In case you missed our blog last week revealing the first 4 best practices to plan and structure your marketplace, be sure to check it out. Now that you are caught up to speed, here are the remaining 4 best practices you must use to help your marketplace flourish.
- Creatively expand your user base
To thrive, you'll need to attract new users -- a cost-prohibitive measure. Creatively attract users through referrals, social media, and offline events. By putting your marketplace out there at conferences and events in your vertical, you will increase awareness and entice new users. If money is tight, think creatively about ways to get your name out there. Maybe you can't afford to sponsor the major conference in your industry. Could you afford to send 10 employees or task workers, outfitted in your tee-shirts and prepared with your elevator pitch?
As soon as you launch your marketplace, have your social channels ready to go and regularly communicate with this. This boosts your search engine results and helps you get found by users actively seeking the service you offer.
- Cultivate trust and reputation loops
Peer to peer marketplaces work when users can review one another, cultivating trust and fostering community. At a minimum, encourage reviews of users, products, or services. Whether people are buying a product or service, they want to feel comfortable about the transaction. Also make it easy for users to communicate through your platform, ask questions, and find any information they need to transact.
Time and money investing in communication keeps the exchange happening on your site and reduces the odds either party will take things to private email.
- Make it easy to transact
All popular peer to peer marketplaces have this in common: They're easy to transact on, especially for mobile users. If it were difficult to request a ride on Uber or Lyft, people would call a cab. As you gain traction, always make sure users find it easy to transact. Invest in customer service to keep things running smoothly.
If your marketplace gets a reputation for poor usability as you start gaining traction, it could derail all your hard work.
- Add value beyond the simple transaction
Once people have used your service to find what they need, why should they keep using it? To answer this question for your users, you must provide value beyond the simple transaction. AirBnB provides insurance to cover guest damage to property, which is a great way to add value for hosts. While that's costly, there are inexpensive ways to add value. By cultivating community or offering better customer service, you can keep users happy and ensure your platform has value.
By following these steps, you can avoid missteps and build upon a model that's proven to work for peer to peer spaces. Near.me's technology incorporates each of these 8 best practices into a flexible, elegant software solution for peer to peer marketplaces. See for yourself with a free demo.