Top 8 marketplace features to ensure the best customer experience and boost sales

When building a digital marketplace platform, it is crucial to offer a seamless user experience. By engaging customers, vendors of goods and services improve loyalty and retention, this way increasing revenues. As a result, marketplace owners will manage to generate higher profits through monetization.

PwC, a worldwide provider of audit, assurance, tax, and consulting services, surveyed 15,000 people from 12 countries to assess the impact of user experience. Analysts found that:

  • 73% of all participants report that customer experience is a major driver that influences their buying decisions.
  • 65% of US consumers state that a positive experience with a company is more vital than great advertising.
  • 43% of respondents said that they would pay more for convenience while 42% of people would prefer a higher level of user-friendliness.

To ensure an amazing experience, it is essential to implement functionality that will allow for not only addressing the key customer needs but boosting their engagement. This article describes online marketplace features that you can include when creating or extending a software solution. Take a look.

Top 8 online marketplace features to engage customers

1. Voice payments

Payments made with voice commands are among the main marketplace software development trends. With the widespread adoption of virtual assistants like Amazon Echo and Apple Siri, the popularity of voice transactions is rapidly growing. Statista reports that the number of peer-to-peer voice payments is projected to reach 31% in 2022, rising from 8% in 2017.

By delivering this marketplace app feature, a company will improve customer satisfaction and increase the conversion rate. When implementing this functionality, it is important to optimize the solution for voice search.

Additionally, merchants should provide detailed descriptions of goods and services to make sure buyers can easily order what they need with the help of smart speakers.

2. A comprehensive search system

A search system is vital for each marketplace platform. However, to ensure the best shopping experience, it is important to make the search process as fast and simple as possible.

For this purpose, an organization should include a variety of filters, categories, and subcategories, as well as enable search by keywords. Another way to add value to the audience is to provide an autocomplete feature. Thanks to this, users will be able to input search requests much faster.

At Arateg, we deliver advanced search for products and services to help businesses and institutions improve customer loyalty. For instance, when building an online healthcare marketplace, our team tweaked search by symptoms.

This way, the system instantly tailors patients with the required type of doctor. Furthermore, a digital marketplace platform recognizes words even if a person has made some mistakes when entering a query.

3. Reviews and ratings

Analysts at Trustpilot revealed that 89% of consumers globally check out reviews prior to purchasing goods. According to another research conducted by Podium, 93% of shoppers say that testimonials influence their buying decisions. Statista informs that around 70% of customers generally read 1-6 reviews in 2021 before deciding whether to order goods or not.

Therefore, by including the review and rating section in a marketplace application, you will help vendors raise sales while increasing the trust in your platform. To prevent fake customer feedback, it is crucial to allow only verified users—that have actually bought a product or service—to leave their comments.

4. One-click ordering

First introduced by Amazon in 1999, one-click buying is a game-changing technique, especially suited for e-commerce marketplaces. With this feature, you will allow customers to shop online using a one-click button, avoiding the need to manually enter payment and shipping details as they have been entered before.

Once entered, this information is automatically filled out in the following purchases. Additionally, a shopping cart is not necessary for making orders. By saving the time of users, companies will be able to significantly raise the conversion rate.

5. Communication between customers and vendors

Communication is among the main online marketplace features enabling brands to enhance customer experience. Consumers will appreciate the possibility to ask questions about goods and services in a specific section. Merchants, in their turn, will be able to see what information they should add to product descriptions to facilitate purchasing decisions.

To implement this functionality, software engineers can use a third-party application programming interface (API) for commenting, for example, Disqus or Discord. By integrating an API into the platform, software experts will save you time and costs.

In our marketplace software development company, we employ APIs to deliver various modules, including order management, inventory tracking, data analytics, and push notifications.

6. Product comparison

Product comparison is one of those online marketplace features that can significantly boost customer engagement by automating purchasing decisions. With this functionality, consumers will be able to compare different goods based on their price and characteristics, avoiding the need to do research or use third-party product comparison portals.

If you aim to connect clients with experts in one place, for example, a digital freelance platform or healthcare marketplace, this feature will allow for raising the credibility of your service.

7. Guest checkout

Since some customers may not finalize purchasing as they are required to register first, it is reasonable to provide guest checkout mode.

With this online marketplace feature, shoppers will be able to order products or services without the need to sign in/up on the platform, this way saving time. Additionally, user information like name, shipping address, login credentials won't be saved in the system database.

8. An AI chatbot

An artificial intelligence-powered chatbot can assist businesses in a variety of tasks. For instance, a bot can instantly simultaneously answer frequently asked questions, provide the requested information, and send complex issues to assigned specialists or departments.

When interacting with human professionals, the response time may take up to or even more than an hour depending on the workload. Chatbots, in their turn, generally reply in less than a minute while ensuring customer support 24/7.

Nowadays many companies are implementing this marketplace functionality to gain a competitive advantage, engage the audience, and boost sales. World-known marketplaces have already adopted conversational technology, involving eBay, Alibaba, and Uber.

Concerning practical examples, Alibaba created an AI bot, called AliMe, to automate the processing of incoming inquiries. Thanks to this, the organization managed to review millions of requests per day. In 2017, AliMe replied to over 9 million queries during a shopping festival.

Final words

Customer experience is essential to achieve success and generate profit. By delivering marketplace functionality that delight consumers, you will attract and retain more shoppers, raise the credibility of your platform, as well as increase the conversion rate.

Surely, there are other factors that contribute to improved user engagement, for instance, design and performance.

If you aim to create or extend an online marketplace, contact our team. We will get back to you within 1 business day and help address all issues. Project consultation is free of charge.

With extensive experience in the field, our software experts can assist you in preparing a technical specification, prioritizing online marketplace features, and choosing a technology stack. We also provide system support and maintenance after release.

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