Business is booming in the app world. With mobile phones easily overtaking the number of computer users in the world just due to the affordability and portability of smartphones of various ranges, it makes sense why apps are becoming more lucrative than ever.
Apps are being used to simplify businesses that have been around for decades and beyond. Apps are being used as a marketing tool, as a marketplace, as a ridesharing opportunity and more.
So it comes as no surprise that many entrepreneurs have decided to build a marketplace mobile app.
The problem lies in that when craigslist began to falter in quality for instance, many teams scrambled to pick up the pieces. It led to a fractured market space that keeps new and seasoned developers locked in battle against big company budgets.
Find Your Niche!
The secret lies in finding your niche.
When it comes to general marketplace apps, Amazon is the defacto king of the castle. They have made everything as convenient as possible. Why? Their inventory and features. They cannibalize their market competitors best buy and walmart by beating them on pricing, shipping, and ease of ordering whilst keeping quality and efficiency high.
The only way to beat them is to do like many app developers are doing and build a marketplace that is specialized towards one niche or type of product.
Most successful entrepreneurs have built their business with multiple ideas, so don't limit yourself to a single app idea. Building an app is like aiming to release a hit single in the music industry. Give each app from four to six months after the launch, and if you don't see a growing user base by then, move to the next idea.
What if my app doesn't work?
Fact that many business ideas, many app ideas are non-starters. Successful people make unpredictable decisions all the time, but they also get right back up and try other pursuits with fresh learning from their failures. Move on to the next app idea if the current one doesn't get results.
For instance, there is high interest in sneaker flipping. Sneaker flipping is the process of sourcing designer or high end sneakers that are treated as collectors items for a reasonable price by either waiting in line in person or using a bot to make the purchase before it sells out. These sneaker flippers and sneakerheads, then go online to a marketplace and then resell their shoes for up to ten times the value or more.
It’s a tight knit community in some regards, with a majority of flips happening via craigslist and facebook groups and forums. Now, there are apps popping up specifically for sneakerheads to buy and sell shoes they want to collect or get rid of.
It works well for them because the app basically markets itself. The customer/participant knows what they are getting and if it will fit with their interests. The competition most likely has totally different sellers and buyers, so the competition between app developers isn’t quite as fierce and is nowhere near as difficult as say, competing with amazon.
This is the case for any niche based marketplace apps. These places make money per transaction that happens via the platform by taking a cut, as well as usually charge a nominal fee either for membership to post or just a per post fee via a token system.
These niche based marketplace apps are becoming more prevalent as entrepreneurs attempt to corner their part of the market. Only time will tell how these perform in the long term and how long it will take before mergers begin happening to consolidate their control.