The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to shop online more often; now, more and more people rely on online apps to fulfill their day-to-day tasks. No wonder businesses rely on e-commerce marketplace app to bring their business online and earn more revenue. The online marketplace is not only a great way to get more customers but also provides convenience to users as they can order whatever they want from the comfort of their homes.
A marketplace owner connects customers with service providers, which creates a win-win situation for all. To create an online marketplace, one doesn’t have to own goods; instead, creating a medium that connects businesses with customers is a great and profitable idea. The sharing economy market is anticipated to reach $355 billion by the end of 2025.
Weigh the Potential of Your Idea
It is important to know the potential of your idea. It doesn’t have to be one superb idea; in fact, it can be adapted as per the needs of the market and the target audience. Therefore, one needs to analyze the market before actually implementing the idea.
No doubt, the potential of online shopping is vast. By the end of 2022, global e-commerce sales are expected to grow to USD 5.4 trillion.
Benefits of an Online Marketplace
The online marketplace is beneficial for businesses and customers. With more people relying on online shopping, the online marketplace is greatly beneficial for businesses around the world.
Let’s dive deep into the benefits of an Online Marketplace
Increase in Sales
With the online marketplace, local businesses can get in touch with a bigger audience. There is no barrier to a geographical location, and businesses that can’t move inventory from one location to other can greatly benefit from it.
Better Profit Margins
Since the online marketplace increases reach, more customers buy products which help businesses increase profit margins.
Minimum Setup Cost
The cost involved with setting up a business through an online marketplace is marginal. In the offline mode, there is a lot of costs incurred, such as renting a store, hiring employees, etc. With the online marketplace, all these costs get vanished.
As the cost involved with the online marketplace is less, therefore, the risk is also less. When we see the business model, it is far more scalable than physical shops.
Marketing is essential for every business. It’s important to make your online store stand out from the rest. There are a number of opportunities in the digital space to market your store. Clickable banners, ads, etc., can really help in enhancing the visibility of an online store.
Businesses need to analyze customer behavior, which helps them in making important business decisions. The online marketplace helps businesses know how many customers they get every day, which products are bestsellers, and so on. For instance, you are running an ad campaign and tracking the campaign’s success, you need to track customer patterns when they see your ad.
How Does it Work?
The working of an online marketplace is simple and easy to understand. When you receive an order, you can either accept it or reject it depending upon factors such as availability, delivery time, etc. If you accept the order request, then vendors are informed about the same, and they ship the product to the logistics partner.
How To Start an Online Marketplace
Starting an online marketplace requires a bit of work. Here, we are listing the steps that you need to take to build an online marketplace.
The first and foremost thing is deep research. You have to solve a real problem; for instance, Airbnb aims at solving the problem of expensive hotel rooms. The very first step is to analyze a problem worth solving. Take a look at your competitors and study market leaders.
Know About Target Audience
To make an idea successful, it’s important to know about your target audience. Do a careful analysis and research to ensure that your idea is actually what your target audience needs. It’s important to validate your idea, it takes some time, but it’s worth the effort. It’s important to get answers to the following questions:
- Would you use this product?
- How often would you use this product?
- Size of the total addressable market?
- Feedback from the interviewed group of customers
In the planning stage, one has to gather requirements, create specific documents, and design wireframes. In the planning stage, it’s also important to know what part of the project would be at what time.
Development: How to Build a Marketplace Website/App
There are a few crucial steps that one needs to understand before building a marketplace website/app:
To build an app, there are two ways:
- Build the app from scratch
- Use a ready-to-use solution
You can either build an app from scratch by getting in touch with an app development company or utilize a ready-to-use solution, which can be customized as per diverse business needs.
Define Key Features
Key features should be defined before building an Online Marketplace. One has to accommodate both sellers and buyers that will utilize the app. Key features of an online marketplace are:
- Stock and order arrangement
- Transactional control
- Statistics and analytics tools
- Multiple payment modes
- Social media integration
Key App Components for the Buyer
When it comes to a buyer’s app, one needs to make it intuitive and easy to use. Make your solution such that buyers find it easy to trust and use. The security of the app should never be taken for granted, and proper measures should be taken to ensure the same.
Some of the important features of the buyer app are:
- Easy signup and sign in
- Advanced search options
- Shopping cart
- Multiple payment modes
- Ratings and review
- Real-time tracking
Focus on the UI/UX aspect
UI/UX of the app should be given due importance. The UI/UX of the app should be designed by keeping in mind the target audience, features, and goals you have identified. It’s always a good idea to create an MVP- Minimum Viable Product; it’s a product with just enough features required for the working. MVP helps businesses to test their product and analyze what users like and don’t. It’s like testing waters before actually launching the product.
Appropriate Tech Tools
Development problems that occur during the process of building a marketplace can be resolved by utilizing the right tools. When you are taking the help of an app development company, they have appropriate resources to provide you with a great solution.
Prepare for Proper Maintenance
After the launch of the product, the work doesn’t end. The process of maintenance involves improving your application, updating it with time, etc. The business should analyze what their customers like and what improvements need to be made. Some features become obsolete with time and need to be changed. After the app deployment, the work regarding customer support, bug fixes, the addition of new functions, etc., is an ongoing one.
The demand for online marketplace applications is on the rise, which means more and more businesses as well customers are into these apps. Though the competition is soaring in the field, new features and new-age technology is helpful in providing businesses with what they need. The above-listed steps are helpful in building an online marketplace that can take your business to new heights.