Marketplace apps allow people to exchange goods and services, create communities and share experiences. Everything from classifieds sales to shared accommodation advertising and collectibles markets have contributed to a soaring number of app-based marketplaces with millions of global users. If you’re running a marketplace app which is growing, adding chat has major benefits.
Allowing buyers and sellers to speak to one another directly has been shown to reduce the time and money required to dedicate to customer service by as much as 30%. When the middleman is removed users can benefit from immediate responses and your customer service agents are freed up to deal with more complex issues and dispute resolution.
Other advantages to your product development include:
- A higher completion rate: By making negotiations between buyers and sellers as efficient as possible, you can enable a greater number of successful transactions. This boosts customer satisfaction and means you’ll get better data on products, services, delivery location, etc.
- Increased engagement: Users don’t need to move away from your platform to send an email or use another method of communication. Keeping customers in your app for negotiation and communication results in higher retention and increases the likelihood of them making additional transactions.
- Community: Group chat is a valuable resource for communities, which rely on meaningful interactions and knowledge sharing as their foundation. Groups increase user satisfaction and engagement, and give users more incentive to stick with your marketplace rather than looking for alternatives.
Your customers will feel the benefits of in-app chat features too. Adding direct chat is a reliable way to enhance their experiences.
When making online purchases and sales, people usually want to maintain their privacy. With in-app chat they can perform a negotiation without having to let the other person know their location, what hours they are home, or their personal contact details. Providing channels which allow customers to uphold their privacy when considering real world transactions is crucial to maintaining a safe and trusted user experience. Chat gives users control over precisely what information they share with others.
Chat is the preferred method for people to interact online. When it comes to contacting a support team, chat is the preferred method of communication for 41% of consumers; and Econsultancy found that a whopping 79% of consumers favor chat support due to the immediate response. A buyer can speak directly with a seller to conduct negotiations and logistics: to get specific information that isn’t in the original posting, ask for images, or discuss delivery times and costs. Allowing users to interact directly at the earliest point of interest drastically reduces the number of abandoned transactions, catching customers who may have fallen through the cracks without an urgent response at the moment they intend to buy.
Monitoring and code of conduct
As the app provider, you want to make sure everyone is being courteous with one another. Keeping conversation inside your platform allows you to identify when there are problems, step in, and make sure that everyone in the marketplace is adhering to the code of conduct. It’s possible to build in auto-detection of patterns that indicate something may be going wrong in an interaction.
Chat apps can also be configured to allow your customer service team to step in for cases of dispute resolution, and have access to the entire history of discussions between buyer and seller.
When trading second-hand goods or collectables, buyers and sellers often want to go beyond exchange of goods and actually discuss their items in a community setting. Including in-app group chat allows people to share common interest in certain collectables, swap tips like neighborhood groups for trading used articles, or keep up to date with collector news. As people build trust with one another, you’ll build trust in your app meaning growing communities can come to rely on platform as a hub for interaction.
Gathering statistics about transactions can help you improve an app. For example, if you find that in a certain category, people care about the weight of items, and in a different category, they care about the color, you can prompt the sellers to include those commonly-asked questions. As product descriptions improve, sellers and buyers will benefit from a more efficient marketplace experience.
If you are interested in learning about how you can build chat with Pusher Channels, check out our relevant tutorials here.