Have you ever been to a farmer’s market or shopping district?
Here, goods are exchanged and smiles meet almost effortlessly – transactions that are driven and enhanced by a warm-hearted sense of community. Most would agree that these are certainly environments conducive to business.
Just like your nearest shopping district or farmer’s market, the online world is also a community.
It’s a thriving, interconnected hub of activity, where customers come and go.
And yet, business owners often have a hard time translating that joyous in-person experience to their online marketing. They often become frustrated with trying to garner online attention when it might seem so effortless in the real world.
However, much like a shopping district, online marketing often works best when it’s community-driven. Customers are more likely to rely on and even recommend a business when it’s a part of a trusted, public network.
This is why services like Yelp and Zomato are immensely popular. By creating a user-driven directory of local businesses complete with reviews and feedback, consumers have a way to connect and familiarize themselves with their community-at-large quickly.
While these services are invaluable for consumers, business owners are often left short-changed. These sites – while undoubtedly promotional – are largely hands-off for business owners and as such, don’t make for excellent marketing tools.
Thankfully, the online marketplace changes all of that!
Online marketplaces are comprehensive listings of local businesses that capture the communal spirit of the real thing and also give businesses the features that they need to succeed – online and off.
Marketplaces work similarly to services like Yelp – only, business pages are self-managed by each participating business. Users can browse through local services in their area and book within minutes!
With built-in verified reviews and promotion, online marketplaces like Yocale’s empower businesses by representing them accurately and professionally.
You’ll feel right at home – and so will your customers!
Drive Customers To You With The Marketplace
When your customers search for your business online, they shouldn’t have to comb through dozens of unrelated search results to find you. This can quickly become frustrating and might lead to them abandoning the intention of pursuing your services entirely!
Sometimes when your customers do find you online, it’s through a listing service or some other third-party website. While these website listings are often better than none, they might not have up-to-date information on your business, nor do they make it easy to book.
Thankfully, even if you don’t already have a website, an online marketplace gives your customers a trusted, professional all-in-one destination for your business!
Once customers arrive at your marketplace page, they’ll be impressed with its accessible and intuitive nature – which might account for more than you think! According to research, 75% of users admit to making judgements about a business based on their website design.
Because the best online marketplaces are often integrated with your schedule and booking process, your hours of operation, staff, and services offered will all be displayed dynamically – and elegantly. If your hours differ this week due to holidays, or your services have recently changed, your marketplace listing will automatically update to reflect that.
With a marketplace page, you won’t send your customers on a frantic goose-hunt in an attempt to gather information about your business.
And once your prospective clients have read a few recent reviews and are feeling confident in your services, the marketplace makes it easy for them to take action by booking in just a few clicks!
Automated, Verified Reviews Help Build Your Reputation
Word spreads fast. Just like at a farmer’s market, a high-quality product or service practically markets itself as enthusiastic customers share their praise with both friends and family.
The end result? Lengthy line-ups of eager customers who can’t wait to purchase your products or book your services!
This is no different online, where reviews are a powerful way to create and sustain this level of enthusiasm for your business, especially if used correctly.
In fact, a study found that 88% of people read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. With technology growing increasingly accessible, more and more people are turning to online reviews to gauge the quality of businesses before they put their money down.
While other online review platforms might work in your favor sometimes, they also might not accurately reflect your business as it is today.
A particularly critical review from several years ago doesn’t necessarily represent the contemporary state of your business. Even worse, your review page might be plagued by fake, slanderous reviews intentionally written to reduce your businesses’ credibility.
With the marketplace, you can automatically request feedback from real clients after their appointments. This makes it easy to accumulate dozens of verified, credible reviews from your customers.
From here, you can promote your favorite reviews on your marketplace listing page. When potential clients visit your marketplace page, these reviews can prove to be an effective and persuasive marketing tactic – helping you generate more appointments!
Powerful Built-In Promotion
Much like a farmer’s market, an online marketplace is interconnected. Businesses exist side-by-side, rather than being segregated – which makes for ample marketing opportunities.
When you bring your business online with the marketplace, you’re not only establishing your own presence – you’re partaking in an existing network of shared, non-exclusive customers who can’t wait to book with you.
This works by having the marketplace recommend your services to customers who have booked other local services previously. Oh, and don’t worry – competing services are never promoted alongside one another!
This brings your business to the attention to thousands of locals – and it happens organically and automatically.
While so many other online marketing methods are both time-consuming and costly, the marketplace puts you and your business center-stage, at no extra cost to you.
Online marketplaces that support Google Reserve only sweeten the deal.
With Google Reserve, your business will be listed on both Google Search and Google Maps with a convenient “book now” button. This tightens up your online discovery process and gives your clients lightning-fast access to your services – especially when compared to the listings of your competitors.
Because convenience often takes precedence in today’s wired world, the option to book straight from Google gives you a definitive edge over other local competition – helping you score more bookings, and more business.
With the marketplace, getting your business online is just the beginning. With built-in features for promotion, online booking, and verified reviews – the marketplace can help your business become its best.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article! For more on the business world – online and off – keep up with us, five days a week here at Yocale.