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Although software for online marketplaces is the best way to start an online business, many solutions are available and choosing a suitable one can be tricky. Here we have a brief discussion to support you. 

How to Compare Various Software Alternatives

When seeking your ideal software, it would help if you consider five critical aspects:

What does the software focus on?

How flexible is the core system?

What is the provider's business model?

Does the provider have excellent references?

We won’t compare all the online marketplace software providers in this article because various types, such as, services, rentals, products, all require different features. However, let’s consider the five principles in more detail:

Focus?

Consider whether the software is focused enough on your type of business.

  • Is your idea to sell products or services? 
  • Are your products physical or digital? 
  • Are you targeting C2C (consumer to consumer) or B2C (business to consumer), or B2B (business to business)
  • Do you want to create a website or a mobile app?

Most online marketplaces have similar requirements, such as user profiles, listings and reviews. However, dealing with rentals or services require a booking calendar. Therefore, select software that supports your idea and model explicitly.

Extendable?

Will the software allow marketplace extension? Creating a thriving marketplace is a process, and the initial launch is only the first step. Once you’ve launched, you can begin talking to your users, and as data becomes available, you should adapt instantly. 

Most ready-made software tools are probably only useful to validate your idea and create your Minimum Viable Platform. Eventually, you will require specific features for your concept. It’s advisable to consider the future when selecting your software and ensure your growth without beginning anew on your platform. You’d be wise to discuss the relevant softwares’ code customizability and discuss its language and frameworks with your developers upfront. 

Does your business model align with the Provider’s?

Partnering with a marketplace software provider is a serious decision. Because their services and tech will drive your business, it’s vital to ensure mutual interests. Understanding how it makes money is an ideal confirmation method.

  • Beware of companies that charge a large upfront sum. They make money whether you fail or succeed, and their incentive to support your business may be in short supply.
  • You’ll be in better hands if your vendor’s revenue model is based on the extent of your users or transactions.

Does the marketplace software include services?

Find out if the vendor provides automatic software updates, hosting, backups and server monitoring. If you cannot do this yourself, it could throw a spanner in the works, as hiring a full-time developer will demand much from your monthly budget.

Always research the provider’s security policies and how they manage regulation compliance. They should take care of legislation changes. You should receive a free trial period and use it to the best of your ability to test the software and make sure they respond to your queries promptly.

Good reviews of the software vendor’s references?

Finding a software vendor is similar to employing a new staff member – approach it with the same seriousness. Ask penetrating questions about how many paying clients they have and examples of successful marketplaces created with their software. You will need someone you can trust.

Key elements you should research include the software itself and whether it solves your industry problem through an excellent user experience. Make sure you choose a vendor you can rely on, communicate with comfortably, and share your values and company culture.