How to Create a Service Marketplace Platform: Issues and Platform Features

7 September 2022 Writer: Lera Grechanik 299 views

We are lucky enough to see the service marketplace boom that occurred over the last decade. Many newly-appeared marketplaces have given individuals and entrepreneurs unseen opportunities. Some of them have been strongly incorporated into our daily life. 

Fiverr and Upwork are probably the first ones that come up in our minds when one mentions service marketplaces. But they're much more of them. Wanna join the family of service marketplace? Let’s figure out how to build a service marketplace first! 

A Few Words About Online Service Marketplaces

Service marketplaces are the platforms where some people sell their skills and talents while others buy them to receive a needed value. Freelancers, particular persons, or firms may act as vendors or buyers. 

Service marketplace development has brought many positive changes to the modern world. Let’s figure them out:

For instance, freelance platforms, like Fiverr and Upwork, have opened the world of remote work and erased geographical barriers. People can work from any location and with people from all over the Globe. The world has become a global village in terms of working. 

Uber has given more gig-based workplaces. The drivers got the chance to gain additional earnings with their cars. 

Same for Airbnb and Booking. These marketplaces let landlords earn extra while renting out their property for tourists to stay. 

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Picking Business Models for Service Marketplaces

As we said, an idea to develop a service marketplace platform is a money-spinning venture. But the success is determined by the correctly-selected business model. The reason is a lot of variables one should consider when he lends up to developing software to earn money. So, before going into talks about how to build a service marketplace platform, let’s get the hang of how to make it bring revenue. 

Business models come in several options. Some marketplaces prefer to charge a commission from each transaction, while others offer subscriptions. Let’s spare a word for each.

Commission-Based

This method is utilized by Fiverr and Upwork. They cut a percentage from each payment made to order services. Actually, this model is considered to be the top widespread one across marketplaces. How does it work?

Providers do not have to pay any fees until their service is ordered. Such a method is a great deal appealing, and service providers are likely to be willing to sign up and stay on the platform.

In this case, marketplace owners can face some challenges. Life wouldn’t be so fun without them, right?

The toughest challenge is determining the best rate that would be welcomed by providers. It shouldn’t be too pricey but at the same time, it should be sufficient to keep running the platform. 

Another challenge is preventing users from making transactions outside the marketplace. 

Membership or Subscription Fees

Subscriptions permit consumers to use a wider grasp of functions and unlock additional features that are not available for free. Fees can be charged under different conditions: monthly, once every three months, once every six months, or annually. Betting on the subscription's duration, costs may vary. Thus, an annual subscription is more cost-effective than paying monthly throughout the year. Subscription variations can also be introduced. Each variation represents a various package of available features and functionality. As a consequence, costs also differ.

Listing Fees

Listings fees are the fees that marketplaces bill for each listing placed. This monetization method is mostly worked by NPO to sustain the platform. 

Lead Fees

Lead-based charges indicate providers to be billed for each lead they make contact with. 

This is how it works: 



Freemium

The word “freemium” was formed from “free” and “premium”. Such marketplaces are available for free but their functionality is limited. Full feature access is available on paid. 

Featured Listings and Ads

Listing fees give service providers the means to have their profiles upgraded for an extra charge. Providers may want to do this to promote their services and shoot up sales.

Ads do a great job of being secondary tools to profit. Once you're thinking about trying out ads to set monetization, remember to emphasize content related to your field. This will keep your customers enkindled, not pissed off. Also, a challenge related to ads is to incorporate the ads into a marketplace layout so that they look in harmony with the design. 

Full-Fledged Service Marketplace Development

It’s time to give the rundown on how to create a service marketplace platform.

Before starting a service marketplace, thoroughly consider functionality and feature kit. Service marketplaces include three user roles, that are service suppliers, clients, and admins. There’s a bundle of core features specific to each role. Consider them when you’re creating a service marketplace.

Features for Service Providers

Personal Profiles

Go for letting service suppliers outline their gigs, list possessed certifications and licenses, demonstrate their portfolios, add all the necessary related information, etc.

 Dashboard

Build a dashboard where providers can monitor insights, bookings, and revenues. 

Listings

Listings are aspired at providers to present their gigs. Without them, the customers have low chances of finding a service provider, while providers have no chance to tell them they have something to offer. It’s a good decision to create characteristic templates per various services. For example, Fiverr’s listing for writing gig encloses a section for word count.

Bookings

Both service suppliers and customers need booking. Customers require a system to place orders, while providers need a tool to accept/decline them. This functionality is provided by making a booking system.

Features for customers

Personal Profiles

Customer profiles don't require much functionality - first and last names, location, and in some cases, phone number are usually enough. Depending on the marketplace you are going to develop, additional info may be added.

 Search Tools

Searching for services without a built-in search engine will take years. Naturally, no one wants to waste much time searching, so a custom search engine is a solution. Introduce filters to make finding providers quick and easy.

Booking & Cancelation

We mentioned this when we were talking about service providers’ features. Customers need to have an opportunity to place and cancel orders. Without it, building a service marketplace is doomed.

Features for Admins

“Professional Admin panel is what admins need. The panel should have all toolkits needed to properly govern the marketplace operation. Regardless of what action the admin needs to take (add or delete a user, monitor user activity, create reports, etc.) The admin panel should have the functionality that will allow him to do this.

Marketplace General Features

Payment System

Integrate a payment system for secure in-app purchases. Having a secure payment system within easy reach is advantageous and boosts users’ trust.  

Notifications

Let your platform notify users of events coming. 

Chats

Communication is a game-changer in building an online service marketplace. Let customers discuss service details with providers before placing orders. The inability to ask questions will turn down customers. 

Feedbacks

Feedbacks and ratings boost trust and loyalty. Also, they influence decision-making. This feature will help to please both service suppliers and customers. 

Pitfalls in the Course of Building a Service Marketplace

If you made up your mind to build a service marketplace platform, challenges are inevitable like night follows day. Thanks to our large expertise, we know what can deliver you hard times when you set off creating an online service marketplace. So, we gathered all the challenges for you to see what’s coming and get prepared.    

#1: Initiating a Best-Selling Marketplace

Your platform's popularity determines its profitability. Consequently, it is imperative to have a clear sense of how to promote and market your marketplace. Possible solutions:

Target audience study: Studying the target audience will reveal information about the target persona's location, age, job title, pain points, and anticipated solutions. Keep these characteristics in mind to gain an understanding of who your exemplary customers are. Knowing your audience will give you insight into creating a tailored platform that meets their demands.

Jobs-to-be-done practice: If the first research shows that your audience is quite diverse, it is worthwhile to exercise the technique of "jobs to be done. Study what kind of work customers expect from your marketplace product. What matters here is not the characteristics of the target audience, but the marketplace attributes that are of value to your clientele.

#2: Adopting a Congruous Development Practice

Among the existing ways to create an online product, we recommend software-as-a-service (SaaS) licensing or a white-label solution for a fast and cost-effective marketplace development approach. What they are: 

SaaS workflow is a platform for rapid product development and support. The platform gets your work covered and provides a scope of functionality to run a marketplace on a monthly subscription basis. The platform entitles you to bring in and delete features from your marketplace as you see fit.

Some companies offer their white-label solutions to create an online service marketplace platform. What is it? A white label solution is a software with out-of-the-box features for particular intents. The benefits of this approach are cost-effective and fast MVP creation.

#3: Regular Updates and Improvements

Starting a marketplace is an effort, both during development and after launch. Together with the development team, you will have to continuously enhance the venture. 

The “lean approach” is frequently utilized in software development. Build, measure, and learn are basic constituents of the approach. More broadly speaking, first, you build a marketplace MVP, after launching you measure its performance metrics and learn where to direct the development vector next. 

#4: Providers or Customers?

Nothing works for customers without service suppliers and the other way around. Service marketplaces effectively tackle this challenge in a variety of ways. Let's view solutions found by the apps under the radar:

Tinder's co-founder presented the app in various American cities. After the presentations, she influenced visitors to register on Tinder. Thus, Tinder acquired its initial users.

The Airbnb owners harvested their first user base on Craigslist.  This is where they contacted landlords, encouraging them to rent out their properties via Airbnb.

Uber paid cab drivers a fixed sum, even if they had no rides. By doing so, they first drew service vendors.

#5: Compliance With Legislation

When it comes to the Internet, security is one of the chief concerns. It is best to address this concern as soon as you determine the field and location of an online service marketplace you’re going to build. The laws, regulations, and standards to be applied depend on this. You may have to apply for one document or some. Basic documents that you can deal with when you create a marketplace. 

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 
  • California Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) 
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 

#6: Retaining Users

Getting a marketplace going does not imply solving all the challenges. Moreover, you may encounter new ones. User retention is one of them. Your main task in this matter is to anticipate ways of bypassing the platform by users and prevent them. 

When our team deals with the development of marketplaces, our team works with customers to think through features that will add such value and thus conceive users' stay.

#7: Problems Resolving

As a marketplace holder, you not only need to monitor the platform's health and solve problems associated with it, but you also need to put effort to tackle the problems that service suppliers and clients encounter when using the marketplace. Problems can arise in many different ways, and solutions can also be different. Solutions used by other marketplaces:

  • 24/7 support in case users have questions or have some sort of crash. 
  • Offering a money-back assurance and material damage reimbursement.
  • Background verification of providers and shoppers.

Short Guide on How to Create a Service Marketplace

Search for a Niche

The ability to understand and address the concerns of vendors and providers is what marketplace success depends on. To create a successful services marketplace, start your journey by looking for business ideas. The basic steps to take at this stage are: 

Non-efficiency: Determine which tasks are time-consuming and which services would help people save time.

Trustworthiness: Both parties need to trust the platform enough to order and accept orders.

Expenses: The services provided should be cost-effective for one party and allow the other party to earn. 

Obstacles: As we mentioned, the marketplace faces some sort of hurdles depending on the marketplace niche. Think about the possible problems in the chosen niche and propose solutions.

Merge: there are many marketplaces and each has its advantages. Perhaps combining the benefits of multiple platforms will benefit your product. 

Develop Software

Marketplaces go in websites and mobile applications. It’s even better when a product is available to be used on different devices. 

The winning move is to hire a development team to create a service marketplace platform. At Celadon, we provide full-cycle development that is we don’t just build marketplace software but also provide other services required for marketplace success. 

SEO

In simple terms, SEO works to ensure that your product appears on the first pages of search results.

To do this, the SEO specialist thinks about relevant search queries that people can use. The queries are called “keywords” and are written into the site's content.

Think Over a Marketing Strategy

Marketing is an essential part of the road to success. When creating your marketing strategy, try to answer the following questions: 

  • What problem does your platform solve?
  • Who is your target audience?

On request, our development agency renders marketing services as a part of a development cycle. 

Start Working With Your Service Marketplace Platform Today

Looking for a service marketplace development company? You’re in the right place because Celadon has all the necessary skills and experience to deliver excellent and engrossing solutions in the field of marketplaces.

Our portfolio showcases several projects: jewelry marketplace and construction services marketplace. And more are still to come! In these projects, we encountered complex challenges but thanks to our teamwork, talents, skills, and experience, we always succeed in finding solutions . 

Take advantage of our team’s talents and expertise in creating highly scalable and unique service marketplaces.

 

Areas of responsibility - brand and growth marketing. Strongly believes that software development is an art and marketing is not just about sales but about sharing your passion. Her educational background in the field of business and marketing allows her to create expert content and help others to grow and expand knowledge.

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F.A.Q.

01.
How can I monetize an online service marketplace?
Lera
Marketing Manager

A number of monetization methods can be applied to online service marketplaces. 

  • Commission-based 
  • Membership or Subscription
  • Listing charges
  • Lead charges
  • Freemium 
  • Featured listings and ads

Which one to pick is to be considered by you, your marketing and development teams.

 

02.
How can I create a service marketplace?
Nik
Business Development Manager

I’ll be short and won’t go into the details of service marketplace development. Creating a service marketplace takes several steps:

  • Searching for a Niche
  • e-Commerce Software Development 
  • SEO 
  • Making up a Marketing Strategy

 

03.
What is an online service marketplace platform?
Pavel
Software Engineer

An online service marketplace platform connects vendors and buyers but the value is services that are exchanged for cash. The logic of such marketplaces is simple. A provider lists a gig for a buyer to find it on the platform and purchase. Another scenario is when a customer places an order inquiry, and a service supplier bids to deliver value.

 

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