When the term “Marketplace” comes to mind, many think of Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, and now Facebook Marketplace is added to the mix. What is the common trait between those companies? The simple and easy to use software that even your grandparents can navigate. Sure the software is a contributing factor to the success but what about what goes beyond that? What about the users who are the true driving force behind marketplaces and the community that is created within? Let’s dive in and see how it goes beyond the software.
The Power Of A Community
If you have ever used a marketplace platform, you understand that it goes beyond just software. From profile user ratings to forums that are integrated into the site. These functionalities help provide a sense of trust to new users whom may have just joined the platform. Why would someone want to join a marketplace with terrible reviews and ratings? That alone is enough to deter people away from your platform. Your typical consumer will do tons and tons of research before signing up and using a marketplace.
Let’s go back to 10 years ago when Airbnb first launched. Who were they and what were they doing? Airbnb definitely did not become a success overnight, just like any other business. The idea of staying in a random person’s room or home was very unheard of at the time. How can you trust the place is safe, clean, and what you signed up for? These questions were the reaction of myself and many others when first hearing about the platform.
With the simple UI, user rated profile systems, and booking process it gained traction and within 3 years it reached one million bookings. The platform spoke for itself. The peer-to-peer community was the clear driving force behind its success and very well continues to be. Hosts are able to rate their guests and guests are to rate their hosts. The simple and easy platform valuation was an astonishing $31 billion. Believe the power of this community speaks volumes.
Your first instinct may be, “Doesn’t it take jobs away from the coders and developers who would typically build the software themselves rather than going with a software provider?” Marketplace providers are not meant to take away from that market but rather from those who lack the technical expertise to develop a platform from scratch. The more business savvy people with great ideas but no technical background benefit greatly by using software providers. It takes away the headache of trying to learn what has already been done by others. Why waste the time when it can be focused more towards your strengths and other business goals? For a fraction of the development cost, software providers such as Near Me, Arcadier, Sharetribe, and IZBERG are all great alternatives.
On the other side of things, opening up a new marketplace can create thousands of new jobs. Take Amazon for example. A multi-vendor platform that allows buyers to sell their products directly to any user or customer while taking a small referral fee. So who exactly is selling on Amazon? It can range from small business owners to large corporation. The beauty of it is that it gives everyone an even chance to sell on the platform. It is up to the company to maintain a high seller rating by providing the products users are purchasing and fulfill those wants or needs. The people behind the scenes are living off Amazon’s services while they can focus on research and development, producing, and improving products.
Do you have any stories about your marketplace platform and how the community has helped drive your success? We’d love to hear it! Shoot us a comment below or give us a shout on social media.