A social marketplace may be just what your business needs to move beyond its current business model to reach more prospective clients and a bigger overall target market. What are social marketplaces, and how do they differ from the typical e-commerce market?
What Is a Social Marketplace?
Social marketplaces allow consumers to buy and sell products. In addition, they enable both vendors and consumers to communicate with each other. Social marketplaces can be thought of as an improved version of the traditional online marketplace. They provide more features and bring better benefits to all parties involved. They often help businesses increase sales at a significant rate because they are tapping into a new audience of prospective buyers.
Think of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as places where you can go to build your brand and market your business. At the same time, you can connect with customers and grow a following. You can also sell your product directly on the site. In that way, it works as a type of e-commerce platform that has built-in social media features.
What Are the Benefits of Social Marketplaces Like This?
Though every business model is different, most companies that sell products and services can find a way to fit the social marketplace into their business model. There are plenty of reasons to do that as well.
It Creates a Social Aspect to Business
A good way to view a social marketplace is as a traditional mall works. The mall has numerous shops where people can find anything they need. At the same time, it has places to congregate and events that help bring the community in.
That is the same type of concept here. It is a place where people can buy things, but they also add an element of socialization. For example, they may allow for private messaging. They let people leave reviews about the products. They encourage chatting with the company and other users. There are areas where they can simply pick up what they want to buy, too, directly from the brands they want to work with or have gotten to know through the platform. These experiences create more customization options, letting companies create a personalized experience.
In a social marketplace, it is possible to create an engaged community. That also helps with nurturing relationships between customers and companies. Over time, that may lead to a higher level of brand recognition and loyalty.
“Social marketplaces are a fantastic opportunity to bring people into a business. They create ways for people to connect and communicate, but also to help sell products. These types of environments create a new experience for both the company and the customer because they allow for numerous ways to connect. In many ways, ringID helps to facilitate that type of success with an array of features that can support this type of engagement,” says a company representative from ringID.
There’s No Inventory
One benefit of a social marketplace is that companies do not have to do anything different from what they are doing now when it comes to managing inventory. Everything in this platform is handled in the cloud. That means that there is no need to have physical equipment or any type of inventory on hand. That can help to give companies more of a presence in the industry without having to have a large system of warehouses and planes to move items around.
It is important to know what the platform offers and what limitations may exist. There may be some costs involved in altering the way that you manage your business’s inventory.
How to Put a Social Marketplace to Work for You
How does a business know if they can implement a social marketplace like this? It is not something to simply do quickly as there are numerous steps to ensuring it is done well. There are a few key things to do first.
- Do some market research. Be sure to understand the unique needs and habits of your target customers. It is critical to know who they are and their types of social interactions. The more information you have on your target audience, the more opportunities you will create.
- Build strategies for success. It tends to be necessary to consider the technical aspects of launching your business on this type of platform. What will it take? At the same time, consider how you will develop content to build your online presence there. It may help to work with a digital marketing team that can bring together all aspects of the process at one time.
- Utilize the right web tools. There are a lot of tools out there that can help your business build a social marketplace. You can build it from scratch, creating your own platform that fits the individual needs of your customers, community, and business.
It often helps to work with a team that can help you facilitate this process. Most importantly, you want to have the right structure in place before you launch your business. This can make a big difference in the long-term outcome of the business model.
Social marketplaces are places where you can build another stream of income for your company. Done well, they create an opportunity for you to create a brand-new experience for your current customers, and they allow you to build new leads and sales over time by connecting with and engaging with the community.