If you are very interested to read this blog post, you must be an entrepreneur or startup founder who is in jet speed to build your own online rental marketplace like Airbnb.
Let me walk you through the development stages to create a marketplace like Airbnb.
- Step 1: Research and identify a critical problem that you need to solve
- Step 2: Prepare a plan to build your MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
- Step 3: Launch your MVP
- Step 4: Find a way to reach your customers/users
- Step 6: Grow your marketplace like Airbnb
Step 1: Research and identify a critical problem that you need to solve
The motto in today’s business world is to solve people’s problems and finding out the right solution in an efficient way.
For instance, let’s assume you have a niche idea for a marketplace.
Things you have to look for are:
First, you have to research a lot about the targeted audience that you are interested to pursue and familiarise yourself with their critical needs.
You need a thorough plan from the start to end. You should do market research about the people’s ideas, find out their pain points, and sort them in priority.
Second is understanding the competitor’s weakness and implementing them in your marketplace.
Who knows? it may be the unique selling point of your business. The important thing to understand is that you have to make your platform easily accessible. They will bounce off your platform if it is not easily usable.
Advertising your marketplace is also crucial to make your audience aware of your platform. As a matter of fact, delivering your marketplace to the end users can be the magic brick and helpful for your branding.
Step 2: Prepare a plan to build your MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Of course, any budding entrepreneurs surely know this word MVP (minimum viable product).
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the product developed with minimum guaranteed features and functions to adopt the early-stage customers. Later, feedback is gathered to enhance the performance of the product and further equipped with additional attributes.
The theory of developing MVP is essential because of these factors such as:
- Opportunity to develop product functionality several times.
- Less expensive (as you develop only core functionalities).
- Helps to validate your business model.
Now, you would have the idea in developing MVP, what would you do next?
- Create a checklist for the design & development process.
- Ensure the features that are required to collect feedback from real users.
- Take surveys to understand the user’s critical needs.
These are the must-have things to check before MVP Development.
Choose your technology Stack for MVP
Whether you are using the software/ Saas Tool, the Tech stack is divided as Front-end, Back-end, and Database.
Nowadays, most of the developers are concentrating on single-page applications for fast loading and seamless navigation. Another essential concern is the reusability of code.
If you are creating MVP with the idea of adding numerous features in the future, then reusable UI component should be your pick.
There is nothing much to choose for the backend. It depends upon the technology you choose in frontend. If you are using Reactjs for frontend, then it’s fine with using the Express.js which can handle heavy load functionalities easily.
The data storage platform should be efficient, scalable and easy to maintain. The main thing you have to be clear is whether it is a structured query or non-structured query. Non-structured query database is easy to use and it can store data that developers push.
Step 3: Launch your MVP
After finally designing your first view of your product. Probably, this is the most thrilling stage in the Entrepreneurial journey because initially, you may not know the exact replication of your product.
Be specific with the core features in your MVP and test out their functionalities rather than additional features. On the first impression, the customers should be clear with your ultimate objective. Later, you can implement the changes you need in MVP.
Step 4: Find a way to reach your customers/users
There are a number of media outlets available online to reach your targeted audience. It can be Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Instagram and it depends upon the type of audience you are preferred with.
When your marketplace is about the B2B model, Linkedin should be your first choice. On the other hand, if it is about entertainment, Instagram or Snapchat is considered.
Step 5: Measure and do experiments based on user feedback
Measure the user’s behaviour in your platform knowing at which point the maximum conversions happen and where it doesn’t happen. By collecting this, you would understand how your platform is working among the end-users.
To make your website compelling to the users, do A/B testing often. If you find that the user interface is complicated to users, immediately get a clean UI design and update your platform.
Similarly, the core features also need to be tested out frequently for bugs and any issues.
Being engaged with the customers is the number one priority for every business. Getting continuous feedback from the potential users helps you to upgrade the marketplace like how Airbnb had done it in the past.
For an online marketplace business, it is not about selling and buying the products or services. It should be in the form of trust, convenience and problem-solving.
Obviously, your platform should satisfy the users as well as the providers because the providers will definitely seek a value benefit for using your website and they want their business to scale up.
To convince the providers, you should explain and extend the benefits in a user-centric way. This will help them to identify the problems that their audience is facing.
The other important criterion is customer support for both the suppliers and users. When using the website, the buyers or sellers will definitely have the issues or problems which they don’t find any resolutions. Your marketplace should provide help centre or dispute resolution system to mitigate issues.
The biggest marketplace owners like Airbnb had done this perfectly to retain their users and making them to visit their platform again and again.
During the summer of 2009, Airbnb observed they were not gaining customer traction in New York. The reason they found out is the uploaded photos of listing were below par. They made up the idea to rent $5,000 worth camera to photograph and upload a high definition picture of the listing. In a few days, booking doubled, and by the end of the month, revenue increased in double.
Ending to start your journey
It’s your turn now to convert your idea into a reality.
A little step will make all the difference. Let’s connect in making the first step of y(our) journey.
RentALL is there for you to set up a customised marketplace with different features needed as per the entrepreneurs wish.