Creating a new marketplace from scratch can actually be a straightforward process. If you have an idea for a new product or service, you need a marketplace to distribute this idea. Online marketplaces are the quickest to establish due to an abundance of software available. There are many successful companies that have created a new product and marketplace with a relatively low amount of investment. The below is a list of must do’s that you should consider when creating a marketplace from scratch.
Create a product
The initial stage of creating a marketplace obviously requires a product. Marketplaces will already exist for products out there so you must have a new idea. MVP’s (Minimum Viable Product – More info here) are often quick and easy to design and implement. Consider new ideas, think of a niche or an area of business that has not seen much investment. An alternative could be to expand into a new country and tap into their lack of a marketplace for your new product.
Conduct market research
Finding out if there is an actual need for your new product is vital BEFORE building the marketplace. Conduct research and gather as much valuable data as possible. Find out the public opinion on your proposed idea – Is it useful? Is there a genuine need for it in the industry? What would a person expect from your product? If you find that there is no real need for your idea, then you must go back to the drawing board. Use this research to alter your product in a favourable way that reflects the results of the gathered data.
Create a business model
Once you have a fantastic product or service, you need a business model that matches it. Consider the different stages involved in the product lifecycle. How will you produce the product? What raw materials will you need? How will you source these raw materials? If the product is online, what software do you need to create it? How will you market and advertise the product? What costs are associated with the products production? Having a detailed business plan will allow you to create a new marketplace with ease.
Build a prototype
A prototype is a draft or first build of your idea. It does not have to be a fully-finished end product. Build a prototype to find any potential design flaws or complications with the product and its production. A prototype can also be used to test on the public and gain valuable feedback on its usability and features. Prototype online products can be released in a Beta stage (basically, you sell it as an unfinished or WIP product). You can invite customers to test this Beta stage and provide you with even more useful feedback.
Create a marketplace platform
Once you have a product and have conducted the research to ensure it is viable, you need to have an actual platform to sell it. This holds particularly true with online services – You have created a wonderful idea, but how will you actually display that idea to potential customers? How will your customers be able to find details about your product or make a purchase? There are many platforms available for retail business and online services – To pick one ensure you fully understand how your product works and how you want it to be visualised.
Once you have all of the above in place, your newly created marketplace will be completed – It is now a case of implementation. Once you have implemented the marketplace, to ensure its success you need to monitor closely its progression and attend to any immediate issues.