Online marketplaces are ultra-competitive platforms, and excelling in them can be a difficult prospect. It is not uncommon to find many sellers on an online marketplace selling the same product, especially consumer retail like electronics and apparel. (Interestingly, electronics and apparel rank at the top in the list of the most popular product categories sold on ecommerce platforms)
In essence, what we realise is that once a consumer is on an online marketplaces, he commits to two types of choices – one being the product that they are going to buy, and the second being the seller they are going to buy that product from.
Now the question arises, if all sellers are selling the same product, how to make sure that the consumer chooses to buy it from you? This is where the online marketplace comes to the rescue. Realising this two-tier choice that a consumer has to make, most marketplaces employ ways to quantify the trustworthiness of the product and the trustworthiness of the seller using various means. These can be things like customer reviews, product ratings and seller ratings. Arguably, a seller rating is the most important marker of them all for a seller, because it provides a way to judge a seller’s performance in a glance, and is probably the first thing a consumer checks while buying a product.
Trust on an online platform is an interesting phenomenon. A customer more often than not pays upfront to receive goods or services that are delivered much later, but trusts the online platform to deliver them in good condition. The online platform, on the other hand, trusts the seller to abide by their rules and standards of professionalism in actually providing the goods or services to the customer. The only inkling that a customer probably has of the fact that it is not the online platform that is selling them the goods, but an independent seller, is during the time the customer checks the seller’s rating. Thus, a good seller’s rating can be pivotal for online sales. Here are a few ways with which you can achieve and maintain a good seller’s rating on online platforms.
How to Maintain a Good Seller Rating on an Online Marketplace
Strategize According to the Platform
Seller ratings can be seen in one form or the other on most online platforms. Google Shopping has its own version of seller ratings that combine 3rd party reviews from trusted review sites and quantify them in a score out of 5. Websites like Amazon and Flipkart have systems in place where a consumer can rate and review the seller, which gets added to the net seller’s rating that is displayed prominently as the seller’s credentials. Each of these systems require a different strategy – while Google is essentially collecting ratings from review sites, Amazon is collecting reviews from customers.
Secondly, Google is not a sales platform, it is an advertiser. It measures success in terms of metrics like click through rate and dwell time. Amazon/Flipkart and other sales platforms measure success in terms of sale, revenue and customer satisfaction. Understanding this difference can help you strategize according to platform.
Aim to Please
Of course, you cannot expect anybody to give you a good rating if your performance is actually not so good. So the first step in your quest to acquire a good seller’s rating is to work hard and actually deserve it. This means, timely shipping, notifications to the customer, good product and packaging quality and readiness to accept product returns. Impress your customers to deserve a good seller’s rating.
Ask for Feedback
Do not shy away from feedback. But at the same time, realise that there is an art to asking for feedback. Be respectful, understanding and polite, and most importantly, be fun. Extensive research has gone into how to hook customers into responding to feedback mails. Hire a UI designer to create an unobtrusive and engaging feedback template. Especially target repeat customers. It is here that the chances of you getting a positive feedback are high.
Customer Support and Engagement
It is generally seen that companies with better customer support are more trustworthy than ones with non-existent or bad customer support. The same rules of engagement apply – the customer has, up until that point, been dealing with a completely virtual system, and we as humans have an upper limit for something like that. Providing a human touch to the customer correspondence is always a good thing.
These are some of the things that you can do to increase your online seller rating. For more information, get in touch with Browntape. We are always happy to help!