How to Build Trust on Your Online Marketplace

How to Build Trust on Your Online Marketplace!

How to Build Trust on Your Online Marketplace

When selling anything trust and loyalty are key drivers for success in any market worldwide. Nonetheless, when it comes to Online and MarketPlaces, that demand for trust and security becomes even more of a reality. It effectively all stems from fear and the best way to tackle and negate fear is to create loyalty and trust.

Users and consumers naturally struggle with change and online is still a new concept to most of us out there. As such, entering your bank details, providing your address or filling in a form asking for your passport details is always going to entail an element of risk and also trust. Whether a matter of fiction, or an actual fact, online purchasing concerns do often discourage potential clients from using an marketplace center or placing an order online. As such, building trust is a key component and a vital step to success for an online multi vendor platform.

But how do you build and maintain trust? That is the million dollar question. Some may say it is not just one thing you need to do, and this is evident below. The KPMG Global Online Customer Report demonstrates the main characteristics that companies should have to gain an online customer’s trust, and it encompasses a number of actions.

When it comes to marketplaces there are even more variables, players, suppliers and millions of customers involved making trust and loyalty even harder to find. However it is most definitely not impossible as many brands such as Uber, Amazon or Just Eat have already evidently showed in the pre and post-pandemic era.

So let's have a look at 4 key steps you should start with, when it comes to building trust for your online business.


The levels, complexities and number of perceived risk varies widely depending on the type of marketplace you run. It is hence imperative to understand the type of trust mechanisms you need, you first need to get a comprehension of the type and size of your users' perceived risks. These risks can be real or imaginary but equally both hold dangers for you company's future success and growth.

In order to start on the right path, focus on 4 key aspects that will help you get a better understanding of the risks involved.

  1. How many users do you have?
  2. What is the worst-case scenario?
  3. How much money is involved in an average transaction?
  4. How trusting are your target users?

Once you are able to answer the above, you will have a clear vision as to how you need to proceed and what you should do to start building a security network around your marketplace.


Building a marketplace's trust mechanism is a process of evolution that takes time and effort. The mechanism that is needed in the early days is different from the one needed when you achieve scale but nonetheless, there are 5 key steps you can follow.

Step 1: Code of Conduct

The first thing you must do is establish a set of rules on how things work on your platform. This is quite easy and something we recommend setting up from the very beginning, to ensure there is a set guidebook or rules that users can and know how to use.

Make sure to keep these rules simple, clear and concise and make as little changes as possible to ensure continuity and consistency for your users and audience.

Step 2: Verification

In today's ever evolving world there is really no watertight way of verifying one;s identity. However, there are several steps you can take and if security is paramount to your business you could well use them all in conjunction to ensure safety is at the forefront of everything you do.

Some of these solution could start from simple email and phone verification to more complex ID, Passport or even Address verification if required. If and when your company scales up, you can always automate the entire process through a convenient API.

Step 3: Communication

People naturally fear the unknown and when they do not know someone personally, that fear only increases. A simple way to help people trust each other is to offer them a low-key communication channel or even an internal chat option. This is why many successful peer-to-peer marketplaces offer their users an internal messaging system they can use to have a chat before actually engaging in a transaction.

Building communication between users will allow them to exchange tips, ideas, solutions and even products and services. This allows you to then not only grow your customer base but ensure they are constantly engaged with you or your customers.

Step 4: Social Media Interaction

Many of the people that use platforms, are not aware their friends or even partners use the same platforms online too. By using clever Aps and APi's you can easily connect your users and allow them to share their online experience and purchases online. Social creates trust and trust creates sales.

Step 5: Penalise Foul behaviour

Part of any successful businesses is ensuring they are fair and transparent with all their members of staff. In the same way, you need to be fair with your customers and ensure that any foul behaviour - language or actions - are reprimanded accordingly. This not only creates trust for your customer base ensuring they are safe but also informs them that no such behaviour, will ever be tolerated by anyone.

To summarize the above, while reputation practices play an essential role in creating trust between marketplace users, they should not be the only way you work on loyalty. They may well offer one data point but that can only succeed if it is complemented with other mechanisms to ensure your users are confident to share their views on or about your platform. Whether that be Customer service or Reviews, encouraging communication will only help you get a better understanding of the user experience on your marketplace.


Never forget that your users do not always need to really trust each other and as long as they trust your platform, the ales will still come in. It might be enough if they can trust the experience: if they partake in a transaction, nothing too bad will happen, even if the other party is unreliable.

It is hence important to ensure your platform offers or works with a number of other secure providers that will provide that safety customers need to transact online.

These vary from a range of actions such as reliable payment gateway, security certificates, encrypted transaction pages and bank authorisations.


Fear is not just a personal matter for users. They may well trust the person on the phone, but not the platform they are using. It is consequently crucial they also trust your platform with their money and information. This challenge can be particularly difficult for new marketplace businesses—ones without a proven brand and track record. The 4 most common strategies to make your platform appear more trustworthy in the eyes of your users are however very simple:

  1. Solve issues proactively
  2. Curate your content
  3. Deliver what you promise
  4. Previous experiences

These 4 are the key components to creating a safe and trustworthy platform that will allow your customers to feel safe to transact through it.

There is no better way of shielding and protecting your business than ensuring you have a team dedicated to solving issues on the spot. However, when it comes to security and building trust, you should always be proactive rather than reactive.

Focus on the future, seek potential solutions and always look to innovative ideas out there that will help minimise security costs and allow you to foresee any potential obstacles to your business success in the near and distant future.

To address online fears, you need to build trust into your system. Your users need to trust your platform and each other. At the same time, you need to make sure you are doing your utmost to negate as many risks as possible and provide a smooth, seamless experience to your users without the thought of any security breach coming to their mind.

Increase sales for your marketplace by offering more choice to your customers. Create your own branded multi-seller marketplace, using your existing e-commerce platform, selling physical and services based products.

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