From buying a smartphone or jewelry piece to stocking up on the month’s grocery supply, online shopping has become our go-to option for almost every need. As more and more people worldwide get access to the internet, digital buyers keep increasing every year. The peak pandemic-stricken year of 2020 witnessed global retail e-commerce sales amounting to US$ 4.28 trillion, with the numbers projected to shoot up to US$ 5.4 trillion in 2022.
With all those stats before us, it’s a no-brainer that online marketplaces have become a vital part of the global retail landscape. What’s more, the internet and technological innovations have ensured that consumers from every part of the world have access to and benefit from online transactions. From big players like Amazon and eBay to smaller yet inspiring platforms like Warby Parker and TOMS, online marketplaces are in vogue.
So, what are the benefits of online stores? Are they the future and worth investing in? Let’s find out.
What is an online marketplace?
Brick-and-mortar stores have long been the backbone of commerce and industry. So, no, they have not become obsolete today. But what’s emerging are e-commerce platforms.
E-commerce, electronic commerce, or digital commerce platforms allow the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. An online marketplace is an e-commerce app or website that connects buyers and sellers. Third-party companies use the online marketplace platform to reach consumers who want to buy their products and services. The operator or owner of the marketplace does not own any inventory; their job is to present other brands’ inventories to people and facilitate transactions.
Benefits of online marketplaces: Why should you invest in them?
Online marketplaces help businesses reach out to more customers, sell products, make profits, and grow. Plus, the global pandemic has shown us how safe and convenient it is to have products and services delivered to our doorstep. No doubt, online marketplaces have redefined retail shopping in the last few years.
So, let’s look at the benefits of online marketplaces and why investing in them is a wise decision.
Reach a bigger audience
An online marketplace helps local businesses reach their target audience despite geographical barriers. While an offline store doesn’t offer this luxury, going online will let potential customers access your products and services from every part of the world. All you need to do is present your products and services in the best light and give customers legit reasons to buy your offerings.
With an online marketplace, your products and services will get the reach and promotion that wouldn’t be possible offline. Once you’re accessible to a global customer base, your sales are bound to increase. But first, you must ensure that your online marketplace is optimized to cater to your target audience. Plus, it should have all the elements that will help you to draw, engage, and retain customers.
When you have an offline store, chances are that not many people will know about you. But with an online store, you have many options to innovate your marketing strategies and promote your brand. Be it robust SEO practices or clickable ads and banners, the digital arena has the best solutions to make customers aware of your products. Other online marketing strategies include social media marketing, email marketing, push notifications, display marketing, and more.
Realize greater profit margins
With an online marketplace, businesses achieve better profit margins. Setting up an online marketplace is a low-cost affair. Further, it is the marketplace operator who would manage the warehouse, shipping, and payment. Hence, you will save a lot of money. But if you run an offline store, you have to incur extra expenses on rent, electricity bills, logistics, and maintenance. As a result, you would realize negligible profits at the end of the day.
Customer engagement is at the crux of online marketplaces. With an offline store, customer engagement is limited to special offers and discounts. But when you run an online store, you get ample scope to innovate and enhance on the user experience side. Features like annual memberships, audio and video calling, live streaming, and chats can be integrated into your e-market platform to create an active community of users.
With an online marketplace, you can automate the day-to-day running of your business and focus on your products and services instead. When you set up an online marketplace, you can automate and have ample control over the presentation of your products, their prices, orders, delivery, data analytics, and much more. Hence, you can better manage your business than an offline store would allow you to.
Analyzing customer behaviors and patterns provide businesses with insightful data for making crucial decisions. With an online store, understanding your target customers becomes easier. Data such as time spent on the website, number of clicks, and the traffic source to your website are invaluable for improving your marketing strategies. With the data in hand, you can figure out which products attract the most customers, which marketing tactic is working best, and other trends. Hence, you can work on making your business better.
Get the most out of your online marketplace with AtomChat
AtomChat’s real-time marketplace website chat software should be your go-to option if you want to reap the benefits we talked about. The robust and convenient platform helps to establish direct communication between buyers and sellers to take the online marketplace experience to the next level.
In a nutshell, here’s what you’ll get from AtomChat:
With AtomChat’s chat software installed on your multi-vendor marketplace website, your users get access to regular chatting features and more, giving your website a modern and transformative edge over other marketplace websites.
AtomChat engulfs all communication needs in one chat software making it a must-have to create a seamless shopping experience on your website!