It’s a simple fact that the internet has made our lives exponentially easier. If you want to look up the 5 biggest lakes in the US, there’s no need to pull out an encyclopedia; you just google it, and you have an answer in milliseconds. Through the years, the internet has become an integral part of everyday life, from information acquisition, to entertainment, to procurement of goods and services.
Since the early 2010s, people have become more and more drawn to online shopping for its obvious convenience. In the past decade we’ve seen conglomerates like Amazon, eBay, and Uber dominate the online business landscape. Now especially in the time of COVID-19, consumers and businesses alike are seeing just how powerful online marketplaces can be. Digital Commerce 360 estimates a spike of 44% in online purchases in 2020, where a whopping $861.12 billion was spent on US merchants. Clearly, business is booming.
You might be thinking, yeah, that sounds like a good business venture, but what of my competitors? We understand it’s easy to feel intimidated by the mere existence of marketplace giants like Amazon or Alibaba, but there’s are a few important statistics to remember:
- While existing online marketplaces are booming, about 28% (roughly 8.4 million) of small American businesses still don’t have a website.
- Only about 10% of retail sales is from ecommerce
- Nasdaq estimates that 95% of all purchases will be through ecommerce.
Essentially, if there’s a time to build your own online marketplace, it’s now.
Marketplace App Development: 3 Key Features
What makes a good marketplace? Is it the range of products and services offered? Is it customer support? Perhaps the answer lies within the app itself. How you want to customize your app is up to you, but there are some components that should always be considered.
This is your customer’s first interaction with your app, so make it count. Often, what deters customers from signing up is a convoluted, inconvenient registration process.
Social Media Integration
Bouncing off of hassle-free registration, one surefire way to keep things simple for customers is social media integration. Any customer would prefer a simple tap tap tap on the signin page over filling up lengthy forms.
Another benefit of social media integration is promotion. By doing this, you’re reaching a wider audience, and you’re giving customers a platform to discuss their purchases and shopping experience with other potential patrons.
Varied Payment Options
Like any good business, you want to give your customers as many options for payment to fit their needs. Some customers may have no issue paying with their credit card or e-wallet, but some may still feel more comfortable paying by COD, despite businesses’ heightened interest in data protection. If they see that their preferred payment option isn’t in one of the choices, this may lead them to cancel orders.
To add to convenience, you can store customers’ payment details on your marketplace app for easier checkout. And if you want to take it a step further, you can even integrate multi-currency support.
Marketplace App Development: Getting Ahead of The Game
The best businesses listen to consumer needs; the more inclusive and accessible your business, the higher the likelihood of it being remembered. Here are a few more features that’ll help propel your marketplace app.
With the rise of smart speakers, more and more consumers will rely on voice search to search for products and services and make purchases online.
Just like at a physical shop, customers have sales attendants available to answer their questions or find what they need. Online marketplace customers come in all shapes and sizes, and while some may navigate through your app easily, others may not be so tech savvy.
Adding chatbots can address this issue. If customers can’t find what they want, they’ll have a nifty little virtual assistant to help them out.
There’s nothing quite like a good rewards program to keep customers coming back. We see this all the time in business, from airlines to grocery stores, and we know it works.
Most online marketplaces use a points system to keep track of customer buying habits. More purchases equal more points, and more points equal bigger rewards.
Marketplace App Development: What’s Next?
It’s clear that marketplace apps are becoming part of everyday consumer life. While there’s some competition out there, getting in the game now would be a massive opportunity for business venturers.
If you’re interested to know more about marketplace app development, give us a call!