How To Plan an Online Marketplace Minimum Viable Platform

Can planning an online marketplace Minimum Viable Platform increase the success of your business? 

The eCommerce online marketplace has become so popular that shoppers no longer need to wait in line a traditional shopping mall or search endlessly online. They can now search for all of the goods and services they need by downloading an app.

The marketplace model is also convenient for the seller. They are able to expand their offered services and reach clients all over the world. With so many options available and such a wide audience, it is even more difficult to decide on the needs of your client base. In order to narrow the options, developing a Minimum Viable Platform (MVP) can help.

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What is a Minimum Viable Platform (MVP)?

In order to develop a Minimum Viable Platform,  you must first have a clear idea of your target audience. Who is the focus group for your business? A MVP will be a solution using minimal core features that will solve the needs of this group. The valuable feedback from these early adopters of the service will provide insight in to improvements.  This gives your audience a chance to test the potential service and provide feedback. Creating a MVP, will allow you to improve your product to ensure it meets the needs of your target audience. Continuously make small adjustments and listen to the feedback until you have solved the issue.

Often entrepreneurs mistakenly take the minimum in Minimum Viable Platform, too literally. The product should contain all of the core features in the simplest form but not be an inferior product.

Who Should be a Part of the Target Audience?

Choosing a target audience is one of the most critical steps in the Minimum Value Platform process. It’s also important to narrow the audience as much as possible for the first launch of your goods or service. The more you can focus on a target audience, the easier it is to become a product leader and develop the most efficient solution to their problem. You will be able to provide specific features that are not provided by others and add additional value. You can then use this trial run as a model to expand to other markets or more features.

What are the benefits of developing a MVP?

Creating a Minimum Viable Platform, will save you wasted time and money providing extensive benefits, including:

  • Verify if your product or service is valuable to the user.
  • Define the core functionalities needed to solve the problem.
  • Identify the most useful and popular features.
  • Create potential clients who can help promote the product or service.
  • Uncover any possible problems that need to be resolved.

 

Although it takes time and resources to create a MVP, the insight gained is invaluable. You will know if the pricing for your service is accurate and be able to determine which features are worth the resources. This process will help you expand in to larger markets with a much greater success rate.  Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of an MVP, how do we build one for an online marketplace?

How to plan an MVP for an online marketplace?

With a better understanding of the MVP process and benefits, let’s move forward with how to build one specifically for an online marketplace.

When building a marketplace business, you can only confirm the product/market fit by launching a platform and getting users to use it. The true test is getting others to interact on your platform and launching your idea early. The online shopper has evolved a lot over the past several years. The bar is set high. Potential clients are used to searching, booking and paying online with exceptional user experiences. Because of this trend, your Minimum Viable Platform needs to be ready from the beginning.

The best option for building the Minimum Viable Platform is to do it yourself. Relying on a developer, outsourcing the project, can take great amounts of time and resources. If you are not a developer or technical, you can build an MVP using a manual-based approach with landing pages and email lists. AirBnB created their first MVP in this way many years ago. The good news is that there are several ready-made tools that create a fully functioning platform with all of the user experience needs available. Yondo makes it easy to start a single functionality marketplace with no developer experience necessary.

Once you have created your platform, be clear on the key performance indicators you want to measure with the MVP. Now, your ready to launch your platform and enjoy the success.

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