What is the Killer Feature of Your Marketplace?
Building the e-commerce marketplace that can be a source of constant income is the dream come true. Now, how do you get it? There are many ways to achieve the enduring goal, but a really effective and simple one is to offer the user several "killer features" (or at least one of them, the most impressive!).
In this article, we give your ideas about such features on the example of our own projects (and projects of world famous brands like Amazon). In any case, you should remember that best online marketplaces are being improved constantly. That's why they always stay ahead of competitors. Why not join the leadership?
Reasons to create an online marketplace
The relevance of online marketplaces is clearly demonstrated by statistics, especially if you study its data in comparison. For a few decades, the top of the Forbes list has changed significantly. Now you can see only two persons among former leaders: Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and Warren Buffett, the largest American businessman and investor. And the first place has been taken by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon's owner. Impressive, right?
According to other data, today more than 50% of Americans and Europeans start searching for goods on eBay, Amazon, and other marketplaces for e-commerce. So sellers who ignore new trading technologies are losing about half of their customers right now.
We’ve already written about how to start an online marketplace. Now let's fantasize about killer features that will be growth drivers and allow you to get close to the level of Jeff Bezos we've mentioned. Of course, the task is a complicated one but why not try it?
#1. Augmented Reality
Let's start with the most interesting and intriguing feature, namely, Augmented Reality.
It's quite clear why mobile marketplace apps need to use the AR technology: it helps them to provide the customer with the opportunity to visually evaluate the goods before payment. This is a very popular feature among manufacturers and suppliers of furniture, for their clients really need it: for example, buying a sofa, you can see how it will look in your room.
Houzz, a platform that connects homeowners and experts in repairing houses and interior design, supplemented its program with the AR support and discovered a great increase in consumer activity. According to this data, the users of the AR application were 11 times more likely to purchase the product than those who visited the web resource.
With the help of augmented reality, it is now possible to view household products and appliances, clothing, and some other categories of goods.
The world's online marketplaces are actively using the AR feature in their mobile projects to attract new users. For instance, IKEA Place, the augmented reality application, offers consumers to add 3D models of Ikea products to any space, allowing them to choose the best option.
We, the Agilie team, also dealt with AR when building the e-commerce marketplace for the B2B area. The user of the retail application we've created is offered a number of 3D models of the goods (the list of which constantly grows), and these models can be viewed in a tridimensional space and studied in detail.
In this article, we've discussed the AR technologies more granularity and described all its uses. You will find a lot of impressive examples of AR applications.
#2. Convenient friendly chat
You can say that chat is not an obligatory feature for the e-commerce marketplace model, but if you do say so, you’ll be wrong. The fact is that the messaging system leads to the growth in the profit of each seller, which means that it will be easier for you, as the owner of the service, to get new users to your site or application. And the level of conversion will have been increased.
As the statistics show, at least 55% of visitors to online stores and peer-to-peer marketplace e-commerce platforms are unlikely to purchase the chosen product if they do not get quick answers to their questions. A chat will allow the seller to reduce this indicator and improve the effectiveness of interaction with the client. Keep in touch, as they say!
Of course, the chat should be intuitive and user-friendly. Ideally, it should offer:
- preview of the typed text
- quick response templates
- sending media files
- creating group chats
Naturally, we've also developed convenient chat systems for both our projects, mobile app marketplaces. Thanks to this feature, users can communicate with each other whenever they want.
Chat for one of our apps
#3. Advanced search
It seems to be an obvious and simple feature, which, nevertheless, is very important because it sells the product (after all, to buy something, you need to find it first, right?). So you should think how to make your search engine as efficient as possible.
Today, people are spoiled by the technology and capabilities of the IT industry, and it's not easy to build a marketplace app or website that can surprise them, especially when it comes to such a simple thing as finding a product or service… but there are some options anyway.
It is predicted that speech recognition systems will soon radically change the search for goods and services. This means that the product information should be compatible with voice search and optimized for it. For example, in response to a voice request "Buy an office chair", the search engine should get a list of popular office chair options.
This feature has not been widely disseminated throughout peer-to-peer marketplace e-commerce platforms yet, so you can get ahead of competitors in this respect.
It means that the buyer can find the product even without knowing its name or brand. All he has to do is to take a picture of the product he likes and search for it using this image made. Such a model of interaction with the e-commerce mobile marketplace app (or site) will become more popular in the near future.
By the way, this search feature is being used by both eBay and Amazon.
Of course, these are costly options to perform a search, and if you are not ready to create an online marketplace that has such an expensive feature, go for a simpler, but still effective, way. For instance, we have implemented an advanced search system for one of our marketplace projects. The search engine not only offers results at the user's request but also sorts them by categories (New, Popular, A-Z, Genres, Rating, Price).
#4. Barcode scanner
The purpose of the barcode is quite understandable: its task is to identify the product on the market. And such a giant as Amazon requires to obtain the Amazon barcode if there is no official manufacturer barcode. That is, any manufacturer can easily get a unique code for his product for tracking. Thus, this world's online marketplace make the process of entering the e-trading market much easier.
We used another approach to the barcode when building an e-commerce marketplace. The seller can scan the barcode or ISBN of the book with a smartphone camera, and information about this publication will automatically be gotten from the database. The user does not have to waste his time entering all this data manually. By the way, a phone camera is able to recognize only the traditional barcode, so that our developer had to work hard to improve its abilities. You can read about this challenge (and many others) on the page of our project.
Some ignore this feature, which is a big mistake! Perhaps, the person has not decided on the purchase yet or he does not have enough money at the moment, but this does not mean that he will not become a buyer one day. And when this day comes, he should choose your mobile app marketplace (or your website, doesn't matter). That is why it is advisable to offer the user to collect his "dreams" in a special group. This way, such a list of wishes will turn into a list of goods that the user has opted to purchase in future.
Best online marketplaces actively use this feature. For example, Amazon offers three versions of Wishlists:
- Public: Wishlist is available to any visitor to Amazon.com;
- Shared: only people who are given access can see your wishes (which can serve as a clue when choosing a gift)
- Private: nobody but you sees the WishList.
We've implemented such a feature for our project too. A person can choose several products he likes and place them in the Wishlist group. Later, these wishes can become purchases. In addition, the owner of the product, noticing that someone has shown interest in his goods, can contact the potential buyer and discuss the matter privately, in more detail (remember the item number 2? Yes, this is the case when the chat is useful!)
For the b2b mobile marketplace app, we've used a different approach that is still quite effective in its own way. The representative of the supplier company has a chance to take a picture (or find on the Internet) of the product he needs and place this image in the Wishlist. Then he can share this Wishlist with the manufacturer - perhaps, the latter will be able to help him and develop a prototype.
#6. Mobile First Approach
Of course, the need to build a marketplace app suggests itself, but some owners still ignore mobile technologies. This is a completely short-sighted approach!
By the by, Starbucks had implemented a platform for mobile orders, and after half a year every tenth order was coming that way. Well, monsters like Amazon and eBay have long had their own mobile programs - keep up with these leaders.
And again let's remember e-commerce mobile marketplace apps that we, the Agilie team, had been working on. Both clients initially had web resources, but later they realized that it was not enough for prosperity. And the applications that we have created have significantly increased our clients’ profits.
#7. Help and Support
If you want your e-commerce marketplace to be successful, make sure that your users are happy with everything. Among other things, provide them with timely assistance - so that they can always contact you and complain about this or that situation, ask a question, and so on. Many companies implement such assistance through chatbot, the "Frequently Asked Questions" system, etc. We have used the FAQ and Contact Us services for the marketplace application we’ve developed. The main thing is to keep in constant contact with customers (ideally, in 24/7 mode).
By the way, it will be useful to order a support service from the developer company in this respect. Thanks to such cooperation, you'll be able to solve any difficulties of the user in time, including technical ones.
#8. Siri Integration
To build a marketplace app with Siri support is an idea that will undoubtedly pay off. Users will certainly like the opportunity to force the program to make a call to a potential buyer or perform another simple but routine action.
Our b2b marketplace for e-commerce supports Siri technology, and users are really enjoying it. The result is just impressive, you should definitely repeat this happy experience.
#9. The right approach to your “old friends”
And finally, we would like to say about must-have features that should also be brought to the level of "killer ones".
If it is a service-type application, then, of course, delivery problems do not exist. However, if we create an online marketplace like Amazon, then this issue should be thought over in advance.
The marketplace application, one of our latest projects, provides 2 delivery options:
- a personal meeting between the selling and buying parties (they arrange this meeting by communicating with each other through the chat - see how important this feature is!).
- the Doormat delivery service that is in high demand in Norway (for users of Bookis are mostly Norwegians). Our task in this respect was to ensure a stable system of interaction of this service with users through API provided.
So, when thinking about how to start an online marketplace, look for intermediaries among shipping companies, or let the sellers solve this problem on their own.
Be persistent without obtrusiveness, do not let the user forget about your marketplace apps, but do not annoy them with unnecessary notifications. The golden mean is your key to success.
For example, for the b2b mobile app marketplace, we've made a system of alerts that notify users of changes in Wishlists and Showrooms (collections of goods compiled by manufacturers).
Do not worry if you can not implement the most stunning killer features right now, start small. In the end, there is no limit to perfection, and even such big players as Airbnb and Uber are constantly expanding their functionality.
And if you are interested in how to start an online marketplace, read this article where we’re telling all about the nuances and pitfalls of this process.
Please, be sure to CONTACT US if you need our help.