Anyone who does online sales will tell you that it takes more than simply getting your platform up and running and having a product catalog full of items to create a successful online marketplace. You have to promote your business, attract new customers and engage users to establish a loyal user base.
If you have yet to start your ecommerce platform, you are welcome to learn how to do it - just read the development guide on building websites like eBay.
But if you already have it created, it's time to put on your marketing hat and get creative! Let's dive into some tips that may help!
Whoever said that e-commerce is boring has never been to your website! Show off your personality and give your brand a unique style by thinking outside the box. You can try Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content & outreach marketing, social media, email outreach, influencer collaborations, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, among others.
For instance, create Instagram Reels about your product, use catchy slogans or memes in your marketing campaigns to make users want to learn about your platform. You can also hire a songwriter to create a jingle for your platform that you can use in advertising - trust us, these little tunes are a pain to get out of people’s heads which means that the name of your marketplace will constantly be sung by everyone.
Hosting contests and giveaways is a fun way to engage your audience while encouraging word-of-mouth marketing. Though it is very important to be aware of what your users need and want.
Get creative and host competitions that are related to your products. Let’s say, you could have a photo contest featuring customers wearing the T-shirts you sell on your website and encourage users to vote for the best or the most creative picture with the winner getting a discount on your platform. Reach out to industry influencers and sponsors to generate interest through your social media channels.
Consumers nowadays want content not only to educate them but also to promote a brand and convince them to make a purchase. You can create a blog on some topics that are relevant to your field, make 'How-to' videos, recommend books and documentaries that can offer value to your users.
Highlight your sellers and their unique products, emphasize your unique selling points, and come up with engaging content that matches your brand voice. You can place yourself as an authority, drive referral traffic, and boost conversions by giving your customers informative content.
These days people don’t want to be like everyone else - they want to be different and have unique stuff such as clothing items, electronic devices and jewelry. Don’t ignore human nature and create a limited edition collection of products. Introduce items that are recognizable and have some hype surrounding them. Look around - the summer of 2023 was all about Barbie: clothes, makeup, and even burgers were pink and folks loved it. And the best thing is that you don’t need to really create anything new - just follow trends and you’ll be fine.
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Collaborate with designers and artists to create new styles and models that resonate with your audience. Promote this collection heavily and make it easy to find via your website's home page or social media channels. But don’t forget that it’s limited - you don’t want to hype it up for too long.
Another fantastic way to reach your target audience and promote your marketplace is through social media platforms. Choose a couple of networks and try to establish your online presence through them. But hold on, don't just post product images and descriptions - get creative and inventive with your posts. Try some trending hashtags and themes to get your brand noticed and searched. Create unique posts for every holiday and special occasion. Get acquainted with all the cool features social media platforms offer now such as surveys, quizzes and polls to engage your audience, attract new customers and get more likes, followers and shares.
Do you know that Influencer marketing is huge right now? Work with social media influencers who have plenty of followers and work in the same field as you. Look for people who match your vibe and can be helpful in promoting your website. They can make videos and post pictures of your products, tag your marketplace in their content and participate in your business’s events. Plus, your audience will love product reviews, giveaways and lime-streams from their favorite influencers.
Offer bonuses and loyalty programs such as exclusive discounts, rewards, or free shipping to increase customer engagement and loyalty. If you create a special reward system and encourage users to get points for buying products and inviting their friends to join, it will be beneficial for everyone - people love free stuff.
You can also provide early access to new products or unique services like super fast shipping which will definitely make your website a service people want to use more often.
Last but not least, make sure that your customers are highly satisfied and fully engaged in the shopping experience on your platform. Personalize their product offers and recommendations, add discounts that only a specific shopper can use and emphasize your client’s importance to you. Use chatbots or customer support systems that are accessible and can deal with buyers' issues in real-time. Make the process of checking out more convenient and user-friendly. Don't forget, we all appreciate it when we feel that we are being treated in a special way.
To recap, promoting an eBay-like website in this huge world of e-commerce requires an adaptable approach. It takes time, dedication, and willingness to experiment and explore what your clients need.
By using a mix of channels, hosting contests, creating special content and limited products, engaging on social media, incorporating influencer marketing and offering customer rewards, you can increase your website’s traffic and get the client base that will allow your business to thrive.