Presented by Tipalti
No matter the size of your company, customers demand a better marketplace experience. In this VB On-Demand event, industry experts share best practices for reducing friction, delighting users and choosing the right tech platforms to drive engagement and growth.
Big brands, like Amazon, Uber and Roblox, have nailed the marketplace equation. Not only do they offer superior customer experiences both for platform partners and their customers, they do it in such a seamless way that customers expect that level of service in every corner of the internet, in both their B2C and B2B lives. How can a smaller marketplace deliver?
“Right now, the marketplace platforms best positioned for success are the ones who create an experience for their partners that enables them to just think about their brand and their content, and stay focused on the front of the house,” says Paco Suro,GM, global partner payments, at Tipalti.
These digital platforms range from sales platforms to soapboxes for influencers, marketplaces for selling music royalties, sharing digital content, or serving up rideshares. All of them are creating front-facing products and services that are very specific to their audiences, and require unique support to succeed. For instance, an elearning experience, with online educators, is focused on building not only their brand, but a classroom and an audience of learners, and needs a platform that can support its goals.
So on the back end, the ideal platform gives these educators efficient ways to build this audience, establish a curriculum, offer ways to get customers to sign up for courses and then teach those courses. And as their momentum picks up, and demand for services continues to grow, ultimately that has to be managed by a platform that can grow with them, and ensure they are offering superior experiences to their own customers.
A marketplace platform needs to offer a level of trust, reliability and assurance that all the technical challenges that can spring up at the back of the house are solved, or at least greatly simplified. And whether it’s a consumer purchasing goods or services from a platform or a partner producing content for the platform, they need an enriched ecosystem to thrive, which creates a solid foundation for growth.
Growing a marketplace in a slow economy
From the start, growing requires a great product, a great platform and a great experience with a ton of engagement. Small companies need to be unique, nimble, and offer the best-in-class experience for that ecosystem — and then they need to figure out how to scale. And that is the crux of the challenge, Suro says.
How do you sustain that momentum and attract even more partners to your platform, while continuing to serve the ones you already have on board? And do so while keeping the engagement and growth growing on the consumption side? It’s about figuring out where to scale, where to point time, effort and resources to keep the tide rising.
“Small companies benefit from eliminating as much waste as they can, and trying to integrate best-in-class services that can scale and grow with them, and can offset the need for them to build out their own core discipline in those services,” Suro says.
The key is simplification and automation of elements that aren’t core to the business, and dedicating the right resources and bandwidth to ensuring the experience is stable and efficient. And because customer experience is the core of all these experiences, above all you need to eliminate any drag or latency in the platform experience, whether that’s in the front end, where customers are interacting with your partners, or in the back rooms, where managing the platform requires secure and steady service.
The customer experience at the heart
Shopify, the well-known operating platform for merchants to sell online, provides its creators and sellers all the tools they need to get their stores up, running, selling and collecting money in just a couple of hours, and fairly seamlessly. And as a platform builds a customer base and grows, part of what it needs to sell is that customer experience, that ease of getting up and running to build a brand and create an audience, which creates engagement, which creates money and benefits everyone.
“I think people lose sight of that. We get all excited about the internet and now web3. That’s all cool, but if you go back to the beginning, what you’re trying to do is create an experience,” Suro says. “It’s not a new way of thinking. As long as you go back to that principle of creating a great customer experience, whoever the customer is, one side or the other, that’s how these platforms thrive and grow and succeed and continue to take market share and expand and so forth.”
“In the end, customer delight relies on a sense of trust and engagement with your ecosystem, a belief in what you’re offering – especially online, where the unfiltered skeptics live,” he says. “The more you can focus on that and hone that in, the more successful you’ll be.”
To learn more about partnering successfully with creators, offering the kind of platform that makes them come, and more, don’t miss this VB On-Demand event!
- Prioritizing partner and user experience to elevate your brand’s stature
- Selecting the right software systems to support growth
- Strategies to retain partners and users to further scale your business
- Christopher Gonzalez, Head of Finance, A-Team
- Paco Suro,GM, Global Partner Payments, Tipalti
- Art Cole, Moderator, VentureBeat