An online marketplace just like it sounds is not a single store but a collection of stores. It allows customers to walk in and browse goods from different vendors. The purpose of a marketplace is to present buyers with inventories of other businesses and facilitate a transaction. Marketplace portals like Flipkart, Fiverr, and Etsy seem to be very profitable at first glance and they don’t even own their inventory, they just have an online portal to sell products and services of other businesses. However, building an online marketplace is not as easy as it sounds. It is complicated, very complicated.
But with the advancement of technology, building an online marketplace has not been that intricate. This may take time but after knowing what startup entrepreneurs are doing in the league of building product or service-driven online marketplace, you can easily set up one for you. Let’s dive into some details first:
It takes time to convince business providers and merchants
Everyone has their priorities in this busy world and they are not even ready to hear your plan. Convincing business owners or service providers to join your marketplace is much like solving a chicken-egg riddle here. First, locating these merchants online as well as offline requires a lot of effort. Only 20 out of 100 will agree to hear you out and among these 20 also, 8 will assure that they will join and only 2 will join at the end. This is when you are trying to approach only relevant people. Don’t even think of relying upon a generic email list that includes every single person in a particular area. So dear entrepreneurs don’t go for launching a marketplace if you don’t have the patience and courage to keep going.
Choose your Technology Carefully
Marketplace, if you are thinking so is not like an ordinary online store, where only a small catalog of products is on sale and only a small database of customers is to manage. An online marketplace hosts thousands of merchants/service providers and serves tens of thousands of customers. Therefore, an online portal built upon inappropriate technology is not an option.
In the long run of your marketplace, you need a technology that guarantees the stability, security, and performance of your giant online portal. It is critical for entrepreneurs coming from non-technical backgrounds who don’t know much about technology selection, making it even more necessary to have expert advice from professional web development services.
Cloning of a Marketplace software is only temporary
If you have been exploring the ways of building a marketplace, then you might have found some marketplace builders online who are providing readymade software solutions to launch clones of Freelancer, Amazon, and other similar marketplace websites. But the reality is as it always is a bit twisted. Most of this software is not even worth looking at and the remaining ones will cost you a handsome amount that comes along with major customization needs. So don’t go for these turnkey software instead build your own and set up your unique marketplace idea.
Marketing expenses will be huge
Establishing a marketplace is not the end of the story. Marketing is another headache that multiplies holes in your pocket. Instead of considering it as an expensive affair, observe it as a big investment. From paid advertising to SEO and social media marketing, everything will demand money, and offline expenses are not even mentioned yet. Most entrepreneurs are so focused on web design and development that they forget to plan for marketing and save some money for it. But as we all know without marketing your online portal is of no use.
Finding skilled developers is another big deal
The Internet is suffused with probably millions of IT companies and only a few of them will hold the expertise you are looking for. For a marketplace website, you should look for a development team that will:
- Guide you about the latest technology suitable to your requirements.
- Consider UX and search engine optimization while setting up the architecture.
- Recommend new features and follow a transparent development process.
Discovering such a dedicated team is a tiring thing. That’s why most of the startups prefer in-house development of their online marketplace. You can go for their online reviews, scrutinize their previous works, and speak with their consultants before finalizing your development work.
Wrapping it up!
Launching and scaling a marketplace venture is never easy. So many things need to be done beforehand and they involve many risks within. In one line, building the next Flipkart or Amazon is not everyone’s cup of tea. So start only if you think you know the right know-how and have enough patience.