Before we even look at the benefits of a marketplace, we need to confirm what it actually is.
Simply, a marketplace is somewhere that allows multiple businesses to sell in the one location. This concept has been around for years with the development of physical stores operating within the same building. There are many examples such as shopping centres and other similar locations that have a variety of businesses and products available in the one place.
This concept has also evolved into the online world, with many marketplaces being established in order to sell a range of products from a variety of sellers. Whether this be for personal items through sites such as Gumtree, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace, or for businesses to sell products via Amazon, Catch of the Day, or even also eBay, there is an ever-growing presence of marketplaces in the online world.
Research is also showing that the reason these types of sites are popping up is because not only are they becoming increasingly more popular with consumers, sellers are also seeing great sales results via these platforms. Compared with independent and stand alone online stores, online marketplaces are seeing a much higher percentage of customers returning to buy more products, as well as seeing more dollars spent in the return purchases comparatively. Both of these offer sellers more value and opportunity to sell their products.
From a consumers perspective, it also makes sense to use a marketplace to do their shopping. They can purchase a variety of products in one transaction, while also avoiding the need to have to sign up to multiple sites or pages in order to purchase all the products they are looking for. With people feeling even more tight with time, they are looking for convenient ways to purchase or efficient ways hear about deals and new products, and marketplaces offer this.
It was with this understanding of the benefits to both business and consumers that Locals Direct was created. The vision was to create a site that contained a range of products, services and events available from within regional communities all in the one place. There is so much that we know is available within communities, and we wanted to be able to make it as simple as possible for people to find out all about them.
For those that do like to shop online, we want to ensure they have the opportunity to still support local businesses in an easy and convenient way. And primarily, provide the opportunity to support the survival of our local stores and organisations.
Because ultimately, building this marketplace is much more than just providing another online store. It is a way to build a strong community by supporting the businesses and organisations that are an important part of our regional towns.