Empowering C2C Consumers and Motivating Resale

Empowering Consumers and Motivating Resale on your Marketplace

C2C Customer Motivation is a Key to Success

What every businessman is looking for is how to understand their customer needs and convert visitors into customers. Regardless of what platform businesses operate on, the stable factor is that business owners need to understand their target audience and motivate them into creating profitable traffic on their platform. This is definitely the case with C2C eCommerce, or customer-to-customer eCommerce, where sellers are customers of the platform provider and customers browse through the abundance of offered goods and services for the best deal. Customer motivation is a key to success and empowering consumers to proceed to transactions is an art, and this article will try to provide some tips and tricks around them.

Clarity's eCommerce Marketplace platform has been used in such marketplaces for more than 10 years.

Understanding and Guiding Customer Needs

There are a few ways to create a winning business. One of them is deciding on a winning idea and selling it to prospective customers, and another is discovering people’s consuming needs and using them to create loyal clientele. On both occasions, pleasing the customer is one of the main points, entangled with the profitability and longevity of a business. But how can a business owner identify and understand their customer needs? This is a business sector on its own, but there are some relatively simple guidelines and theories that usually apply for every business, and can be particularly helpful for the competitive C2C eCommerce business model.

It should become clear that there is a difference between understanding a need and creating a need. In the first case the need is pre-existing and the business owner is identifying it and trying to meet it through their products or services, whereas in the second case the need is fictional, based on the business owner’s agenda. That being said, the concept behind using customer needs and guiding their motivation around purchases is the same in both cases. This concept is based around awareness, consideration, and decision, all processes that take place before purchasing a product or service. Awareness is the first stage consumers undergo before realizing their needs. Awareness can occur naturally, or be induced through clever C2C eCommerce marketing and advertising.

Customers aware of their needs will start considering the available options on how to cover them, and after a period of option evaluation that could last from seconds (for example where to go for food) to days or years (for example which house to buy), a decision on the most appropriate purchase is made. For the C2C eCommerce platforms, customers are usually aware of their needs and they use these platforms mostly during the consideration and decision stage. In some occasions, business owners can offer motivation to their customers and empower them towards transaction and traffic increase. C2C consumer empowerment can have a drastic effect on all levels, as the correct strategy can awake “dormant” needs or create new, “urging” ones, guide customers through their consideration phase, and influence the decision making process. There are some very common C2C eCommerce consumer empowerment techniques that we will examine in the next section.


C2C eCommerce Consumer Empowerment

Many of us have experienced C2C eCommerce empowering customer motivation tactics one way or another and we were influenced by factors irrelevant to our need for a specific product or service. Some common examples of such C2C eCommerce marketing tactics are the following:

  • One-off subscription discounts:
    It is very common, especially in businesses operating in the wider fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, to offer a “15-20% off site-wide” discount upon registration of a new customer in their emailing list. This “warm welcome” is shown to be quite profitable, as new customers will be more inclined to shop for more products or more expensive products since they are given the discount. FMCG eCommerce is an excellent entry point for new customers.
  • Personalized discounts:
    Have you ever received a “Happy Birthday, enjoy 20% off today” email? This is another strategy that puts customers in an indulging mood, motivating them to proceed to purchases they had not necessarily planned.
  • Rewards:
    Many C2C eCommerce platforms and individual sellers on a C2C eCommerce platform offer rewards to customers, upon reaching a certain threshold of conversion. A very well-known example is sampling of products when the purchase value is over a certain point.
  • Bundles:
    This is another customer motivation strategy, flirting with customers’ need to get the “best deal” through a platform where sellers are offering an abundance of choice for the same type of product or service. The feeling of saving money and time, and “planning ahead” when purchasing a bundle of complimentary or bulk products is very strong and valued by customers. Amazon is quite known for following this empowering technique, as the platform shows to prospective customers of a certain product what other products might be nicely tied with it (e.g. shampoo AND conditioner, or grass trimmer AND spare parts), or what other customers purchased alongside this specific product.
  • Promotion of specific products/services:
    When there are new arrivals, sales of specific products are low, or products are soon to be out of date, special promotions can occur. This is a great strategy of motivating customers to try something they might not be inclined to choose in the first place, boost sales up, or get rid of stagnant stock.
  • Coupling of products/services with ravishing customer reviews:
    In the consumer’s mind, a company is always trying to sell them something extra, despite their very specific needs. When however, other customers are ravishing about specific products around existing needs of the individual, or “tickling” dormant needs (such as prestige, the desire to be ahead of the herd), then good things are bound to happen (for the company). Many consumers nowadays, especially in the C2C eCommerce business sector, are motivated to make purchases after seeing product/service reviews from other customers, especially reviews stating specific characteristics or benefits of the product to be purchased.

All the aforementioned C2C eCommerce consumer empowerment strategies might seem to have customer satisfaction as a goal, but further than that, they aim on eCommerce growth, the ultimate goal of every business. Working on a strategy targeting business growth is not as straightforward as deciding on the percentage of discount offered to customers for ultimate profit. With the development of eCommerce and the boom of C2C eCommerce, gaging the needs of the customers, proceeding to segmentation of customers based on their motivations, and catering specifically for each identified consumer cluster is key. In an era of choice abundance, all customers want is to feel unique, valued, and that respected from the sellers. In this way, creating loyal and rewarding relationships, where customers feel empowered (yet tactically motivated) to make their choices, C2C eCommerce businesses can experience organic growth.

Customer Empowerment and C2C eCommerce Growth
C2C eCommerce Practices to Influence Decision-making

C2C eCommerce Benefits from Customer Empowerment

The obvious benefit from C2C eCommerce empowering customer motivation is profits, as motivated customers will buy more of what the seller is offering. The other benefit that we briefly touch upon is growth. Happy, motivated customers have higher chances of returning, and, due to the human nature and hopefully to purchase quality, they are more likely to leave reviews or spread the word among their friends and family. This can lead to organic growth, which is a major aim of C2C eCommerce, as it is highly influenced from human relations and interactions. A benefit from the customers’ perspective is that they will feel as they owned their decisions, not that they were tricked into buying something they did not need.

As we pointed out earlier, it is all about customer empowerment and motivation and understanding what motivates specific consumer clusters. Although as consumers we all think we are totally different from the “average consumer model”, in truth we can all be placed to one or more consumer categories, according to our motivation behind our purchasing behavior. There are several models trying to explain the different consumption motives, some of them dating all the way back to 1950s. Such motives can include security, power, social acceptance, status, femininity or masculinity, moral purity, reward, and a desire to feel connected with the world. If businesses manage to understand the motives behind the behavior of the customers they attract, or would like to attract, then they will be on the pathway to growth and business success. Having an understanding of these motives and how or why consumers make certain choices will allow C2C eCommerce platform owners and individual sellers to position products more strategically, represent their value better, and build well-suited marketing campaigns. Two powerful tools (or rather sectors that should exist within every business) are market research (collecting data around customer motivation) and data analysis (analyzing data and forming connections between customer motivation and how it can be empowered). Having identified key motives around consumer behavior, marketing strategies planned around the empowerment of those motives, through strategic discounts, highlighted reviews and testimonies, or blogs and articles explaining how products meet certain motives can be very successful towards putting those motives in good use and guiding decision-making.