Do you wish to expand your business marketplaces? After all, in today’s world, you need to keep pushing the boundaries. If you don’t do so, there are a lot of competitors in the world of Ecommerce to grab your market share. At such a time, you must work to expand your marketplaces continuously to improve your online presence and ensure profitability.
What is an online business marketplace?
To those of you who are new to the world of Ecommerce, you might be confused between online marketplaces and traditional Ecommerce models.
An online business marketplace refers to a platform where you become the bridge between various merchants and customers. The merchants use your platform to sell their goods and services. Shopify is one of the world’s most popular online marketplace along with Amazon and eBay. Both these marketplaces serve as both B2C and B2B bridges.
Compared to this, a traditional Ecommerce store refers to one of the stores presents in an online marketplace. As an owner of such a store, you are required to have product inventory that you sell through leveraging the customers of the marketplace.
Now, the trick to expanding your store depends on what it is, to begin with. For instance, if you are a traditional Ecommerce store, expanding to other marketplaces may mean growing product categories to cater to the needs of new customers. You might also consider conducting global operations.
On the other hand, expanding a business marketplace is different. Here, rather than working on product categories or geographic locations, you have to consider having different types of merchants on board. For instance, if you are currently focused on being the bridge between customers and businesses, expanding the platform might call for becoming a bridge for businesses and businesses (i.e., a new market segment for you).
How to expand your online marketplace?
In this guide, we are concerned with how to expand your online marketplace rather than a single store. Here are some tips regarding how to expand your marketplace.
Choose the right niche
Before you think about expanding your business marketplace, it is first essential to correctly identify your core niche. While it is necessary to expand, later on, you need to build on customer equity to reach the stage.
For this, you must get the first step right. This means choosing the right niche. While Shopify, Amazon, Etsy or eBay might not serve to niches currently, they are started small. Therefore, it is essential to identify the right customers for your marketplace. Remember, your customers are other merchants since as an online marketplace, you work as a bridge between other businesses and customers.
Starting from the correct point is an essential step of expanding your business eventually. If you don’t do it correctly from the get-go, it will get hard for you to make your mark in new marketplaces as well. Therefore, first, begin by focusing on your core niche. You will need it and your original customers later on when you are expanding.
Conduct market research
You need to conduct market research to gauge which marketplace to expand to. There are various marketplace and niches available in the online world. But, the question arises whether or not they are feasible for your business? After all, there are already a lot of competitors in the market. You need to follow a blue ocean strategy. What is a blue ocean strategy? It refers to having little or no competition. Such a marketplace might not be easy to spot. You will have to conduct thorough market research to identify marketplaces that you can expand to.
A lot of times, businesses dive deep without even assessing how shallow or deep the ocean is. This is likely to lead to failure. Just because a marketplace segment looks attractive doesn’t mean it is. In fact, it might very likely not be. Rather than taking things at face value, always carry out market research about the presence, profitability, and feasibility of the marketplace you want to enter. Is it sizable, accessible, profitable and measurable? If so, go ahead and expand.
Focus on advertising when you expand
When you expand to another marketplace, how do you ensure your success? Well, advertising and marketing your online marketplace will surely help. This will help you in leveraging customer equity of your current marketplace.
Think about it. Your online platform has fared well with your current customers. If you were to expand to another type of marketplaces, you could leverage the positive association’s people now have with your brand. How will this help? Well, merchants are more likely to trust. You have already spent considerable time in building brand image. Now, use this image through effective advertising and brand resonance to ensure your success in the new marketplace.
Some of you might think of this as an added cost. After all, advertising is not cheap. However, there are two ways to look at this. Firstly, think of it as an investment. For established brands, advertising leads a comparatively high ROI per money spent due to the already present brand image in the minds of your consumers. Moreover, rather than building awareness of your online platform, to begin with, here advertising and marketing will only focus on ensuring the top of the mind recall and communications about your new offering. This is bound to be less expensive than building something from scratch.
Expanding your online marketplace might be easy. However, doing so successfully is a real challenge. If you genuinely want to make it big in the online world, rather than doing what everyone else is doing, have a clear direction for your business. Only expand when it is feasible for you to do so. Don’t do it just because it is the next step of the process.
Having the right objectives is the first step to ensuring success. Do so and watch as your online marketplace grows at a tremendous rate.