The Open Marketplace Helps All—From Seller to Buyer
If you’re perusing airline tickets, you navigate to Orbitz or Travelocity and compare ticket prices.
If you need to re-order dog food, you head to Amazon and evaluate different vendors.
If you want video games, you browse on eBay to look at seller ratings and consumer feedback.
What do all these sites have in common? They are an open marketplace empowering consumers to shop comparatively, see customer feedback, and consider their options with a variety of decision factors. It also helps suppliers and merchants increase their transparency, trust, and long-term relationships with buyers.
The digital open marketplace has helped many industries evolve in the past decade, from real estate sites like Zillow to buying furniture from your neighbors on Facebook Marketplace. This same systematic technology has also come to auto parts with platforms that bring together repairers, supplies, and carriers into the same ecosystem. This technology connects parts suppliers with new customers and repairers to the right part for the right price.
Here’s how the open marketplace helps every segment of the parts and automotive business, from supply to demand:
Search and compare
The open marketplace gives consumers the ability to search, compare, and purchase parts. This leads to optimal outcomes for repairers, suppliers, and insurance carriers. Transparent marketplaces drive the ultimate value to customers by not only providing the most competitive pricing, but true choice and unparalleled information during the purchasing process.
When consumers need direction, they often turn to crowdsourced online reviewers. This is especially true when they are looking at an industry where they don’t have much experience, don’t know where to start, or who to trust. All things being equal, a consumer will choose a provider that they trust with high online ratings. This is also true of restaurants on Yelp, lawn care providers on Google reviews, or eBay auction sellers with high feedback ratings. By building up reviews over time, the open marketplace rewards reliable providers and remains transparent and efficient by weeding out bad players. It empowers participants by providing information about the reputation of the participants.
Imagine you ordered a part online at a cheaper price than in most stores. It showed up on your doorstep, and you opened it up only to find—it was defective, damaged, or otherwise not what was advertised. This can be avoided if an open platform has a rigorous system in place to self-police and manage. Ways to protect both buyer and seller include star ratings systems and dispute resolution mechanisms. With these tools in place, rogue or sloppy users are not able to conduct business on an open marketplace platform.
With the power of the open internet, these evolutionary principles are changing just about every industry from brick and mortar businesses to services. During your next shopping experience for something new or in preparation to make a big purchase, consider how these factors impact (and improve) your decisions and outcomes.
Greg Horn is PartsTrader’s
Chief Innovation Officer.