In 2019, YouTuber Josh Pieters launched his sensational restaurant, the Italian Stallion on Deliveroo. Orders flew through the door as hungry customers eagerly waited for their home-cooked traditional Italian cuisine. Cuisine that the Italian Stallion’s head chef bought from the mini-mart downstairs. Yes! They were selling microwave meals on Deliveroo, one of the largest food marketplace apps!

If anything, this shows you the power of market places. A marketplace instantly exposes you to hundreds of thousands of people. You also instantly gain their trust as they already trust the marketplace!

What is a marketplace?

In recent years the word ‘marketplace’ has been thrown around more than a beat-up cold turkey on a Thanksgiving night. But with so much attention focused on this word, what does marketplace even mean? 

Exactly what it sounds like. A market, place. It’s a place people with similar interests gather to buy and sell items of interest to them. It’s been like that since ancient times and it’ll stay like that for a while. The only difference is that the ‘place’ has now shifted online. People now gather on a specific webpage to buy and sell goods or services.

The B2B marketplace.

Most marketplaces are business to customers, where customers buy something and use it themselves. However, at the moment there has been a surge in business to business marketplaces. A great example would be one for the tourism industry. In a tourism marketplace, travel operators can list the tours they offer and their availabilities. Travel agents and resellers like Expedia and can then book those spots and resell them to their customers. 

Marketplaces are great places for tour operators to partner up with new distributors to sell their products to new markets and increase exposure to their brand. 

Why sell on a marketplace?

As you can see from the numbers, here’s the short answer. Make more money.

Yes! We can make more money, but how?

Well, here are the top reasons:

  1. People say less is more but scientifically, more is more.
    A marketplace is an additional marketing channel for you. It’s a place for you to showcase your product in addition to all the channels you’ve already got. Furthermore, this channel gives you access to a lot more customers! Customers who may be very different from the people your usual channels usually reach, they could be a part of an entirely new audience.
  2. You gain an instant level of trust.
    When you sell on a marketplace, you benefit from all the marketing and brand-building the marketplace has done thus far. As long as people trust the marketplace, they’ll trust the products in the marketplace. Meaning, people are more likely to trust your product when its on a marketplace and will, therefore, be more likely to convert.
  3. Connect with partners who can sell for you.
    When you connect with partners like Expedia, you’ll be gaining a valuable partner who’ll help sell your products for you. You could even be included in special deals as many travel agents use dynamic packages where customers can build their own package of travel, accommodation, and activities. Customers are more likely to buy your product when its a part of a bigger travel package.

Tips for effectively using marketplace

If you’re ready to get started with a marketplace, check out these tips! If you’re not, go back up and re-read the article because you might have missed out ALL the points!

  • Register and start working with online travel agents.
    This one’s no surprise. One of the biggest advantages to the marketplace is working with online travel agents. So the first thing you should do should be to get in touch with travel agents. Email or give them a call and discuss the tours or activities they’d be able to help you sell and what the margins will be like for them.
  • Target your search to only agents relevant to you.
    Partnering with agents is great but it’s important to note that you should only partner up with agents who can sell your product! If your activities are only available in Sydney, it would make no sense to partner up with travel agents that specialize in outback adventures or ski holidays.
  • Justify your value rather than lowering prices.
    When you’re a part of a marketplace, your tours and activities will be displayed alongside your competitors. Many companies reduce their prices to stand out and it can be very tempting to do the same. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, justify your price! What extra services are you offering that makes it worth paying more for your activities rather than your competitors’? The results may not be as drastic as a price war but you’ll be doing much better in the long-run!
  • Make your profile and products shine!
    When you appear alongside competitors, you’ll need to stand out. A great way to do this is by using great images and descriptions. Check out the image guide and description guide!
  • Become a part of the community.
    You could also use the marketplace to find other local businesses around you. By becoming a part of the local community, you could start referring customers to each other or even creating packages together. For example, bundling up different activities that you each provide. 

You’ve made it to the end! Download the checklist to ensure you effectively use the marketplace.

If you haven’t already, check out Chapter 6: Content.