May 11, 2019

How to convince companies to join a marketplace?


Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone of you has ever faced the marketplace problem of convincing companies to join a platform where visitors can compare services they and their competitors offer.

Companies know that 99% of the people out there compare prices, ratings, etc. before making a purchase decision, but still they are quite reluctan to join marketplaces where their services can be compared side to side to those of a similar business.

What should be in your opnion/experience the right strategy in order to convince them to join you on the marketplace?

"Simply" dominating the SERP results and thus "force" them to work with you?

Also keep in mind that in a marketplace you have a kind of "chicken and egg" problem: no services to offer means no visitors, no visitors makes it difficult to get businnes on board.


  1. 1

    Yeah, marketplaces are hard. No question about that.

    I've found that sellers are always looking for more distribution. As long as you get their permission and you're going to market their products fairly, they will usually take the free marketing. If you are concerned about the value they are getting you could always do it for free at the start.

    In the beginning you don't need all the sellers, just need a few to start populating the site and something to show the buyer side to build that up. And then from there it's the incremental growth from both sides of the marketplace. FOMO will definitely play a factor as you get more sellers on.

    A technique that I like is using some sort of utility that enhances the sellers businesses or makes something they do easier. An example that I've seen in the past is a distribution tool that synced their products with a bunch of other distribution channels/marketplaces (ebay, amazon,etc). The sell was easy, use our utility to distribute your products quickly across all these other verticals (including our marketplace). Now you have their inventory being listed, they may even pay for the utility. Then you can work on your own pace to generate the buyer side volume.

  2. 1

    Interesting problem. Maybe, as soon as you get a competitor on board, email them that "your competitor is ranking higher, join X today". But now you got a chicken and egg problem of course.

  3. 1

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