The B2B online marketplace platform is now expanding at an incredible rate. Forbes estimates that by 2024, revenues in the B2B marketplace would total $3.5 trillion.
Entrepreneurs now have more trust that starting an online marketplace platform business is a great idea because of the success of Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Airbnb.
Today, your marketplace business has a better chance of thriving because the bulk of online purchases is made through online markets.
What else is there to say? There are several business opportunities in the online marketplace platform. This article seeks to assist you in investigating the concepts of an online marketplace.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
Solve the User’s Tangible Problem
No matter how your online marketplace platform grows in terms of ideas, product, features, or look, it must answer a basic need for your users to be successful in the long run. This problem needs to be tangible and easily understandable.
People with marketable ideas frequently extol their virtues once it is widely adopted. Tell me something you may really find difficult to search for a house or apartment during your vacation.
The Airbnb user’s problem is this. The primary cause of Airbnb’s success is they solve its user’s difficulties by offering a shared rental economy.
Not understanding or solving the real problem of the customers is the main reason for the failure of many marketplaces. You should not repeat this mistake of the other entrepreneurs.
Now, you need to analyze the software marketplace audience’s pain point, but how can you be sure that you find the right problem?
As you know, the online marketplace platform is two-sided, so analyze both seller and buyer before starting a marketplace. This way, you can find the actual problem of your audience.
Tangible problem-solving involves workflow and user engagement. Also, while solving the difficulty, keep money in mind. Though money is not a good measure, it is the best exercise to measure the size of the problem in terms of money.
First, Go to the places where your target audience(location basis is present. This might be a website like Quora, Facebook groups, Reddit, or an online discussion board.
What is the topic of conversation? What are their main worries and pains?
Finding a lucrative business niche is another benefit of keyword research. Here is guidance on how to implement this tactic.
You may utilize that knowledge to improve your concept.
Interview individuals that are part of your target market. So call them up or arrange to meet for coffee and ask them about your company concept.
Tips: Instead of asking them if they would use your platform (most of them would answer yes to be polite to you! ), question them about their concerns. WHY would they utilize your platform? How urgently do they need to use it?
So, solve the actual problem of your audience, but if you’re chasing the wrong problem, no solution will be able to fix it.
Open up Idle Resources
Turn the idle asset to improve your economic efficiency. The sharing economy helps you to unlock the ideal resources. Some of the sharing economy examples are,
- Transportation – Uber
- Space – Airbnb
- Goods – NeighbourGood
These collaborative economy companies efficiently use idle resources. For instance, elders can use their real estate holdings as an additional income. 10% of Airbnb hosts are over 60, according to the company, making elders its fastest-growing host group. Especially during difficult times, this employment can also offer vital support.
Now it’s your time to take a deep look into the shared economy. The sectors of transportation, goods, and space have seen the fastest startup growth, but there are opportunities everywhere. Try to identify idle assets, everywhere globally and use them to create a productive economy.
While choosing a B2B online marketplace platform business idea, you should consider idle resources.
Not only the idle resources, but you also have to look for the fragmented market since the software marketplace can thrive in areas where there are small companies. Companies must specialize to succeed as a result of market fragmentation. Due to this expertise, it is exceedingly difficult for one company to overtake the competition, which may result in a fragmented market.
Although market fragmentation may seem unpleasant, some online marketplace platforms have certain unique benefits. In particular, the absence of a clear leader makes it easier for newcomers to discover a fast route to profitability.
Some example of the fragmented marketplace is,
- Thumbtack targets local professional service providers like guitar instructors and plumbers.
- For freelancers that offer digital services, there are websites like Fiverr and Upwork.
- Through its multi-vendor marketplace approach, Etsy assists people in selling their handmade items.
These service providers have existed for a long time, but earlier to the advent of marketplaces, they lacked a central aggregator. You need to understand the customer’s point of view and improve the existing solution, which creates trust among the audience.
Add a Layer of Trust to an Existing Solution
There is nothing new in the online marketplace platform world. Everything has its origin. When starting a marketplace you need to find the hole in the existing solution and improve it. It creates trust among the customers.
As you know, eBay is the first shared economy in the world. After the success of eBay, many entrepreneurs improvised and molded the sharing economy concept and created trust among the marketplace audiences. It results in the launch of new businesses like the rental marketplace, eCommerce marketplace, service marketplace, etc.
For example, eBay and Amazon have a similar concept of an eCommerce shared economy. But, the main difference is eBay sells second-hand products, whereas Amazon remodifies its idea and comes up with a new idea which is “Selling Products”. Also, eBay has many restrictions, but Amazon improvises by providing complete freedom on its platform.
That is how Amazon became successful and also brought trust among its audiences. The widespread marketplace brand you are seeing now emerges from the existing marketplaces. So, know your origin and improvise them to gain customers’ trust.
Narrow Your Focus
Whatever sector you operate in, there is probably fierce competition and a stalled standing between you and the customer. By concentrating on a specific group of people or area of the market, you may make yourself stand out from the competition.
“If you’re not differentiating yourself in the marketplace, what happens is the consumer looks at price as being the motivator,”says Susan Friedmann.
Apart from not solving the user problem, having a too broad focus also leads to failure in the marketplace. So, narrow your focus. To become an established sector you need to hone in one way. You are actually speaking to no one if you are unsure of whose clients you are explicitly addressing.
You can find the exact idea while narrowing your focus. Once you come up with the idea, do the competition analysis and you need to validate them. But how to validate them? I have shared some of my suggestions regarding the marketplace idea validation process in the blog “Validate Marketplace Idea.”
The biggest challenge in creating a marketplace is coming up with a great marketplace idea. If you already have an online marketplace platform idea, then what are you waiting for, launch your own marketplace. Before that, you need to validate your marketplace business idea. But, How? Validate your B2B marketplace business idea by creating an MVP. I hope this article provides you with profitable marketplace ideas to help you get started.