Marketplaces: now that you’re up and running, how do you stay on top?
We have invited Shri Krishan, Senior Industry Principal at Infosys
In a previous blog we dove into the necessary building blocks needed to create a marketplace; that are 1. Business, 2. Technology, 3. Process and 4. Partners.
While marketplaces boast a vast array of opportunities, the foundations need to be laid in order to kickstart customer adoption and partnerships, resulting in business transactions and revenue growth.
Once a marketplace has been launched and nurtured, providers need to focus on two key areas: 1. Customer Centricity, and 2. Open Architecture and Flexibility.
By doing this, the marketplace will gain momentum, fast.
Setting up a marketplace is easy; but the key to success lies in various factors. When creating a marketplace, the goal is to drive traffic, cash flow and create an optimal customer experience, all without inhibiting growth.
Customer expectation plays a large role in this. In today’s digital landscape, customers not only require instant satisfaction, but also expect offerings to be tailored to their needs and wants.
With 91% of customers more likely to purchase from providers who tailor their recommendations to them, personalization is a key imperative. A major selling point of a marketplace is that it enables partners and carriers to generate greater loyalty from their customers.
A marketplace must resonate with customers, and that can be a balancing act. Providers need to be able to provide the extended assortment customers are looking for, without compromising on experience and convenience.
Creating this omni-channel experience for customers not only involves personalization, and providing a wide array of products and services customers can bundle, but also involves introducing accountable and reliable delivery and dispatch experiences.
Through implementing transparency processes and systems, marketplace owners are able to have a 360-degree view of all data related to partners in terms of products sold, revenues shared and earned as well as settlements with other partners. On top of this, extensive data insights based on sales, customer purchases, and returns are achieved.
Marketplace should leverage data available on the platform to create data insights for creating personalized offerings for customers, and also address customer experience needs. These insights on partners and customers are powerful enablers to learn more about customer behaviors and preferences. Combined with flexibility, providers are able to enhance both the buyer and partner journey on a marketplace.
Some of the key areas to focus on from a customer centricity perspective are:
- Insight driven personalization
- Loyalty/reward programs
- Promotion and advertising
- Proactive and regular campaigns based on customer segments
- Continuous evolution based on regular customer feedback on services, products, partners and experience
- Seamless customer services processes
- Robust distribution model for customer satisfaction
Given the correlation between customers’ trust in a marketplace and customer spending, customer centricity and trust are critical factors for the success of a marketplace, and attracting more customers.
Open Architecture & Flexibility
40% of the world's top 30 brands are now platform businesses. With the movement towards digital experiences, this technological revolution signals a shift towards an open technological landscape.
The strategic value of this ecosystem is its ability to harness service offerings from a diverse supplier base, allowing for a variety of digital offerings to be bundled together. In doing so, partners are able to capitalize on new customer and market segments, acting as a catalyst for economic growth.
Open architecture and flexibility is a must-have for a mature collaborative partner ecosystem to address customer needs and facilitate partner onboarding, dynamic product price updates, ease of integration from provider platforms, as well as provide flexibility to partners in choosing their co-players in the marketplace.
The success of a marketplace lies in its ability to attract both customers and partners; allowing customers to receive their desired experience, and partners to attain growth opportunities through leveraging the large customer base from the marketplace.
As such, a successful marketplace needs to ensure that both the customer and partner’s interests are taken care of.
Marketplace platforms should be designed to consider interoperability with other platforms and support the end-to-end customer experience. This is critical for marketplace scalability, and achieving exponential revenue growth.