3 Questions You Should Ask Before Launching Your Marketplace

Marketplaces are becoming more and more popular but how do you become one that people use as their “go-to”? Take AirBnb or Taskrabbit for example. Both of those marketplaces have become the leaders in their niche. Here are 3 questions when building your marketplace that should be addressed.

1. Does Your Marketplace Solve A Problem?

We live in this world of “on-demand” and if we can’t find the solution for our problems, we move on to the next thing. In the case of marketplaces, if we can’t find what we are looking for we then move onto the next one. Take Amazon for example. They have become one of the leaders in the industry and you can buy pretty much anything from the comfort of your own home. If people can’t find what you’re looking for on amazon (which is rare), then they simply move on to the next google search.

Marketplace owner’s need to address the issue of “solving a problem or fulfilling a need”. Why should someone use your marketplace if they can not find what they need? Find your niche and stick to it. Don’t try to follow this trend or be like this marketplace. You may be trying to become the next AirBnb or Upside Of Talent to find subject matter experts but it is important to play to your strengths and be your own platform. Start off small within your market before trying to cover multiple industries.

2. Is Your Marketplace Simple To Use?

I can’t even count how many times I have dealt with a marketplace and their user interface is terrible. This is the fastest way to lose a customer. From not being able to find the shopping cart to not being able to complete orders, i’ve experienced it all. I have even placed an order and later get an email saying my order was cancelled due to it being out of stock. Those little things should be fixed within the platform before going live or caught by your quality assurance team. It is understandable to have issues once in awhile but for an issue to be found and not fixed is unacceptable.

You must put yourself in the shoes of your users. Are your pages easy to navigate? Can I find and easily compare products? At the end of the day, people come to your site to either buy, rent, or swap items. If you do not make it easy for your average person to navigate then you will lose out on a huge market. Not everyone is tech savvy and even patient enough to figure your marketplace out. Don’t go crazy with the designs with things flying in from the right of pop-up videos. This will only frustrate your audience more and lead them to leave.

3. Will Using Your Marketplace Save OR Make People Money?

Let’s face it, we live in a very expensive period of time. Prices are at an all time high and even a decent meal in the Bay Area can run anywhere from $15 and up. Now just doing the math for a whole month and that can add up quickly. When it comes to marketplaces, they have become viewed as alternatives to save or earn some extra cash.

Take a AirBnb for example. People are looking for a temporary stay while being in the comfort of a “home” or the one who is renting their home for guests to stay in. The platform allows people to save or make money. This market is grown and far exceed the expectations of everyone. Who knew a marketplace that rents out their home or apartment a few days at a time can be such a big hit? Hotel prices are just ridiculous and quite frankly to get a quality hotel can be double the price of an AirBnb.

While of course there are many other factors that can lead to the success of a marketplace but answer these 3 simple questions are an essential starting point. Have any further questions? Feel free to comment below and share with us what you think is also important to answer.

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