What comes to mind when you hear the word “marketplace”? Perhaps you would imagine your local market where artisans and farmers come together to sell their goods and produce. That’s an accurate depiction of a marketplace — a place that connects buyers with sellers — but it doesn’t encompass the whole picture.
The advent of Web 2.0 and the popularity of sites that emphasise user-generated content and interoperability have given rise to online marketplaces. But what used to be a green-field opportunity is now a competitive space that can be difficult to succeed in without the right tools and strategies.
In Arcadier’s Learn series, we walk you through the basics of online marketplaces and provide you with the information you need to make your own marketplace succeed.
What exactly is an online marketplace?
The online marketplace is still a place where buyers and sellers conduct or initiate transactions, but the beauty of this marketplace model is that it can create efficiency in an otherwise inefficient market. Where it was not convenient for buyers and seller to find each other before, there is now a digital middleman that connects them together.
Online marketplaces are categorised in terms of its participants:
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to learn how to start your own marketplace. Well, building a successful marketplace takes a lot of work. If you already have an idea and a website, that’s a great place to start! That’s only the beginning.
It all starts with a dream
The inception of great businesses starts with a dream and an opportunity, but it takes more than that to bring your idea to the next level. Let’s take a look at one successful marketplace brand that embodies the essence of the sharing economy:
The Airbnb founding team saw an efficiency in the status quo — spare rooms belonging to home owners were not fully utilised, while on the other hand, travelers were paying a huge sum for temporary accommodation. When Airbnb first started, its site was designed with WordPress, and hardly any investors were interested in funding the venture. Its founders were undeterred and continued believing in their vision and dream to bring people together, to build a community and to make them feel like they belong anywhere they travel to.
Airbnb went on to become big enough to disrupt what used to be a hotel-dominated industry, and it is now valued at roughly $24 billion. More importantly, it has impacted communities and changed the way we travel.
Photo credit: Airbnb
Stake your claim in a dynamic and growing industry
Much of today’s economy is still reliant on offline transactions, which means that opportunities to build substantial product and service marketplaces online still remain to be uncovered. On top of that, you have Arcadier’s ready-to-use technological solution right in front of you. However, there are plenty to think about before you actually start running a marketplace. You may not need to have inventory, but you still need to look for suppliers, buyers, and investors too.
How can you tell if people are willing to use your marketplace, and how do you get people to visit your site? How do you avoid making the sort of mistakes that many techpreneurs make? What can we learn from marketplace giants like eBay and Amazon?
Arcadier offers off-the-shelf marketplace Software as a Service, but we also want to provide you with the tools and information that will help you succeed. We want to enable all the creative and inspired entrepreneurs out there to solve the world’s problems, to make a difference in their communities, and to pave the future.
Anyway, the market is calling and opportunity is everywhere, so why don’t we get started!