I recently came across the online marketplace, OpenSky. It has been around since April 2011, but it just relaunched this month as a full-fledged online marketplace.
Like others in this category, they have unique features for artisans and independent sellers who want to get their goods in front of more buyers. Some of these unique features include a customer referral points program (which encourages your buyers to recommend you), and that your shop can also make money if your customers buy from another OpenSky shop, sort of an affiliate program arrangement.
- They act as a merchant portal
- One shopping cart checkout (buyers can buy from multiple stores in one purchase)
- If you bring your customers to your OpenSky shop, you keep 100% of the sales
- If existing customers on OpenSky come to your shop, you keep 80% of the sales
- If you bring your customers to OpenSky and they buy from another shop there, you get a 10% bonus
What’s Unique About OpenSky
It really takes advantage of the social aspect of shopping online. OpenSky provides incentives for shoppers to spread the word to their friends with a points program. For example, for each friend a buyer invites, they get 100 points. For every friend that joins with Facebook connect, they get 2,500 points, and when their friends buy something, they get 10,000 points.
The accumulation of these points raises a buyer to various status levels, and each level gives the buyer greater shopping credits each month and other perks like free shipping. Everyone even gets a $10 credit just for joining.
This is a great way to get buyers to be loyal to an online marketplace. OpenSky currently has 3 million members and 2,000 vendors.
What Does This Mean For Sellers?
- You get more ways to earn, other than just your sales revenues
- OpenSky’s point system encourages loyal and regular buyers, which sellers benefit from
- Getting customer referrals has never been easier with the 10,000 points buying incentive (it doesn’t cost you, it costs OpenSky)
As the online marketplace continues to evolve, it is interesting to see what new features they can offer sellers and buyers, and what this means for the future of online shopping.
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