And everyone can have a slice of this promising industry. From wholesalers and retailers to innovative enthusiasts, anyone can start a flourishing business venture.
If you already have a business idea but not sure what your next steps are, this article is for you.
First, let’s go, step by step.
Let’s see what you need for a functional business-oriented online marketplace
#1 First, you need to validate your idea
This means that you need to gather answers from your potential users.
You need to discover:
- Who are they exactly
- What is the problem you can solve for them
How your target sees the value of your product or service
Once you had tested the waters get ready to think about further development and the Minimum Viable Platform. MVP is where you can start, depending on your budget. With the right development, you can launch your e-shop in 3 to 4 months. This, however, is not the end of development, rather a beginning.
MVP will allow you to further test the business potential of your idea, to see how your target audience/beta users are responding, and whether your project is built to meet their needs. From here you go to development improvements.
#2 Second, start an online marketplace business if there is a niche for your business
Before you start working on your platform, see what you have to do first. Market research is essential for a functional online marketplace.
Proper market research will secure your start and give useful data for your business development in the long run. If this research fails or you skip doing it, your business might take the wrong turn.
#3 Think why your online marketplace stands out from the herd
Your brand has to speak for itself and to represent certain appreciated values. The connection between the brand and its values is inseparable. Your platform is part of that relationship and it could be used to reflect values you want to promote.
In order to do that, you have to work on your brand awareness and match your values with the customers’. One of the ways for meeting their needs is by implementing smart UX functionalities to your future online marketplace.
#4 Find the right option for the development phase
Customized web solutions vs SaaS type marketplace builder?
Businesses can rise and fall if the right technology is not employed. The success of an online business depends largely on the technology.
There are many options and they are coming with their pros and cons. We’ll briefly explain the main differences and advantages of technology solutions.
Launching an online marketplace on the existing SaaS platform?
This is the first choice for many companies and newbies in the eCommerce industry because SaaS platforms are “in the cloud”. As an owner, you won’t have to worry about hosting for example.
Apart from that, SaaS software can provide you with proven technical infrastructure, developed functionalities and tools for content promotion.
#5 Think long-term
Planning is the key. Work on your idea, share it with the people who might be interested to finance your project.
Discover your competitors, but make a distance from them. Think about why and how your marketplace is going to be better than the other ones. With the fully prepared online marketplace, the only thing you have to do is to work on your marketing strategy
Depending on the development solution you choose, it takes a lot of time and hard work to not only build an online marketplace but also obtain and retain customers. A thoughtful marketing strategy can help you with that.
Luckily there are many disruptive solutions and unique strategies you could use and look forward to many successful conversions.