Creating a marketplace on WordPress has become quite easier with marketplace plugins like Dokan Multivendor Marketplace and WC Vendors. However, to scale marketplace can pose a challenge for many of you new age entrepreneurs.
For any of you who don’t know, scaling means to grow or expand your business in a proportional, planned and more likely profitable way. In other words, it is a process of allocating and optimizing your resources properly such that your business experiences a long-lasting success.
Since the success of a marketplace is not only dependent on you but also the sellers and buyers, this task becomes even more difficult. Hence, to help you in this difficult phase we have compiled a list of some effective and interesting strategies on how to scale your marketplace. Take a look.
The success of any marketplace depends on both the buyers (demand side) and the sellers (supply side). These two are like the two sides of a coin and without any one of these, the coin won’t work. Hence, the first step to scale your marketplace is assessing and strengthening the weaker side of the two to attain equilibrium and make the marketplace work.
The best way to do this is to reach the two sides at once. This implies engaging and converting the sellers in your marketplace to buyers and vice versa. This would be way easier than engaging a new buyer or seller as they already are connected to your brand and trust you.
This is another good strategy for forgetting new sellers and buyers to join your marketplace. Although, this demands more efforts and innovation than the previous one. However, this is a very lucrative marketing strategy when it comes to faster conversions. Amazon, the billion dollars giant marketplace did this to Flipkart in India by offering the ‘No Questions Asked’ return and refund policy. Flipkart and Amazon almost had all the same things in their marketplace, but people trusted Amazon more as the return policies were way easier than Flipkart. Here, rather than the product, the main difference was their service which convinced Flipkart users to join Amazon and leave Flipkart.
This is one of the most important aspects of scaling your marketplace. Identifying the high-value users and influencers of your marketplace and then using them to attract new users is a technique that has been working successfully for even big names like Facebook and Apple over the last few years. It is similar to hiring a celebrity to endorse your brand. If people get to know that one of their idols is using the same product, they will be inclined to trust and use it too. Similarly, for hotel services, you can target the best hotels in your area and likewise for other marketplaces depending on your niche. However, remember that whenever you highlight the high-value users on your site, do it in a subtle way so that your older users don’t feel ignored.
Trust and safety are factors that are necessary not only for a marketplace but for any kind of business you plan to scale. Although, establishing trust and a sense of security among users in your marketplace is not easy as most products and services are controlled by numerous third parties. Some of these third parties may be good, while others may be average. Moreover, out of these, some may be really bad for your customers and the marketplace as a whole. Hence, to combat this and ensure a good level of trust and security for your marketplace among users, employing smart techniques to differentiate the wrong from the right is very important. Some of these techniques include transparency, insurance, and a review and rating system. Remember, the more credible your rating system is the chances are that people will trust your marketplace more. Another important strategy to enhance trust and security is offering guaranteed and personalized customer service to your buyers as well as sellers.
Offering unique products and services is one of the best strategies to establish your brand in the market. However, maintaining uniqueness sometimes proves to be extremely difficult for marketplaces as sellers from other marketplaces come on your marketplace and your suppliers go to other marketplaces to sell their products and services. So, if the products, services, and even the sellers are same on two marketplaces, how do you differentiate?
Well, there are a number of ways to deal with this. Lowering the transaction or listing charges for sellers delivering unique inventory, developing communication or collaboration tools for sellers and buyers and integrating other products and services into your marketplace are one of the most trusted strategies to combat this.
This technique is one of the most reliable techniques to stand out from the crowd and maintain your unique identity. Developing an ecosystem involves offering additional services and products that complement your marketplace’s offerings and increase its brand value.
Some good examples of developing an ecosystem are implementing your own shipping or insurance services if you have the resources to fulfill them. If not, you can hire trusted third-party services that help you to take more things under control and ensure better user experience in your marketplace.
The most important thing you must keep in mind before starting any business or even a small activity in your life is that patience is the key to success. Similar is the case with creating your marketplace and scaling it is not a small task. It may take a considerable amount of time actually to feel the results. So, never pivot too rapidly and do not keep changing plans frequently. There is nothing such as an instant result when it comes to the scaling of businesses, except if you are luckier than Frane Selak. Be resilient, be successful.