As marketplaces continue to gain traction as the most popular sales channel for both B2C and B2B, brands are now faced with a new challenge: perfecting their marketplace branding.

Your marketplace branding plays an important role in differentiating your company and products.

If you’re setting up your own marketplace, you’re entering an increasingly competitive eCommerce environment. What’s going to set your marketplace apart from the other eCommerce platforms out there?

Increasingly, buyers are beginning – and ending – their buyer journeys and product searches on digital marketplaces. This means that marketplace owners (and their partners) can’t always count on end customers consuming their brand stories on other channels and platforms, like websites or social media. The upshot? You need to find ways to connect with your end-users through marketplace branding and storytelling.

‘Branding’ is a broad term, and includes so much more than just your logo, brand font, and color scheme. In reality, branding includes everything from your look and feel, to the content you create, the voice and tone of your messaging, the channels you choose to engage with your customers through, the values your company espouses, and more.

What’s more, in an age where CX is king, the experience you offer your customers when shopping through your marketplace is probably the most important aspect of your marketplace branding.

Historically, marketplace branding tends to be largely generic.

Consider the typical marketplace Product Description Pages (PDPs) of most major digital marketplaces. Regardless of the particular marketplace, brand, or product in question, each PDP looks much the same. Users have access to all the information they need to make a purchase decision – product or service description, specs, pricing, and user reviews – but there’s no real brand story. The product image, if there is one, is usually a stark cut-out-style image on a plain white background.

So, how can you carry out marketplace branding that really speaks to – and delights – your customers (and partners)? Here are our top tips:

Communicate your marketplace’s unique value proposition.

How is your marketplace going to make a difference in your customers’ lives? The answer to this question should be at the core of your marketplace branding strategy.

André Lopes identifies three main marketplace differentiators in this article:

·  Market access focus: dramatically offering access to more suppliers and products to the consumer.

·  Price focus: providing a dramatically better price than found locally.

·  Convenience focus: reducing time on something you personally do not need to do.


There are, however, other potential drivers that could differentiate your marketplace. For example, a Partner Services Marketplace that connects your customers with the services they need makes your customers’ lives easier and accelerates your partners’ sales process. In addition, listing partner services in easy-to-browse, easy-to-buy service bundles allows your customers to make B2B purchases with the ease and simplicity they associate with digital B2C transactions.

Turn PDPs into PXPs.

We mentioned earlier how important the customer experience your marketplace offers is when it comes to your overall marketplace branding strategy. To really put CX first, you need to stop thinking about listings pages as PDPs (Product Description Pages) and rather as PXPs (Product Experience Pages). This means focusing on the experience your customer wants to have as they browse, compare, and buy products and services on your marketplace.

“How do they want to interact with the page? How many various types of personas might be accessing the page? What do they really care about when they are on this page?” asks Perficient’s Justin Racine. “By asking yourself these questions, you can begin to build the experience that your customers are looking for first, and find the right places to interject the details they care about after.”

Of course, product or service details, pricing info, timelines, and customer reviews are all still vitally important pieces of information that need to be included in PXPs. But how this information is presented, accessed, and consumed by customers is where your particular marketplace branding can come to life.

We suggest making sure that your PXPs showcase the main product while remaining as easily shoppable as possible. For example, opt for more engaging layouts that encourage users to scroll. Z-patterned layouts draw the eye from left to right and help lead the user further down the page to view additional information.

Use the best marketplace infrastructure for a frictionless experience on both sides.

Your marketplace should represent more than just another eCommerce platform; it should provide a unique experience that delights both buyers and sellers. Make sure your marketplace ticks the following boxes:

·  Customizable interface: Choose marketplace infrastructure that allows you to customize the look and feel of the platform to match your branding. This provides customers with a coherent brand experience across all platforms (website, social media, marketplace, in product, etc.).

·  Trustworthy: Both buyers and sellers need to be able to trust your platform when it comes to online payments, personal information, trade secrets, and data security.

·  B2B-specific functionality: Marketplace infrastructure that is specifically designed to sell B2B services, apps, and products should include functionality that accelerates the sales process. Digital RFPs, eCommerce proposals, service bundles, and payment functionality that supports milestone payments give the B2B sales cycle a powerful boost.

·  Centralized communication portal: B2B sales often require more back-and-forth than B2C sales. A Customer Portal allows customers to easily and securely communicate with providers before purchase, during a project lifecycle, and even after delivery.

  marketplace branding

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