Building Your Marketplace MVP with as Little Money as Possible

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) helps startups with the opportunity to enter into the market with just a test sample that saves time, cost, and resources that go into the complete development of the marketplace. With a small and simple idea, you can transform your marketplace into a global marketplace.

Begin thoughtfully! If you have a well-planned idea and the proper motivation along with the focus on building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), you are ready to start your marketplace!

Building successful marketplaces is a challenge. And in an attempt to succeed, many marketplaces fail. This shows that there isn’t an easy way of launching a successful marketplace. A well-thought strategic plan and willingness to put in a lot of hard work are the secrets for setting up a successful marketplace.

So you want to build an online marketplace website like Etsy or Amazon, but you don’t have a lot of money as an initial investment? Keep reading to know ways to build your MVP if you have a tight budget.

Understand the reason for setting up your marketplace

Marketplace business models are seen to be constantly evolving. Now, we see thousands of new entrepreneurs creating next-generation online marketplaces for different services. These are beyond marketplace websites like eBay, Craigslist, and CouchSurfing which were the only collaborative e-marketplace models a few years back.

Web design target audience

Even before ideating and launching your full-scale Marketplace, it is important to understand if your target users would indeed use your marketplace. This can be done by:

  • Conducting surveys and the information gathered to understand the market
  • Keeping an eye on deals & offers done by potential competitors
  • Finding unique and simple ways to find solutions for your users

Building a minified version (MVP) of your Marketplace will help you achieve the above three objectives. Once you understand the needs of your target users, you are on your way to success.

Competitor analysis

Conduct a competitor analysis for similar products on the market, even when you think your product is unique. There are various free tools such as Pi-datametrics and BrightLocal for investigating competitors’ search performance,  Pricesearcher for analyzing pricing, BuzzSumo to analyze social profiles and content, Brandwatch for checking the social presence of your competitor’s online marketplace. Furthermore, do an analysis check for customer feedback on your potential competitor’s products. This helps in building a MVP for your product and in reducing shortcomings of the competitor marketplace.

Setting up a successful marketplace with low investment

It is always most beneficial to start small and get bigger in the marketplace.  A good marketplace idea does not necessarily require high  upfront cost, but just a whole lot of potential. If the plan works well, you may scale up. Even the giant platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon started small. A simple MVP can help solve core problem of your target audience with just handful of features.

Designing process in MVP and user flow

You must design a user-friendly MVP – starting from when someone opens your website/app to purchasing and delivering of your product. Also, user flow is the most important aspect that helps in creating process stages for user satisfaction. Once you have mapped the buyer journey, features for each stage can be defined.

List all the features of MVP and prioritize them

Create a list of all the features required for each stage of a buyers journey while building MVP, and prioritize the features according to the needs v/s wants. Build a platform that has all the features that the users would need. Once all the features are organized, you can start working on the first version of MVP. Remember, you do not need hundred different features on your MVP. MVP literally means stripped down version of a full-scale platform.

Create your MVP as soon as possible

Why create MVP? Because your idea is un-tested, you must create MVP first – helps with saving time and money.

Focus, during the initial phase of project, should be to develop MVP and launch it at the earliest. MVP helps in learning business tactics of the trade once you have something to offer the users, which is why MVP should be launched as soon as possible. Make sure your first products have just enough features to be solving core issues of the users.

As a Marketplace entrepreneur, your main goal should be to build and launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as soon as possible. Once your users have accepted the MVP, you can invest in it and scale it up.

It is important to have a global vision, but if you look at all the successful platforms, most of them were MVPs to begin with. Instead of thinking the business to scale to millions of users right away, focus to find the people who are connected to your concept.

e-Commerce tools such as WooCommerce are the great platforms that can be used by the marketplace entrepreneurs to start with and get a quicker validation of their business.

Build the MVP on scalable and customizable software

Build your MVP on a software that can scale and respond to the needs asap. It is important to compare the software as it could make or break your business model.

Remember, the first start-up idea is generally not the best. It takes little iteration to figure out the perfect business model for your online marketplace business. Therefore, start small and do not break the bank.

The reason initial software solutions should be easily customizable is that you want users to report their feedback right after the launch. The feedback and analytics can be used to constantly fine-tune & tweak your platform and business model. Therefore, you must interact with your early users to understand their experiences and address concerns, if any.

We can help you build a MVP for your marketplace business. Let’s discuss your business model and get your MVP up & running in no time. Ask for a demo today.