CS-Cart > Marketplace business models > Starting a Marketplace in 2020: Open Your Service Marketplace Like HomeAdvisor and Coursera

Starting a Marketplace in 2020: Open Your Service Marketplace Like HomeAdvisor and Coursera

Last updated on Jun 02, 2020

Why a Service Marketplace is a Great Business

So, you're about to launch a service-focused online marketplace. You're just in time—a service marketplace business model has a great forecast for the upcoming years and many niches are still not occupied.

Uber's bookings have increased by a whopping 51% since 2017, which has led to an increase of over 60% in quarterly sales. Airbnb is expected to earn $3.5 billion each year by 2020—it would be a 3,400% increase from what the company earned in 2016. HomeAdvisor, the biggest household service marketplace, gets a $300,000,000+ annual revenue and 5,000,000+ unique users monthly.
There are several popular categories of services that you can offer on your marketplace: home services, courses, freelance jobs, insurance, taxi, car sharing, consulting, repair software development, and other. We've picked three big categories that can include smaller categories.
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Home Services Marketplace
Every day, millions of people need assistance in assembling furniture, plumbing, and fixing electricity issues in their houses. And they want qualified professionals for this job. Home service marketplaces connect consumers with such professionals.

Home service marketplaces are becoming a usual way to get help about the house. With these marketplaces, a consumer doesn't have to search for a professional electrician, call the guy, extract quotes, send specifications. Assistance is one click away. And a consumer can be sure that he or she will get a qualified pro for the job.

Meantime, home service industry shows stable growth. For example, the floor covering segment is expected to grow 5% by 2024. HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) will grow 14% and plumbing—12% by 2024. Other segments show similar growth. So, it's high time to jump in.
Online Courses Marketplace
Studying online has attractive benefits: a student has a flexible schedule, can access a wider range of courses, and pays less. Online courses is a perfect form of studying for busy men and women and for those who are on a budget. Plus, selling online courses can make a good passive income for coaches.

The industry is very promising as it shows intensive growth. For example, during 2018 the number of students on Udemy increased up to 30%. The number of course enrollments increased from 125 million to 190 million. Since 2017, Coursera's revenue has grown from $100 million up to $140 million and the number of learners—from 30 million to 37 million.
Freelance Marketplace
An independent research firm Edelman Intelligence in association with Upwork conducted several researches, that show that by 2027 the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers. Another their research shows that 56.7 million of Americans freelanced in 2018, which is 3.7 million more than in 2014. So, a job marketplace can become a profitable long-term project if you start it now.
Why CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is a Good Fit for a Service-Focused Marketplace
CS-Cart Multi-Vendor has all the functionality you'll need to start selling services. But not only functionality matters. Here are 4 reasons why you should open your service marketplace on CS-Cart Multi-Vendor.
1. Necessary Functions for Selling Services
CS-Cart Multi-Vendor has over 500 eCommerce functions on board: SEO tools, promotions, reward points and other marketing tools, functions for vendors, reports and analytics, and more. We'd like to focus here only on the specific functions for selling services. CS-Cart Multi-Vendor has them all:
Powerful catalog management
Fill the catalog manually or use a flexible mass listing import, configure listings by tweaking over 45 properties, create an unlimited number of listing features, filters, options, and categories. You can attach downloadable files to the listing: instructions, agreements, sketches—customer can download them right from the service listing page. Your vendors can do all this as well.
Call requests
To simplify the service ordering process for customers, your sellers can get incoming requests. When a customer clicks the call request button on a service listing page, a new order with the "Awaiting call" status is created for the service provider.
Customer-to-vendor communication
Connect your customers with service providers so that the latter could answer the customer's questions about the service and arrange it. With the Customer-to-Vendor Communication function, customers can send a message to service providers right from the service listing page.
Vendor locations
Allow service providers to set their locations so that they could receive more orders from local customers. The Vendor Locations function allows you to display a map with all the providers in the chosen location, enable service filtering by distance from the customer's location, show nearby providers on the marketplace homepage, and more. The Vendor Locations function allows customers to easily find nearest service providers.
Comments and reviews
Reviews are crucial for any business that cares about its reputation. Customer reviews help service providers get fair credit and earn good image in customers' opinion. Reviews influence providers' and thus your income directly. Multi-Vendor offers the feedback and review system with an interactive star rating. Customers can comment and rate providers, services, categories, and more. Only a marketplace admin can moderate provider reviews

2. Minimum Viable Product
Launching an online marketplace can cost you thousands of dollars. If you're not sure that you will 100% succeed with your marketplace project, you won't be ready to spend that amount of money for sure. We wouldn't.

As our customers say, CS-Cart Multi-Vendor has a perfect price / functionality ratio, which means you can quickly launch a fully functioning eCommerce marketplace without spending a lot of money. Our Multi-Vendor software is a perfect solution to test MVP.
3. Scalability
So, you've tested MVP and looks like your marketplace has a great potential (of course it does!). Eventually, it will grow and you will probably need to adopt it to your changing business strategy.

Thanks to open source code and tons of ready-made add-ons, you can scale your Multi-Vendor marketplace vertically, horizontally, or how you need it. CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is very flexible and extremely scalable, which is confirmed by our customers.
4. Support
You won't be left behind after you buy CS-Cart Multi-Vendor. Our support team of professionals will always be at your disposal at the launch and after it. You will get 90 days of free technical support and you'll be able to get assistance any time after these initial 90 days. Our support team will help you set up your marketplace, maintain, and upgrade it.

Of course, this is just a small part of all the default functionality that Multi-Vendor can offer for your service marketplace. Request the demo to explore all the functions.
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Some Successful Service Marketplaces Built on CS-Cart Multi-Vendor

Service-focused marketplaces are the second popular business model after retail and there are hundreds of awesome marketplaces out there. We picked these three to show you:
On this marketplace, companies and individuals can lease and rent electronics and information and communications technologies. The rental conditions for individuals and businesses differ. For now, there are 50,000 items available for rent on Computer.nl.
This is a service marketplace from Ukraine, on which customers can rent musical instruments, equipment for shows, building implements, and order other services. There are currently about 1,000 items for rent and services for ordering.
This is an full-line marketplace from Russia. Besides physical products, it has a big category of services. On this marketplace, a consumer can order repair and maintenance, logistics, photography, security, home, and other services.
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Click the button and we'll create a fully-featured online demo for you