Once business enthusiasts woke up with the idea of how to create an online marketplace, our life took to a whole new level.
It isn’t easy to imagine that we couldn’t book a room, order a taxi home, or order food delivery. With the advent of the online marketplace, our daily life has become easier. Wherever you are, one click is enough to book the service you need.
Nowadays there are over 10K of online marketplaces in the World. And 30% of them are startups.
Do you need proof, right? We’ll help you to lay everything out.
There are 2,624.18 billion investments in marketplaces, and 10K investors have invested in this industry at least once.
No wonder. Not only online shops are examples of how the Internet makes peoples’ lives easier. And they also build great business opportunities.
Why Marketplaces Business Are So Alluring
An online marketplace is a digital website that connects customers with suppliers by providing value and trust for both sides.
A marketplace trend started not long ago but had already taken a big piece of the market.
The Sloboda Studio team analyzed all marketplace trends in 2021 and found the info you need to know:
Source: Statista, Digitalcommerce360, Dealroom, Finance Yahoo, FinancesOnline
In 2021, online marketplace website startups made a real splash. Despite the Covid restrictions, many website startups have appeared in healthcare, medicine, and education.
According to the Dual Room study, 55% of these startups perform well in the short and long term. Covid-19 has only strengthened the trend towards digitalization. We can see sharply increasing demand for telemedicine, B2B, and online delivery.
Nevertheless, Covid-19 has accelerated the change in the priorities of startups in the market. As medical organizations struggle to find the necessary equipment quickly, online B2B markets such as Kwipped are becoming indispensable tools for medicare staff, which significantly affects the results.
For example, in April 2020, fan orders increased by 32,000% using the Kwipped platform. Similarly, charges for beds in clinics increased by 1705% in February.
Why Startuppers Love Online Marketplaces
With the help of the website, your newborn business can be successful for some reasons like:
- They are attractive for investors to make their money powerful working tools
- Online websites you build can multiply and make them possible to scale
- Websites make the promotion process easier than standalone companies
- Creating a marketplace is an excellent way to build your offline business digital.
Why Customers Love Online Shops
With the help of the website, customers find everything they want. Also, people make their decisions to make based on such criteria like:
- Trust: the websites you build can inspire more trust than self-standing companies due to numerous reviews and feedback.
- Low prices: the websites offer lower prices than standalone businesses.
- Convenience: the booking of things you need is just one click away.
- A broad range of services: the websites offer a wide variety of choices from different suppliers and at different prices
Why Investors Are Fond of Marketplaces
The global investment market grew to $ 2,624.18 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 12.1%.
The growth is mainly due to companies’ restructuring and recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
Before, we had some containment measures like social distancing, teleworking, and business closings.
However, the forecasts for the investment market are favorable. So, you need to stay in trend.
The market will reach $ 3,631.22 billion in 2025, with a growth rate of 8% per year.
The pandemic has had a beneficial effect on the rapid development of the marketplace website giants. It’s not a surprise because the world has focused its attention on online opportunities that digital provide.
As a result, the online marketplace grew to $5 trillion in value in a short period. A significant role in the growth played the leading market unicorns.
Source: Dealroom, Analysis of Google finance data, Speedinvest, Adevinta Ventures
What Website Types Are Popular with Investors
We saw the most substantial website valuation growth in the wake of Covid in categories like:
- fashion jumped by 142%,
- food delivery by 132%
- digital health by 120%
No matter how strange it may sound, Covid turned out to be the very medicine for the marketplace industry since it started. Now, the websites build a more comfortable place.
3x year on the period of 2020-2021 – record investment for online market platforms.
During the first three months of 2021, global investments reached an all-time high of $28 billion.
Investing in the marketplace industry has become not only fashionable but also reliable.
So, it is quite visible that investors are captivated by the value that marketplaces offer.
3 Core Reasons Investors Find Website Shops Promising
Online websites you build can attract investors with the help of some great benefits like:
- Opportunity to be a part of the e-commerce market
- Ability to grow, evolve and perform
Why Online Shops Are Also Alluring For Corporations
Basically, there are 2 ways of using marketplaces for corporate advantage:
- A corporation can either build its own marketplace to promoting and broadening its initial business or
- Place their products on an online marketplace website you build to widen their audience and develop a new channel for distribution.
Types of Online Marketplaces
Below, we’ll discuss that the crucial part of successful projects is knowing what exactly you are building.
And a type of future marketplace you build is one of the things to need in the very beginning.
- B2B (Business to Business) – an online marketplace website for transaction of services or products between businesses.
- B2C (Business to Customer) – businesses sell to individuals through a third-party – an online marketplace.
- C2C (Customer to Customer) – transaction happens between individuals on the website. This type is also called Peer to Peer (P2P).
- B2G (Business to Government) – a website for transactions of different things or products between businesses and the government.
By the offer:
- Service marketplace – a website that offers goods from different providers.
- Product marketplace – a website where various suppliers start to sell different goods, items, products.
By the focus:
- Commoditized – Customers don’t have access to reviewing suppliers’ profiles. The platform setting the price is responsible for removing as much friction as possible and providing enough value to both sides.
- Non-Commoditized – Customers are able to set some filters like view profiles, and communicate with suppliers or service providers before buying what they need.
3 Steps to Know How to Create an Online Marketplace
As mentioned earlier above, there are a lot of newly-opened websites that have received huge investments. But the other truth is that many digital shops fail.
This often happens due to the fact that products:
- have no market fit
- lack the core functionality
- their technical implementation was poorly calculated.
We’re going to share the core steps when you build a website. They shouldn’t be ignored and would help to avoid typical failures when you build your excellent idea.
1) Discovery Phase
The Discovery Phase is an initial stage of product development that helps to prevent a marketplace website from failing.
This meaningful stage of creating an online platform involves profound market research, analyzing the goals, and building a development plan.
Discovery Phase helps to figure out:
- The problem to solve: a website that you start to build must solve a real problem. There should be a need for your thing when you create an online marketplace.
- Competition: a discovery phase implies conducting a comparative analysis of direct and indirect competitors. During this stage, you find out whether a product has any analogs on the market, what features your competitors have, and which ones can be implemented on your online marketplace.
- Marketplace business models: here you need to start with the best method of monetizing. There are 3 main marketplace revenue models: commission, subscription, and listing fees.
- Customer journey map: a discovery phase helps to map out a customer’s journey from the initial contact with a platform to retaining a customer on a platform after the purchase.
After running a Discovery Phase, you will have the best preview like:
- Software requirements specification (SRS Document)
- Technology stack
- Platform architecture
- Product functionality
- User journey
2) Business Development Stage: Marketplace MVP
Having handled all the market research and development plans, it is time to move to build your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). MVP is the minimum version of your online marketplace website with its core functionality only.
Why Start With a Marketplace MVP?
- Marketplace MVP has enough features to attract early customers
- It helps to gather feedback for future product development
- Marketplace MVP provides you with a solid basis for building a fully-featured product in the future
- It is a life-proof for investors and an essential element of your startup pitch.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product that has enough value and features for users to buy and keep using the platform.
Every marketplace differs and yours has to differ too. It should have some unique features that no one has.
However, there are some features that each marketplace has, and having them on your platform will definitely work for your need.
Recommended: How to Develop Online Marketplace MVP
You have your marketplace MVP and there are so many features to implement, so many marketing activities to try out… but there is an everlasting startup issue – lack of budget.
The solution is as simple as that – proving your product is worthy and finding internal investments.
We advise you to pay attention to the guide on getting your online marketplace funded.
Sometimes startuppers seek investments before they start building a marketplace MVP. In this case, there is not much to show investors rather than numbers and market research when you build your project.
With an already-developed MVP and high traction, chances for winning the hearts of investors double.
After receiving the first round of investments, you will start to build a fully functional product that will attract even more customers and suppliers.
Your marketplace website can be the best one.
Core features Every Marketplace Should Have
Search & Filtering
To make the choice easy and fast for users, you need to provide users with a well-designed and advanced search & filtering system. In addition, you may add sorting and tagging to your marketplace website.
Booking of time slots
After finding the most suitable service provider, a customer is probably would want to book the goods.
The booking feature is universal. It can be introduced on various types of online websites like:
- cleaning website like Helpling
- freelance marketplaces like Fiverr
- expert marketplaces like Clarity.fm.
During the booking process, users indicate the best possible time and desirable date for the task. That means that the booking process should be a no-brainer. One of the features that it helps to achieve is implementing a built-in calendar.
There are 3 types of marketplace money flow:
- at the moment of booking
- on the day of goods delivery
With prepayment, customers need to pay in advance for some things that they will receive later. This type of payment flow is not beneficial for either party.
- The customer will cancel a task
- The money transaction which must happen on the day of service delivery might not go through.
2. Escrow payment
The most popular and safest type of payment on your website. A marketplace charges a customer at the moment of booking. However, a payment provider withholds the money until the service is carried out. Only then does a service supplier receive the payment?
3. Post payment
The least used type of payment on your website. Here, the charge is made after delivering products.
In order to facilitate transactions on your platform, you need to have a Payment provider.
Here the list of the best payment providers:
The most popular payment website provider is Stripe. Stripe is a marketplace payment gateway that has several pros that help your customers feel comfortable. It allows the marketplace to manage the accounts of its employees.
Reviews & Feedback
We’ve already discussed that trust is what attracts both suppliers and customers in online shops.
Every marketplace founder wants to start the platform with customers’ trust.
One of the most powerful ways to inspire trust in your online marketplace is to introduce a rating and feedback system on your marketplace website.
Airbnb, for example, is an obvious example of solid ratings and feedback features that help. After the products are completed, a platform asks to:
- rate the host
- answer a multiple-choice questionnaire
- write feedback.