Strategy & Best Practices

Many Buyers Don't Know Where to Turn. Here's How to Gain Their Trust with Your Digital Marketplace.

By Ideas @ AppDirect / Jul 06, 2020

Gain Trust With Your Digital Marketplace

In this guest post, Jordan Wahl, Content Marketing Manager at G2, explains why trust is so important for driving sales at digital marketplaces.

The number of companies that shop online for remote work solutions has been on the rise, but the search has taken on a new level of urgency. Instead of a nice-to-have, these tools are now a must for business survival. With so much at stake, companies don’t have the time or resources to waste on solutions that might not be a good fit for their needs. The pressure is intense, and the stakes have never been higher.

Given this environment, providers must find ways to build trust in their digital marketplaces, and build it fast. Here we walk you through how to build trust with prospects and customers across every stage of the buyer's journey.

Building Trust Throughout the Buyer’s Journey

Understanding how to connect with prospects at each stage of their buying journey plays a pivotal role in how those prospects convert. With that in mind, let’s explore these stages and what you can do to influence how a buyer moves through them.

Awareness

Before you begin your journey, you need to know why you’re starting in the first place. That’s exactly what this first stage is about for buyers. Awareness, specifically awareness of their needs.

In this stage, buyers are recognizing that they have a business need and that it needs to be solved. They begin to collect feedback from stakeholders and turn it into a clear list of business requirements for their future solution. Once they are armed with the list of requirements, they will move forward with the selection of a tool (or tools) to address these business issues.

Do you have products in your marketplace that reflect the needs of your potential buyers?

If so, great; you should have a tight read on your customers and what they’re looking for. If not, revisit the needs of your customers and reevaluate the product selection in your marketplace. If it doesn’t align with the list of business requirements they’ve compiled, chances are it won’t be included in their list of options to pursue.

Education

Studies show that buyers are likely to start their search for a solution with a general inquiry through search engines. From there, many start the education process by gathering information directly from vendor sites.

To ensure that you’re driving traffic to your marketplace instead of those other channels, make sure the products within your marketplace are visible on search engines. The search experience is very critical to the success of an online marketplace.

One way to do this is to set up Google Ads for the products that you’re selling on your marketplace. That way, when buyers head to search engines to begin their search, they’ll land on your products or services.

Comparison

After gathering initial information and options, potential buyers will begin to compare and evaluate those options. In this stage, you’ll want to make it easy for customers to compare the solutions that they’re considering. Here are a few ways how:

  • Give your customers the ability to compare products and features side-by-side.
  • Make sure all product profiles are complete and up to date with feature details, benefits, specs, pictures, etc. The richer your product profiles are, the easier it will be for prospects to enter the decision making phase with clarity.
  • Highlight product ratings and reviews. Nine out of 10 buyers are more likely to purchase a product after reading a positive review, yet only one in five businesses consider adding reviews to their marketing mix. This presents an opportunity to gain competitive advantage.

Decision

Buyers trust their peers, which makes independent product and services review the top sources of information to support a purchase decision. However, one of the biggest obstacles for customers when making a buying decision is determining whether or not information is actually credible, trustworthy, and relevant.

To combat this, make it apparent that the ratings and reviews you’re displaying are from objective third parties that don’t have ties to you or the software provider. To start, you can refer to platforms that host unbiased, verified reviews by real users, like G2.

And be transparent about the bad reviews, too. Sharing these reviews allows buyers to see what other users may not have liked about the product and why, which can enable them to better evaluate a service that meets their needs. Being fully transparent with reviews may most likely result in converting more leads into sales long-term.

Implementation

Congratulations—a buyer has chosen to complete their purchase with you. What should come next?

Customer service.

Providing an exceptional customer experience is crucial to starting customer relationships off right. Make sure that your teams are equipped and enabled to handle incoming support requests and that you have escalation processes with vendors in your marketplace.

Ensuring that your customers are happy with their new purchase becomes very important in driving repeat business moving forward.

Feedback

Now that your customers are fully onboarded, it’s time to check in and see how they’re feeling with their recent purchase. Here are some questions to ask stakeholders and decision makers:

  • Did the solution solve the business problem?
  • Was the product able to do what was promised?
  • Is your team actively using the solution?
  • Have you bought any additional licenses for others in the company? Do you have plans to?
  • Are you overall happy with your purchase? Any issues that need resolving?

These questions will help you assess how generally satisfied your customer is with their purchase and set the stage for future upsell or cross-sell opportunities.

Now that you have feedback for your own business decisions, ask your customers to provide feedback for others searching in your marketplace. Their buyer journey most likely began by reading reviews to assist in their own purchasing decisions, so their journey should end with ratings and reviews for others who are just starting their search.

Ask them to leave reviews, participate in public communities and discussion forums, and even share their experiences on social networks. This type of feedback is invaluable for businesses that are beginning their purchasing journey, so keeping a continuous cycle of ratings and reviews of products in the marketplace is vital to new and repeat business.

The Whole Picture

Now that you know more about the buying cycle and what potential buyers want and need, you can prepare your marketplace and teams on what to expect and how to deliver.

Remember this is always an ongoing effort, but it’s well worth the time and investment. Working to build trust throughout the buyer’s journey will not only lead to your customers’ success, but yours.

Ideas @ AppDirect is a leading source for trends, statistics, best practices, and other information related to the digital economy.