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How much does it cost to build a marketplace similar to Airbnb?

By Akshat Bansal 27th July 2018

Airbnb has enjoyed a great success since it started back in 2008, the company has also given an idea of the marketplace to thousands of entrepreneurs out there. People started incorporating the Airbnb rental marketplace business model into different industries. In fact, Airbnb business gave rise to multiple businesses similar to Airbnb around the world into the industries no one ever thought of. The best example can be the renting of private or personal vehicles when not in use (90% of times personal cars remain idle).

The idea of business similar to Airbnb in travel, tourism & hospitality industry seems to have a great potential. There are still the number of gaps unfilled in the industry, creates an opportunity to be the Airbnb competitor. The fact is that the number of Airbnb alternatives are present in the industry but no one is able to disrupt the industry similar to Airbnb. The USP of Airbnb that helped the company to be valued at 31 billion US dollar is exceptional Airbnb customer support.

Before going deep into the building of a marketplace similar to Airbnb, first, understand the Airbnb business model.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is an online community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book accommodations around the world. On one side, the platform enables people to list their available space and earn extra income in the form of rent. On the other, Airbnb enables travelers to book unique home stays from local hosts, saving them money and giving them a chance to interact with locals. Catering to the on-demand travel industry, Airbnb is present in over 190 countries across the world.

The 3 customer segments defining Airbnb’s Business Model
marketplace like airbnb

Build an online marketplace similar to Airbnb

Why build a website like Airbnb or an app similar to Airbnb from the scratch. You can actually buy the ready-made script that has the functionality exact or similar to Airbnb. In fact, buying a ready-made script will be more cost-effective and saves a tonne of time and efforts. You can deploy the program of the ready-made script to build a marketplace similar to Airbnb. This works perfectly even for fully fledged e-commerce websites. It makes the process so easier and faster compared to hiring a team and building the marketplace from the scratch.

To be an Airbnb competitor or to disrupt any industry along the same lines as of Airbnb, you need extensions to be a true Airbnb competitor. Some must have extensions are:

  • Social Media Plugins

Unique username and password for each individual on the marketplace platform are essential. Give your users the option to log in or create a profile on your marketplace using other social media credentials like facebook and google. The major benefit of this is that they can be easily identified and are much secured than emails. You can integrate the social media extension in some hundreds of dollars depending upon the service provider. It can be easily integrated into existing platforms as well.

  • Checkout and Payment Gateway Integration

it’s all about the user experience. Better user experience will increase the customer retention rate and significantly decrease the customer acquisition cost. The customer must be able to check out the product in one step. For this, you can extract the billing information from the past transactions and confirm again at the time of checkout.

Today in the developed countries, payments are done online instead of cash. Even the emerging and developing markets are shifting to online transactions. Integrate payment gateway functionality will comfort your customers. Today, one of the most used payment gateways is Paypal. Deploy the PayPal script that is easily available in some hundreds or thousands of dollars. The cost for deploying checkout and payment gateway functionality can cost some thousands of dollars as per the requirements.

  • Customization

Every business is different, so does the website or app must be different. The core functionality can be similar to Airbnb but some customization is necessary. Your app and website can’t look similar to your competitor or of Airbnb competitor if in the same industry. Not only the theme and outlook of the website or app, but the functionality will also need some customization. Customization is the key to create USP for your business

  • Support and Maintenance

Upgrades and improvement is the key to remain in the competitive world. What’s done in the past doesn’t exist in present and what’s happening in present need an upgrade to offer better services. Change must be consistent. Support and maintenance team task is to keep everything working. You can either build your in-house support and maintenance team or can outsource from third-party. The cost varies depending upon the business model and how big the business is.

That’s not all! Marketplaces similar to Airbnb also need some more scripts to deploy. These scripts provide additional features to the marketplace. Invest in the technology to get leverage for offering all the features you need for your new marketplace enterprise.

The marketplace platform must be scalable platform irrespective of the size of business. You must be able to add multiple vendors, retailers or service providers in your marketplace. The limited number of vendors, retailers or service providers will stop the business to grow after a certain limit. Due to stiff competition among marketplace business, promotions and referrals are the first step to attract customers and to acquire customers. Promotion of the business is necessary at every step to acquire new customers and to build a good reputation for business among retained customers.

Get in Touch with us if you want to build the next big online marketplace! And let’s begin your journey to success.

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