Get face time with your supply network.
The growth of your marketplace demands offline activities. Your initial supplier meetings might take place at events. Give them a demo, walk them through how it works, and outline the benefits they’ll get from purchasing your product. Seek their input. This input is essential to your growth and should not be This input is critical to your growth and should not be overlooked.
Fake your supply
Each market is unique, and it might be challenging to win over new suppliers in some. This is why certain marketplaces, especially those still in their infancy, would first resort to artificial or self-created supply. For example, when Uber first launched and didn’t have enough drivers, the company offered taxi businesses cash incentives for encouraging its drivers to use the Uber app. When Udemy first launched, it lacked instructors. Hence, the company searched for open online courses and added them to the site.
Add features incrementally.
Taking a peek at established marketplaces might make you feel like you need a ton of bells and whistles to compete. However, the reality is that you don’t. Instead, users are put off by an overabundance of choices and functions.
Products with a singular focus and few features tend to do well in the marketplace. In addition to facilitating the acquisition and retention of a dedicated user base, markets benefit from simplification because of the ease with which they may cater to individual user needs.
When your marketplace is popular enough, and you have a core group of dedicated users, you may expand it with new tools and services.
As an example, initially, Uber just provided a taxi service. However, soon after, they launched Uber Eats, a food delivery business with a unique feature set and selling point.
Grow a user base
To find your initial customers, you need to first draw supply. Spending a small amount of money is required for this stage. However, you should expect to spend some time and effort on the process. Therefore, get more customers and save costs by following these steps.
Low-cost content marketing
Spending a fortune on advertising is unnecessary. Creating your own content saves money on traditional advertising mediums like flyers, radio, TV commercials, and billboards. Some of the more cost-effective methods are detailed here.
Create a blog
Short postings on your product may be made by anybody, regardless of writing ability. Only you can sell your product’s worth to readers since you understand it best. The only rule you need to follow is that the information you provide is helpful. For instance, recipes using toast or healthy breakfasts may pique clients’ interest in your toasters and let you subtly promote them without being intrusive.
Bloggers with a small but dedicated following are known as “micro-influencers.” Their readers put their faith in them, and they don’t disappoint. Promote your product by interacting with bloggers. Influencer marketing is a common tactic used by the likes of Uber, Airbnb, and Lyft. Companies with a larger budget choose to use macro-influencers (Instagram stars with 500,000 and 1 million followers) to reach a bigger audience.
Offer Free Content
A marketplace may provide its customers with a wealth of information through reports, e-books, software, etc., by collecting and analyzing data as it operates in a certain industry. For instance, as part of their Movement Uber initiative, Uber gathers data to assess the influence of urban infrastructure projects and important events on traffic patterns and makes this information available to all customers.
Start a rewards and referral programs
Customers who are pleased with the service or product they get are more likely to recommend it to others. Giving them the chance to do so is often all that’s needed, but other times you may need to actively urge product advocates to spread the word. This tactic is successful regardless of the situation.
You do not need to break the bank on your referral marketing. However, while developing your referral strategy, consider these cost-cutting measures:
Allow others to share what they’ve found on your site. For example, suppose you have a blog. In that case, you can easily expand your audience by including social media sharing buttons so readers can easily republish your content on their own profiles. The cost-effectiveness of this strategy for increasing brand awareness cannot be overstated.
Make use of promo codes and referral links. When riders share their positive experience with Uber with their social networks, the company benefits from increased exposure. Rewards are given to both the inviter and the invitee. Airbnb follows a similar strategy but adds its own twist through unique links. Both new and returning clients may benefit from discounts when you share a link to your website. In addition, participants are incentivized to invite others to join by providing registration codes or links.
Motivate others to create and share their own content. This material must include some kind of reference to or promotion of your marketplace, such as a branded hashtag or an image of your logo. Incentivize people to spread the word about your brand by recommending their friends.
Avoid misunderstandings and dissatisfied consumers by laying out the terms of your referral program in advance. To create lasting connections with your customers, you must always be trustworthy and follow through on your commitments.
Marketplaces, unlike more established internet companies, need more time to grow. To validate and improve your business, you must first grow cautiously and patiently. When you’re ready to expand, try out a variety of channels until you discover the one that works best for your business’s current stage of development, and then go on to the next phase.
Using numerous channels at once might be beneficial since they can complement one another. On the other hand, you may reach a tipping point where you need to expand beyond your primary niche. Categories, demographics, and markets may all be developed to achieve this goal. It’s important to keep learning and adapting as you grow since your problems will change as you become bigger.