Marketplace mistakes are as common as the occasionally spilled cups of coffee. But unlike the spilled cup of coffee, these mistakes have dire consequences if left unattended or unidentified. These mistakes sometimes even cost you your dream, let alone the capital, time and efforts you have invested in it.
So the question lies:
As a marketplace owner, how do I identify these mistakes?
Begin with comparing your expectations with the outcome. If the anticipated results are not fulfilled or are getting delayed in their fulfillment, chances are, you are going wrong somewhere.
In this article, we will discuss 8 common marketplace mistakes people make during the process of setting up and maintaining their online marketplace.
Jumping Too Early or Too Late
Nothing can replace the importance of strategic planning and execution. Planning lays the foundation for the construction of your marketplace. This foundation is what determines the success or failure of your beloved startup. Ideally, you need to do your research well and cover all the crucial aspects related to your business idea and then jump to the execution part. But in reality, many of us, while in the execution phase, find ourselves lost due to lack of research and planning in the previous step. Alternatively, sometimes we become over cautious in the process of coming up with the “perfect plan” thereby ending up delaying the execution process, until finally quitting the idea altogether.
The best way to overcome this problem is to launch an MVP first, track how people are interacting with it, and then making the necessary changes to get the desired goals accomplished.
Neglecting Brand Personality
Here are a few questions you must ask yourself about your brand
- What makes my brand different from my competitors?
- Why should people choose my brand over others?
- Am I offering a unique solution to a problem?
Simply put, your brand needs to stand out of the crowd. And in order to do so, you need to develop your brand personality from scratch.
Your brand is built around a definite idea and that should be reflected. Provide your brand a strong and consistent voice – free from all contradictions – to lure and charm the visitors. Don’t stop, experiment with everything starting from the logo, design, color scheme, content, social media strategies or even a never before tested growth hack trick. But whatever you do must be in harmony with one another. Lack of uniformity, arise mistrust which can damage your brand image, big time.
Unpleasant User Experience
Bad user experience designs are everywhere! Remember the last time you pulled a door that clearly had written “push” on it? Well, it’s not you, it’s the door. Your website users might face similar fate while browsing through your marketplace. It’s a proven fact that poor design creates friction which ultimately leads to user frustration.
To counter this, you must put heavy emphasis on providing a flawless user experience. So that, every single visitor is able to navigate through your e-commerce marketplace with ease. Be it your product vendors or your buyers, they should not struggle to do what is intended.
Thumb Rule for creating a Good UX:
Don’t let your user think, make everything as obvious as you can.
Lack of Communication with the Vendors
The lack of effective communication leads to internal chaos and disorder in the seller marketplace.
In order to prevent disorganization, open and clear lines of communication should be set up between you and your product vendors. There are several ways to ensure smooth flow of communication.
For instance, a FAQ forum can be set up solely for this purpose – a support page where the vendors can get their queries answered and suggestions seen. Broadcasting a mass message to your vendor groups from within marketplace solution can be of great help to notice significant changes, new features, information, and procedures. You may also arrange for business meetups with the vendors in order to plan and determine the future strategies of your eCommerce marketplace.
Inefficient Support Service
To be the best marketplace platform in your niche, you need to take care of both your customers and your product vendors.
Every person has trust issues. Customers may be skeptical about the ability of the company to keep its promises and deliver quality goods on time. Similarly, vendors may also be skeptical about the profitability of the multi-vendor platform. If the consumers and vendors remain dubious, your business is likely to go down and never achieve its full potential.
Therefore, policies should be determined to keep both the sides in mind. For a marketplace to thrive, even survive, you need to attract and keep both the parties satisfied. Different approaches can be used for them, such as, pre or post-sales support, educating vendors in using the best practices, the do’s and don’ts of a multi-vendor marketplace, providing support and assistance to customers, building a long-lasting customer relationship, etc.
Also, having an active FAQ section will add to the credibility of your marketplace. You can even gather lead information with the help of contact forms and live conversations using this Support Forum. Excellent support ensures customer retention, repeated purchase, and mouth publicity which in turn reduces the cost of customer acquisition greatly.
Underutilisation of the Data Available
If you do not carefully analyze all the data available to you, you will not be able to understand what is working best for your business and what is not, what the crowd is enjoying and what they are overlooking. Simply put, you will have a hard time implementing necessary and positive changes for the growth and development of your marketplace.
Don’t depend entirely on your instincts and assumptions. Data is indispensable when it comes to any e-commerce marketplace growth and strategic decision-making process. Google Analytics – the most efficient web analytics platform – gives you a boatload of information regarding the geographic locations of the traffic, how the visitors have landed on the page, the bounce rate, amount of time visitors are spending on the page, etc.
With the proper utilization of this valuable data, you can carve your e-commerce marketplace dreams in a way that guarantees success. So start making the most of the data available to you!
Flawed Payment Methods
There is no room for defective payment methods. The seller marketplace survives on transactions and if the mode of payment is not secure, trustworthy and efficient, you will witness an increase in abandoned carts and a decrease in sales volume. The vendors will also be deterred to sell on a platform which gives low monetary assurance.
In order to prevent this from happening, do your research on where your user-base is located, and choose the payment options that are most convenient for them. All you need to do is provide your users with safe, secure and systematic payment gateways and you will surely see an upward movement in your sales curve.
Selecting Inappropriate Marketplace Solution
Your marketplace platform is the heart of your multi-vendor store and thus, you must carry out intense research while choosing the perfect platform for yourself. Choosing an inappropriate marketplace will bring the end before you can even see the beginning of your dream project. It is necessary to choose the right solution, for if you don’t, you will have a hard time expanding your business in accordance with your marketplace needs.
Before choosing between marketplace options, you need to finalize your e-Commerce platform. For that WooCommerce might be a smart choice. In Last few years it has established itself as one of the leading solutions, mostly because it’s rich with features, provides a huge number of extensions and last but not least, it’s free!
There are a number of WooCommerce Product Vendor solutions available, so do not get confused. Make a checklist of the features you need, compare this list with the available options and choose the best solution for your marketplace. Don’t just stop there. Take a look at their support threads as well to understand how responsive and helpful they are. And, last but not the least, find out whether it is within your budget.
At WCMp, we are cognizant of these challenges that you face. In fact, almost 95% of our customers have tried our product as they faced these issues. We may not have all the solutions, but we believe we may have enough to get you started on the right foot. Our platform is rich with many features and on top of that, we provide amazing support. All this, absolutely FREE of cost! Need we say more? So what are you waiting for? Start building your very own marketplace today with our WooCommerce Marketplace Plugin!