The idea of eCommerce is not new. Right from the days when big names such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay revolutionized the landscape of the retail industry to date, disruptive business models and eCommerce business ideas have been constantly emerging.
Even the numbers don’t lie. As per Statista, it has been estimated that the e-retails revenues worldwide will grow to $6.54 trillion by the year 2022 from only $3.53 trillion in 2019. However, the online marketplace’s business potential is yet to be explored.
The online marketplace is one of the most popular choices among wholesalers, retailers and startup enthusiasts due to its ability to be custom-built for serving any industry, whether it caters to products or services. Be it the food and beverage industry, handyman services, grocery delivery or the automobile trading industry, anyone can start a business venture today! All one needs to have is a solid business idea in place and voila! You have taken the first and the most important step to building an online marketplace.
Well begun is half done. So, if you have no clue about how to go about with your business idea to build and design a successful marketplace solution, this guide will be useful for you. Let’s get to know what one requires for developing a state-of-the-art online marketplace.
Validating your idea
It is necessary to get the lay of the land before you proceed with building your online marketplace. Identify your target audience and check if potential users see the value of your product or service. Post this stage, develop a Minimum Viable Platform (MVP) according to your budget. An MVP will let you test the potential of your idea and see how your beta users are responding, giving you insights on the areas that need development.
Identifying your business niche/industry
Well, before jumping on the bandwagon as others, conduct thorough market research to ensure that your business development does not fail in the long run. To start your future marketplace platform, it is advisable to build a customer and competitor profile. What’s more important is to take note of all the factors related to your business such as the performance of the industry, market environment, etc.
For instance, consider a business niche for trading automobiles online. To build an effective platform for this niche, you must check out the demand in the market for buying and selling automobiles. Make sure that you choose a niche for which, developing an online marketplace will connect customers with merchants seamlessly.
Design: An important ingredient for business success
While you are developing an online marketplace, you must keep in mind that your brand must speak for itself. Working on brand awareness is vital for bridging the gap between customers and your marketplace. One can start by focusing on integrating smart UX functionalities. An engaging UX design will definitely move your online business in the right direction. That is why it is essential to not ignore the design aspect of your business.
- Always ensure designing around the needs of the user; i.e., build a user-friendly interface
- Incorporate a smart search system with suitable filters
- Ensure that your selection of products meets users’ requirements
- Build a compelling review system for buyers and sellers alike
Executing the development phase
The success of your online marketplace heavily depends on the type of technology you will choose. Whether it is a SaaS type marketplace builder or a customized web solution or implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), one has to find the right option for the development phase.
To build a custom online marketplace, you can either hire a web development team or a skilled freelancer. Opt for professionals who have an ample amount of experience in the integration of payment providers and other crucial features. However, you should plan your business beforehand and wisely decide the time frame for your development phase.
In a nutshell, building and designing a successful online marketplace solution can be a hassle-free process if you plan well and collaborate with the right teams. Identifying your competitors and thinking about how your marketplace will be better than others for your customers, will give you an edge. Last but not least, don’t forget to devise a thoughtful marketing strategy to obtain and retain your customer base. Your marketplace is nothing without your loyal customers who can help you reach new heights in business through successful conversions.