In recent decades, the advent of new technologies has brought us vast transformations in the way businesses operate.
Not only have we taken old manual processes and made them digital, but we have started to completely redesign our operations with the digital world in mind.
Take conversations with customers, for example. It wasn’t too long ago that you had to schedule physical meetings within the four walls of a traditional office, taking into account availability, travel times and location. Today, we hardly think about how easy it is to schedule a digital meeting with customers and prospects around the world. Workplace collaboration tools and remote working have completely changed the game when it comes to stakeholder interactions and have dramatically streamlined the world of work. But what if we could go further, with an even greater interface between stakeholders around the world? Enter interactive digital marketplaces.
Build an interactive marketplace
When I think of marketplaces, the first thing that comes to mind is eBay. The e-commerce giant coined its tagline “the digital marketplace” so long ago now that the two are nearly synonymous in popular lexicon. However, marketplaces are far from being limited to the field of e-commerce; their reach is expanding to include a wide range of platforms that create spaces for stakeholders to connect and work together on a common endeavor. An interactive digital market therefore goes beyond the exchange of goods between suppliers and customers, as is the case with the eBay model, to center on the exchange of services between qualified experts and those who need them.
Moving from traditional business models to an interactive marketplace experience might seem like a huge step forward, but certainly not something to fear. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was a digital marketplace. Businesses should view the transition to an interactive marketplace as part of an overall shift to a digital-first model, which most of us are already implementing due to the rapid rise of remote and hybrid working . The marketplace approach is just the next phase after implementing digital tools that mimic the old workplace – a phase that will pay off in the long run.
Driving digital innovation
There are a variety of benefits associated with converting a traditional user experience to a platform experience, all of which fall under streamlining. From a business perspective, when you operate as a marketplace, you effectively become the conduit for people sharing their services.
As a result, your business will need fewer permanent staff, not only saving money, but simplifying every interaction. Additionally, implementing a digital marketplace greatly facilitates operations in a variety of different countries, as the possibilities for asynchronous communication mean that time zones are not the barrier they are today. Every customer interaction moves from a live meeting or long chain of emails to a collaborative experience that’s both easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
The simplicity of interactions means that businesses operating on a digital marketplace model have the resources to tap into a vast pool of freelance talent around the world. Instead of having permanent employees on the books, managers can offer freelancers the opportunity to sign up and work for their company on a project basis. As such, you access a much wider pool of expertise, not limited by the scope of a permanent team. In short, the digital marketplace approach allows you to develop the potential of your business, while staying at the forefront of what today’s technologies have to offer.
Businesses looking to grow their digital footprint should consider the interactive marketplace model as it provides an experience that cannot be matched by traditional business models. Supported by technologies that facilitate asynchronous and highly collaborative interactions, the digital marketplace enables an end-to-end journey that is streamlined, simple and efficient. Let’s move beyond mimicking the physical workplace of yesteryear and into an interactive experience.
About the Author
Steve Janssens is a Product Development Manager with 15 years of international business and management experience. He brought new products to market for established tech brands and early-stage startups in Europe, Asia and the United States, joining the LatestBasic team as COO in 2019. He values community building and empowering others, as evidenced by his management roles at startup accelerators across the United States.
Featured Image: ©CactusVP