7 Tips for Creating an Online Marketplace

Today’s harsh reality shows it’s no longer good enough to make a decent marketplace platform.

7 Tips for Creating an Online Marketplace

Today’s harsh reality shows it’s no longer good enough to make a decent marketplace platform. To establish a world-known online product it takes something more… What exactly? We shall reveal to you our working practices for your website to be wanted. And we shall begin.

#1. Be unique

It’s Okay to be different, it’s even great. Originality might be the secret to flourishing. Obviously, there’s always a need to double-check the product/service demand issue, so you could put together the untraditional approach and seek after products.

Do you worry about the possible risks you have to undertake? Believe us, carefully thought through risks are paying impressive dividends. The competitiveness study shall show you direct rivals if any. Doing something new you only risk to initiate a new direction.

Well-known P2P marketplaces have chosen an unconventional way, and Uber, Bookis, Warby Parker, Skillshare, Thumbtack are among them. Their successful experience truly impresses and inspires multiple companies.

Our good advice shall facilitate the matters:

  1. Ensure your product solves customers’ real problems;
  2. Go above and beyond to provide your clients with the best solutions;
  3. Start small and scale with times;
  4. Learn deeply your final demographics together with their geographical location to offer what is required;
  5. Refresh an existing approach presenting it in a new way (in case you couldn’t create a brand-new thing);
  6. Constantly monitor your rivals’ actions.

#2. Figure out approaches to make profit

After having determined your e-marketplace key idea, consider what options you have for generating your income. Making a good choice is critical.

Possible business solutions:

  • service fee for conducting operations;
  • subscriptions;
  • placing fee (same as paid advertising);
  • leads’ commission;
  • advertising promotion;
  • premium features fee.

When you create an online marketplace, you might enjoy a few models at the same time, for instance, Etsy applies commissions and, occasionally, advertising fees.

The commission amount varies depending on several factors. Firstly, it’s about whether you’re dealing with goods or services. In the second case service commissions make around 20%, while product commissions are low: Etsy requires 3,5%, and eBay charges 10%. Other fundamental factors would be your rivals’ commission rates and the spendings on your own marketplace operations.

Basing on such calculations set the lowest commission size to bring more clients.

#3. Inspire people to feel confident with your service

The key idea is to stand out from the crowd of competitors. The reliable approach to achieving such is to explain to your audience all the benefits they’ll receive with your product providing a high protection level of operations.

Tips to strengthen customers trust:

  • present clients your marketplace benefits. Express some care to Buyers and Sellers presenting what each will obtain;
  • provide multiple payment solutions, so each user could apply an option as per his or her preferences;
  • establish certain security guidelines to inform your audience how to stay on the safe side;
  • ensure 24/7 customers’ support with chatbots, for instance. A question-answer list would be appreciated as well;
  • take advantage of users’ verifications to allow only trustworthy sellers & buyers at your platform;
  • set up specific policies for your marketplace clients, and draw up certain consequences for the ones to break them;
  • allow your customers to file complaints against certain users with the possibility to blacklists people, when needed. Implementation of the ranking approach could reveal people to trust.

#4. Enable proper navigation to generate desired sales amounts

Navigation affects customers’ experience since it builds the time users need to search for items and make a buy. With a well-designed platform, it’s easy and convenient to attract clients. M&J Trimming has managed to raise its sales by 19% after upgrading its website navigation.

Tips to better your navigation:

  • your header shall include all key sections, say, a basket button, search engines, online assistance contacts, in-demand items, nearest stores, etc.;
  • every menu component shall be understandable and intuitive;
  • each page should present the key navigating components;
  • choose colors of page elements to make them visible in the background; each detail has to be in harmony with the overall platform design.

#5. Start with small and move gradually

No analyses or researches can predict how well customers might perceive a certain product. When being limited to the budget, there’s no margin for error. Then, an MVP solution could be the right decision. With users’ feedback to your Minimum Viable Product, you’re to refine your online resource to live up to users’ expectations.

MVP assists you with:

  • saving funds (it’s pointless to invest in a futile project);
  • checking customers respond to your service;
  • learning possible weak points to refine your e-product;
  • getting the first supporters of your platform.

Airbnb and Foursquare have started with MVP models.

#6. Select proper payment channels

One of the possible approaches is to undertake the payment at your platform requiring clients’ credit card information. The given solution demands high-leveled protection of personal data to guarantee its confidentiality. Alternatively, intermediary services would easily take care of financial online operations ensuring its reliable protection.

A critical factor to consider is the geographical aspect as well. For instance, the RAZORPAY solution provides decent onboarding & payment technologies, however, it’s focused on the Indian market, thus, it isn’t actually appropriate for the USA or Europe.

Trustworthy payment gateways:

  • Stripe
  • Braintree
  • PayPal
  • PaySimple

#7. Take visionary steps

Successful business owners are planning several steps ahead. Simply creating a marketplace program is only halfway to prosperity. Its ability to grow is even more essential. Consider those details in every phase.

1. Building your marketplace service

There are three possibilities to achieve the desired:

  • Starting from scratch - Without already-made templates, the process might seem too complicated, but it results in the creation of an exceptional platform.
  • Applying already-existing services - The usage of made open source solutions - like, Mayocat, Sharetribe, Cocorico, etc. - shall save your finance and time resources.
  • SaaS - Software as a Service represents easy solutions to build a platform. Unfortunately, such service won’t be unique and will completely depend on a specific SaaS.

2. Your project possible scaling

When designing an MVP version, ensure the possibilities to extend features and modify the design in the future. It’s logical to assume that you’re expecting to increase your audience, thus, to process more data. Subsequently, apply the server to handle the loads.

Selecting the right hosting is another aspect to think through carefully. It goes without saying, you need a powerful one. There exist three variants to consider:

  • a virtual shared hosting (storing thousands of websites on a server);
  • a virtual private server (virtual frameworks having their own operating systems);
  • a dedicated server (a specific server which is in the data-center of a hosting company).

To take the right decision you shall determine your goals: are you making your marketplace web resource as quickly as you can? Or are you focused on designing a high-quality solution taking enough time to achieve impressive results?

Summing up

In the process of developing a marketplace, online resource remembers to stay original and identify a niche with no similar platforms. Probably, you’ll need professional assistance to launch the final solution in the most efficient way, so consider such a possibility. And figure out the means to achieve your platform reliability and scalability.

John Thunberbold

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