The challenge was to create a sustainable Uber like two-sided marketplace – a platform for added value, innovation, greater awareness and growth.
It’s not easy to build a sustainable two-sided marketplace. This adequately sums up the primary challenge that went behind building Sidedoor. There is no dearth of websites and online platforms that offer long lists of available residential as well commercial properties. In the absence of a meaningful differentiation and value proposition, most portals in this space appear clones, devoid of uniqueness and focused on acquiring only one set of customers. However, it was this vacuum, which facilitated the opportunity to create a niche that would transform the digital experience of property buyers and property surveyors. To summarize, the key objective was to envisage a two-sided portal that succeeds in creating a thriving network of two distinct set of customers – with one set (individual property buyers and commercial property buyers) wanting to join to consume the value and another group wanting to join to provide the value. Another requirement was to ensure smooth scalability and the ability to enable incremental growth by being able to launch additional offerings on the marketplace.
Creating unique difference in a marketplace which is inundated with commodity offerings requires taking care of “experience gaps”. This necessitates an approach that explores the big picture not from outside, but from inside the customer’s psyche. By embracing this principle, Innovify helped capture the value as the customer sees it in the MVP. From envisaging an ideal anatomy to devising its UX, the team managed to build an ecosystem that went beyond an ordinary marketplace with plain “listings”. By enabling the opportunity to exchange desired value to customers at both ends, the project could emerge into a meaningful two-sided marketplace. Applying “double-sided” marquee strategy helped arrest the interest of both those who wanted help in buying or acquiring properties and also those who wanted to offer their expertise to willing customers.
While the Agile process itself is a lean method for the application development life cycle, Innovify demonstrated an approach that aimed to make it leaner. This approach resulted in evident gains - minimal wastage of resource & time, accelerated development with greater clarity of user requirements and successful completion of the project within budgetary constraints. Rigorous alpha testing helped achieve highly productive acceptance criteria which in turn helped document the expected behavior of a proposed solution, enabling effective mapping of user journeys and resulting benefits for each distinct customer segment. With a view to enabling ease of usage, our development methodology focused on building modular elements that offer minimal navigation and provide simplicity to target users.
Leveraging robotics process automation, Innovify allowed the solution to harness a powerful tech that helps intelligently automate and simplify real-time transactions. This capability not only provides great relief in managing high-volume and repeatable queries but also makes transactions seamless, benefiting both end-users and developers alike.
The ultimate goal behind Sidedoor was to achieve a multi-pronged outcome, which succeeds in shaping the Uber of X two-sided marketplace – a platform for added value, innovation, greater awareness and growth (scalability). By going beyond its original mandate, team Innovify left no stone unturned in ensuring desired outcome and also enabled the client to establish a sound GTM strategy to establish the business model and gain some early traction. The proof of success lies in it being able to offer measurable value. To this end, the marketplace was launched well within the allocated budget and was able to seize the interest of a sizable number of users/merchant right within three months of the launch. Getting rave reviews on Reviews.co.uk was the icing on the cake.
Co-founder & CTO, MD – India