If creating and running an eCommerce website comes with many obstacles, then running a marketplace has twice the obstacles.
Building a marketplace is like building two e-stores simultaneously: one for the supply (businesses) and the other for the demand (customers). At the same time, you need to be careful to keep the balance between the two. Not only that, but supply needs B2B marketing and demand needs B2C marketing.
Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, Zocdoc… each one of these now-successful startups operates in a very different industry. Also, they have different kinds of supplies. For example, Uber is a homogenous marketplace, meaning that choice of a ride is pretty similar to the other ride. But this is not the case for Airnbn, as one house/apartment can be quite different from the other (differences in size, location, price, amenities, etc).
And then there is frequency of interaction: Users can visit Etsy every day just to take a look at some new jewels, but they will visit Zocdoc only when it’s necessary. Each of these platforms handles its frequency differently.
No matter the differences, however, all marketplaces face many of the same challenges. One of the biggest of these challenges is that the funnel of the demand needs to be aligned with the funnel of the supply channel. Otherwise suppliers will not bother with your marketplace.
And this is what it looks like:
This is also where we come in.