Online Marketplaces have been thriving in the digital world thanks to the growing popularity of ecommerce. Described as an online platform dedicated to facilitating the purchase of goods or services from third party vendors, Online Marketplaces are extremely attractive to vendors particularly for their low set up and marketing costs, existing high volume of traffic and ready-to-use back end. Vendors are able to choose from an array of revenue and fee structures which best suit their business goals and market niche.
Types of Online Marketplaces
The realm of Online Marketplaces involves different categories depending on the business model desired by the vendor. When considering the goods being sold, marketplaces can be separated into vertical and horizontal where the former offer goods or services from a particular area or niche. The latter connects vendors with customers of varied industries and regions to facilitate the purchase from a large variety of products.
Participants of the Online Marketplaces can be separated into the following categories:
B2B (business-to-business) – Transaction between one business to another such as between manufacturer and wholesaler or wholesaler and retailer (e.g. Alibaba).
B2C (business-to-consumer) – Transaction between a business and customers who are the end users of the products and services (e.g. Amazon and Aliexpress).
C2C (customer-to-customer) – Transaction between private individuals, such as auctions and classified advertisements (e.g. Craigslist).
Relationships within the Online Marketplace
In order for a sustaining mutually beneficial relationship between the Online Marketplace and vendor, trust and transparency is required to go alongside a business model of sufficient profitability. Proactive and reactive mechanisms need to be provided by the marketplace to facilitate the required transactions effectively and efficiently while also addressing any issues that may arise.
On the other hand, the relationship between vendors and customers can be illustrated by supply and demand where the vendor and customer must enjoy a mutually beneficial experience. Generally, the ratio of vendors to customers will be higher with suppliers competing for the business of customers. In order for a customer to make a purchase, vendors must be able to communicate their products or services effectively and it is up to the Online Marketplace to provide the appropriate tools for this.
maaiiconnect: the Solution to Success
Communication is key to maintaining favourable and engaging relationships between all three parties in a thriving Online Marketplace. To achieve this, the Marketplace can integrate a live chat solution – maaiiconnect, a powerful web widget easily deployed onto any page or shop with the versatility and user friendliness to instantly transform communications through instant messaging or calls. With a simple click of a button, customers are instantly connected to the correct vendor for a better customer experience.
Below we explore how maaiiconnect benefits each party in the Online Marketplace:
The Online Marketplace – Engage and Expand
maaiiconnect’s web widget serves as a value-added service to attract and retain vendors. The offering of an additional form of contact on the vendor’s shop page offers improved interactions across all channels, ultimately forming stronger partnerships with vendors. The marketplace can even monitor chat and call analytics for an overview of the engagement taking place across its platform. Such an offering will set the Online Marketplace above others, allowing it to thrive with higher profit margins.
The Vendor: Connect and Convert
The maaiiconnect web widget enables easy vendor-customer connections through instant messaging and calls. This live communication bolsters relationships between vendors and customers, whether businesses or individuals. With maaiiconnect, vendors are able to view the page customers are contacting them from, allowing them to be a step ahead while having the visibility to serve customers better. By communicating in real time, agents assist in pre-sales questions more efficiently to minimise the risk of shopping cart abandonment thus leading to a 40% higher conversion rate. Last but not least, the maaiiconnect communications dashboard can be accessed on any device allowing agents to stay connected whenever, wherever.
The Customer: Receive Immediate Assistance
Customers not only to connect with a vendor’s agents more easily, but correctly through maaiiconnect’s intelligent routing system, saving them considerable time. The immediacy is a key factor as 79% of customers cite this reason as their preference for instant messaging. Connecting with agents through maaiiconnect is much more convenient with immediate accessibility and response through the vendor’s page without the need to provide any details such as those needed on contact forms. Instant messaging is particularly useful for customers participating in the C2C marketplace where negotiations tend to take place or establishing a foundation of trust and security before purchasing from a foreign or unknown vendor.
Read more: Bricks and Clicks Offline and Online marketplace integration
maaiiconnect and the Online Marketplace
To attract sellers, the Online Marketplace must provide more than just a platform to facilitate sales. As more tools are offered for competitive differentiation, sellers will recognise the value of their participation. Good communication undoubtedly holds the success of an Online Marketplace, strengthening and building the relationships of the three parties. maaiiconnect offers the perfect solution with live chat and calls. The best thing: the widget is easy-to-deploy and easy-to-use!
Are you ready? Get started here!
Read more from our guest writer, Jerric, on why online marketplaces weren’t part of his business strategy until they had to be.