Building an Online Service Marketplace : All You Need To Know



None of us are new to the concept of the online market, e-businesses, and e-services. We are going through a phase where anything and everything is trying to be made possible online. The global marketplace has expanded its way online and has seen great success. The emergence of the online marketplace has been a boon for the economic growth of various countries. When it comes to India, it’s not just about the economic side of it. Online marketplaces have been a great blessing to the huge number of budding entrepreneurial ventures of our country. 


During various experiments with the online marketplace emerged a new worthwhile vertical from it – the online service marketplace. When the traditional online marketplace clubbed together products as well as services on a single platform, service marketplaces evolved into a powerful full-fledged platform offering services. Let us take the example of Urbanclap, who popularized the concept of online service marketplaces.

Starting in 2014, entrepreneurs Varun and Abhiraj came up with an idea to encapsulate easy access for local services and servicemen across the country. During a time of constant calls, and turning yellow pages to get an electrician or plumber, Urban clap ended as a breath of fresh air for local services helping rural and urban cities alike. Even today it is considered as one of India’s best examples of an online service marketplace in terms of idea and growth. It has made the entire process of availing services hassle-free and emerged as an immensely successful dedicated platform for services.


Why You Need An Online Service / Marketplace


Any great online enterprise starts with a unique and marketable idea. The reason to start an online marketplace may arise from questions like, what are the possibilities? What is the need for it? How can it attract various customers? How much do you benefit from it? The feasibility of it all – all these have to be ticked off before you proceed any further on starting any kind of online/offline exchange platform. Even after you’ve managed to be certain about all the above details, you’ll need to run it a lot in your mind or your group to make moves ahead. The most important reasons you should consider are:


  1. Expansion: When you consider yourself as a retailer,what more do you want than maximum expansion for your product/service from a one-stop-shop exclusivity perspective. The major growth of UrbanClap and Uber are some great examples of this.


  1. Inventory/Stock Challenges: Be it a product or a service, you need to always have things in check. This helps with money and time. Instead of buying stock and selling, all you need to do is monitor, analyze, and uniformly communicate with the customers to achieve maximum results.


  1. Customer Experience: Customers always thrive for competitive prices, choices, and an easy satisfying buying/ service experience. Their reliability, loyalty are all ensured by doing so. 


Advantages and Benefits of Online Marketplaces


One could say online marketplaces are similar to E-commerce applications when it comes to the advantages one gets. For starters, developing Online marketplace costs almost as much as it takes to develop an E-commerce application. It is easier to manage a marketplace compared to managing an entire website for your business. With the right Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) and Product Information Management (PIM) tools, most processes can be automated and make the experience hassle-free and more effortless to control. It is the best place for visibility and brand/service recognition for sellers and easier for them to make their mark on the market. The sellers opting for online marketplaces have plenty of cost and time-saving factors to take into account while considering an online marketplace over any other option.


Some Major Challenges On The Front


Developing a web application is no easy task. Creating a well functioning online marketplace comes with a lot of challenges. Quality sellers and services depend on the traffic in your application. Then comes the set of customers who look forward to having a choice on a good variety of products/services listings.


 The competition you face in the market is another vital challenge new Online marketplaces face. Getting customers to switch to your application takes real good effort! But it doesn’t take much for them to switch back if your marketplace does not value customer satisfaction. So, onboarding customers along with their retention is of utmost importance.


 Technology is another factor that causes issues for a marketplace. Using the right technology considering your requirement and satisfying the customers is not easy to do. Constant updating of the same for all purposes regarding your application is also very essential.


 The last and most important challenge is capitalization. From the products and services you offer to the marketing side of the same, capital investment is a necessity.


With the right choice of tools, technologies, and ideas, all these challenges can be easily converted to productive opportunities.


Need to consult with experts on the front? Talk to our professional team at Metric Tree Labs, a premier app development company based in Kochi, Kerala.


Understanding the Working Model of An Online Marketplace


Coming to the working model, we have three major stakeholders in the entire process. 

Let us get a better understanding of them and the working model :


  • Users


The users are the customers who approach the marketplace in search of services/products. They can register with the platform and login each time. Once logged in, they can search for products/services they are seeking. Once they find what they are looking for, they can request for the service and will have options to make the payment as well.


  •  Admin 


The admin manages and monitors the entire process. They act as the bridge layer between the users and the service providers. They can accept/decline the requests placed by the users and can also check the availability of the service providers for the same. They further communicate with the service providers and employees to process the request. They are also the receivers of the payment from the users. Once the service provider does the allotted work, the payment will be released accordingly. They are also responsible for resolving conflicts between the users and service providers if any.


  • Service Providers


The service providers can register with the platform and list their products/services on it. They can modify their keywords, listing, or other details whenever they want – easy updation is possible. They can also check and approve the user requests forwarded to them from the admin panel. Also, they work very closely with the employee team to efficiently manage the business and process.


This is the basic working model of any online service marketplace.


Designing the Marketplace Application


While designing the application, the major emphasis should be on the UI/UX front so as to make it the users’ popular choice. So a proper planning and systematic implementation are of significant importance during the design and development of your marketplace application.

To start with, your application should have three different panels/versions – one for the users, one for the admin, and another for the service providers. Each of these panels has its unique workflows. 


Let us briefly visit some of the MUST HAVE module for each of the panels :


The Users

  • User Registration and Login
  • Profile Details
  • Settings and Notification
  • Service Listings with Proper Filters and Sorting Options
  • Service Searching Provision
  • Payments and Invoices
  • Status Tracking
  • Helpline / Customer Care Options
  • Reviews and Ratings


The Admin

  • View Pending Requests with Accept / Decline options along with proper sort and filter options
  • Service Provider details screen with options to add, update, and delete options.
  • User details screen with options to add, update, and delete options.
  • Transaction History
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Customer Care / Helpline
  • Analytics Dashboards
  • Payment Methods


The Service Providers

  • Add, Update, Delete Services
  • View Pending Requests with Accept / Decline options along with proper sort and filter options
  • Contact the admin team
  • Analytics Dashboards
  • Transaction History
  • Profile Details


These are just some of the basic modules you will need when you design your online marketplace. This can be modified or improved according to your specific requirements and use cases. 


An Online Marketplace is a wise choice. You only have to make sure that you make decisions with the right set of experts on the domain in your team.

Want to learn more? Wish to get started with your online marketplace with the best professionals in the arena?

Come to Metric Tree Labs, the leading app development company in Kochi, Kerala. We have got you covered!

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