What Are Keys to Creating A Successful Marketplace Platform?
Julian Tiongson | February 6, 2017
Are you looking to create a Marketplace but not sure how? I am here to share 5 keys to help launch a successful marketplace platform from our experiences.
Supply and Demand
Now this may sound like your college Economics course again but understand the supply and demand in your specific industry. Is there an excess supply with not enough demand? Is the current market just not targeting the right audience? As you perform your industry analysis, keep in mind the problem which you are trying to solve.
Whether you are looking to become the next Airbnb or Lyft, ensure you understand how the market is trending. However, don’t believe everything you see on the news reports. Investing your time now can save you thousands of dollars if not millions (depending on the scale) down the road.
A key issue is finding the right price. Look to your competitors to see what they are charging to apply to your marketplace. This must be at your discretion if you feel your marketplace should be on the higher or lower side of pricing.
Identifying your niche
Targeting a specific niche will help keep the noise down and reduce your competition. For us at Near Me, we specialize in peer-to-peer marketplaces and understand they are not for everyone. We have embraced our small niche market but utilize it to our advantage. Now you don’t have to create the next big simply solve an issue that people are looking for answers. It can be easy as Taskrabbit that is a platform solving a wide range of issues or Lyft that solves your transportation needs. Try not to think too hard on this one.
Know your competitors
Always good to know who you are going up against. While people may say don’t worry about what others are doing, if you want to be successful then DO pay attention to your competition. Now don’t copy everything they are doing but simply know your competitors. Keep an eye out to see what latest products they are creating or what new social media campaign they are running. This all plays a factor into how you can tailor your marketplace platform. Learn from their mistakes so you won’t make them yourself. Going up against the big dogs such as Apple or Microsoft would be quite difficult, so understanding who your competitors are would help make your strategy much easier. Embrace the competition and don’t run away from them. The last thing you want to do is to start talking down about each others marketplace and creating negative publicity. Even if are a victim of act by your competitors, own up to whatever it is and face the issues head on. Turn the bad into something good.
Simple user interface
Why is Apple so successful? Every product they develop has the same or very similar iOS. Creating a very simple user interface will help keep customers coming your way. If you are not a brand loyalist, then more than likely you are in the market comparing products or service. Which has better features or easier functionalities? What seems like the smallest detail can make all the difference when a customer is shopping.
As you are designing your marketplace platform, put yourself in the shoes of your buyer persona. Is it easy to search or add a product to my cart? How long does it take to find what I am looking for? All these questions can help make your interface much more user friendly. I know when I do online shopping, I get discouraged if I can’t find what I am looking for or it takes too long to make a purchase. Let’s not make that mistake for your marketplace.
Trust and confidence
Would you want to do business with someone you didn’t trust? Take for example when you need to take your car in for repairs. Where do you go? I know I take mine to someone who I have the trust and confidence in to fix my issues. Same theory applies for your marketplace platform, if they don’t trust you why pick you over the competitors?
Be active on social media and your customer service lines. Show you are real people behind your marketplace and create a positive image to your audience. Create a contest or special giveaway offers to help establish a bond within your community. As your community begins to encounter more positive experiences with your marketplace, they will become repeat customers and refer others your way.
Found this article useful? Need more advice for your Marketplace Platform? Send us a tweet @NearMeCo!