Launching a marketplace: the Marjory checklist

Inspired by the success of community platforms like Airbnb, Etsy or Uber, you have decided to launch your own marketplace. Here are five vital steps you need to undertake to make your project successful.

1- Clearly define your target and customer promise

Defining your target market and formalising your promise to customers are two essential stages in the launch of your marketplace, and will greatly influence its success. Don’t forget that you will have not one, but two types of clients: sellers and buyers.

Let’s take the following example: I would like to create a B2B platform for fashion brands to sell high-quality leftover fabrics. The premise is simple: connect companies with surpluses and offcuts with potential buyers. Therefore, I need to attract big fashion brands, high fashion houses and fabric manufacturers on one side, and fashion SMEs, stylists or designers on the other side.

Sellers can generate extra revenue while cutting waste management costs, and buyers get access to superior quality fabrics at reduced prices and become part of the circular economy.

2- Build your business process and create an efficient workflow

You then need to build the operational architecture that will allow you to deliver on your promise. One of the main mistakes people make is to start thinking about their future marketplace solution before defining their business process and workflow. This amounts to the various task sequences, the interactions between players involved, and the tools you will need to support your teams and ensure the success of your project. At the end of the day, the technical platform needs to adjust to your organisation’s needs, not the other way around. This is particularly important, as the implementation of a marketplace can have a huge impact on all of your company’s departments (accounting, finance, marketing, customer service, etc.) and their individual relationships. You need to be able to comfortably measure and manage this impact.

Before creating Marjory, we went through complicated marketplace projects, where the difficulty of realising our vision with the market’s existing technological building blocks led to months of delay before launch. Marjory is the platform we wish we had at the time. The idea is to allow operators to build and integrate the best workflows in a simple way, and to manage organisational issues by gathering the totality of stakeholders – both internal and external – and the expertise required for the life of the marketplace, all into a single point of integration.

3- Choosing the right tech solution

You can either build the platform yourself from scratch or choose SaaS marketplace solutions, plug-and-play or open source. The decision will depend on your budget, technical expertise and desired time to market. In any case, we can help you adjust the marketplace for your organisation. 

The performance (and the success) of your marketplace will also partly depend on the quality of its integrated services.

Marjory puts you in touch with service providers, allowing you to optimise the integration of value-adding solutions.

4- Always keep an eye on best practices

Onboarding enough third-party vendors, controlling the quality of product sheets, automating processes… How familiar are you with marketplace best practices? Adopting the right methods is crucial to succeed in launching and growing your platform in the long term. It will allow you to improve results, solve problems more efficiently and be more responsive to changes. Aware of the significance of these intangible resources, Marjory has created a catalogue of best practices, which you can adopt, adjust and leverage.

5- Prepare for what’s next

It’s always good to be one step ahead! Even if you haven’t deployed your marketplace yet, it can be useful to know how you would like to see it grow. In fact, you can build your platform in a way that it easily adapts to market evolutions and client needs.

However, keep in mind that marketplaces generally need more time than traditional e-commerce sites to reach their cruising speed. You will need patience to confirm the success of your project and to develop a good user base. To maximise your chances, don’t hesitate to ask for help in the creation of your marketplace. Marjory, for example, supports its clients in every single one of these crucial steps. We help you go from inception to creation, and assist you in the execution of your marketplace and in preparing for its growth.

Author : kamel@marjory.co