One of the great opportunities the Internet has brought us is the ability to not only buy goods, but also sell them. And while companies create e-commerce sites to sell their offer products, most usual people take advantage of online marketplaces, which are basically platforms for commercial interaction between buyers and sellers.
An online marketplace is a great way to look for required items and compare offers from different sellers. Forcing the sellers to compete for each online consumer naturally increases the quality of products and the way they are sold. Another side of the coin is that nowadays marketplaces also become more advanced. Each platform provides info on reputation to estimate how adequate is the seller, remembers your purchase history to help you recall important details and saves your credentials for easier purchase process in the future.
The latests trend nowadays, however, is switching from global all-in-one marketplaces like eBay or Amazon to consumer specific peer-to-peer platforms that tend to be more manually organized and care more about the people needs and user experience. You also might be thinking about your own local or product-specific marketplace since you’re reading this article.
Earlier creating a marketplace was a messy thing to do. It required at least a dedicated designer and developer to create it and a tech pro to support it on the continuous basis. Nowadays it can be done much easier and with no programming skills. How? Using peer-to-peer marketplace platforms like ShareTribe, NearMe.
For instance, in case of ShareTribe it requires minutes to create your own marketplace and start customizing it. Add 30-day free trial, the open source nature of the solution and its payment system supporting 190+ countries and 25+ currencies and you’ll have the perfect solution for your business.
So creating a peer-to-peer marketplace is no longer a technical problem. The more important question is how to bring it to success, make it well-known and widely popular among your target audience? So here a few best practices for building a successful marketplace.
Apply lean approach to your business
That is make hypothesis and then check them by running special tests. It can be applied in so many things, starting from the way you name the «Buy» button and ending with the domain name and even the selected revenue model.
Add value to your marketplace by adding exclusive advantages. What makes your service different from others? It may be a 24/7 online chat, a discount for delivery service, a loyalty program, etc. Think about reasons why people should switch to your platform and prefer it to others and make them noticeable.
Seek new users
In case of consumers, think about marketing and promoting your marketplace through word of mouth, social media, your blog, various promo actions and events. The more creative you are, the more chances your business will be noticed. In case of sellers look for opportunities to make your marketplace more attractive than others.
Build a core audience
Think of how your marketplace can create an involved community around specific area. For instance, if your platform is about selling skate boards, help people with advice on how to make a right choice when buying a skate. Such info can be presented in a blog or in a Wiki section of your site.
Lower the risks for users
You are basically a mediator between a seller and a buyer, and you can control the way the business is done between them. You can contact sellers and check their identities before letting them offer their goods. Or you can guarantee to fairly handle disputes in case of any.
Pay attention to user experience
The easier it will be for a user to sign up and make transactions, the more chances he will like your marketplace and use it more actively. Most marketplace platforms allow to easily customize these things.
Now you know in general how to build a peer-to-peer marketplace. After all, as with any other business, it all depends on your dedication to the idea and your willingness to make mistakes, learn them and work hard to avoid them and achieve success. Good luck in your venture!