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How to Deliver Quality Marketplace Customer Service in 2024


In 2023 we saw continued rapid growth of marketplaces, which now account for 67% of all commerce sales. As the industry continues to thrive, the landscape is rapidly changing, and customer service teams are being forced to adapt and pivot. 

Here, we’ll explore new challenges and opportunities highlighted by 250 customer service leaders in multichannel marketplace seller organizations in Q4 2023. 

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Excelling at marketplace customer service in 2024

Top marketplace customer service challenges in 2024

67% of eCommerce sales took place on marketplaces in 2023, and marketplaces are growing at 2x the rate of overall eCommerce. With that increased volume of transactions, support teams are feeling an increase in demand. 10 core sources of friction came to the fore during our conversations with sellers:

Negative reviews and feedback management

Negative reviews can have far-reaching effects not only on your brand, but on your bottom line. Plus, to mitigate that impact, your customer service team needs to have a response plan of action, and the time and resources to execute it. 

Increased volume of enquiries

As ticket numbers go up, capacity per customer support team member goes down. This can lead to limited productivity, increased staffing costs, and degraded customer satisfaction. 

Achieving a unified customer experience

While selling on disparate marketplaces boasts many benefits in terms of the audience you can reach, support can struggle to respond in a timely and satisfactory manner when there are too many touchpoints for them to keep track of. 

Scalability of setup

Not only does increased sales velocity affect the people providing customer support, the systems they use can also become overwhelmed, leading to a need to upgrade and associated costs.

Integrating technology

With multiple marketplaces comes multiple pieces of support tech. Trying to get these systems to “speak to each other” so that customer support teams can take care of all the conversations present in each can be a complicated, technical process. 

Platform-specific policies and procedures

A.K.A, red tape. Being aware of each marketplace’s legal particulars is a challenge in itself. Adhering to each of them is even harder. 

Why invest more in marketplace customer service 

When faced with all the challenges above, it’s a wonder marketplace customer service teams can focus on anything other than putting out proverbial fires. 

However, for as many challenges as there are, there are yet more opportunities. In fact, the top 3 reasons the sellers we consulted gave for investing more in customer service reflected direct solutions for the challenges they were facing. 

The highest priority area for investment was seller ratings and reviews. Research shows that, if a product has 3 out of 5 stars—not terrible!—it’s 51% less likely that a customer will buy it, compared to a 5 star product. It’s obvious why sellers are willing to put time and resources into improving that aspect.

The next most important benefit sellers see from added investment is its effect on repeat business. This is based on the fact that happier customers are more likely to come back and shop again, and repeat customers tend to spend 67% more. 

Why invest more in marketplace customer service.

In third place was gaining a competitive edge from extra investment. If you’re on even footing when it comes to product quality, price, choice, etc, the interactions they have with your support team can be the deciding factor.

Best practices for marketplace customer service

Once you have suitable resources for the amount of demand on your customer service, it’s time to start optimizing. That way, your organization can scale and thrive. Three best practices came up top in this regard during conversations with the aforementioned sellers. 

Offer additional services

If you want global reach, you’ve got to talk the global talk. Multilingual support is a must for international eCommerce and to open up communication lines with other geographies. 

In the same vein, making your support accessible to people who require assistive technologies helps you welcome a broader market. 

And, creating a more personalized customer experience that takes the entire context of the customer history into account caters to all customers, existing and new. 

Streamline support flows

The fewer clicks and steps support team members have to take to resolve a query, the less time each one will take. When it comes to streamlining your support flows, this should be a core focus area. 

From there, investing in the latest customer service technology can help expedite that process in a number of ways. Especially if you adopt a system that reduces manual tasks by including AI-powered automations. 

Fundamentally, providing training for front-line staff on any of these new systems, flows and approaches makes the whole process that much smoother, and cuts down on overheads.

Use data to your advantage

The case for adopting an eCommerce customer service help desk eDesk.

The beauty of marketplace customer service is that it all happens on the internet, meaning endless access to data points you can leverage for improved results. 

Some ways the sellers we consulted are doing this involved bringing positive feedback to the forefront, checking accuracy on product listings and simplifying returns and exchanges, all of which you can replicate for bigger sales and happier customers. 

The case for adopting an eCommerce customer service help desk

It helps teams centralize

With a dedicated eCommerce help desk like eDesk, all your customer comms are in one place. That single source of truth adds efficiency to every step of the support journey, whether that’s improved response time, accuracy or context. 

Plus, it helps keep a record of every interaction a customer has with you so, no matter which agent speaks to them next, they’re all just as well informed. 

It sets teams up to scale

As your team flourishes in a more streamlined work environment, they have more access to relevant information, time to process and capacity to provide quality responses. The result is  improved customer satisfaction as their issues are dealt with in a timely manner, competently, and consistently. 
To explore how eDesk can help you in the ever-evolving world of eCommerce support, start a free trial today.

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