If you’ve ever purchased from an e-commerce marketplace, 1. you’re among 80% of the population in doing so, and 2. you know the ease of shopping online for products and services without having to leave your home. As consumers, we have access to a world of shopping right at our fingertips. But have you ever thought about the importance of buy-in from all the stakeholders that utilize and promote these marketplaces?
As a local e-commerce marketplace provider, we’re actively helping local communities of small businesses get and sell online together. The most successful local marketplaces have not only actively engaged small businesses, but also a dedicated parter organization that is leading their businesses through the expansion into a local online commerce. Furthermore, when communities have buy-in from their local government as a third wave of support and promotion, there online marketplace becomes a reliable source of sales for local small businesses.
When the businesses on a marketplace buy into the concept of a shared local marketplace it becomes a win-win situation for everyone involved. More businesses mean more products and services available for consumers to purchase. The more products there are to purchase means more organic SEO and traffic to the site. The more businesses and referrals from their own social media channels and product links translates into increased traffic, purchases, and revenue for all the businesses. As a customer comes to visit one product or business and then also discovers another, it drives up the overall success of the e-commerce marketplace.
Buy-in from all businesses on an online marketplace creates a sense of community among the businesses. By working together, businesses can share knowledge, ideas, and support, ultimately leading to greater success for everyone involved. Large and small businesses can both benefit. With access to a larger consumer base and the ability to easily promote their products, small businesses can compete with larger businesses and grow their brand along side bigger businesses.
Partner Organization Buy-In & Support
For a community e-commerce marketplace to succeed, there needs to be trust, transparency, and cooperation between small businesses and their community partner. Typical partners include a chamber of commerce, main street program, downtown, or other local government. It’s important that the small businesses already look to and trust this organization to lead them to success. Trust also includes that the community partner will promote the platform to internal and external networks, once the business creates a shop and add products. There’s nothing more frustrating for a small business then to take the time to set up their shop, but have no traction for sales as the partner organization didn’t create a plan to market the platform appropriately. The best partners have buy-in from the beginning that online commerce IS crucial for their small businesses survival. These parters actively run marketing promotions to attract and retain customers for their local businesses and support them with collaborative workshops and training in online commerce. Collaboration between businesses and the community partner is essential for building a strong online community-based marketplace.
Local Community Buy-In
When local governments buy-in to the marketplace, they’re showing the broader community that their local businesses have something worth sharing. Government partners often have high traction on their own websites, email lists, and sometimes social media channels. Promoting the local marketplace shows the benefit of doing business in that community and the support offered to small businesses. It also helps to bring in sales from outside the community, boosting sales that may not have happened with just local foot traffic.
To establish a successful e-commerce marketplace, collaboration between all participants is key. By establishing trust between businesses and the platform, more businesses are attracted to join the site. Keeping their stores up-to-date and actively collaborating with the platform’s partners can significantly increase success, with all stakeholders reaping the benefits.
For business owners interested in joining a local e-commerce marketplace, it is essential that they embrace the platform’s objectives in order to contribute to its overall success for themselves and the community as a whole. Through working together, we can create thriving online communities that benefit all members of the ecosystem.