? What kind of world shift do you want to see? Users must agree with this mission if they are to identify with your marketplace. My advice is to consider your goal from the beginning, long before you launch your website or begin communicating with your users. Clarifying your task, both internally and externally, will aid you in identifying the people who are connected to it.
Consider the Wildbird community’s job. The main goal of this group is to foster a strong bond between new mothers and their infants. But keep in mind that if you support one proposal, you are likely to oppose another. Airbnb, for example, promotes the notion that “home is where you belong” and differs from impersonal hotel encounters. Etsy is a platform that supports handcrafted goods and opposes mass manufacturing.
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2. Bring In Like-Minded Colleagues To Help You Win
Collaboration with other organizations with the same mission and values is another perfect way to create a community for a marketplace. The brand partnership entails exploiting each other’s committed audiences to expand each organization’s scope.
TOMS Shoes, for example, collaborates with Disney to support female artists who work on Disney films. The two companies recently teamed up to create women’s and children’s shoes with never-before-seen character designs from the classic fairy tales Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella.
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3. Get to Know The Founding Members
Although you should consider your mission before attracting users, keep in mind that your users, not you, essentially define your community. As a result, it’s essential to get to know them early on—to understand their needs and learn how to communicate with them. Brian Chesky had been homeless for months, bouncing around from one Airbnb host to the next. He was interested in learning everything he could about the service and its customers. He received valuable input and established relationships with the company’s early adopters.
The EatWith team either hosted dinners or attended dinners hosted by others. They did so to meet customers in person, gain a deeper understanding of the EatWith experience, and continue to learn about their service.
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4. Enable People to Converse With One Another
If you’ve identified people who share your goal, you’ll need to assist them in communicating with one another. For example, you can have a communication channel that freely allows people to communicate without participating in a transaction. This will enable them to understand that, rather than being isolated, they are surrounded by like-minded people who share their mission.
Most well-known marketplaces, such as Airbnb, eBay, Etsy, and Uber, have community forums where users can connect. However, starting with a more basic approach, such as a Facebook group or even just a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, can be sufficient.
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5. Encourage High-Level Customers
As your online marketplace expands, you’ll be able to recognize a specific category of consumers who buy regularly and generate more revenue than others. These are the high-volume clients. In addition, people who love your brand deserve to be rewarded for their continued loyalty, so don’t forget them. Rewards will help you keep your customers happy, improve customer engagement, and create a robust marketplace community.
Airbnb, for example, has a SuperHost program that rewards hosts with priority service, travel vouchers, and other incentives for providing outstanding customer experiences. In addition, Dropbox allows users to win extra storage space by referring friends to the service. Meanwhile, Amazon uses a subscription-based business model, providing Amazon Prime members with exclusive access to thousands of popular movies and TV shows, as well as unlimited access to Amazon content.
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6. Provide Opportunities For People To Become Designers
Your customers are already enthusiastic about the goods or services you provide. However, people would feel like they’re a part of what you’re doing if you give customization. Customers can see their distinct personalities in the marketplace and the culture as a result. VELDT, an online motorcycle helmet shop, is a perfect example of a business that promotes customization. VELDT provides a helmet design tool that allows people to create their dream helmet from scratch, in addition to a common designer helmet line.
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7. Build An Online Community
You want to weed out the bad apples and delete objectionable material, just as you want to highlight some group members. Unfortunately, content moderation on active forums can be time-consuming since you must go through many contents every day. This means you can only start a forum if you’re confident you’ll be able to manage and curate it.
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Conclusion of Top Online Marketplace
One of the most important steps to build a community for an online marketplace is to increase visits and sales to your marketplace is to create a group. Don’t miss out on a chance to gain the most competitive advantage in the form of a strong group.
Building the ideal community for your marketplace would, of course, take time and money. But, on the other hand, an online marketplace creates a virtuous circle that supports your brand and turns your most loyal customers into brand ambassadors.
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