How a Buyer-Driven Online Marketplace Affects the Retail Industry
The world of e-commerce as we know it is changing. The seller-oriented marketplace of today will soon be the antiquated site of tomorrow, replaced by a new wave of marketplaces built as a community focused on buyers. This will have profound effects on the way things are bought and sold online, as well as how the retail industry reaches consumers. Welcome to the age where consumers make their intentions known by posting what they want instead of what they're selling, where sellers go to the buyer instead of the other way around and where trust is paramount. Welcome to the age of the buyer's marketplace.
This new frontier is an exciting one and can present a lot of opportunities to retailers savvy enough to embrace this coming revolution. Traditional marketplaces leave retailers one option: post your items and hope buyers come to you. While this model has brought some success, there are also many drawbacks. Retailers often turn to advertising to supplement these marketplaces, blindly guessing what consumers want and hoping to convert a small fraction of those exposed into paying customers. However, the buyer-driven marketplace allows retailers to see demand in real time and offers the opportunity to take the guesswork out of converting consumers into customers.
Here are three tips on how retailers can prepare for the buyer-driven online marketplace:
- Reverse your thinking. Traditional e-commerce marketplaces have remained virtually unchanged for two decades, leaving retailers with deeply ingrained habits, such as idly waiting for consumers to come to them and guessing what they want to buy. In the new marketplace, habits will need to change and retailers will have to understand that this new approach is a proactive one. This proactive approach will consist of going to consumers themselves and taking the initiative in starting the negotiation process. Retailers will have the advantage of being able to know exactly what users want and have an opportunity to meet that demand.
- Use (don't abuse) the data. These new marketplaces are a great opportunity for retailers to meet demand in a way that's never existed before. Users of these marketplaces post what they want to buy, creating a huge opportunity for retailers to fulfill that demand with their products. Using the data in this way is beneficial to both the retailer and consumer, leading to better results. However, it's important not to abuse the data to make offers on items that aren't relevant to what users want. This type of behavior will lead to frustrated consumers who will choose not to transact with you.
- Remember, consumers are people. The most important thing for retailers to remember is that consumers are people, not just dollar signs. Buyer-driven marketplaces require a relationship built on trust and mutual respect, and that's what users expect. Retailers who are able to forge these relationships in this marketplace will have the greatest success.
The buyer-driven marketplace will affect the retail industry in many ways while giving retailers great opportunities to fulfill consumer demand. Reversing your thinking, using customer data properly and, most importantly, remembering consumers are people will give you the best opportunity for success in the coming shift in e-commerce. Get ready for the buyer's marketplace revolution.