Post-internet evolution, the way people work based on their skills has changed.
Previously, skilled people work at someplace for a definite schedule. Now, the people having skills in the distinct niche; getting work through the internet in a location-independent way. The paradigm shift is experienced in the way people sell their skills. The shift from traditional employment to gig work has changed people’s preferences for work from long-term employments to short-term jobs.
The new economy provides a plethora of opportunities to the service providers to start a new business. Yes, it’s all about service marketplaces that have changed the way people live and work.
Let’s understand a service marketplace platform in a nutshell
A service marketplace is a platform that bridges the gap between service seekers and service providers by allowing them to buy and sell the services respectively. It’s a mobile app or website where individuals, freelancers, or companies of various industry verticals put the services for sale and get hired by the people who need a particular service. The online marketplace improved the accessibility to remote work globally. Remember- the way Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and Fiverr have facilitated the gig work via online service marketplaces.
Why it’s worth creating a service marketplace platform?
Before moving to facts, let’s take a look at some appealing figures.
- About 36% of US workers are part of the gig economy.
- 12% of the US workforce started taking freelance jobs during the pandemic.
- If the gig economy keeps growing at its current rate, more than 50% of the US workforce will participate in it by 2027.
What’s more service Marketplace Platform?
Still, the stats are not enough to tempt you. Here, we have enlisted the benefits of building an online service marketplace that convinces you.
- For creating a marketplace, you don’t need to be a professional. You only focus on gaining maximum traction of the service providers and the customers to increase the number of transactions on the platform.
- With a range of online marketplace builders available, building a marketplace becomes a piece of cake.
- Unlike eCommerce marketplaces, you don’t need to manage shipping and inventory kinds of things. The service providers will deliver the service, and you receive a commission on every deal.
- In a world, where people are up to their neck, the creation of a service marketplace helps them get the services faster and cheaper. It gives your platform a leg up in the cutting-edge competition.
The leading marketplace platform that has created waves worldwide
- Upwork: The popularly known world’s work marketplace connects businesses or leading companies with private individuals, freelancers, and agencies worldwide. The variety of professionals such as designers, writers, developers, analysts, and others, the companies and workers can work they want.
- Airbnb: The online marketplace for rentals has grown to 400 million hosts who have welcomed more than 900 million guests globally. The platform has reinvented the experience that guests receive in a more authentic and connected way.
- Talkspace: The online therapy portal connects the people with the therapists who match the needs immediately. The platform has made mental healthcare more accessible, affordable, and convenient than before.
- VipKid: The Education service marketplace acts like a global classroom that connects global students with English teachers. The platform screens teachers before allowing them to work for verifying their potential and knowledge.
- Postmates: The food delivery service marketplace allows restaurants to accept the food delivery request from the customers and deliver it to the required address. The app also facilitates groceries and other goods delivery at the doorstep.
- TaskRabbit: With a spare time of just one day or a weekend makes it is essential for people to get skilled laborers such as a plumber, electrician, furniture assemblyperson, home repair personnel, or carpenter for the same day. The platform saves valuable time by allowing people to find the right service providers by comparing the reviews, ratings, prices, and experience.
How to build such a service marketplace platform?
- Find a winning service marketplace idea
The leading service marketplaces are successful because they figured out the void in the market and filled it with a unique set of features. It has helped them to solve the problem and rule the market. How can you do the same? When you jumped onto finding the best marketplace idea bandwagon, look at the following things that are-
- Find out the inefficiencies in the marketplaces ruffling up the users’ feather and how you can help the users with a new thing.
- Identify the services that can help people save valuable time and money. It delights them.
- Are there any services that require people to look at different places? Create a marketplace that provides everything under one roof.
- Create the platform from scratch
Unless you are not a web developer or tech-geek, you should prefer either- outsourcing the marketplace development work or hire a team of programmers. Also, you can opt for building the service marketplace using scripts. This approach allows you to list services, manage communication, and facilitate the booking the way you want because of the high degree of customization enabled. However, moderate coding skills are a must. If you don’t have any coding skills, then pay to service marketplace script provider to customize the marketplace as per your requirements.
- Optimize the service marketplace
Local SEO optimization is a must-have for service marketplace because it targets the specific audience of a particular geographical area. It helps in increasing local traffic and growing market share, which ultimately brings more money to the table. For optimization, you need to identify the search term that people mostly use to search for the services. When Google recognizes the people searching for the services in the area, the marketplace rank gets uplifted.
- Plan a marketing strategy
Unless you don’t market the service marketplace, your service platform with all the bells and whistles can’t succeed. You need to bring the USP in the limelight to showcase the problem you solve. Find out your target audience and then identify the ways through which you can grow the user base. Be it link building, social media marketing, paid to advertise, local SEO optimization, or getting listed on Craiglist.
What does the service marketplace feature?
Several types of marketplaces are categorized by business domain. Irrespective of service marketplace type, three interfaces are always built where each one is packed with a unique set of features. Here’s the list of interfaces and the features they have.
For admin panel
- Manage marketplace operations seamlessly through a single dashboard.
- Manage and access all the listed service providers and registered customers.
- Access and manage the reviews and ratings.
- View and analyze reports to make data-driven decisions.
- Create the profile, including name, location, phone number, and service delivery preferences.
- Advanced filters make it easy to find the service and offers available.
- Plan and book the service when required by entering the schedule and address.
- Reschedule or cancel the service bookings anytime, anywhere.
- Enable effortless checkout with an in-app payment.
- Push notification informs the customers about the booked service status or reminder.
For service providers
- Create and manage the profile, including services they offer, licenses, certificates, and portfolio.
- View and manage all the service booking requests on a single dashboard.
- Effectively plan the work based on request acceptance/rejection.
- List the services they provide comprehensively.
- Geo-positioning is imperative if the services are location-dependent.
- The in-app chat enables service providers to answer the customers’ service-related questions.
- The ratings and reviews help them know the level of service they provide.
The monetization models to make profits
- Commission model: The commission fee set by the platform for every transaction occurring for the services booked. When the transaction gets completed, the commission is first deposited in the platform owner’s account and then into the service provider’s account.
- Premium listing: The service providers who want the services to get listed in the top 10 services on the top of the page need to pay an additional amount.
- Subscriptions: Customers can subscribe to the platform to avail of the services for a specific duration.
- Paid promotion: Allow service providers to promote the services by upgrading the profile in exchange for additional fees.
- Advertisement: Allow other businesses to place an advertisement on the app, but make sure the ads must be related to services. Also, the ads should not create chaos on the app that interferes with the customer experience. It must be used tactically.
Everything is not plain-sailing. The hiccups may come in launching and running the online service marketplace. Here are the challenges that you may face.
- Solve chicken and egg problems
Having the optimal number of service providers to enlist and the number of customers is important to make the service marketplace work. The service marketplace highly suffers from the lack of enough customers and service providers. The businesses launch an event to catch eyeballs, offer an economic incentive or a fixed amount even if the service providers don’t receive any orders, and other tricks.
- Making the service marketplace popular
It’s essential to make the platform popular for increasing profits. But, when you don’t know the customers’ demands, you can’t position and sell the services correctly. It requires researching the potential customers’ traits to understand the customers and meet their needs. Post-research, you should categorize the personas according to the characteristics found. It helps in analyzing what a particular type of customer expects from the product.
- Moving ahead with the right development approach
There are two ways to get started with a service marketplace, that’s- purchasing a white-label solution or licensing a SaaS product. Each development approach has its pros and cons. The white-label solution comes with pre-built features and allows businesses to launch the marketplace quickly and inexpensively. On the other hand, SaaS solutions are available on a subscription basis that allows you to use all the features or modify them to meet the service marketplace needs. Deploying SaaS products eliminates the hassles of development and maintenance, which makes it an attractive option. However, the selection is tricky for the businesses.
- Continuously update the marketplace
Building a successful service marketplace is the half-battle won. Winning the remaining half battle requires constantly improving the marketplace. Post-development, you should keep measuring the performance, and when you learn what needs to be changed, improve those things in the marketplace. The lean approach is a cost-effective endeavor that involves building an MVP to test the marketplace idea and making improvements continuously.
- Ensuring data security and compliances
After finalizing the service marketplace type to build, you need to create a list of compliances that the platform should adhere to else it is subjected to large fines or legal jurisdiction. Here’s the list of compliance requirements that service marketplaces generally need to fulfill.
- GDPR applies to all the companies working across Europe. It ensures that no EU residentials’ data is collected, stored, and shared without their consent.
- CCPA protects consumer data privacy rights for California’s residents.
- HIPAA applies to healthcare industry-related marketplaces where the patient’s information cannot be gathered, processed, disclosed, or transferred without permission.
- PCI DSS protects the cardholders’ information that they provide during checkout. The companies need PCI certification if the number of credit card transactions processing goes above 1,000,000.
- Retaining the existing users
The existing customers are the valuable commodity to the marketplace, and making them come back, brings immense benefits to the marketplace. Generally, when a service provider and the customers get in direct connection, they bypass the marketplace. As it deducts a commission, which is prevented by strengthening the customers’ trust in the marketplace and introducing features that add value to the users when they transact on the platform.
The service marketplace is a lucrative venture that adds prosperity and growth to all you have invested, from hard-earned dollars to precious time. Do necessary homework to make sure your marketplace can solve the problem, stand in the fierce competition, and bring the desired level of success. If you have plans to build the service marketplace, devise the strategy thoughtfully and then get a partner with a team for the successful development and launch. All the best!