Times are tough as lockdowns imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down businesses across the globe. In spite of all the chaos, 169,782 new sellers have joined Amazon marketplaces this year.
Why is that?
Multi Vendor marketplaces have retained their profitability in the eCommerce industry. Moreover, people prefer online shopping over local retail shops for obvious reasons, which is further boosting eCommerce businesses.
eCommerce marketplaces currently are the winners making this the best possible time to focus on your target audience. The above image is taken from a Brighttalk webinar, indicating the rise of eCommerce amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
As you can see, besides eCommerce marketplaces, streaming services, video conferencing and logistics & delivery received a massive boost in traffic in the past couple of months. The reason being, people are spending more time indoors.
In the next section we’re going to discuss two key ways to procure online traffic. One of them involves using ads and other SEO strategies to increase search engine rankings and online exposure.
The other method is a lot more budget friendly. Many companies are forced to downsize their marketing budget due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The points discussed in this section will help you regain your online footing without burning a big hole in your budget.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
There are other marketplaces on the internet looking to direct traffic to their storefront. An excellent SEO strategy gives you the edge required to rise above them in search results.
And it all starts with what Keyword you want to target and rank when people are searching for similar products.
For instance, let’s assume you’re selling hand sanitizers on your marketplace. Before writing a product description you can open the Google keyword planner and search for target keywords in your region that are relevant to your product.
After opening the keyword planner you’ll need to enter a few search terms.
Once finished you click on ‘Get Results’ to get a list of keywords that matches your search terms.
Use these keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and page content to improve your marketplace’s visibility on the web. These wooCommerce add-ons will also help you to achieve such on-page optimization. Google analytics is yet another tool that can help you and your sellers gauge the performance of your product pages, tweak it accordingly, and attract more traffic.
Here is a more in-depth guide if you want to learn more about the topic.
According to the numbers, 81% consumers reported that recommendations from friends and families heavily influence their buying decisions.
You get free traffic for basically a miniscule amount of front end effort. Whenever a customer buys something, ask them to recommend your site to others.
You can even reward them small discounts or other benefits for every successful referral.
Dropbox is a shining example of this strategy, offering both you and your friends 500 MB of cloud storage, upto a maximum 16 GB.
They increased signups by 60%, getting 4 million new users within 15 months. You too can apply a similar plan to increase your eCommerce website traffic.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective tools to increase your online traffic. It’s time to put that subscriber list at your disposal to good use.
According to a study conducted by Bain and Company, repeat customers are likely to spend 67% more on an eCommerce site.
Promotional emails customised to your customer’s browsing and buying patterns are your best option at tapping into that customer pool and supercharge your online traffic.
4. Guest Blogging
You can also use guest blogging to generate traffic for your marketplace. The first thing you should consider is to find a website that accepts guest posts and is also pertaining to your niche.
Learn the style and flow of some of the high-performing content on those sites and try to write accordingly.
As for topic selection, you write based on your personal experience, case studies or whatever is trending at the given time.
You might also want to do demographic research, find out who your target audience is and curate your content specifically to their requirements.
It is important that you provide valuable information to your readers because only then will you be able to attract more traffic to your marketplace.
Advertising is expensive and if you are on a tight budget, you’ll want the most ROI on your as campaigns.
Online ads can generate tens and thousands of traffic, but without a target demographic, you won’t earn profits from your website.
When it comes to posting ads, not only can you post them on websites, but can also take advantage of social media platforms. They already established communities making it easier for you to double down on your target audience.
However, advertising what people want and invoking them to click your visually compelling ads is only the first step of the puzzle.
What you require is an equally compelling website that keeps your customer rooted as they browse through your stock.
A well-structured marketplace contributes to your buyer’s journey, ensuring,
- Higher sales
- Repeat business
- Customer satisfaction
Let’s take a look at some of the prerequisites of a well-structured multivendor marketplace.
Prerequisites of a Well-Structured Multivendor Marketplace
You researched your niche, looked through the competition, devised a sales strategy and is now excited to start selling.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the game or have been playing it for a while. What’s important is to ensure a smooth traffic flow and retain it for the days to come, and the following checklist will help you achieve just that.
Well here is a checklist of all the things for a successful marketplace:
- Differentiator or Unique Selling Point- You need one to stand out amongst your competition, build trust and grow your business in the long run.
- Feature List- Overloading your marketplace can overwhelm the sellers, customers and the (admin).
- Advanced Reports and Data- Data is the driving force of any multi vendor marketing marketplace, enabling you to make sound decisions based on solid numerical data.
- Scalability- A multivendor marketplace needs to be scalable so that you can accommodate more sellers and varieties of products in future.
- Communication- A fast and reliable way to communicate between customers, vendors and the website owner.
- Simplistic User Interface- Allowing the admin and the sellers to keep track of important information from a single dashboard.
- Multiple Payment Gateways- Providing users multiple gateways to complete payments is a great way to encourage customers into buying items from your sellers.
- Mobile Responsive- The mobile market plays a major role in generating traffic and revenues for businesses around the world.
What top sites have in common is a flawless, optimized, and signature web design. Any visitor can relate to the simplicity with which they once navigated a webpage.
As marketplace giants, companies like Amazon have established a standard which they are continuously improving over the years. Be it Amazon, ebay or Air bnb . Though you are not expected to compete with the likes of these giants, the best you can do is to provide a premium shopping experience for your customers.
Multi Vendor websites emphasize on:
- Faster loading times and various product management features, allowing the customers to skim through their itineraries with ease.
- Other customer friendly features include seamless navigation, easy checkout, order tracking, and multiple payment options.
- Feature rich dashboard for sellers to display and keep track of eCommerce sales.
- Other seller friendly features include shipping info, import-export
- Similar dashboard for admins giving them complete control over their marketplace.
- Other admin friendly features include product catalogs, data and analytics, product review management and other customizations.
These websites differ in terms of looks and offer varying ways to communicate with prospective customers. Although they share some core features, they are inherently different in regards to how customers interact with the platform.
Now that you know what’s required let’s take a look at what we offer to help you build the perfect solution.
WC Marketplace is one of the highest-rated WooCommerce plugins for WordPress, and we provide a wide variety of in-demand features and addons.
We also consider user feedback and our development team is working round the clock to introduce features that are mostly demanded by our community. Our goal is to provide you with the right tools and services so that you can start selling without any issues.
Continue reading to find out exactly how we contribute to your online marketplace.
How can we help in Optimizing your Customer Serviceability?
As a marketplace owner, we understand that you want to provide the best possible journey for your sellers and customers. To help you achieve that goal, WC Marketplace offers 13 addons that you can use to create the perfect shopping experience, such as,
- Easy to understand and informative buyer interface for customers
- Dedicated Q/A sections to answer commonly asked questions
- Multiple payment gateways and multilingual support
We also take suggestions from our community regarding the most popular features they want included in WCMp. We even managed to include a few of them on our latest v3.5 update.
For a better understanding, we have divided the addons into two categories:
- Essential addons- Recommended addons required to run an efficient marketplace.
- Feature oriented addons- Specific features that provide some additional functionalities.
This way, you can judge which addons are best suited for the current state of your marketplace.
WC Marketplace is a free plugin. Which means you only have to pay for hosting and domain name. After you’ve installed WordPress and WooCommerce, you can simply download WC Marketplace and start selling. You can even download the shipping addon and get started with your dropshipping business.
You can run a business with just the shipping addon, but as your venture expands, you might need to introduce additional features, not only for your customers but also for the sellers as well.
For instance, the Advanced Frontend Manager provides a dedicated dashboard for sellers. They can now add various product types such as booking, affiliate products, import export features and much more. The front end access enables them to get more done relatively quickly.
Some other essential recommendations include:
- WCMp Vendor Frontend Reports
- WCMp Vendor SEO and Analytics
- WCMp Vendor Membership
- WCMp Seller Verification
These addons provide the infrastructure to run a successful and scalable online marketplace. But you can add even more functionalities simplifying the interaction between the vendors and customers.
Feature Oriented Addons
Feature oriented addons provide unique features. For instance, let’s take a look at the WCMp Stripe Marketplace Plugin, which enables customers to pay via Stripe.
Stripe also comes with a unique split payment feature which automatically divides customer payments on a single order. The amount is distributed among all the vendors whose products were bought at the checkout.
However, you can also manually distribute the amount among vendors. But as your market scales, you might not be able to follow up on the hundreds of transactions taking place on a daily basis.
The automatic feature is, therefore, an added functionality which you can consider getting later on once your business starts growing. Similarly, we offer other features aimed at providing you with a resourceful marketplace.
Here is a list of all the feature-oriented plugins offered by WCMp:
- WCMp Mangopay Payment for marketplace
- WooCommerce Catalog Enquiry Pro
- WCMp Vendor Staff
- WCMp Vendor Stock Alert
- WCMp Vendor Vacation
- WCMp PDF Invoice
At the beginning of the blog, we began with a vision, an idea for a marketplace. After reading about the addons, we are now aware of what is required to create one.
Now you might be wondering what would happen if something goes wrong? What if an addon isn’t working correctly? What if you don’t know how to operate a plugin? How would your marketplace perform on mobile devices?
Well, fret not as we have got you covered. Here is a list of additional services that we offer to ensure your marketplace runs smoothly and without any issues.
What do we offer?
- Mobile-Friendly Interface
There are approximately 3.98 billion smartphone users worldwide who access the Internet from their mobile devices. Google released an algorithm on April 21, 2015, granting mobile-optimized websites a higher preference in search engine result pages (SERP).
A majority of your potential customers could access the marketplace via smartphones. Therefore, a website that can adapt to multiple displays without compromising usability has a huge impact on conversion rates and user retention.
We understand the importance of a mobile interface. That’s why our developers take extra effort to ensure that Marketplaces built with WCMp are always mobile friendly.
- Technical Support
We have a long list of customer reviews who are greatly satisfied with our support. WCMp developers work round the clock to provide lightning-fast solutions to any problems you may encounter.
Starting a multivendor marketplace isn’t as tricky as combatting low traffic. Once you have a minimum viable product, you can take advantage of our tools to address the pages experiencing low traffic. You can,
- Create a robust online presence to satisfy the shopping requirements
- Scale your business
So what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think we covered all the important bits about creating and nurturing a marketplace? Feel free to mail us in case of any questions.
In case you’re feeling up to the task, download the free version of WC Marketplace to get a glimpse of what you can achieve within a multi vendor marketplace.