90% of the success of a product or service is its marketing or promotion. If you start an online marketplace, the first and foremost thing is for you to attract stakeholders to your platform.
It’s easy if you are a big brand. For example, a few days ago Netflix launched an e-commerce platform. Since Netflix has huge brand equity, it won’t have to struggle much to get people’s attention. But even Netflix was unknown during the reign of Blockbuster. All big brands like Netflix, Amazon, Zomato started small and now reside in the hearts of millions of people. The tool that takes them from nothing to being a synonym with the activity ( Netflix =OTT watching, Amazon =shopping) is promotion.
So the question arises, what is promotion?
Nathan Earling gave quite an analogy. He said, “ if your product is a party, promotion is the invitation to attend. Promotion can be defined as a form of communication to inform the target audience about a product, service, brand, or issue. This communication is of influencing nature and calls the customer for action.
In the case of an online marketplace, promotion is of two types: one is to attract potential customers and merchants to your platform. The second one is to communicate your products and offers to your customers so that they make a purchase. Your Yelo provides you with numerous promotional tools. Listed below are the ones you can find in the marketing section of your admin dashboard:
Promo codes or promotional codes are alphanumerics that businesses offer to encourage purchase. These codes provide checkout discounts. The discount can be on a specific product, a delivery charge, and whole order and can be in percentage or specific dollar amount. The maximum amount of discount that can be availed as well as the minimum cart value of the order to qualify for it is also determined by the admin. Yelo enables you to provide 3 types of promo codes:
- Auto apply promo codes: These are the most commonly used codes. As the name suggests, they are auto applicable during checkout. When the customer places an order, during checkout the code is visible and the amount is deducted from the cart value automatically.
- Public promo codes: These are the codes provided mostly by food delivery companies like Zomato, Swiggy, Dominos, etc. During checkout, the code is visible below the cart value and the customer has to manually enter the code, if the cart matches the criteria of code, it will be applied, else it will show an error message.
- Hidden promo codes: These are special codes and are available to limited people only. You can send these codes as a refund for an order, or as a birthday gift. These codes can be sent by email, SMS, etc and are to redeemed by manually entering while checking out.
Referrals are one of the most popular promotional tools. A referral program can be a big benefit to your business. For one, it enables you to attract new customers at a very low price. Referrals are important because not all happy customers are promoters. Unless they see a friend or family member in need of your products or services, he might never think of referring to them. Referral programs provide your customers with an incentive to refer your platform to others. A referral program standardizes the way you invite and reward customers for sharing your brand with others. By offering a formal referral program – with clear and attractive rewards – you can increase the odds of your business getting word of mouth. In yelo referrals provide discounts to both referee and referrer.
When you enable referrals from your admin dashboard, you define all the perimeters like amount and criteria for the discount for both referrer and referee. When someone refers your marketplace to his friend or family, he shares a unique code with the referee who has to type it in during the checkout of his first order to avail the discount.
The main objective of this promotional tool is to create brand loyalty. This is a very common technique among credit card companies. Its objective is to persuade people to make more purchases. In this tool, on every purchase, customers get intangible points. Admin sets rules and earning criteria. After earning points, customers can redeem these points for getting a discount on the next orders. Admin determines the monetary value and redeeming criteria of the points. Yelo also enables you to set expiration dates for the points thus persuading customers to redeem at the earliest.
Gift cards are a special kind of promo code that you, admin provide to your customers. They can be provided for special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays. They are helpful for attracting customers who were active on your marketplace in the past but now have gone inactive. You can provide them gift cards to make them feel special and get them back to your platform.
It is a promotional approach in which promotional material is presented to a large audience at once through mass communication channels. It is generally achieved through TV, flyers, newspapers, etc. In the case of Yelo, you get a mobile push and chat messages for customers and mobile push notifications for your merchants. Mobile push notifications are in-app notifications that a customer receives whether the app is opened or not. Chat messages are notifications that a customer gets in the chat section of the application.
This promotional tool on your online marketplace is for the merchants. These are featured or sponsored products and merchants of your marketplace. They are visible on the top of your website or mobile app and are the very first thing that a customer sees. Clicking on the banners will take customers to the dedicated product or merchant. You can link an external webpage too with the banners.
By integrating your platform with Facebook, you can integrate your platform with Facebook pages. This would allow you to add products from your marketplace to FB shops.
Having a store on social media platforms not only generates sales but also builds your brand awareness and brand association. It develops an audience and facilitates you to solve queries instantaneously.
Yelo is working on integrating with other social media platforms too like Instagram and Pinterest.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is one of the most integral aspects of promotion. It is the process of improving the quantity and quality of traffic to your website organically. Optimizing search engine putting your website among top results on the search engine. When a customer is looking for something that you provide, your page is among the top results. Yelo provides you with an in-built SEO tool that can help you get the most relevant prospects on google as well as social media.
SEM is an inorganic version of SEO, wherein you will buy AdWords and pay for google ads so to bring in relevant traffic to your marketplace.
Seth Godin rightly said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” Promotion is the way you tell your stories to your customers and merchants. It is the way of narrating your marketplace to the world. With Yelo you get access to numerous such channels. Choosing the right one for your online marketplace can increase your brand equity. The hyperlocal marketplace is the next big thing and promotions are what will make yours the great thing. If you are already using yelo, check out these tools. If not, get Yelo’s 14 days trial!