Marketplace Solutions

Starting your own Marketplace Business? Wait and Validate your idea first.

At Aykan, we’ve constructed numerous marketplaces for our clients. Typically, I listen to their requirements, draft development proposals, and commence development work. However, only a handful of customers have found success in their marketplace ventures. I’ve examined some of these cases, interviewing them to uncover the primary reason behind their success or failure: the validity of their assumptions.

As entrepreneurs, we often rush into building marketplace platforms and entering the market. Yet, before doing so, it’s essential to validate our assumptions. But how exactly do we go about this? This article delves into the process of “Validating Assumptions Before Building a Marketplace Platform.”

Here is the list of activities you need to perform for validating your Assumptions.

List the Assumptions

Let’s say you are planning to build a marketplace for personal trainer services. You got the idea based on your personal problems as an existing customer of personal training services. You first list the assumptions from a customer’s point of view, based on your own experiences.

  • Searching for a personal trainer using Google is not convenient: it takes time to go through a list of different websites.
  • Discovering the best personal trainers in a certain location is difficult. There is no easy way to compare local providers and find the one that best suits you.
  • Finding a free time slot and paying for the service is complicated since every provider has their own reservation and payment system.

Marketplaces always have two sides, and you need to solve a problem for both sides. In other words, you also need to consider the viewpoint of personal trainers (the providers). While you are not a personal trainer yourself, you come up with several assumptions about their problems.

  • Many providers don’t have enough customers because they do not know how to promote themselves online. They might not even have a personal website, and if they do, the quality is lacklustre, which hurts their brand.
  • The personal trainer market is not as big as it could be because finding and booking a trainer is such a hurdle. If it were easier, more people would use the services of personal trainers, and they would all have more customers.
  • Personal trainers do not have sufficient tools for managing their booking schedules and invoicing their customers. Streamlining this process would bring value to them.
  • While most personal trainers have traditionally been averse to using online tools, the situation is changing, and they are now more willing to move to the digital age.

Based on these problem assumptions, you come up with assumptions for value propositions, distribution channels, and revenue streams. You break them down as follows.

  • Value proposition for customers: Easy to use and unified search experience that aggregates lots of providers in one place, allowing for easy comparison based on trainers’ offerings and the number of reviews they’ve received, along with an easy way to book a suitable time slot and pay for it.
  • Value proposition for providers: An easy way to set up their own online presence, more leads, and handy tools for managing bookings and invoicing.
  • Distribution channel for customers: Since many people are already searching for personal trainer services, they find your site through search engines once you get the first position for certain keyword searches.
  • Distribution channel for providers: At first, you build supply by contacting the providers directly and convincing them to join. Later, growth will come through word of mouth.
  • Revenue stream from customers: Your site is free to use for customers.
  • Revenue stream from providers: You plan on making money by using the most popular revenue stream for modern marketplaces: charging a commission from each booking from the providers.

Interview your users.

That’s quite a list of assumptions! Now it’s time to start validating them. That means getting out of the building and interviewing both your potential providers (personal trainers) and customers (people who already use or have used personal training services). You should try to find at least 10 people from both groups for a big enough sample. Running Lean provides useful interview templates for this stage. You can use their validation board to track your progress.

Some example questions for potential customers:

  • How do you currently find personal trainer services?
  • How often do you search for new personal trainer services?
  • How do you know which personal trainer services would be the best for you?
  • Do you compare different providers somehow?
  • Is it easy to book a personal trainer?
  • Is it easy to pay for the personal training services?

Some example questions for potential providers:

  • Could you take in more customers than you currently have?
  • How do your customers currently find you?
  • How do you currently manage customers’ bookings?
  • How do you invoice your customers?
  • Do you have a web presence? If not, why?

It is important that you do not lead the interviewees too much in order to get the answers you want. Instead, you should ask them relatively open-ended questions, listen carefully to what they say, and react to their answers with more questions. At least some of your assumptions will most likely be wrong; finding these should be your focus. You are not selling anything yet, so do not talk about the benefits of your solution at the beginning of the interview. Instead, focus on the problem. It’s also usually easier to get people to agree to an interview instead of a sales meeting.

If you end up discovering that your assumptions seem to hold true, you can move on to talking about your proposed solution and gauge their reaction to it. When you are talking to the people who you plan on charging (the providers, in this case), remember to also ask whether they would be willing to pay the price you plan on asking (10% of the total booking size, for example). If, on the other hand, you notice that your problem assumptions are wrong, it is better to skip describing your solution and focus on finding out whether there is another problem you could solve for the interviewees instead. Conducting these interviews yourself is crucial. You need to get to really know your potential users and understand their real problems, which might be completely different from what you were expecting them to be.

For instance, you might learn that the personal trainers are already using a good tool for booking and invoicing, and that their biggest problem is getting more leads. This means that you might need to shift your revenue stream plan: the personal trainers will likely not want to pay for each transaction if you are not able to offer them a big enough improvement for their invoicing process. Instead, you might want to charge per lead, or charge the providers a subscription fee.

On the customer side, you might notice that while customers feel that comparing providers is difficult, it is an activity they only engage in once every two years. Since a single customer will not engage in many transactions, it means you need to attract a large mass of customers for your business model to work. As Bill Gurley notes in his classic article:

Many failed marketplaces attack purchasing cycles that are simply way too infrequent, which makes it much more difficult to build brand awareness and word-of-mouth customer growth.

Bill Gurley

Based on the data, you might notice that some people are more responsive towards your idea than others. After enough interviews, you start to notice certain patterns. Maybe younger people like the idea more? Or perhaps a very specific customer demographic (like wealthy stay-at-home moms between 30 and 50) has way more potential than other segments. After making such a discovery, you can focus on just the customers in this specific segment and how to solve their problems. Remember: it’s much better to initially make a product a small number of users love than a product that a large number of users like.

Study search data.

Some assumptions are more difficult to validate with interviews. For instance, you might base your business model on the assumption that there are 50,000 potential customers in a city with 1 million people, and they will find you mainly through search engines. How do you validate this assumption?

Luckily, there’s a method for this type of validation too: you can study what people are searching for online. For instance, with tools like Semrush, you can study how often a certain keyword is searched.

Since personal training services are local, you will likely want to focus on only one city in the beginning. Let’s say you live in Dallas, Texas and want to start from your home turf

(which is probably a good idea). You can now check how many people search for “personal trainer Dallas” every month. If you can get everyone who makes this search sign up for your site, is it enough to justify your business model?

More realistically, even if you manage to get your site as the first search result (which can be very difficult), only 5-10% of those people will likely sign up. Is that still enough?

You should also try searching for this term on Google yourself to see what you are up against. Who are your biggest competitors? Are there already lots of ads for your ideal keyword? If there are, you will likely need to work (or pay) more to reach the top position—not to mention offering more value to your users than your competition.

(Above article is an excerpt from the book named “The Mean Marketplace” by Juho Makkonen and Cristóbal Gracia . You can buy this book at Amazon –

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Marketplace Solutions

Aykan’s Sharetribe Marketplace Customization: Transforming Remote Vehicle Inspection with Procarcheck in Europe

In the ever-evolving automotive market, the challenge of purchasing a vehicle from a remote location is significant. Procarcheck, a pioneering platform, is designed to seamlessly connect potential car buyers with local inspection service providers across Europe. This innovative platform is transforming the way customers purchase vehicles from afar, ensuring reliability and transparency every step of the way.

Imagine the scenario: a customer, miles away, eyes set on a vehicle located in a different city or even a different country. The logistical nightmare of inspecting the vehicle personally can be daunting. This is where Procarcheck steps in. By enlisting the aid of locals near the vehicle’s location, this platform provides a practical and efficient solution. These local inspectors conduct thorough inspections and generate detailed reports, offering peace of mind to distant buyers.

Key Features of Procarcheck

  1. Transaction Modification: Addressing the dynamic nature of vehicle locations, Procarcheck has enhanced its transaction process. When a car to be inspected lies outside a service provider’s normal coverage area, the platform allows for the negotiation of an additional charge, which can be seamlessly added to the total transaction cost.
  2. Inspection Files Upload: Post-inspection, service providers can upload multiple images, videos, and documents of the vehicle, directly through the application. This feature ensures that customers receive a comprehensive view of the vehicle’s condition, fostering trust and transparency.
  3. Platform Approval of Service: Upon completion of the service and file uploads, a marketplace representative undertakes the vital task of verifying the service quality. This step ensures that all services rendered meet the platform’s high standards. Transactions can be approved, additional information requested, or in the case of unsatisfactory service, canceled.
  4. Settlement & Refund: Procarcheck also incorporates a secure transaction system. Funds are held in an escrow account until the marketplace approves the service, post which they are transferred to the service provider. In cases of cancellation, customers are assured of a hassle-free refund.
Sharetribe Marketplace Customization

Sharetribe Marketplace Customization: Technical Challenges and Solution by Aykan Team

  1. Transaction Modification:
    • Implementing a dynamic pricing mechanism that allows service providers to negotiate and add additional charges to the total transaction cost based on factors like distance or complexity of the inspection.
    • Ensuring seamless integration of negotiation features into the transaction process without compromising security or user experience.
  2. Inspection Files Upload:
    • Developing a robust file upload system capable of handling various file formats (images, videos, documents) securely and efficiently.
    • Implementing file storage solutions that ensure scalability, accessibility, and data integrity, such as cloud-based blob storage systems.
    • Addressing potential challenges related to bandwidth, file size limits, and network latency to optimize the upload process for users.
  3. Platform Approval of the Service:
    • Creating a workflow for marketplace representatives to review and verify inspection files uploaded by service providers.
    • Implementing user-friendly interfaces for marketplace representatives to take actions such as approving transactions, requesting additional details, or initiating cancellations.
    • Ensuring transparency and accountability in the approval process while maintaining data security and privacy.
  4. Settlement & Refund:
    • Developing a secure escrow system to hold funds until transactions are approved, ensuring that funds are protected and only released upon completion of services.
    • Implementing automated refund processes in case of transaction cancellations, ensuring timely and accurate refunds to customers.
    • Addressing potential challenges related to payment gateways, transaction fees, and currency conversions to facilitate seamless financial transactions.
  5. Reverse Marketplace Implementation:
    • Designing a user interface that effectively reverses the traditional roles of buyers and sellers, allowing service providers to post their inspection services while enabling customers to browse and make offers.
    • Implementing search and filtering functionalities tailored to the needs of service providers, allowing them to showcase their offerings effectively.
    • Addressing potential challenges related to user adoption and engagement, as users may need to adapt to the reversed marketplace model.

Working with Aykan has been an absolute game-changer for our business. Their customized solutions on Sharetribe have revolutionized how we conduct vehicle inspections. From seamless negotiation features to robust file upload systems, Aykan’s expertise shines through every step of the way.
The platform approval process is a breeze, thanks to their intuitive workflows that ensure transparency and accountability. With Aykan, we can trust that our transactions are in safe hands.

Luís Miguel Fernandes Pires
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Marketplace Solutions

Elevating Elite Car Rentals: Aykan’s Sharetribe Customization for CONVOY

In a world where convenience and luxury are valued more than ever, Sharetribe has emerged as a platform that empowers entrepreneurs to create niche marketplaces tailored to specific needs. One such success story is our recent project with CONVOY, a premium car rental marketplace based in the USA. At Aykan, we take pride in our ability to customize Sharetribe to meet the unique demands of businesses like CONVOY, who specialize in providing elite car rental services featuring iconic brands like Rolls Royce and Aston Martin. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of how we customized Sharetribe for CONVOY to ensure a seamless and secure experience for both car owners and renters.

Elite Car Rentals: A Niche Market

CONVOY sets itself apart from other car marketplaces by exclusively focusing on elite vehicles. Their platform allows users to host their luxury cars, enabling other members of the marketplace to rent these vehicles for a specified duration. This niche approach attracts a discerning clientele who appreciate the finer things in life and seek an unforgettable driving experience.

Enhancing Safety and Trust

One of the key challenges in the car rental industry is ensuring the safety and reliability of both car owners and renters. Aykan customized Sharetribe for CONVOY to address this concern comprehensively. Here’s how:

  1. Driver License Verification: We implemented a robust system to verify users’ driver licenses, ensuring that only eligible individuals can rent cars from the platform. This verification process helps CONVOY maintain a high standard of safety.
  2. Risk Scoring: To further enhance safety, we introduced a risk-scoring mechanism that evaluates users based on various factors. This scoring system assists car owners in deciding whether to rent their vehicles to specific individuals, minimizing potential risks.
  3. Image Upload for Disputes: In case of disputes, we integrated a feature that requires users to upload images of the rented car upon its return. This documentation proves invaluable for resolving conflicts and ensuring transparency.

Streamlined Operations

Aykan’s Sharetribe customization for CONVOY extends beyond safety features; we also focused on optimizing the platform’s functionality. Here are some key aspects we improved:

  1. Upcoming Bookings and Sales: We revamped the user interface to provide a seamless view of upcoming bookings and sales. This feature allows users to track their rental business effectively, providing convenience and peace of mind.
  2. Integrated Payment via Stripe: To simplify transactions, we integrated the Stripe payment gateway within the marketplace. This ensures that payments are secure, fast, and hassle-free.
  3. Settlement Management: Handling booking declines and cancellations can be tricky. Aykan’s customization ensures that settlements to hosts and refunds to customers are managed seamlessly within the platform, enhancing the overall user experience.


Aykan’s successful collaboration with CONVOY underscores our expertise in customizing Sharetribe for specialized marketplaces. By catering to the unique requirements of CONVOY’s elite car rental marketplace, we have helped them elevate their operations, ensuring safety, convenience, and trust for both car owners and renters.

If you’re looking to create a niche marketplace or enhance the functionality of an existing one, Aykan is your trusted partner in Sharetribe customization. Contact us today to discuss how we can tailor Sharetribe to your specific needs and create a marketplace that stands out in its niche. Together, we can turn your vision into a thriving online platform.

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Marketplace Solutions

Revolutionizing Party Scene: Aykan’s Sharetribe Customization for HiClaas Marketplace

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital entrepreneurship, one daring entrepreneur, Harol, sought to disrupt the party and entertainment industry with his innovative concept: HiClaas. This visionary platform aimed to bridge the gap between party goers and table bookers, revolutionizing how tables were booked and shared at entertainment venues. Aykan, a leading software company specializing in Sharetribe marketplace customization, undertook the challenge to bring HiClaas to life. In this article, we delve into Aykan’s recent project, showcasing the journey of turning an idea into a fully functional and user-centric marketplace.


The HiClaas Concept

HiClaas was born out of Harol’s realization that many party enthusiasts desired a more flexible approach to table booking. The concept involved table bookers reserving tables in bulk at entertainment clubs and restaurants, subsequently renting out individual seats to party goers. This ingenious approach allowed attendees to share the table and expenses, making the nightlife experience more accessible and affordable. To make this vision a reality, Aykan’s expertise was enlisted to create a tailor-made Sharetribe marketplace.

Addressing Complex Challenges:

Aykan’s journey with HiClaas was riddled with challenges that demanded innovative solutions. Some of the features were not provided in the Sharetribe. Aykan team developed such custom features from scratch and integrated the same with main solution.

1. Global Time zone Support

One of the most pressing hurdles was managing global time zones. With users spread across different regions, Aykan implemented a robust system that allowed seamless booking across time zones, ensuring accurate scheduling and a smooth user experience.

2. Mobile OTP Verification

Mobile OTP (One-Time Password) Verification is a crucial aspect of user authentication in modern digital platforms. Aykan’s team implemented a robust system that ensured secure and efficient user authentication. When users registered or logged in, they received a unique OTP on their registered mobile number. This added an extra layer of security, verifying the user’s identity and preventing unauthorized access. This feature instilled trust in the platform, safeguarding user data and maintaining the integrity of user accounts.

3. Real-time Notifications:

Aykan’s team integrated a sophisticated real-time notification system that played a pivotal role in enhancing the user experience. Users were promptly notified about booking updates, changes in reservation status, and other important information related to their interactions on the platform. This feature ensured that users remained well-informed and engaged with the platform, leading to a seamless and efficient booking process.

4. Efficient Dispute Resolution

Disputes can arise in any marketplace, and Aykan’s team addressed this challenge by designing an efficient and user-friendly dispute resolution process. Users could submit disputes through a dedicated interface, where they could provide relevant information and evidence. This process fostered transparency and accountability, allowing both parties to present their perspectives. The platform’s ability to handle disputes in a structured manner boosted user confidence, enhancing the overall trustworthiness of HiClaas.

5. Cancellation and Refund Flow

The cancellation and refund flow is often a complex and delicate process in marketplace platforms. Aykan’s team simplified this process for HiClaas by implementing an automated refund mechanism for cancellations. When a user decided to cancel their booking within a specific timeframe, the system automatically initiated the refund process. This feature not only saved time and effort for both hosts and party goers but also eliminated ambiguity in refund calculations, contributing to user satisfaction.

6. Discount Mechanism

To attract both hosts and party goers, Aykan’s team introduced a creative discount mechanism. Discounts were deducted from the admin commission, making the platform more appealing to both user groups. This approach not only incentivized users to participate but also showcased the platform’s adaptability and responsiveness to market dynamics, contributing to increased user engagement.

7. Auto Accept Booking

Booking acceptance can be a manual and time-consuming task. Aykan’s team streamlined this process by introducing an automated booking acceptance system. When a party goer initiated a booking request, the system automatically processed and accepted the request if the conditions were met. This automation saved hosts time and ensured a swift and efficient booking process, ultimately enhancing user satisfaction.

8. Customized Chat Options

Aykan’s team went above and beyond by developing a completely new chat feature to meet HiClaas’s unique requirements. This feature enabled users to communicate through private and group chats. The introduction of an Archive Chat allowed users to review past conversations, improving communication continuity. Group Chat facilitated interactions among multiple users, enhancing collaboration and connection. The integration of MongoDB in the backend ensured a reliable and scalable chat solution that catered to HiClaas’s needs.


Harol’s vision for HiClaas found its ultimate expression through Aykan’s expert Sharetribe customization services. The successful execution of this project stands as a testament to Aykan’s proficiency in transforming innovative concepts into functional digital platforms. With features ranging from global time zone management to a dynamic cancellation policy, Aykan’s solutions turned HiClaas into a go-to platform for party goers and table bookers alike. This collaboration exemplifies the power of technology to revolutionize traditional industries, redefining the way we experience nightlife and entertainment.

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Marketplace Solutions

Unlocking Seamless Marketplace Experience: Aykan Team’s Tailored Sharetribe Customization


In the era of digital connectivity, where individuals and businesses alike seek innovative ways to connect, trade, and thrive, Viorne emerges as a transformative force. Viorne’s vision is to revolutionize commerce by creating a comprehensive marketplace that transcends boundaries, offering a dynamic platform where users can seamlessly buy and sell a diverse array of products, services, and accommodations from a multitude of industries. At the heart of this transformation stands Aykan Team, the architects behind the ingenious customization of Sharetribe Marketplace to realize Viorne’s unique vision.

The Dual-Faced Marketplace

Viorne’s marketplace is a dual-faced gem, functioning as both a traditional marketplace and a pioneering reverse marketplace. In the traditional realm, sellers present their wares as listings for potential buyers to peruse and purchase. However, Viorne’s innovation truly shines in its reverse marketplace. Here, buyers articulate their purchasing intentions, and sellers are empowered to proactively approach and match their products and services to these intents, enhancing efficiency and expediting transactions.

Seamless Registration and Sign-Up

Aykan Team has meticulously woven convenience into the marketplace’s fabric. Registering is the key to unlocking this realm of opportunities. Users can register as individuals or, optionally, affiliate themselves with a company, adding a layer of professionalism to their profile. Companies are associated with an EU Company ID, fostering a sense of legitimacy.

Empowering Company Associations

When users forge company associations, Aykan Team introduces a unique email domain validation mechanism. If the first user associates with a company, they can opt to enable email domain validation for future users joining the same company. This innovation ensures that only valid company email domains can be used for association, bolstering company integrity and authenticity.

Listing Diversity and Flexibility

Creating listings in Viorne’s marketplace is an art Aykan Team has perfected. The platform accommodates a plethora of industries and listing types – products, services, and accommodations. Sellers wield the power to shape their listings, categorizing them appropriately and crafting fields tailored to their offerings. The user-friendly interface allows users to organize their listings efficiently.

Elevating Quality with Business Rules

Quality is paramount in Viorne’s ecosystem. Sellers seeking to create listings are subject to rigorous business rules. For instance, a seller’s marketplace subscription validity is examined before allowing them to create a seller listing, fortifying the platform’s integrity. The marketplace ensures that all sellers are equipped to deliver exceptional offerings.

Aykan Team’s commitment to understanding our unique requirements and tailoring the Sharetribe platform to suit our needs has been truly exceptional. The way they seamlessly integrated features like the ‘Request for Communication’ and the personalized listing creation process has elevated the user experience for both buyers and sellers on our platform.

Savina. CEO, Viorne

Effortless Listing Discovery

Navigating Viorne’s marketplace is a breeze, thanks to Aykan Team’s implementation of robust listing filtering and searching capabilities. Users can employ simple or nested filters, resulting in tailored search results that match their preferences. Nested filters elevate the browsing experience, revealing refined subsets of listings based on user selections.

Empowering Buyer-Seller Interactions

Viorne’s unique feature, Request for Communication, ushers in a new era of efficient interactions between buyers and sellers. Sellers desiring to engage with a buyer’s listing pay a fee for the privilege. Upon payment, messaging capabilities are unlocked, facilitating meaningful conversations that drive transactions. Sellers’ packages are debited accordingly, with commissions allocated to the listing owner and the marketplace itself.

Personalizing the Experience

Aykan Team’s expertise shines in enabling Viorne users to uncover personalized experiences. The platform empowers users to request the reveal of a buyer’s company name, opening doors to more informed interactions. Furthermore, users can share buyer listing links externally, nurturing a referral-based ecosystem that rewards buyers who bring new sellers to the platform.

Simplifying Transactions

Transactions are streamlined with Viorne’s Purchase option integrated into all listings. Sellers benefit from the seamless payment process via Stripe, enriching user experience and trust. For service and accommodation listings, the Calendly link adds an extra layer of convenience, enhancing the booking process and saving valuable time.

Earnings, Profiles, and Settling

Viorne’s emphasis on users’ earnings and profiles is manifested through Aykan Team’s innovative design. Users are empowered to track their earnings, request settlements, and monitor their financial health. Whether via referrals, communication requests, or other avenues, Aykan Team ensures that users remain in control of their finances.

Customization and Technical Architecture

Aykan Team’s prowess extends to the technical architecture that underpins Viorne’s marketplace. Leveraging the Sharetribe Flex platform, Aykan Team melds Sneaker Time’s React template with custom backend logic hosted on platforms like AWS or Microsoft Azure. The high-level architecture caters to efficient communication between various components, while a custom database enriches data management.

Future-Ready Innovations

Aykan Team’s dynamic marketplace customization sets the stage for Viorne’s growth and evolution. With cutting-edge features, transparent transactions, personalized experiences, and robust technical foundations, Viorne is poised to become a benchmark for effective and efficient online marketplaces. Aykan Team’s intricate understanding of Sharetribe’s capabilities and their commitment to realizing Viorne’s vision have resulted in a marketplace that seamlessly harmonizes the needs of buyers and sellers, driving commerce into the future.

Want to build your own Marketplace?

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