*Note, there is never one way to skin the cat. You can’t get your question answered until you have given all of the facts. But these are all good answers to your general question, so you should have more clarity. Below are some goo actionable steps for you to consider before launching your P2P marketplace:
Costs To Setup an Online Marketplace
Set your sights on something that is realistic and affordable, then work your way up the food chain. A good way to start a marketplace is to create a MVP (minimum viable product) using a WordPress platform. Then, if you feel you need a mobile app, you can start by converting to iOS/Android code through GoNative.io (as opposed to spending 10’s of thousands on from-scratch mobile app dev). This is a great way to start any marketplace because you get to gauge the interest of your niche without burning a hole in your pocket. I elaborate on this topic here if you’d like to read more.
Optimization Your Marketplace Site
The top of your landing page should be designed and copy written for your buyers, because without them, nothing is possible. In the header, include an ajax link reading “Apply To Join” that will smoothly auto-scroll down to the section of the index page focused on seller registration. But, you will need a landing page for your sellers as well – sort of like an application page. You will be directing all of your paid traffic to this page until you have enough sellers to satisfy your customer demand. I’ve written a full response to this topic here.
Strategy For An Online Marketplace Launch
Create a “hook” to retain service professionals within your platform. Hooks can be anything from an email service to a feature within another platform, so long as it keeps them busy and engaged while you gather clients for them. You will also need to find a niche market where you can convince people to actually use your platform. Keep it local to gauge interest. You don’t need to reach everybody at once. Focus on a smaller, local group and build trust and rapport. You want people to use your platform, so build your credibility with a smaller platform. After understanding your niche market and how to get them interested, set up a CRM and email service to keep service professionals occupied as you filter out potential candidates with good reviews and unresponsive professionals that show no interest. You can now revise that email service with an updated list of interested service professionals who are ready to meet buyers. You can read a more detailed example I previously wrote here.
User Acquisition For Your Marketplace
To find buyers, you need to first know your buyers. Create detailed buyer personas and include where they are online – social, shopping, news etc… Then, offer those personas a free service or commodity that can encourage interest in your platform. This can be a simple email with a list of services they may be interested in, a free tool for users accessible only on your site, or free resource downloads. Like the service professionals, these buyers will be put into a CRM to filter out the unresponsive emails in the list from the potential buyers in your platform. Your CRM can notify you the moment somebody reads this email, and you can have the opportunity to contact them in order to convince them to sign up or to try a demo. I have more on this topic in another post.
Preventing leakages In Your Marketplace
Now you have to retain these service professionals and buyers. Use vetting to further decipher the difference between good and bad users. Implement a rating/review system to determine who you want to use your platform. Offer insurance that give your users peace of mind. You may have to pay a little extra, but members will be retained through it. You should also track what your users buy or view so CRM can provide you with data to better suit the user experience.
Finally, continue to add more to your site. Keep the vetting process going and add more profiles to build your platform. I have a full review explaining more on retaining members here.
I hope this helps. For some precise tips, please schedule a call with me here.