Alex Glenn
– Alex Glenn

I just answered another question, but my answer is almost better suited for your question: Alex Glenn’s answer to What are all the features I need for a online marketplace website?

“This is a good opportunity to share something MVP-tools. In other words, tools/saas/platforms/plugins etc… that allow you to launch and scale a marketplace for cheap.

  1. Your platform can begin and get very large running off WordPress now. This was not the case a few years ago. But, with services like WordPress Hosting, Perfected. WP Engine®, and new dev teams churning out replicas of some of the largest marketplaces out there (see below), you can build your platform on wordpress. And if you’re not planning on hundreds of thousands of users (staying local and niche), stay on WordPress. This allows you to prove out your concept using cheap development costs, and as you’ll see below, some great looking UI’s:
    1. AirBnB theme (see it in action on our site here) – this theme can be used for any type of local director listings site.
    2. Freelancer theme (see it in action here) – this theme can be used for any type of peer-to-peer escrow-holding project-based-services site.
  2. DO NOT pay an iOS/Android developer to build your app until you are certain that you can (a) afford to keep up with the app store and app user needs (i.e. full time app dev ops), and (b) know that it will add enough value to your brand to increase users and/or revenue. Instead of building that native app from scratch, spend $500 to have your web app converted to native code and submit to the app stores using GoNative.io. I used John Snyder and his service to convert our web app to native code recently, and have never spent $500 better.
  3. For growth, make sure you have your email captures set up, tested, and linked to a nurturing campaign. For platforms that have few customers, hire tickets, and less transactions (i.e. any B2B platform or service-to-customer platform with higher costs) I suggest you use a CRM that allows for tracking and triggered email drip campaigns – AgileCRM is not only cheap (for all it offers), but it allows you to send your drip sequences through your gmail/google apps account so you can save money on and integration time on an ESP that does not give you drip campaigns or out of box solutions. Also, if you add this little snippet of .js to your site, you can get desktop notifications when users open/click your emails AND when they are browsing your site in real time (so long as they are also in your CRM). This is enormously beneficial to your conversion strategy. Your platform may not be quite valuable enough to all users who stop by right now, so get those emails and keep them in your funnel so you can convert them when you have something highly relevant (i.e. providers in their area) to offer. For low-ticket marketplaces or ecommerce, use Clevertap to track events and add triggered drip emails/push/sms + Sendgrid + Twillio (to send the emails and SMS alerts).

I don’t have the energy right now to touch on all of the wonderful growth/conversion tools you can use, so add me on Skype and ask me specifics there if you have follow-up questions: right2revenue

Take Care!”