Digitisation has indeed brought about numerous new ways to do business. One of the most profitable so far is the online marketplace. Whether you are a manufacturer, retailer, or service provider, there’s often one marketplace or the other you might find useful. However, these online market places are often crowded with goods and service providers from any if not every industry. For those in saturated industries, it can prove very competitive. So, how do you prevent drowning in the sea of competitors and stay relevant in business? But let’s pause to understand what an online market place is and how it helps your business.
An online market place, simply put, is no different from a physical or traditional marketplace. It is an online platform or space that allows businesses the opportunity to market and sell their goods and services to a virtual target customer(s) in the hopes of earning profit. Just think of an online marketplace as a traditional one with a slight difference.
What are the differences between an online and traditional marketplace.
- Customers and co traders are not seen or known physically online.
- Products and services for sale are displayed in a virtual space like website or social media.
- You do not require any physical experience to close a sale.
- Sometimes or most times, there is no bargaining opportunity online
- Prices are often fixed.
- Customers are Open to variety of options, etc.
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- Buying and selling occur on both.
- Competition abounds on both
- They both involve marketing
- Options may be limited. Etc.
Examples of online marketplaces are:
- Facebook marketplace
- Online Freelance sites like Fiverr, Fivesquid, Guru, Upwork, Freelancer, etc.
- Ecommerce sites like Amazon, Jumia, Konga, Alibaba, PayPorte.
- Air bnb, etc.
No doubt, competition abounds on all these platforms and sellers must ensure that they are seen and patronised. This is essential as most online marketplaces take either payments or commissions from the sellers on their platforms. More like paying the rent for a shop in a physical market.
So, how do you ensure to stand out or keep up with the competition?
- Stay Relevant: By ensuring to keep your seller profile up to date with goods or services for sale.
- Stand out: By ensuring you at least maintain visibility on the first four pages of the website or for keywords. This can be achieved through effective SEO services and some aggressive marketing or selling/ adverts.
- Maintain top notch quality and standards in your customer relations, services and of course, products being sold.
- Build loyal customer base by ensuring satisfaction with products and services.
- Ensure questions or queries are responded to on time.
- Promote your stall or online shop/page both online and offline.
- Monitor your competition through effective competitor analysis? I.e, their online strategy, social media and search strategy