Nigeria’s No 1 online marketplace, Kaymu.com.ng has identified 5 public relations strategies for online marketplace sellers at the maiden edition of their seller workshop series titled KaymuVarsity on Friday 24th January 2014. [quote_box_center]Public Relations Strategies identified at the interactive session included how sellers can integrate branding, participation, ratings and testimonials, customer service and interpersonal relations and leveraging of social media tools to boost sales to their online marketplace stores.[/quote_box_center]

Branding

Branding is the perception of your target market towards your company. Branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem. A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with. Branding is when that idea or image is marketed so that it is recognizable by more and more people, and identified with a certain service or product when there are many other companies offering the same service or product. A good online marketplace seller must brand his/her online store by making sure all the elements of branding are aligned in such a way that customers choose to purchase from them rather than any other seller of the same product.

Participation

Online marketplaces like Kaymu.com.ng have put in place measures to ensure sellers on the platform are engaged in activities that will drive sales to their online stores. Activities range from workshops, seller reports, competitions, onsite advertising and social media campaigns. Sellers who seek to give their sales a boost and increase their visibility on the online marketplace must ensure they participate in these activities as this puts their brands/stores out there.

Leverage Social Media

Recent studies have shown that there are over 100 million active Nigerians on the social network facebook. It is therefore imperative to ensure online businesses have an active social media interaction and engagement to drive customers to their virtual stores. A business savvy online marketplace seller must have a business page that is linked to the online marketplace store to drive his/her facebook users and the entire facebook community to their online marketplace store.

Ratings/Testimonials

Online marketplaces like ebay and Kaymu.com.ng have opportunities for customers to give ratings and testimonials about the product or service of a seller on the platform. Referrals are very important tools to gain not only repeat customers but gain new sellers. This is because customers are more disposed to buying based on good feedback from their fellow customers.

Customer Service/Interpersonal Relationship

The importance of customer service cannot be overstressed. Customers are from diverse cultures, backgrounds, have different dispositions and expectations and a good seller must cater to all the varying needs of a customer. Excellent customer service is one of the most important qualities an online marketplace seller can have as this informs whether a loyal buyer has been gained or not. Another very important element is interpersonal relationship. A good online seller must be a brand ambassador of his/her product and advertise all the available platforms that the product can be gotten on.