During the past decades the number of online platform businesses has raised twice. Under the “platform” term we understand the emerging digital business models. Everyday v-jet group company receives at least one order to create a website similar to Airbnb, Upwork, OLX or other platforms. Our team is familiar with every aspect of platform development and ready to share the most important things customers should consider at the beginning.
Platform depends on the list of suggested products or services. Supplies make platform valuable and attractive. Empty website as well as with a few items has very little chance to become popular among users and will easily lose value in and of itself. For example, Airbnb required a list of apartments to offer in order to deliver core value unit. These listings are a must to power interactions.
Depending on target audience every platform requires a set of actions between producers and consumers to ensure its value creation and exchange. For example, the primary interaction on OLX is when producers upload closes or other stuff and consumers buy it.
A platform may have multiple value units and multiple interactions, but there will specifically be one that is core to the value proposition.
Imagine that you already figured out core value unit and core interactions. But how will you encourage user to join and use offered services as opposite to find each other outside the platform? Here you need to think over chicken-and-egg problem: when users visit a website with no services available, they will leave soon. That’s why as soon as you decided to start creating Airbnb, think how to engage both sides to participate.
Implementation of basic useful stuff is very important for every platform. Different filters (geolocation, search filters, scheduling tools etc) on website similar to OLX will help users to see the stuff from the required location but not from the other city. Additional filters can be adjusted later, but core basic are on top priority for the first version.
Right content encourages to use website and get back again and again. Consider not only text, but also images, videos, infographics.
Another important point that should be taken into account is the Time to Market concept. For majority of startups we suggest release the product on the market fast without heave time and budget investments. For example, in case if business is going to develop restaurant market but start with the app first, we usually suggest replace mobile app for restaurants with web app. It will take less time and therefore budget. Furthermore, from our standpoint, it is user friendly for restaurants to work with web app and process the orders via web app. Also, in terms of Time to Market concept for every customer we advise starting with one mobile platform.
Before you start platform development we would recommend to proceed with the planning and analysis stage. The planning stage is really important when you consider website like Airbnb. Its functionality is diverse and complex, which means that simply afford to jump on development without thorough planning is absolute mistake.
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