Before we look at the characteristics of a good market, let us look at the meaning of the market. In this article, we will discuss the qualities that a good market should possess.
What is a market?
A market comprises the sum total of buyers and sellers within a considerable area or region. In other words, it implies the coming together of buyers and sellers with the aim of carrying out the exchange or transaction of goods and services known as trade. Two parties are involved in a market, the buyer and the seller. A market can be referred to as a place where two or more parties can come together to engage in economic transactions.
In business, a market is a method that companies use to sell goods and services to a specific group of customers. The sales of goods and services are being facilitated from one business to the other in cases where the business plans to reuse or resell the goods and services of another company. In business, a market shows a company was to advertise and sell its products and services to specific demographics of consumers.
A market does not have to be a physical place where people meet, it can also be virtual or online. It is in this vein that we look at it from the economist’s point of view. In economics, the market does not make reference to s specific geographical location but is a platform for the exchange of commodities and services. Here, the term is defined as an arrangement where buyers and sellers come in close contact with one another to engage in trade, that is to buy and sell goods and services. This close contact can be directly or indirectly. In other words, the market does not require buyers and sellers to physically meet in a particular geographical area. This is because they can contact one another through the use of the telephone or the internet.
Having looked at what the market is from different points of view, we shall look at the characteristics of a good market. A market must possess some elements in order for it to be effective and successful.
Characteristics of a good market
- Full-day hours of operation
- Accessible and central location
- Protected and secured
- Navigable aisles
- A broad selection of goods
- Evergreen potential
- Multi-level vending
- Ease to reach out to customers
- Timely and accurate information
- Back-end and up-sell potential
Full-day hours of operation
One of the characteristics of a good market is a full-day hour of operation. A market ought to be open all day as longer hours make it more accessible for shoppers. Online or virtual markets can be available 24/7. This makes it easier for shoppers to have access to the commodities or services they want to purchase. Vendors may not be available 24/7, this is why there needs to be a balance in the market landscape. Here, a mechanism needs to be made available for vendors to operate for long hours including online services.
Accessible and central location
Another feature that a market should possess is accessibility. Public and private transits should be able to have access to a marketing environment both physically and virtually. Physically, a market should have a central location as well as accessible. Convenient options should be available for the movement of goods in and out.
Protected and secured
Markets should be protected from elements like burglary, rain, and some form of disaster. They can be located in buildings under simple structures, however, these structures should be permanent. Usually, outdoor vendors assemble coverings across the aisles thereby making the market a viable destination on hot and rainy days. In essence, there should be shelter to protect the vendors, shoppers, and goods.
Online markets should be secured from elements like online fraudsters so that the environment will be safe for shoppers and vendors to operate.
Markets should display different degrees of navigable aisles that can be pleasant to the sight. The best market aisles allow shoppers to stop and purchase items at any stall while still leaving room for others to pass by and move along. It is important for appropriate lighting, ventilation, and way-finding to be in place. This is because they contribute to navigability. While there is a variation in the equation for navigable isles, it is an important consideration for the comfort of both the shopper and the vendor.
The presence of pedestrian streets and small plazas near the market as well as open spaces around the market improves walkability and makes provision for space for socializing and street appropriation. This provision encourages customers to linger. In essence, there should be no congestion in the marketplace. With this, there will be ease in moving around the marketplace.
A broad selection of goods
Aside from specialty markets devoted to a single item such as cloth, there should be an offer of incredible variety within each category of goods. In most cases, a high number of goods categories is ideal. There should be a variety of goods comprising fruits, vegetables, etc on display. This allows for consumer choices. In essence, there should be a landscape full of options for the consumer. A vast selection across a variety of goods categories should be offered for the market to be competitive.
Based on research, merchandise is usually cheaper in most markets than in supermarkets. When a market is affordable, it is accessible to all thereby making it an important space for commercial and social activities. While expectations exist, the culture of a market as a public space being affordable to all remains dominant.
A market has an evergreen potential when the product can be sold and bought forever. It is better for a market when it is possible to continue selling in business. For example, toilet paper and cooking oil can be sold forever just the way people will never stop cleaning up themselves or cooking. A good market should be able to facilitate the transaction of a product or service continuously, not just once.
Ease to reach out to customers
There should be ease when it comes to reaching out to customers. This will facilitate transactions. The easier it is to get new customers, the better it will be for a market. Also, there should be low cost and ease of delivering goods and services. It is better for a market when it is easier to deliver a product. Mobile marketing is an important factor that makes it easier for a vendor to reach out to customers.
In a marketplace, a product should be able to stand out. In other words, there should be a distinctive feature that the product possesses. This improves competitiveness in the marketplace as your products will gain a competitive edge over your rivals. In essence, each product should be unique in the market.
People should be in urgent need of the products in that market. It keeps the commercial activities going on as many shoppers will keep coming to buy those products and services such as medication, foodstuffs, etc. On the other hand, these products and services should be available to those that urgently need to buy them.
Timely and accurate information
When a shopper enters a market, he expects to have information that is up to date, especially about the price and sometimes the quantity of the good or service he desires to sell or purchase. A market that has timely and accurate information offers people, both buyers, and sellers, accurate information with regard to the past and present prices and quantity of the good in question. In essence, a market has informational efficiency when prices can adjust quickly to new information with regard to supply or demand. This will be a reflection of all available information about the product.
Liquidity is the ability of one to buy and sell an asset quickly. This is an important characteristic of a good market. There will be a problem in the marketplace when it becomes very difficult to buy and sell assets. Urgency above is a key factor that a market should possess. It is for this reason that an illiquid market will make no progress. As stated at the beginning of this article, the aim of the existence of a market is to facilitate the transaction of goods and services. Therefore, there should be ease in the purchase and sales of goods and services for it to be qualified as a market.