The eCommerce world has transformed modern-day shopping routines. Marketplaces are no doubt a crucial part of this transformation. Marketplaces are nothing but secure online platforms where multiple sellers can present their products or services in front of a large audience base. In today’s digital world, marketplaces have become crucial for businesses to reach out to customers, and for customers to access a wide range of products and services. With the rise in e-commerce, it’s important for businesses to understand the key features to consider during online marketplace development in 2023.
Here are trends in marketplace development that you should look out for in 2023.
Payment integration is a critical component of any marketplace. Customers should have multiple payment options, including a secure payment gateway. Pay-on-delivery models, debit/credit card payments, UPI, and country-specific payment gateways (like Stripe, PayPal, PayUMoney, etc.) are standard across most eCommerce platforms. Besides these, consider adding additional payment options like mobile wallets and blockchain. The increased popularity of cryptocurrencies may inspire eCommerce platforms to enable cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, ensuring faster and more secure transactions.
Search and Filtering capabilities are crucial for a successful marketplace. They make it easier for customers to find the products they’re looking for and navigate the marketplace efficiently. Advanced search functionality and product filtering options allow customers to search by various specific attributes, such as size, color, material, brand, and price range, or even the kind of reviews an item has (e.g. “4 stars or more”). Search and filtering tools can be personalized to the customer’s preferences and search history, making it easier for them to find relevant products. It enhances the overall shopping experience for customers. By making the process more convenient and enjoyable, it boosts the likelihood of them making a purchase.
Additional options for easier searching can also be integrated. Semantic search uses natural language processing to understand the intent behind a customer’s search query and provide not just more accurate search results, but also related products that the customer might require. With the help of advanced search, customers can easily search for products using images. It’s effective to find accurate products or similar products with a specific design.
Product Management is a crucial aspect of marketplace development. A centralized product database and product management tools for sellers are essential for maintaining the integrity of the marketplace. In this way, customers can get access to accurate and updated information about the products/services available on the market.
Sellers should invest in a variety of tools to manage their products effectively and efficiently. Sellers should be able to list their products in multiple categories, making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. They should also list their products in various categories so that customers can easily find what they are looking for. Proper inventory tools help them keep track of their products, manage their stock levels, and prevent overselling or underselling. Sellers also need access to good-quality analytics, price management, and review management tools as well. Additionally, promotional tools can help create and manage promotional campaigns, including discounts, coupons, and special offers on specific products.
Customer service is an essential aspect of any marketplace. With the increasing competition in the eCommerce industry, providing exceptional customer support has become a crucial factor in retaining customers and gaining new ones. When customers have issues or concerns, they expect a prompt response and a satisfactory solution. This can be for concerns regarding their shopping experience or to raise issues about products they’ve purchased. Satisfied customers are more likely to return to the eCommerce marketplace for future purchases. By providing good customer support, eCommerce marketplaces can increase their repeat business.
Live chat support in the form of automated chatbots can help ensure that customer inquiries are handled efficiently. Modern chatbots are equipped with Natural Language Processing abilities, and should be a part of any eCommerce venture. These chatbots should be programmed to handle all kinds of common queries that a customer can have, ranging from product replacements to return policies.
An option for buyers and sellers to escalate issues to human support is also crucial. This can be in the form of email support, a chat over social media, a phone call, or even video call support if possible.
Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Shop (BOPIS) is an advanced feature that lets customers purchase products online and then they can pick them up from the in-store. This feature is gaining popularity at a rapid pace, as now customers can enjoy the convenience of online shopping along with the opportunity to inspect products before making the final purchase. Incorporating BOPIS into a marketplace can increase foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, reduce shipping costs and delivery time, and increase the likelihood of customers making additional purchases.
BOPIS is a straightforward feature to integrate into a marketplace and can simply work alongside the existing delivery and logistics systems. The customer selects the BOPIS option (instead of delivery) at checkout and the retailer sends a notification when the order is ready for pickup. By incorporating BOPIS, businesses can provide a convenient and flexible shopping experience for customers and stay ahead of the competition in the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape.
AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) are trending technological advancements. AR and VR can provide customers with an immersive shopping experience, allowing them to visualize products in a virtual environment. These technologies can allow customers to virtually try on clothes, makeup, or accessories, enable customers to view products from all angles, and even interact with products, providing a more hands-on and engaging shopping experience. Additionally AR can help you see how your product would look customized in terms of color, size, etc., while VR can let you see how it would look in another environment (like your living room). Such try-before-you-buy experiences make them a valuable feature to consider in marketplace development.
Voice commerce stands for the use of voice-activated tools such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and so on. The increasing popularity of these devices makes it essential for businesses to integrate voice commerce into their marketplaces. It ensures a hands-free and convenient shopping experience for customers, improving the chances of more sales.
Voice commerce has the potential to revolutionize the way customers shop. Voice commands help customers quickly and easily find products online and compare prices. Customers can make a purchase even without picking up their phone or PC. This can be particularly beneficial for customers who are on the go, busy, or have mobility challenges. Moreover, voice command integration helps businesses get valuable customer data (the preferences and purchase histories of customers) and use that to improve marketing strategies and personalise shopping experiences.
We have discussed some features that will play a big role in online marketplace development in 2023. However, another equally important aspect that decides a marketplace’s success is ‘user experience’, or UX. A user-engaging and innovative shopping interface will encourage users to not only make purchases, but also become returning customers. As the UX development landscape constantly evolves, so do the ways in which customers interact with business, bringing about new trends and innovations in the shopping experience. Therefore, UX is something that cannot be ignored during marketplace development. For further insights, read our blog on UX trends that will define the future of eCommerce.
There are many important features to consider when developing a marketplace in 2023. From product management and advanced payment integration to voice commerce and AR/VR, these features are crucial for businesses to attract and retain customers. When implemented effectively, these features can help businesses to create a thriving marketplace that provides a seamless shopping experience for customers.
Shrutarshi Das is a purveyor of all things digital, with a particular interest in new technological innovations, photography, and gaming.