Planning to start an online business in 2017? All you need is an internet connection, a computer, few technical skills, a robust software solution to launch your online platform; and it’s done.
The rise of peer-to-peer marketplaces catering to service industry has rejuvenated the idea of launching a startup with minimal input – so minimal that all a P2P marketplace owner has to do is offer a robust & reliable online platform to connect service seekers with service providers. They just act as a bridge connecting both ends and earn commission on each transaction.
Following are some of the most popular peer-to-peer service marketplace ideas that entrepreneurs can launch right now.
● Online professional search marketplace
● Online caregiver marketplace
● Online travel activity marketplace
● On-demand services marketplace
● Online Writer’s marketplace
However, like with any lucrative business idea, the mushrooming of competitors is an issue that has to be dealt with.
Consider this, you launch an online handyman search marketplace, where you connect professionals like plumbers, electricians, gardeners with prospective users looking to hire them. However, there are already many other players offering the same service. So how would you convince service seekers as well as service providers to use your platform and not the competitor’s? The most obvious answer would be to build a superior marketplace, but it isn’t as simple as it sounds.
The first and the foremost thing that comes to mind when we talk about surpassing the competition is to offer a better service. You just have to offer a better product to both service seekers and service providers and they will surely flock towards you. But for that, you need to find out what features will entice your target audiences to ditch the competition. Let’s find that out.
When you open a P2P marketplace, you ought to provide service providers with a dedicated section where they can manage each and every detail of their profile and activities. Most of the service based marketplaces only focus on service seekers and offer a dedicated section only for them.
Dedicated section for writers in an online writer’s marketplace
Analytics has become a crucial tool for online businesses as it allows them to analyze what is working and what is not on their website, so that they can make more informed decisions. However, some software solutions restrict it to just marketplace owners and do not offer any form of analytics and reports to service providers. This is not ideal in the current market dynamics and a marketplace offering this feature will surely stand out.
Analytics for tasker in online professional marketplace
Every service provider wants full control of their listings, be it a product or any form of service. Often, service providers need to make some changes to their listing, therefore, having full control over modification of listing becomes an essential feature. Having such an option in your service marketplace will surely give you an edge over the competition.
Easy management of restaurants in online food ordering and delivery marketplace
Lower Commission Rates
As mentioned earlier, P2P service marketplaces charge a commission from sellers on every transaction. This is how they make money. But if you offer lower commission rate as compared to your competitors then it will obviously result in service providers preferring your marketplace.
Lucrative User Acquisition Strategy
It is a known fact that service providers prefer those marketplaces which have ample user base. This is why most of the early stage marketplaces employ lucrative user acquisition strategy to increase user base. This can be in the form of discounts or credits. Once the service seekers start using your platform, you can easily attract service providers to partner with you.
Related Read: Most Popular Business Ideas of the Online Service Sector
Now that we have taken into account essential features aimed at service providers, let us take a closer look at features aimed at service seekers as well.
In the current market dynamics having a website is not enough. Service seekers want mobility which is why your marketplace must be mobile friendly, allowing them to connect with service providers on the go. The same is also applicable for service providers.
Responsive design of an online on-demand service marketplace
If service seekers find it difficult to seek relevant service providers as per their requirements, they probably would jump ship to another marketplace. This is why you must have robust search functionality with advanced filters and Geo-location enabled that would make the process of finding service providers a walk in the park.
Robust search functionality with filters in an online caregiver marketplace
Most service seekers finalize a service provider only after going through reviews and ratings provided by other users. It is one of the most crucial aspects of any online marketplace. Studies have shown that consumers often prefer marketplaces which have reviews from other users as compared to one without this option.
Review and rating section in an online food ordering marketplace
P2P marketplaces offer a bridge to connect service seekers and service providers. However, that connection is incomplete without a messaging system. It is necessary for every P2P marketplace to have an inbuilt messaging system using which service seekers can directly contact service providers and rectify any queries if need be.
In-built messaging system in an online on-demand service marketplace
One of the reasons why such marketplaces have become popular is the advancements in secure online transactions. Make sure that the software solution you choose for your online p2p service marketplace incorporates best practices when it comes to security. Additionally also ensure that it offers multiple payment options for service seekers.
In the end, it all boils down to your marketing plan to capture the attention of service seekers. Make sure you are able to develop trust and reputation among the masses, which will entice consumers to use your platform as compared to the competition.
In the current scenario of high competition where multiple marketplaces are catering to the same populace, offering certain exclusive features can surely tilt the bar in your favor. If you manage to entice a substantial amount to service seekers and service providers, by offering the features mentioned in this post, it will create a ripple effect, which will pull more users towards your marketplace and increase loyalty.
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