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Marketplace makes way for “level playing field”

Marketplaces, as a forum to buy, sell and connect, have made their way into several industries over the years, and, while many are initially feared as “industry-wreckers” and disruptive, they are eventually seen for what they are: a platform that encourages competition, choice and control for consumers and improved industry outcomes and healthy competition.

Marketplace has hit the aged care industry (Source: Shutterstock)
Marketplace has hit the aged care industry (Source: Shutterstock)

Trading has occurred between groups of businesses and consumers in highly accessible locations for thousands of years, and the introduction of an online marketplace is simply a modern twist.

An online marketplace provides the same economic relevance of accessibility and exchange of information but adapted to a world of new and innovative ways to buy and sell and the platform capitalises on consumers buying habits and trends and enables the traders to fine tune their marketplace.

The introduction of the Marketplace platform into aged care is being labelled as “inevitable” but it is still a big change for many of the industry’s providers, just like many before them in the hotel, car selling, real estate and job markets.

Leading social enterprise Marketplace IT, who has teamed with Adelaide-based multiplatform media company DPS to deliver the aged care marketplace, has more than 17 years experience in developing Marketplace platforms tailored specifically for the customer, with General Manager Nick Carter saying that this change comes with many benefits for providers, as well as consumers.

“Marketplaces have been disruptive and everyone is challenged by change,” he explains.

“However, once industries accept the change, then the marketplaces have created a level playing field.

“Wotif was once considered an industry-wrecker causing damaging erosion of margins, but instead it has spawned copycats, greater product differentiation, more emphasis on user experience and better loyalty programs.

“Hotels have not gone out of business and are most likely healthier for the competition.”

Mr Carter says for industry, the introduction of the marketplace offers a number of benefits such as creating:

  • A level-playing field for generating cost-effective leads
  • Pre-qualified leads; which reduces cost of sale
  • Opportunity to pitch to customers in new geographies
  • Market-testing of new products; capitalising on consumer habits and feedback to fine tune and expand the business

“DPS has launched its online marketplace for aged care which has elements of the industry-aligned and ethical marketplaces,” Mr Carter explains.

“By partnering with the leading non-Government organisations in these sectors, DPS has been able to co-design an outcome, which balances the needs of the business community and the user.

“It is a fine balance but only possible for an organisation such as DPS who has years of trusted relationships and vast knowledge of consumer needs.

“We are working with DPS on the next generation of marketplace services which will allow them to remain at the forefront of the industry, with marketplace assistant bots, community loyalty, mobility and partnering opportunities with other industries.

“We believe that the industry should support DPS as a long standing provider of quality decision making information and the obvious custodian to own and operate a marketplace.

“The alternative is that operators with less sensitivity to the needs of providers could potentially occupy this role with more disruptive outcomes for the sector.

“These comparison websites are important because in many cases the consumer already knows that they will make a purchase but need permission to take the plunge.

“The market testing functionality of a price comparison marketplace allows consumers to short list selections that closest meets their needs in terms of value, location and availability.”

DPS Chief Executive Officer Mark Ogden says the organisation is excited for the change the aged care Marketplace will bring.

“The concept of Marketplace is a positive for providers because instead of the market being limited to looking in just their neighbourhood, it is an opportunity that opens them up to a larger range of potential consumers who otherwise may no have considered them,” he says.

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