While the e-commerce industry has evolved massively over the past few years, most of the products being marketed and sold online are often tangible goods as observed on eBay or Amazon. While services are less common, there is an increasing number of businesses that provide services being seen on local online marketplaces that cater to this industry as well. However, the tactics used to market a tangible product differ from a service. Getting the word out on the service you offer can prove a daunting task. The act of service itself is intangible, i.e., it can’t be seen, felt, or touched, hence there exists a degree of risk for consumers as the quality of work can only be determined after the job is done.
As such, it calls for a special approach to market a service on a local online marketplace. While physical services should no doubt be on local online marketplaces due to the nature of the service, other forms of digital services can also be marketed both locally and otherwise. In this article, we will be exploring some strategies to effectively market a service online.
How to market a service online
It is especially important to provide an enjoyable consumer experience when you market your service online. The value the service provides hinges a great deal on the overall buyer experience, and a great experience definitely eases the risks associated with providing services.
Often, what determines the quality of work produced is subjective and is highly dependent on the consumer’s expectations, but what will always leave an impression is good customer service. You should also remember that buyers have a much harder time comparing service vendors. Being intangible, first-time buyers have to blindly trust you would supply the service as described. Also, if buyer expectations aren’t met, a service can’t be returned as in the case of a good.
However, satisfied customers can well become repeat customers or loyal customers, as long as they are continually treated with the same level of quality or even better.
1. Pay attention to these key marketing components
Here are some marketing components to pay close attention to when marketing a service online.
Community: People involved along the line of consumption of the service, directly or indirectly, are just as important as the service itself. This includes employees who are in direct contact with the consumer all the way to past clients, as good communication and positive word-of-mouth is also a big advantage. As earlier mentioned, people can tarnish or boost the reputation of the service being offered, and their role in the successful marketing of the service online must not be overlooked. Hence, it is important to take steps to ensuring a good business reputation.
Communication: Though the focus here is to market a service online, the way your service is ‘delivered’ to the buyer should be made known through active communication and duly followed through. Always ensure you’ve provided the buyer all the information they need e.g suite of services, pricing, duration and timings available. Though intangible, there should be some degree of trust between you and the buyer, established through effective communication and documentation.
Process: The process of rendering your service to the buyer should be smooth and hassle-free. The buyers shouldn’t have to feel like the process is complicated, as this could discourage them away from your service. Thus, it is important to minimise the effort on the buyer’s part, as they’re essentially engaging your service so they don’t have to do it themselves.
2. Value feedback and reviews from buyers
Through an online marketplace, there is greater flexibility with regards to giving reviews and feedback about a service. To effectively market your service, you should pay attention to this feedback. Don’t underestimate the power of peer reviews, as consumers prefer to trust online peers who have already engaged the service before, as compared to directly hearing it from the business itself. User comments and reviews are a way of expressing their experience, and it can really help you better tailor the service and improve the buyer experience. Remember, buyer satisfaction gives room for more repeat purchases or referrals. Encourage your customers to leave you reviews, so others who are seeking the same service can trust that you’ll do a good job.
3. Develop relevant content
To effectively market a service online, the content you use in marketing should be engaging, helpful and most importantly, relevant to the local community. Without this, buyers can easily get bored if all you’re providing are unrelated images, long and sloppy service details or far-fetched information that doesn’t make sense in a local context. Always provide high quality images so buyers can have a sense of the potential outcome of your service, or images of work for past clients. Details in your listing should also be concise and friendly to the reader, who may not be as knowledgeable as you are, and hence would appreciate more layman terminology.
One easy way to up your marketing game would be to utilise video content, which is especially useful for businesses that deal with services, as potential buyers can have a look at what the process is like and determine for themselves if that’s what they need. This also helps to save time and effort when enquiries come in as the customer already has a rough sense of the process.
4. Invest in digital advertising
Though it may seem old-school, paid marketing is a tried-and-true approach to effectively market a service online. Digital advertising is an easy way to spread the word about the good work you’re doing and the quality services you provide, and the advertisement options are often diverse, meaning every option is catered to a specific marketing need. For example, at Carousell, you can invest in the various seller tools that cater to differing needs. While all of them are mainly to get visibility for your listings, Bump caters to those who want to get quicker deals, and Spotlight caters to those who prefer to target specific service-related keywords as well as to have flexibility in their budget.
Why you should market your service on a local online marketplace
Online marketplaces allow you to sell goods without setting up your own online store for your product, and the advantages don’t end there. Here are a few benefits.
- An online marketplace serves as an online meeting point to market your service virtually.
- The overall marketing costs are often less compared to other sales channels that don’t cater to the services industry.
- An online marketplace presents great convenience to buyers as they can quickly make comparisons and informed decisions from a single source.
- Belonging to a credible online marketplace allows potential buyers to better trust you, as marketplaces have protocols in place to keep businesses in check.
About Carousell Home Services
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