Selling on customized e-commerce marketplaces seems so simple, at the first glance you need to create a site, upload product/service data, and start selling, however, it’s not enough. Entrepreneurs looking for a successful startup might think that building a marketplace is an excellent idea that will allow them to earn a lot of money by acting as a third party between buyers and sellers. But potential profits may turn into common mistakes that almost every new marketplaces make. Creating a startup can’t go without failures, it’s a natural and inevitable part of business and learning. Evercode Lab has launched an online eCommerce service – Evermarket that provides buyers with a large selection of products (services) and a favorable price and offers to the sellers (suppliers), a competitive environment, and new customers. Evermarket can be used in various economic areas: trade, education, medicine, etc.
In this guide, we will focus on the most common marketplace mistakes that should be prevented and how to avoid them. We will start by discussing the differences between marketplaces and other eCommerce platforms.
Confusing marketplace with an e-commerce store
Marketplaces don’t own products, they are pairing buyers and sellers and make money by various monetization strategies (commission, listing fees and premium listings, subscription fees, advertising, etc.). On the contrary, an e-commerce store is a place where you exclusively sell your products/services and you have all control over the quality and quantity of your goods. Also, here you don’t receive a fee for each transaction but you get the entire price after the purchase.
Don’t launch a marketplace without understanding your target audience and doing comprehensive market research. Many entrepreneurs with a unique startup idea pass through market research, competitor analysis and that’s one of the biggest mistakes while launching a marketplace.
Not hiring a dedicated team
Entrepreneurs can’t deal alone with a marketplace, a startup requires constant work in multiple areas (marketing, legal aspects, software development, etc.) and learning completely new skills. Interaction with a group of developers and project managers is a very important point that leads to commercial success. Choosing a professional team will allow you to reach real deadlines and save money on development.
Underestimating an MVP
A minimum viable product is the first version of your startup with only basic features, however, it can be offered to attract your target audience. Entrepreneurs often ignore this step, believing that only the final version of the project should be published and tested. But the experience of eBay, Amazon, Uber, Etsy, Airbnb, Spotify indicates the opposite.
Lack of financial planning
Financial planning is another aspect that is often underestimated. The cost of the marketplace strongly depends on the chosen platform, which usually consists of blocks for buyers and sellers, secure payment methods, delivery service, user notifications, design, and coding that is not cheap. Therefore, it is worth calculating the financial plan in advance, so you won’t be left with an unfinished project without a source of funding.
No business model
Starting a marketplace is very different from many other startups. According to the statistics, only 1 out of 10 marketplaces succeed, so don’t try to become the next Amazon, it’s easier to build an effective niche business. Many marketplaces fail because they can’t find a niche and don’t clearly analyze the business and revenue models. Don’t forget about SEO optimization, otherwise, your website won’t be visible.
The marketplace will work by itself
It seems that once you have created a website, you don’t need to test its features or attract users and sellers. This is one of the biggest problems for eCommerce services. Until the site has a significant amount of registered users who make purchases and sellers who upload products, it has no value. You need investments to make your brand visible, reach the target audience, and monitoring initial response after launch.
Many things can go wrong while building a marketplace or any eCommerce business from scratch. We mentioned most of the errors when launching the marketplace. However, the best way to help you avoid these mistakes is to work with experts who have done this before. Marketplaces are exciting but hard businesses that require a lot of time to succeed. Want to know more about marketplaces? Contact our team and get a free consultation.