How to Build a Community for your Magento Marketplace
You’ve taken the first step in creating your Magento marketplace and have attracted a good number of buyers and sellers. In order to keep profits turning and your customers happy, it’s important to build a strong community both on and off your Magento site.
It’s more than just creating a Facebook page or a blog — you want to offer a community based on user data and market trends. We’ve listed a few ideas below to get you started on building your Magento community.
The first step in building your online community is boosting your brand. Begin by crafting an exclusive voice across all your marketing channels (blog, e-mail, social media, and your actual marketplace). Then find all occasions to instruct your patrons on what they’ll discover online. You want to persuade them it will be in their best interest to explore your marketplace site by emphasizing some of the possible advantages, especially over competitors in your niche — like a broader product variety, lower prices, or convenience, like a streamlined checkout process.
Brand awareness is your first and most obvious step because in order to build a community, you need the buyers and sellers to be aware of and want to participate in your marketplace site. Furthermore, they need to be convinced to participate beyond the simple buying and selling process.
Would you believe that most online marketplaces aren’t taking full advantage of current social media channels to amplify awareness about their businesses, send traffic to their sites, and produce discourse with potential consumers?
It’s true, and it’s a great way to involve your marketplace customers offline that many marketplace owners are missing out on. Even if you have established social media pages, you want to make sure you’re utilizing both the content aspects and advertising benefits of this growing medium.
Once you resolve to enter into the social media pool, be sure you have created specific objectives related to your community — increased followers, conversation, etc. — and fostered a visibly distinct and maintainable content strategy that is both related and unrelated to your products, marketplace, and more.
When conceivable, make sure to incorporate the product snapshots and promotional content as part of your status updates. Visuals are more likely to grab the attention of your community, and having special discounts or early product teasers are a great way to generate sales and interest amongst your marketplace buyers and sellers.
If you’ve shaped a memorable shopping experience for your consumers, they’re going to want to tell others, and word of mouth is a beneficial increase to your online community. Offer the material your existing members need to help you tell your story. Use e-newsletters and social media posts to feature new contributions and enticement to inspire them to spread the word.
Buyer and Seller Benefits
Getting your marketplace customers involved with a community, and getting them to promote that community, relies on their loyalty to the brand. In addition to fostering a conversation across social media, you can utilize loyalty programs and buyer and seller benefits to establish a community.
It can be as simple as regular email blasts to your top sellers or entire community, informing them of upcoming product releases, holiday promotions, exclusive discounts or tips and tricks for the marketplace.
You can take it a step farther by creating custom loyalty programs, where you reward longevity or volume with special discounts or bonus products and profit for a top group of your marketplace customers.
This kid of exclusivity is an impetus for word of mouth marketing, but it’s also a good starting point for creating conversation and content that builds a loyal community.
Your users need a reason to keep a community going, and you can assist the conversation with relevant content. You can create a blog, updated frequently (think once or twice a week) by a member or members of your team, and include topics that are important to your community. How to articles, things to watch, featured stores and more are all examples of content your users might be interested in.
Take it a step further and let your community create their own content by including forums on your marketplace or off-site. Users can benefit from other buyers or sellers and their unique points of view.
Once the conversation is brewing and your community is thriving, be sure to look at what is working and what isn’t. Look at your data for your marketplace and your social media channels to see where users are coming from, which stores and products are most popular, and how people are navigating the site or what they’re searching for. Use this data to assist you frequently improve your content and marketing energies. When you do, you’ll be able to drive better results.
Originally published at www.cminds.com on October 25, 2015.