It is not difficult to name today's successful marketplace platforms. The vision of becoming the next Amazon, Uber, eBay or Airbnb drives many entrepreneurs who want to effectively sell their products or services to the world. But, the road to such a scale of success requires many sacrifices and thoughtful actions at every stage of the business. That is why we decided to prepare a guide to help you take the first steps in creating a solid sales platform. Who knows, maybe after following our advice, your marketplace will become a global success. We keep our fingers crossed for that! In the meantime, take a look at the tips we have prepared.
Get to know your industry
The first step to take is to analyse your business. One of the most common causes of failed businesses is the lack of demand and need for the items you sell. Because of this, it is important to choose an appropriate industry and business model. The safer option is to choose a business that has many suppliers and buyers. For very niche industries, it is more difficult to gain the trust of potential customers. They usually source goods and services from the same suppliers. This is due to long-standing habits. In this case, you need to offer them something really competitive. Besides, if you are taking your first steps, we recommend choosing a sector that is easier to reach.
Also, it is important to determine the frequency with which customers buy the goods you offer. For example, if you sell smartphones, you can expect one customer to make sporadic purchases, compared to selling food, where the same customer will make them more regularly. What is more relevant is pricing, which has a significant impact on the frequency mentioned.
Define the costs of your marketplace
Financial obstacles are the most common reason why businesses fail. That is why estimating the costs of your marketplace should be a priority. When defining costs, you should consider both the costs of creating the platform and the expenses for promoting. The right pricing strategy can contribute to the final success of your marketplace. Don't forget that a good revenue model is one that responds to trends and changing business requirements.
Proper financial management can help you:
- drawing up business objectives;
- developing a market price analysis;
- analysis of customer behaviour and requirements;
- profiling your competitors' pricing strategy;
- finding the right marketplace software to meet the requirements of your pricing model.
Pay attention to the MVP
Minimum Viable Products are useful at any stage of development. They usually concern the most important functions of your marketplace. In this case, developing the framework and focusing on getting it right can take less time and cost than the final platform. Further advantages are the ability to gather early users of the product and, if needed, extra refinement of ideas. Remember that your MVP should be refined before presenting it to the world.
Unique Value Proposition can draw attention to your marketplace
When creating your own sales channel, you must remember to offer your audience solutions that will grab their attention. Customers expect this from the marketplace and are more likely to choose those that have favourable conditions for them. Among these, three factors stand out, which prevail in communication.
- Focus on market access - in this case, the customer is offered extensive access to suppliers and products.
- Focus on price - discounts and price offers are presented that differ in favour of those available on the market.
- Convenience focus - attention is paid to the time savings that result from taking the customer out of a particular activity.
Digital retailers need to be aware that customers want the lowest possible prices, constant access to the platform and an experience that was before unavailable. That is why you should observe the competition, keep up to date with innovations, and pay attention to consumer behaviour. In this way, you will develop UVPs that will be the special mark of your marketplace.
Design as an element of a successful marketplace
Design has a very important role to play in creating experiences, emotions and even user decisions. The right design in combination with intuitive functionalities can make your marketplace a popular place to visit. In this case, it is essential to enlist the help of UX and UI specialists to help you create a simple and convenient navigation.
The ability to buy a product easily and quickly is a comfort for the user. Aesthetics, clarity and order have an impact on this. Visual experience is created not only by graphic elements. The text also influences the final perception. So, if you want to encourage a potential customer to make a purchase, make sure that the content is simple, understandable and short.
Take care of your promotion
No matter if you are creating a marketplace, producing music or making an important discovery, all these need proper promotion. It allows you to reach a larger audience and draw attention to your business. Also, spending on promotion will enable the marketplace to get off to a better start, which may translate into a faster chase against existing competition. When striving for a successful marketplace, there are a few tools that can help recognition.
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Paid Advertising
A thriving marketplace has an equal or nearly equal share of sellers and buyers. This maintains a balance between the two groups and makes the platform more attractive to them. In order to ensure the quality of the provided services, it is worth using a system for rating sellers by customers and the possibility to create opinions.
As you can see, creating a successful marketplace is a journey consisting of many stages. In order to reach the top, each of them needs to be pursued consistently. The main goal should not be to get to a certain point, but to grow steadily. Many years of success result mainly from responding to changes in the market and observing the environment. By following these tips, you will give yourself a better start in business and increase your chances of long-term income.