December 14, 2018
While technology developments have now been around for some years and new upgrades are constantly on the rise, consumers are also getting better and faster in keeping up. Some of these developments include blockchain technology, predictive consumerism, artificial intelligence, retail in the age of everything Amazon and augmented reality.This marks the importance that businesses must efficiently use technology platforms to stay agile and relevant.
Build a Digital Platform Strategy
As part of integrating technology into your business rules, a strategy must be put in place that involves business and IT needs, which will guide the leadership and management vision. Company decision makers must make sure all the business goals make sense for their organization for long-term success. For example, there needs to be a consideration on how the media and news ecosystems will evolve in the future from business and IT perspectives. Not only that, discuss what is more likely to happen and review what could be possibly constraints, issues raised by your audience, and any risks by taking on the digital platform and starting a new service for your brand.
When it comes to the process of implementing digital solution, companies think about all the opportunities it will bring to reinvent their brand and current business models. Others look to leverage this new technology to optimize their current operations. No matter the ambition behind the digital change, most companies usually play it safe and invest incrementally. There always needs to be a timeline for testing industry standard models, as well as finding ways to reduce risks and resistance to change. In the end, the digital platform strategy needs to include the first reaction of employees and the fatigue. Gartner researchers discovered that highly stressed employees result in a 9.1% reduced productivity and 5.7% reduction in revenue.
Your strategy and desire for change should not only be about automating your processes or doing what others are doing, but also being able to translate what parts of your business models need digital offerings and which ones still fit the needs of your clients.
Choose the Right Marketplace Focus
One important thing to remember about online marketplace is that the website does not own any inventory but they only present the inventory of others to facilitate a transaction. As long as people still to search for services or items locally, online classifieds sites still have a place and future in the internet. Some practical ways platforms are utilized in certain industries:
E-Commerce: The new standard of the ease of shopping online and the streamlined product delivery systems to the doorstep, create the perfect space for e-commerce marketplaces to flourish. Why spend so much time trying to find an item you need, just to find out they are out or they don’t have your color. Online sites help to easily sort and filter options that is needed and quickly show that options best match.
Travel & Accommodation:Another category that digital marketplaces have impacted is travel and accommodation search. Travellers do not want to go to travel agencies or call to get cost details but want direct access and plan the trip themselves. This is as personalized as it gets. So sites like Airbnb are a famous marketplace in the travel and accommodation industry to list, discover, and book accommodation from around the world. Other sites also offer residential apartments for rent or sale, as well as cars for sale or services around local travel services.
Service: An important category for publishers to consider again is building options for local professionals and experts to share their services on their online marketplace. The better local opportunities presented, the better online reputation that provide benefits compared to the Yellow Pages. Offering contract accounts helps service providers also register and get better rates and fulfill the needs and requirement of the customer.
Entertainment: The current millennial culture is built around experiences and memories, it is fuelled by celebrations and attending events. These societal changes have given rise to sites like Eventbrite, where events can be marketed to users for booking tickets and sharing with friends. Whether it is offering ad space for event manager to showcase the event, or linking to booking agencies through your marketplace to get tickets, there are many ways online marketplaces can collaborate together.
No matter the marketplace options and industry categories you want to employ for your brand, connecting with business providers and communicating to your customers how they access your marketplace is key. You can offer a subscriber list with a coupon opportunity, reach them through Facebook groups or other digital channels. Your options will differ as you focus on what are the main influencers for your target customers and make those influencers your ambassadors.
Reach your full online potential
Now that you have a strategy and focus for your marketplace, there are some main tools to use with it to meet your revenue and digital performance expectations. These tools include but not limited to website maintenance, content creation, SEO, social presence, and brand reputation management. If one of these tools is missing or not performing, your potential is not being met. SEO works because keywords help your organic ranking in search results and good content needs to be rich in the keywords about your services and brand, without being overwhelming.
Just having a website is not enough anymore. As customers get access to the internet from multiple sources for different needs, social media presence helps you to engage your audience but it also helps your audience to form a relationship with your brand. Use social media to answer their initial resistance and questions, while also building your reputation. Managing your online reputation, does not mean just making sure you can hide negative feedback or focusing on just fixing issues, but making sure that your company is mainly perceived in a positive light.
All of these tools focus on the main battle to be won online – engagement. Once you have your audience’s attention, and they subscribe to your services, they are 5 times more likely to open and click on emails sent from your brand. You can use most of these tools as early engagement strategies to promote new information about your services or organization and provide valuable information even if no direct result comes out of it.
Growing and leveraging a digital platform and online marketplace is not a one-time job. Getting the platform and implementing it is just the beginning and it will be an ongoing project. These different tools, as well as doing the prep work to translate your brand and audience needs into your platform development, will go hand-in-hand to produce promising results for your business.