Get to know your customers, find out their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them, what they like and what they need. And then build your strategy with that knowledge. With the right strategy, the customers will get loyal one by one. They will respond to your activity. Gain their trust step by step, because starting big and having no loyal customers is impossible these days.
You can grow slowly but with a solid customer base. There won’t be many customers in the beginning, but they will stay until the end.
We have some strategies that will help you start your marketplace.
Start a Local Business
When you have a solid customer support in one location, it’s a lot less risky to expand your business. For example, Uber started on the West Coast in the USA and now it’s operating in 785 metropolitan areas all over the world. Gaining customers step by step helps you gain loyalty and credibility. Even if your business doesn’t gain success in other places, you will still have your customers in the initial location.
Also, it’s easier to ask suppliers who don’t sell online yet to join your marketplace, since you are a credible businessman.
Be Your Marketplace’s Own Supplier
Probably, you’ll need to stack your online marketplace with your own goods at first. At one point, you’ll have nice selling rates and other suppliers will join you. This is what happened to Amazon, and now its income is based on third-party suppliers.
So, start your online marketplace as a regular business, and when everything is on point, look for other suppliers.
Aggregate Inventory from Other Sites
You can try joining affiliate programs and different partnerships with suppliers that already sell online. Yet, this is a bit more complicated than selling your own product on your marketplace. Here is another side of this. Those products might not be unique, and customers will continue to buy the same goods from other sources they are used to.
Specialize in Unique Inventory and Community
Many famous marketplaces started with one type of products or a certain theme. Many of the most successful ones stayed in that niche. Everyone knows Etsy where you can get nice handmade or vintage things. Sellers look for goods on Etsy as well since there are so much different and interesting things. So, Etsy stays in its own niche.
Try to sell unique goods and present yourself differently from others, and you’ll gain customers loyal for life. If you want to go global with your marketplace in the future, it will be possible thanks to a strong customer base.
Investigate a Customer
Don’t rely on your intuition in this case. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to feel the customers with your gut, but it doesn’t work in this line of business. Know your customers as well as you know yourself. Do the most thorough research possible and test your findings.
Don’t Be the Lone Warrior
When you engage different people in running your business, it can shine brighter than ever. It’s important to exchange your thoughts with people who are on the same page as you. After several brainstorms together, you will definitely get some unique ideas for engaging your potential customers.
You have to keep up with the news in your niche. You can learn from the successes or fails of others and see how to deal with obstacles on your way. Don’t miss out on the latest news of your niche to remain a true professional in the field.
5 Basic Mistakes That Startup Owners Make
One little mistake can lead to disastrous consequences. It is important to avoid them from the beginning. Here are five common mistakes startup owners make:
- starting too broadly;
- having no specific purpose for your products or marketplace in general;
- giving the website a weak name that will drag it down;
- choosing the wrong target audience and not understanding their needs;
- focusing on quantity instead of quality.
These days, opening a marketplace seems like a great and pretty safe idea, and this is why some people decide to give it a try. You can start one and make a decent profit from it, but if you want to go big, you should take a closer look at how to make your marketplace successful from scratch.
When a marketplace startup fails, it’s mostly because its owner relies on their intuition and focuses on making more profit instead of the customers.
We hope you realize that launching a marketplace is not enough to instantly get customers. It’s hard and constant work that includes many things, like a strong marketing strategy (position yourself as a good and reliable marketplace), resources, constant advertising, working on social media engagement, etc.
All in all, the formula for successfully attracting new customers includes not only perfect market fit and persistent marketing but also professional marketplace development – and we encourage you to invest in the latter one.