In an era where almost anything and everything is tried to be made possible online, everyone is aware of the terms like online market, eBusinesses, and eServices. The trend did not start long ago but has already taken a big piece of the market. And as 2021 is about to end, many aspiring entrepreneurs are looking for new business ideas to venture into.
The online services marketplace is a great business idea and has seen huge success in the last decade. The emergence of the online services marketplace has been a boon for the economic growth of several countries. Studies reveal that the on-demand services market will grow up to $1,574.86 billion by 2024.
The growing stats makes it enticing and appealing for aspiring entrepreneurs to join this industry and launch an online services marketplace. However, it is not easy to start an on-demand business, and that is why we are here to tell you everything about launching an online services marketplace.
Before diving into how to launch a services marketplace, let’s quickly go through what an on-demand marketplace is.
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What is an Online Services Marketplace
For those who are new to the idea of an online services marketplace, it is a website or app for buying and selling services. Freelancing, private individuals, and companies of various industries advertise their services and get hired by people who need their help. Examples of online marketplaces for services are Fiverr, Upwork, and Thumbtack.
Why Build an Online Services Marketplace
As discussed above, it is already a lucrative business idea to venture into. If that is also enough to tempt you, below discussed are some more reasons to launch an online service marketplace in 2022.
Online services marketplaces can make the process of buying and selling services a lot faster, affordable, easier, and reliable. They can beat the competition and make a services platform a huge success like Upwork, Fiverr, Thumbtack, and many more.
No Skills Required
As an owner of the marketplace, all you need to focus upon is on attracting sellers and buyers. You can start a marketplace for trainers, wedding planners, cleaners, and many more without having those skills. Clearly, having knowledge of the industry helps a lot.
Inventory Not Required
Unlike any eCommerce marketplace like Amazon and eBay, you do not need to track various things like inventory, shipping, delivery, returns, and many more. When you are offering services instead of goods, all you need to figure out is the commission for your and your service providers.
Easy to Build
There are several services marketplaces software available these days that can help you build and launch your services marketplace quickly, easily, and on a minimum budget. Yo!Gigs is one such service marketplace software that is specifically designed keeping the marketplace business model in mind.
Types of Online Services Marketplace
Types of services marketplaces are never-ending. Budding entrepreneurs who are planning to build a services marketplace, here is a non-exhaustive list of online services marketplaces that one can offer.
Home Services – Cleaning/Repair
An online marketplace for homeowners and cleaning/repair service providers to find each other.
An online marketplace that provides access to a database of lawyer profiles. Lawyer profiles may include client reviews, disciplinary actions, peer endorsements, and lawyer-submitted legal guides.
An online marketplace for freelance service providers to offer services to their customers worldwide.
Home Improvement Services
An online marketplace to connect homeowners with prescreened service professionals to carry out home improvement, maintenance, and remodelling projects.
An online marketplace for automotive repair and maintenance services.
Medical Care Services
An online marketplace that allows people to find and book in-person or telemedicine appointments for medical care.
An online marketplace that connects restaurants and people on a single platform for food/grocery ordering and delivery.
Fitness Training Services
An online marketplace that allows fitness trainers to offer their services to fitness enthusiasts over a platform.
Wedding Planning Services
An online marketplace for wedding planners to offer their services of designing, planning, and managing a wedding.
How to Build an Online Services Marketplace
It is recommended to start by building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) instead of a fully-featured platform. Start by incorporating the most important features like user profiles, listings, and payment options and gradually develop the platform as per the feedback and requirements of the business ad users.
Building the marketplace can be done in two ways. You can either build the platform from scratch. By doing so, you can build everything including the features and functionality from start to finish as per your requirements. However, it becomes a quite costly affair and is not a recommended way to build a services marketplace.
An alternative method that does not require any technical skills is to use readymade software like Yo!Gigs. With all the features required, Yo!Gigs is an ideal software to build a services marketplace in no time. The software is fully customizable to tailor the marketplace as per the business and user requirements.
In addition to this, the software is highly scalable to accommodate the increasing demands once the business takes off.
Must-Have Features in an Online Services Marketplace
Building a services marketplace is a perfect opportunity to enter this growing industry, however, having the right set of features in the marketplace is of utmost importance. It makes sure your marketplace can be used to its full potential by the service providers and seekers. Below listed are some essential features of an online services marketplace.
The platform should allow service providers and seekers to create their profiles. This helps to build trust and credibility and aid in decision-making. The user profiles with their image, brief description, experience, expertise, testimonials, certifications, help the other party in decision making. Creating profiles also helps the service providers in building their professional brands.
Every marketplace should have the ability for the users to search and narrow down to the services they are looking for. The platform’s intuitive search functionality including similar search and common search references help the users to easily and quickly filter and narrow down to the services within their search range.
This vital feature allows the service providers and seekers to book the timings as per the availability. Service providers can control their availability calendar which ultimately helps them to prevent double bookings by declining service requests/turning off service requests.
The main revenue stream of services marketplaces is by charging a commission for each transaction that takes place on the marketplace. For this, secure and smooth online payment options like eWallets, PayPal, credit cards, and debit cards should be integrated into the marketplace for the users to seamlessly make the payments without any hassle.
Ratings and reviews make the marketplace more trustworthy and transparent. It helps in building the trust of the users in the service providers and ensures only reliable service providers sustain themselves in the marketplace. Few tips may be suggested to service providers to improve their ratings on the platform.
Challenges in Running an Online Services Marketplace
There are a number of challenges that crop up every single day in an online services marketplace. Business owners need to counteract these looming challenges to survive their business. We have identified the top challenges of running an online services marketplace which is listed below. These challenges require a solid plan to be addressed properly.
Business owners need to make sure they have eliminated all the security gaps in the marketplace. GDPR compliance, data leakage, and hack-proof strategies should be put in place to avoid any possible security and data breaches.
Transactions Outside the Platform
As there are a number of service providers on the services marketplaces, service seekers get in direct contact with the service providers. They do the transactions externally instead of letting the platform do it for them in order to get away with the platform fees. This way the service seekers, as well as the providers, do not pay a single penny to the platform owner.
Low Brand Awareness
Launching a services marketplace may also have a problem that it is not known and recognized. Implementing appropriate SEO techniques, partnering with popular brands, and using social media marketing can help to quickly gain recognition, eventually getting more traffic and deals on your marketplace.
Focusing on One Single Stakeholder
Service providers and seekers, both are essential commodities for the successful running of the marketplace. Too much focus on attracting any one of the stakeholders can become a challenge for the services marketplace. Attracting service providers and seekers by rewards, perks, discounts, and coupons can help get them simultaneously for maximum success.
It is essential for the platform to have smooth and secure transactions. Having secure payment options builds the trust of the users and improves the number of transactions on the platform. Using popular payment gateways like Stripe would be a great choice because of their transparency and stability.
Top Solutions to Build an Online Services Marketplace
The easiest approach to build a services marketplace is by using readymade software. As there are a number of software available in the market, we have compiled a list of top software to help you make the decision.
This is ready-made software to launch an advanced on-demand services marketplace. It helps aspiring entrepreneurs easily enter this industry with a feature-rich services marketplace. The customizable architecture of the software makes it a preferable choice to develop a services marketplace. The scalability and flexibility of the software allow building platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, etc.
This powerful software helps to build a freelancer marketplace platform much like Upwork and Fiverr. This collaborative and fully customizable software comes with advanced features like real-time chat, multilingual, ratings, and many more which make it an ideal solution for launching a services marketplace.
WhiteLance is a white-label software that can help to launch a contractor marketplace in the least amount of time. The software is fully customizable to be tailored as per the vision and desire. The scalability of the software also allows the marketplace to grow as per the response and traction on the marketplace.
Sharetribe is an advanced marketplace software to build a fully-functional and successful marketplace business. The software helps to launch a professional marketplace that is easy to set up, manage, and grow. The software allows incorporating unique features and powerful APIs to help your marketplace be at the top.
MartPro is a software that helps entrepreneurs build a marketplace platform like Upwork and Fiverr to connect employers and remote employees and seamlessly make money. The customizability and scalability of the software enable business owners to add an innovation quotient to their businesses.
On a journey to contribute to society with a solution that meets the needs of the consumers, the pressure to choose the right software is also high. The right software gives you the leverage to launch a service marketplace where employers and employees can connect, get their work done, earn money, all at the comfort of their homes.
The online service industry is on an ever-increasing mode which makes investing in it a great business idea for aspiring entrepreneurs.