Marketplace

Introduction to Marketplace

An online marketplace is a website or mobile application that connects buyers and sellers. The platforms allow buyers and sellers to make transactions with one another within the website itself. There are two types of market places today.

Vertical Marketplace

Vertical marketplaces are specialist, which are also known as “Category Killer”.

Vertical marketplaces do not offer a wide variety of products & services but focus on a niche to provide a specific product category. Therefore, to be outstanding in a particular sector of eCommerce, businesses need to integrate the e-Commerce business by adjusting their business model based on their target audience.

Image credit: Airbnb

Airbnb is one example of the vertical marketplace. Airbnb typically focusses on people who are looking for an affordable alternative option to the hotel. Thus, it has now become one of the leading market places for rental of apartments.

Horizontal Marketplace

The horizontal marketplace sells different types of products where it is a one-stop online shopping platform to buy practically anything such as facial products, apparels, electronic goods, etc. It has a wide range of customers across a different sector of the economy. On the other hand, Customers will not need to head to another online websites to purchase any items that are in different categories of products.

Image Credit: Lazada

Lazada, South-Wast Asia number one online shopping destination is one of the examples for Horizontal Marketplace. Lazada is a one-stop-shop to many shoppers. On the other hand, Lazada also works with distributors from various categories to create a competitive advantage among other e-commerce sites.

E-commerce during Covid-19 period

With today’s situation, where the World Health Organization (WHO) declares that Covid-19 is a pandemic, many countries have decided to implement a lockdown. In Singapore’s aspect, the government has introduced the Circuit Breaker measures where people can only head out if they are working as an essential worker or buying essential goods. The Circuit Breaker measures have caused many inconveniences to numerous shop owners where their revenue are affected since most of the retailers are not able to operate due to their business not being essential.

The implementation of Circuit Breaker has slowly created a trend in online shopping where many businesses have to rely on online channels for sales and Singaporeans are playing their part to make their purchases online to reduce the chances of themselves contracting the virus

Based on an article from Vulcan Post, we can see that some retailers have seen a growth in business during the Circuit Breaker period.

For us, our offline stores sales have dropped by 30% before complete closure for circuit breaker, but our online sales has grown despite a general environment of cautious spending.

Dennis Tay, founder of Naiise

This show that the opportunities is still available for retailers who are willing to tab on the online channels to bring sales to the company.

Digital Marketing Strategies To Leverage On Online Marketplace

1. Understand Customer’s Persona

A sample persona I have created for reference

Companies can encourage their customer to fill up a survey so ask to understand more about their customers. With the help of the survey, the company can start to map out the persona, this will allows the company to have greater empathy with the customers where the company will have a deeper understanding of their customer’s behaviour and needs. With sufficient understanding of the customer, the company can adjust its marketplace based on the behaviour and needs identified.

2. Drive Customers To The Marketplace


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – To increase the market place ranking

KengKoon-SEO
Image is design by me for reference

Easy to Use

The navigation of the website sets the first impression for the shoppers. At the same time, it is one of the determining factors whether the user will spend more time on the site and eventually make their transaction there.

To be able to create an excellent navigation experience, the company have to anticipate the users’ needs and ensure that the visitors will be able to locate the information quickly. With a simple menu and well-organized content, the navigation for the website will be easy and intuitive for the visitors.

Valuable

To provide a valuable experience for the visitors, it is necessary to conduct an in-depth research on the competitor’s website. The company would need to identify the areas that the other companies are missing out and include it inside the site. On the other hand, the website should have a unique selling proposition to value-add the website.

Engaging

The headline of a website should be engaging where it was mentioned by copywriters like Ray Edwards, he stated that businesses have a mere two seconds to garner attention with your headline. Therefore, a header should not be just a text but an interesting header that can capture the visitors’ attention.

Image Credit: JEMSU

Keywords

With the help of an infographic, we can determine that the keywords selected for the website needs to be relevant and have to be mentioned in almost every part of the website. Some examples are meta title, meta description and product description.
(Fun Fact: The name of the file uploaded to the website will affect its SEO score too!)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – To create an effective google ads

Credits: SmartInsights

Creating An Effective Advertisement Using AIDA Model

The AIDA model stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. With the help of the AIDA model, businesses can create an informative advertisement that includes the decision-making process of the customers. By using the AIDA model as a guide, this can help to increase the click-through rate (CTR) of an advertisement.

Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Awareness) – Limited-Time Sales (Interest)
www.Lazada.com/Samsung/S10+ (Marketplace URL)
Get your Samsung Galaxy S10+ at only $899! FREE Shipping
(Desire). Shop Now (Call to Action).

An example of an advertisement for Samsung S10+ that I have drafted out with the help of AIDA Model

Key Take Away (Reflection)

In today context, the COVID-19 has proven that businesses who venture in online marketplaces will not be as affected as businesses who only venture in the retail outlet. Initially, I thought that to be able to do well in the online marketplaces; the companies have to start early where they can create a better brand exposure to the consumers. However, after my research, I found out that the entry timing does not affect the sales at all, but the digital marketing method will make a massive difference in terms of sales.

Knowing that the COVID-19 has created a trend in marketplaces, where it “forces” consumer to shop online. Businesses should take this chance and join the marketplaces as it is a great time to build a customer base.

I have also come out with a recommendation with the help of the above learning that will help with the company’s marketplace growth. The proposal is to provide freebies to get the customer to fill up a survey to understand more about the consumers. With the help of freebies, the data size will be huge enough to identify the target market quickly. By using the big data, the companies can include common keywords that are often used by the target market; this will help in term of the search ranking where sales will start to increase when the marketplace has successfully captured the attention of the vast target market.