Your Two-Sided Marketplace Startup Has Customers, Now What?

Getting customers is one thing, keeping them is another

Joe Procopio

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image by pch.vector

Digital marketplaces have been a popular startup trend for a while, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.

I still get a couple questions a week from founders of two-sided marketplaces (2SMs), the digital middleware between customer and vendor that takes a cut of every product or service transaction conducted within its digital walls. In return, said marketplace purports to make each transaction frictionless and cost-beneficial to both the customer and the vendor.

2SMs seem like a no-brainer of a business model that can be applied to any field or industry. Put psychiatrists or plumbers or dog-sitters on one side, and time-strapped customers on the other. Let them find each other and transact, then sit back and watch the money roll in a few bucks at a time.

None of that is true, however. A two-sided marketplace is difficult to get started. Then it’s even more complicated to attract the critical mass of customers and vendors needed to make transacting timely.

Then, once you have that launch mass, it’s even harder to grow.

I’ve written a lot about the mechanics of building 2SMs, but this post is about that elusive…

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com