The three cornerstones of marketplace trust

From day one of online marketplaces and classifieds existence, sites have faced the challenge of trust. At the early stage, when the concept was new, the primary challenge was to convince the market that it was safe to transact with strangers online.

Today the foundation for trust has been laid, but online marketplaces are still facing the challenge of building trust in their individual sites and in the users that frequent them.

The trust stack

In order to dissect trust into tangible areas, Rachel Botsman has developed a trust framework for the collaborative economy, which she refers to as the Trust stack.

The trust stack consists of three levels of trust;

  1. trust in the idea
  2. trust in the platform
  3. trust in the user


The first level, trust in the idea, has today been widely overcome as the industry has matured and the general public, in large, is comfortable using marketplaces. The two latter levels in her trust stack, trust in the platform and trust in the user, is where individual online marketplaces can influence and need to perform.

If you think about it, what is it that a marketplace is facilitating? A marketplace’s main service is enabling strangers to engage and transact with one another. Then your actual product is not the technical platform, it’s trust.

Therefore, it’s not a surprise that achieving a high level of user trust is a key component to improving your acquisition, conversion and retention rates. It’s in this form marketplaces are rewarded by their users for facilitating a safe platform and experience.

How can marketplaces build trust?

There are multiple components that go into building trust in the platform and the user for a marketplace. In a recorded webinar, together with Shieldpay, we dissect trust building and discuss the methods that will help your marketplace facilitate a safe platform and experience.

building marketplace trust webinar

Want to see how trust will improve your marketplace success?

We combine state-of-the-art AI technology with more than 15-year expertise in content moderation, helping online marketplaces build trust, improve content quality and user experience.

Get in touch with a trust expert today.

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