Creating a successful marketplace takes a lot of time and effort and even more patience. If you develop these qualities, there are chances that you might end up with a user-centric marketplace that is designed for nothing but success.
If you are a new marketplace creator then you have reached the right place because we have listed down some of the most important things that you should know when building a marketplace.
Drop the idea of building a platform from scratch
This is because most entrepreneurs have limited resources. Hence, you cannot afford to use up all their capital to build your marketplace right from scratch. So, drop the idea of hiring a web developer and programmer as there are many alternatives available for you. While most marketplace entrepreneurs opt for Sharetribe as their preferred platform, other Sharetribe competitors provide more flexible and feature-filled applications to customize your marketplace.
One such example is IdyaFlow, which is fast becoming a preferred choice among entrepreneurs. It is a cost-effective alternative to Sharetribe and allows you to use a readily available marketplace template, which can be customized by you. This cuts down the cost of hiring web developers and programmers. Your marketplace will be ready for launch within a very less time.
This application also allows you to keep the creation of your marketplace simple, efficient, and streamlined. You can easily automate the supplier onboarding and the platform also automates order management, provides ultra-modern security, and facilitates communication between customers and suppliers.
Choose the appropriate marketplace niche
Successful marketplaces are designed to meet the needs of the sellers and buyers within a specific niche. Hence, when building a marketplace, do comprehensive research and select a niche. Neglecting or ignoring this step can affect the sales, the potential buyers who visit your marketplace, the kind of service providers you attract, and the perception of the platform. Not having a niche will lead to your marketplace being directionless and it will lack focus. Therefore, it should be ensured that you select the right niche to serve, especially when building a service marketplace. This will allow you to integrate the right features to make it an enjoyable process for both, the providers and buyers.
Launch a minimum viable product
Ensure that your online marketplace is launched with basic but useful features. If you go for the best possible features on the first try, you will end up spending too much money and time, because you do not know if your platform will be a success. Building a Minimum Viable Product can help you to focus on launching your platform quickly so that you can get feedback from the stakeholders and implement them as you move forward. The secret of the whole ‘how to build a marketplace‘ issue lies in building an online marketplace that will create an interest among the potential sellers, providers, and buyers. This will help you to customize your platform on the job and then gradually scale it.
Launching your marketplace platform quickly is very important as it allows you to be available for attracting service providers and merchants, who might not be interested in registering otherwise, on a site that does not offer online visibility. An MVP will help you to ensure this so that you can modify our site to improve it as your business expands.
Create a realistic budget
Even if you have an MVP, you still need the capital to keep your business running. Although you do not have to spend money on inventory, you will still have other expenses like hosting, online security, bandwidth, advertising for service providers and merchants, and acquiring customers. These expenses can easily exceed what you have decided and can drain your scanty resources. Hence, it is recommended that you create a lean budget. Refrain from pouring unlimited money, especially when you are just starting your eCommerce platform. Cut down your expenses to a minimum, which will just be enough to get started and keep your marketplace running smoothly until it provides you with some revenue.
You can also use free sources of advertising and push your marketplace up on search engine rankings. These sources include social media and SEO. When your marketplace starts generating revenue, you can choose paid advertising options. Remember that the growth will be slow, but it will allow you to stretch your resources until your platform becomes self-sustaining and earns you a profit. All of these factors will prevent you from running short of capital when you need it the most.
Do not lose sight of your aim
When planning a rental marketplace platform, you might have had a specific goal or target in mind. So, in all of this hustle of creating an efficient platform, see to it that you do not lose sight of this goal that you have targeted. While the primary goal of your marketplace will be to connect sellers and service providers with the customers, you should also ensure that it helps in resolving genuine problems of the stakeholders too. Without this, your marketplace platform may not be able to survive. Your platform will only be a success if it manages to solve issues encountered by the service providers, sellers, and buyers. Thus, you will be able to accomplish your goals.
If you want to figure out the real-world problems of your target audience, you need to come up with ideas to engage them. You should start this process right when you are just starting to build the marketplace platform. This will help you to create a platform that offers value to your audience and help you to achieve your aim and goals.
To sum up
The process of building a marketplace platform should not be carried out in a hurry. You should spend enough time engaging your target audience to understand the problems faced by them and then you can use your platform as a means of resolving these issues. You can start with a Minimum Viable Product so that you do not spend too much of your capital in the beginning. Starting up small and slow will allow you to easily change, adapt and adjust your platform so that it suits the needs of the merchants, buyers as well as service providers. Also, pay attention to the right business model so that you can earn revenue after some time.