You should always keep in mind that the purpose of your marketplace is to facilitate transactions between your vendors and customers. However, by creating a sense of community on your marketplace platform, your users will become more engaged and ultimately become advocates for your brand.
If you succeed in building a strong community, your users will continue to use your platform and refer it to others. Research shows that retaining an existing customer is five times less costly than acquiring a new one. Therefore, it’s worth investing time and effort into getting this right.
Why build a marketplace community?
When your users identify with your platform and feel like they’re part of a marketplace community, they’re more likely to make repeat purchases and become loyal customers. The average repeat purchase rate for eCommerce companies is between 20% and 40%, so this can serve as a guideline for your marketplace.
Additionally, when users feel like they’re part of a community, trust comes naturally, making it easier for them to transact with each other. Moreover, when customers and vendors have positive experiences on your site, they’re likely to recommend your platform to others, which can help grow your community with like-minded people who want to be part of it.
Another benefit of creating a sense of community is that users will proactively provide feedback when they feel like they’re part of something bigger. This feedback can be invaluable in improving your platform and delivering the best possible experience to your users.
So, how can you create a sense of community on your marketplace?
Firstly, you need to be clear about what you want to achieve and communicate it effectively to your users. Don’t be afraid to set yourself apart from other groups if you believe in your idea. By staying true to your vision, people will respect it and want to be part of it.
Secondly, you don’t necessarily need to create a new marketplace community. Rather, you can focus on solving existing problems for a community that already exists, which can lead to more brand advocates.
Thirdly, it’s essential to listen to your community’s needs and concerns, which can provide you with valuable insights into how to improve your platform. Encouraging communication between users can help build a sense of community, whether through hashtags on social media or by building a community forum on your marketplace website.
Finally, it’s important to set clear rules for what’s acceptable behavior on your platform. However, it’s also essential to accept constructive criticism and address any issues efficiently and promptly.
Remember that hosting real-life events can also be an effective way to foster a sense of community and build connections among users. By creating a strong sense of community, your marketplace can increase user engagement and brand loyalty, leading to long-term benefits for your platform.