3 Ways to use Real-Time Messaging to Optimize Marketplace User Experience.

Melissa Rodrigues

One of the biggest challenges that marketplace operators face today is to facilitate a transaction from start to finish.

In retail trade, a user can just click a button to make a purchase. However, in the marketplace platform, users need to communicate with each other while completing a transaction.

Communication between buyers and sellers helps both parties to develop trust in each other and eventually build a long-term relationship. This is even more crucial for marketplaces in the consumer services and classifieds space such as Carousel, Thumbtack, and Mudah.my. On such platforms, a buyer and seller require communicating directly to get relevant answers to their queries, discuss pricing, delivery time, product condition and more.

Nowadays, consumers prefer to engage with brands on a one-on-one level rather than receiving impersonal messages aimed for mass communication. Digital messaging helps in aiding conversations considering individual preferences for content, timing and channel.

Providing the ultimate personal experience using digital technology would encourage engagement, retention and monetization.

Using advanced technology to power communication between buyer and seller would not only help the marketplace operator to get more users onboard but also keep them engaged on the platform through effective real-time communication, eventually helping in growing the business organically.

While providing an ultimate personalized experience to the users, the marketplace operator should also focus on trust and safety. The communication channels provided to customers should come with assurances that the users and their information will be safe.

Hence, encouraging them to freely communicate with each other during onboarding, performing a transaction and more.

Let’s discuss some benefits of using a Digital Messaging System with automation and AI capabilities to provide a great user experience.

1. Make onboarding process a customized, personal experience:

In a marketplace scenario, it is important to create a good impression about your platform and providing a great user experience is the best way to go about it.

Leveraging the power of targeted messaging during the customer onboarding process is necessary to establish an expectation for user communication.

Sending generic messages to your audiences based on their demographics such as age, gender or location doesn’t have much of an impact though.

However, with AI-powered messaging technology, you can send tailored messages to target individual customers on a 1:1 basis by considering granular criteria such as user actions and preferences.

For example, you have customer A who shops in the evening and customer B who shops on weekends. With the use of AI, you can schedule email or push notifications so that the targeted customers receive it during their preferred time of shopping. Marketplaces such Amazon and eBay use such technology to provide an enhanced customers experience.

Amazon uses AI powered messaging technology to provide an enhanced customers experience.

Similarly, as a marketplace operator, you can use the in-app and push messaging channels to encourage users to complete the onboarding process. You can also send a reminder note through a push message to the sellers to be more attentive to customer inquiries or assist them during their buying process.

Uber is successfully using digital messaging technology to boost user engagement on the app.

2. Enhance retention with technology:

Customer retention is the next phase after onboarding them on your platform. It is important to provide them with a more personalized and contextually relevant experience while selling or buying products through your platform.

To ace over your competitors, you need to make sure that your sellers and buyers spread a word about your marketplace. To encourage them about doing so, you could use targeted messaging to provide incentives to high-value sellers and buyers based on your business goals.

For example, if you want to venture into a new vertical, you can send targeted messages to users interested in that area.

The targeted messages whether promotions, tips or updates, can be based on the information that users (sellers/buyers) have mentioned on their individual profiles.

Keeping all users engaged on your marketplace is the key to ensure retention. You may have some conversations or transactions stalled midway due to communication issues. But you can identify those using AI-powered digital messaging technology and automatically send them a gentle reminder through push notification or ask for a feedback about the same.

Facebook marketplace uses AI powered messaging technology to ensure user retention.

The best example of this is the Facebook marketplace. They use AI to help buyers and sellers strike up a deal. According to Gartner, almost 85% of customers’ interaction on marketplaces would be managed by AI by 2020.

3. Reduce leakage using advanced technology:

There are situations when a customer exits the page in the middle of a transaction. They may conduct transactions directly with each other or turn to other more reliable websites for the same product or service, resulting in leakage.

Now, there may be several reasons for that, like lack of relevant and meaningful answers to a query, personal reasons, a product being out of stock or just a timing issue. No matter what the reason is, such leakages lead to loss and negatively impact the platform.

To avoid such situations, marketplace owners can use advanced, tech-backed digital messaging system to encourage conversation between buyers and sellers, benefiting both.

Buyers and sellers can communicate in real time clarifying their doubts & questions.

A buyer would be able to clarify all his queries by indulging into a conversation with the seller and the seller would also get to know about the demands and sentiments his products/services generate among buyers.

There would be more trust and transparency between buyers, sellers and the marketplace as this is a safe, secure and private way to communicate with each other.

A marketplace like Shopify makes the most of the AI-powered customer service apps on its platform.

Use digital messaging technology to optimize marketplace operations:

A marketplace operator can only beat the competition if they embrace the technological advancements wholeheartedly, in a data-driven way and provide with an ultimate user experience to those who use their platform.

Predicting consumer behavior based on their previous purchase history, you can help users with improved products/services search options, inventory management, and personalized product recommendations. You can also send notifications to the seller to be active on chat when buyers look for products or services matching their own.

By allowing users to effectively communicate via real-time chat, during a transaction will help you gain their confidence and build a positive and long-term association with them.

Companies such as Amazon, eBay, and Flipkart are successfully using digital messaging technology to provide a robust user experience.

Integrate Chat API within your marketplace to promote more relevant communication:

In a world where users strive for a great experience in everything they do, introducing a chat API within your marketplace will surely help you to keep them engaged and gain customer trust.

You can choose the perfect chat API on the basis of your customers’ need for communication and your business’ technical and non- technical requirements. You can choose a Voice Video & Text Chat, Chat Bots, Mobile SDK or Mobile & Desktop Apps based on the needs you want to satisfy.

Incorporate CometChat API Or SDK instead of building a chat system in-house:

Building a chat API on your own will require a lot of efforts as you will need to hire a team of developers. You will also require expertise in this domain to run the show effectively. However, there is a super-easy solution — CometChat.

CometChat provides best-in-class Voice, Video and Text Chat System, both for mobile and desktop versions. Our chat APIs are simple and allow for easy backend integration while empowering a high-quality real-time communication between a buyer and seller.

So, provide your customers with a rich user experience with CometChat.

WRITTEN BY

Melissa Rodrigues

Melissa is a digital marketing expert at CometChat. She is currently exploring marketing at the fullest and enjoys having good conversations with a cup of coffee.

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