Online marketplaces are becoming increasingly popular as more and more online shoppers find their way through these handy e-commerce platforms. In fact it’s hard to remember what online shopping was like before these online sales giants entered the market. But when it comes to digital marketing, the challenges for keeping online marketplaces competitive are quite different from that of, for example, a webshop. Not only do marketplaces have a larger target audience (due to their large product offering), but they also have to work with a variety of sellers and help out with their marketing efforts. Luckily for digital marketers working for these online marketplaces, there’s a solution to the chaos: collecting user feedback. With insights gained from feedback, you will be able to better understand customer behaviour and therefore optimise the customer experience of your marketplace.
In this post, we will explain how you can create the ideal marketplace with feedback.
Amazon is one of the world’s most well-known marketplaces
What is a marketplace?
According to Wikipedia, a marketplace is a place where supply and demand come together. An online marketplace is therefore a platform where various suppliers and sellers sell their products and services. But in addition to being an online place where you can buy something, consumers also use a marketplace to orient themselves. In fact, many consumers visit your marketplace for orientation purposes, only to end up purchasing a product offline. This is an important factor for marketplaces to recognise, especially you as a marketer – as you can easily respond to this.
Different types of marketplaces
Just as there are so many different products and sellers, there are also many different types of marketplaces. While marketplaces offer an extensive range of different sellers, they cannot possibly sell everything. That is why a distinction has been made and the marketplaces also have their specialisms.
- Horizontal marketplace. You can go to these marketplaces for products and services that all have something to do with each other, such as Booking.com.
- Vertical marketplace. Here products or services are sold from only one product group or one type of services. Uber is a good example of this.
- One-stop shop. Well-known examples of this type of extensive marketplaces are Amazon or the Dutch marketplace Bol.com.
The role of the marketplace in the customer journey
The customer journey of a marketplace differs from that of a regular webshop or ecommerce website. According to Signifyd, about 54% of U.S. internet users start their product searches directly on Amazon (a major marketplace) versus 34.6% of users choosing Google.
So why are marketplaces so great for product orientation? A marketplace offers many products and is therefore an ideal way to compare products alongside each other. Additionally, specifications are typically easy to find and you can quickly compare the prices – leaving search engines like Google untouched.
For example, if you are looking for a winter coat and search for it via Google, chances are that you will find links to the major marketplaces at the top of your search. So why not start your search directly in a marketplace? This shift has caused changes in the customer journey of the online shoppers. So it is up to you – as a marketer – to map out the touchpoints of the customer journey. Do you know how the customer experience of the marketplace scores among your customers? What are the issues for selling parties?
Why feedback is essential for a successful marketplace
For the marketplace it can be a challenge to optimise the customer journey. On one hand, a marketplace wants as many satisfied and loyal customers as possible, and on the other, a marketplace wants long-term cooperation with reliable, selling parties. By collecting feedback you will gain insights that you cannot find out with just an analytics tool.
An all-in-one feedback software like Mopinion puts you in control. With this valuable solution you collect feedback from your customers and users via website, email and mobile apps and therefore also via a marketplace.
To give you an idea of the possibilities and value of feedback for a marketplace, we have highlighted a few examples below. This way you can see when, why and how you can collect feedback.
Collecting, analysing and managing your feedback
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Examples of collecting feedback from sellers
By collecting feedback from the sellers you can optimise your platform – the marketplace. You will discover, for example, how user-friendly the platform is, whether products are easy to publish and sell and whether the seller knows how to find his / her way in their own personal environment (i.e. MyAccount) where everything is managed.
Example of a CES feedback form for sellers
Measuring the Customer Effort Score of your sellers is actually very simple. You can ask the seller to indicate on a scale of 1-5 (or by means of star values or smileys, etc) how much effort something has cost. This way you gain insight into the user-friendliness of your platform.
Let’s also take a look at what you can ask if you want to know what sellers encounter when adding their product assortment to your marketplace.
Example of a GCR feedback form for sellers
Do you know if a seller can easily add product information or an image? By deploying a feedback form like this within your marketplace, you can directly ask sellers for their opinion and experience. This gives you insight into what sellers encounter, so that you can overcome these obstacles and optimise the marketplace for them.
Keep in mind, however, that in addition to the sellers, you will also need to look out for your customers. After all, they also have to achieve their goals whilst on your platform.
Examples of collecting feedback from your customers
We recommend asking customers about their experiences so you can learn from the feedback they provide. Are the external sellers a pleasant addition to your offer or are they not fulfilling their agreements? Can a customer easily achieve his/her online goal and order the right product or easily compare products with each other?
Example of a customer feedback form gauging intentions
In other words, customer feedback helps you understand why customers visit your marketplace, i.e. do they only want to obtain information, or do they actually want to order something? Once you have insight into why customers visit the marketplace, you can then take it one step further. For example, by identifying if the product information that the marketplace shows is clear and complete. Or do the suggestions of related products match what the customer is looking for?
As you can see, a visitor can have different reasons for visiting your marketplace,and it is up to you to make sure that their visit is worthwhile and that they reach their online goal. Satisfied visitors will return and place an order when the time comes, later evolving into loyal customers and, if all goes well, even ambassadors for your marketplace.
We will explain using another brief example:
Because the marketplace is the starting point for many consumers nowadays, it is important that the search function works properly. By asking visitors about their search behavior and the results, you gain insight into the functionality of your search function. Are the filter options extensive enough? Are search terms automatically completed in the correct way? There are plenty of questions you’ll want to get answers to, purely and solely focused on the search functionality. When the search function works well, you save customers time and frustration and that is what every marketplace wants.
Achieving revenue growth by optimising the marketplace
When you manage a marketplace, it is important to collect feedback in different ways. With Mopinion software you can avoid assumption-making and start making strategic decisions based on the valuable feedback you collect via the website, mobile app or email.
As your marketplace continues to meet the expectations and needs of the customers (using this feedback), you will likely see a rise in the number of purchases taking place. For example, by adding an attractive loyalty program to your marketplace, you can retain customers for longer. As a marketplace, you will experience an increasingly prominent role online, which is – of course – beneficial for your turnover.
The future of marketplaces
Source: Peak Capital 2019
The number of marketplaces is set to continue growing in 2021, but there is still quite a bit of evolving that needs to take place. As Katja Riefler (Managing Director at AimGroup) puts it, “payment, finance, insurance, delivery, and other consumer-focused services are becoming critical elements of a full-service marketplace.” And this on top of the digital acceleration brought on by the pandemic will push marketplaces to focus on catering to the pain points and struggles of their consumers more heavily. In other words, it will be key to remain agile and customer-focused as you continue testing and optimising your marketplace.
Ready to see Mopinion in action?
Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.