This blog uses industry research to show how marketplaces have shaped consumer behaviour with tops tips on how to meet customer expectations whether you are a single eCommerce store or taking an omni-channel approach.
The Power Of Marketplaces
Marketplaces have been growing in popularity over the last few years. The global pandemic greatly impacted retail sales worldwide with bricks and mortar stores being forced to close physical stores due to social distancing, accelerating the transition to online marketplaces by as much as 7 years.
Around a third of consumers start their online shopping experience on a marketplace due to the convenience of surveying numerous brands on one single platform. With increased choice comes heightened expectations; consumers no longer expect solely the best price, marketplaces have introduced high level customer support, fast delivery, simple returns, and most importantly convenience.
Why Brands Have Transitioned To Marketplaces
Brands have recognised that by listing their products on a digital marketplace they can reach more customers without the costly overheads and efforts of marketing. Marketplaces provide an additional channel to sell their products and often the opportunity to tap into a global market. As more brands are adopting an omni-channel approach and selling on multiple platforms, customers are becoming increasingly spoilt for choice. The rise of digital marketplaces has changed the way we shop.
How Marketplaces Have Raised Customer Expectations
After analysing the state of the industry we’ve compiled a list of ways in which marketplaces have driven customers to expect more:
Marketplaces offer the consumer something unique; an array of products and services that can be browsed and compared all in one place. Customers not only want more for less, but they want the process to be streamlined, quick, and easy. Having an account with a marketplace means that personal details are stored to simplify the shopping experience for repeat purchases. There’s no need to set up numerous accounts with brands on different sites, it’s easy and all personal data is saved securely. There’s no disappointment if one brand is out of stock, in most marketplaces there is another brand offering a similar product to fill that gap saving time and effort.
2) Fast Delivery & Easy Returns
Customers expect fast delivery and stress free returns. Traditionally, companies had only one fulfillment centre to service an entire country the size of the UK, yet marketplaces such as Amazon have expanded to establish more fulfillment centres outside key cities expediting delivery times whilst increasing stock levels.
Customers have moved from expecting delivery in days or even weeks, to hours. Companies such as UPS, Amazon, FedEx and DHL have even adopted the use of drones to meet this demand of almost instant delivery. The introduction of Prime from Amazon has set a precedent whereby customers are used to next day delivery, this expectation will soon be the norm if drones are to be used at scale. Speedel noted how more than 70% of consumers value convenience and free shipping as reasons to shop online and consumers are drawn to marketplaces or eCommerce sites that can afford to offer these services at scale.
3) Competitive Pricing
As brands continue to compete on marketplaces, they are forced to lower their prices to stand out from the multiple pages of choice. Customers opt for the most appealing product at the lowest price, often swayed by lucrative deals and discounts that ultimately seal the deal. Gone are the days that a consumer will buy from one seller, it is quite common for a shopping basket to be filled with products from multiple sellers in search of the most reasonable price as 76% of online shoppers admit to hopping between brands to find one that most accurately matches their expectations.
4) Customer Service And Support
Successful marketplaces such as ASOS have grown globally due to their customer-first approach ensuring that customer personalisation and engagement are top priority. Increased attention to customers online behaviour improves the shopping experience and usability of the site. Many marketplaces have harnessed the power of customer interaction to get feedback and improve UI. in turn increasing customer satisfaction and retention. Salesforce discovered that 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.
As a consumer, having access to product reviews builds trust and assurance when making a purchase. Marketplaces enable customers to compare similar products and choose the option with the highest rating matched to best fit.
FlipKart takes it a step further with a signature of approval marking certain products as “FlipKart Assured”. Amazon builds trust in their customers by marking third-party products as “Fulfilled By Amazon” when the shipment and delivery is completed in-house. Their ethos of offering free replacements for any lost packages further reinforces trust in the service they offer.
Meet Customer Expectations With Your eCommerce Store
Although Marketplaces have raised customer expectations, brands can still learn from the lessons offered in this article and adapt to meet consumer demands. Here’s our top tips on how to meet customer expectations with your marketplace or eCommerce store:
- Always take a customer first approach
- Provide fast and free delivery options
- Provide detailed product information and reviews
- Ensure data and privacy protection of personal information
- Enable one-click checkout with an option to make an account after purchasing to engage then in a loyalty scheme and rewards
Integrate with roseta.io
Integrating with roseta.io can open up your business’s potential by increasing sales and enabling you to keep an eye on your order and stock movement at all times. We currently offer integrations to Etsy and NOTHS and have a number of marketplaces that we will be launching in 2021. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you scale up your business and reach more customers.