It is expected that in 2025, sharing economy value will exceed $335 billion. This is a huge jump that will take us to a brand-new world, a world built on collaborative economy principles, full of opportunities for everyone. Source
In this industry, there is much space for innovative ideas and revolutionary products yet. As an early bird, it may be much easier for you to start business immediately than wake up in several years desperately looking for an unoccupied niche. Great solutions are born every day; some of them win users’ hearts, the others remain unnoticed and lead their founders nowhere. We live in an auspicious era, and today, you have amazing conditions for growing a business from a small idea to a prominent corporation.
For now, the most prominent representatives of the sharing economy are the enormous source of inspiration. Just take a look at facts:
- Amazon revenue has almost reached $242 billion;
- The number of active customers on eBay exceeds 168 million;
- Daily, Alibaba ships more than 12 million parcels to their shoppers.
The statistics show striking data, and successful online marketplace seems to be even more attractive and profitable than initially. This type of products provides unlimited opportunities for both parts of cooperation, large businesses and small companies, popular products, and home-made goods. And if you think about launching your own marketplace, there will be no better time to start than right now.
Luckily, in this article, we have collected all the significant things about online marketplace development. Follow our detailed guide and in a few years, you will see your idea in the list of top marketplaces. Let’s start the show.
5 significant things to keep in mind from the very beginning
First and foremost, you must evaluate your idea. It is a decisive factor for a successful break into the beneficial market: build a solid ground for your solution, and nothing will shake it in the future. So before diving into the IT depth and proceeding with confident steps, keep in mind the following things.
1. The idea must be unique
Truly, we live in a prosperous century. And as well as you, there are many enthusiasts that dream of launching a solution that will become an important element of digital society and sharing economy industry. So your idea must be one-of-a-kind, or at least it should demonstrate critical advantages in comparison to similar ones.
2. A problem to solve
Make sure that the proposed solution solves the particular tasks, deals with special inconvenience, and plays the role of a healing pill for multiple users. Focus on the existing pain points, analyze them and even collect real customers’ opinions in order to create a solution that will be level up from other ones. Keep in mind that almost half of startups fail because the market simply doesn’t need them.
3. Target audience description
It is nice to know what you plan to deliver; it is much better to know who exactly you do it for. So before taking any difficult steps, take a breath and devote some time to target audience analysis.
- Who are these people?
- How old are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- Why would they choose your product over the competitors’ ones?
These are questions you are ought to answer if you want a marketplace to bring you revenue.
The more you understand your potential users, the more chances you get to win their preferences and strengthen your positions in the market.
4. Find out which companies you need to knock out
It is quite possible there are several similar products on the local market. Get to know them, try them, use them, reveal their mistakes and make sure you won’t make the same ones. Their experience is a bottomless source of information for you, so use it properly.
We believe that as a consumer, you look for the best products for you and your family. Your product’s users will act just the same. So analyze your competitors’ businesses and build a strategy on how to offer a better solution.
5. Financial aspect
When you’ve finished with the above-mentioned tasks, it is time to define how actually you are going to make money on your project. This question seems quite simple, isn’t it? However, diving into the depth of monetization may be difficult, and you may meet there many business monsters and hidden treasures.
Here are several models you need to consider as profitable options:
- Commission-based model, where a user is charged for every transaction;
- Subscription-based model, where users pay fees for a certain period of usage;
- Freemium, where most of the marketplace’s features are free but the advanced functionality needs to be paid for;
- In-marketplace ads model, where advertising generates your revenue.
A simple guide on how to build an online marketplace
Now, when you’ve prepared thoroughly for real actions, take a look at our guide on how to develop a viable online marketplace solution:
Work on documentation
Well-developed documentation will save you much time. This is your way to explain the idea to an engineering partner, and a personal plan on how to deliver a product. Remember that correct understanding of an idea is a warranty of its brilliant implementation.
Create a prototype
A simple sketch is another way to demonstrate the concept to your partner. Besides, this is another chance for you to analyze its strengths and weaknesses.
Build the MVP
It is time to proceed with development. In order to make sure you are on the right path, develop MVP first. Why build it? Well, this is the way to connect your idea with the first real users within the shortest terms. It provides you with assistance in understanding user behavior and gives a chance to fix potential issues before investing in global product development.
On this stage, you should be ready that the idea you plan to launch is going to either win or lose. But even it will turn out the project isn’t successful, don’t lose your temper and keep on working on it. Better catering to users’ needs opens a door to sharing economy industry.
Increase your marketing awareness
Marketing plays an important role in a successful product launch. You need to develop an excellent program to attract attention to the product that doesn’t even exist! So work on your marketing skills or higher a competent marketing professional to deal with this task for you.
Run your brilliant marketplace
When everything is checked and fixed, and a target audience is warmed up with special opportunities, and you are sure this marketplace is your key tool in changing this world, develop a fully functional version of the eCommerce website. Continuous improvements would be inevitable but if you do your best, you’ll reach the best.
As you can see, marketplace development requires much dedication and many hours of working on the concept. Before starting to code a marketplace, it is necessary to see clearly the idea’s purpose and potential.
Do you need someone to discuss your idea with? Share it with us. We know how to build a high-quality online marketplace, and we can give you a hand with that.