The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2023, 52% of US workers will be a part of the gig economy.
Similarly, Statista forecasts that by 2028, there will be over 86 million freelancers in the United States.
These tie in with the steadily upward trend of the freelance market's growth, as it grew by 15% from 2010 to 2019, according to ADP Research.
And it doesn't look like it will veer off-course anytime soon, as people find that flexible work arrangements, when handled well, can:
- Reduce stress
- Promote autonomy
- Encourage higher pay
- Lead to more job satisfaction
- Enable work-life balance; and
- Improve general well-being
51% of freelancers have no plans of returning to traditional jobs -- and for a lot of good reasons.
Working from home has been shown to contribute to a 13% improvement in productivity, as well as a yearly profit increase of $2000 for every independent worker.
And to capitalize on the gig economy with a service marketplace, you'll want to key in top features to make your platform attractive to freelancers.
Here are five recommendations of the most effective features to help you do exactly that.
Use Social Logins for Your Online Service Marketplace
A survey conducted by Blue Research found that 54% of users will opt to go to another website if it means they won't need to complete an individual registration form.
Additionally, 86% of people feel bothered about needing to create new accounts on websites.
Social logins can simply sign up and refer to signing in to websites with an existing social account, such as Facebook or Google.
All over the world, Facebook is the leading method that users prefer for signing in, particularly in North America and the APAC regions.
Similarly, it's the most appealing method to over 70% of people aged between 18-25, and almost 50% of men.
Social logins help curb the potential for password fatigue, or the stress associated with remembering various passwords for various websites.
Yes, it's a real thing.
It's even said to contribute to a 480-dollar loss in productivity per employee for businesses.
Additionally, 39% of Americans report having a high level of password fatigue, led by millennials and Gen Z.
With social logins, your users can worry less about needing to remember their passwords, filling out long forms, or encountering login failures.
Also, it might just boost engagement for your platform, as in the case of Easytobook.
After implementing social logins on their website, they saw a whopping 68% increase in user engagement.
Create Comprehensive Profile Listing Pages in Your Service Marketplace
To make your service marketplace software attractive to service providers and buyers, they need the ability to post a comprehensive profile listing page.
Profile pages should include a variety of features, starting with the ability to post and multiple services offered by a provider.
Service buyers should find it easy to search for these services easily.
And that search functionality has to be intuitive, seeking out typos and spellings and automatically correcting them to direct users to the results that they need.
Additionally, your service providers should be able to easily upload portfolios or other proof of their work, through photos, videos, or other digital attachments.
One good example of this in action is Upwork.
On the Upwork platform, anyone can easily add projects to their portfolio by clicking on a simple + button and publishing their portfolio to their page.
Also, your users should find it convenient to populate their profile page or portfolio page with certificates they've received, their resume, and their social accounts.
Another great feature to have for a seller's comprehensive profile listing page is the ease of posting one's availabilities.
What it doesn't mean is just flipping to a status "available". Rather, being able to set specific start and end dates, for one's availability so users can sift through options (think calendar).
Finally, search filtering should be enabled in your service marketplace software.
This makes narrowing down searches to the relevant parameters a breeze for users, including -- but not limited to -- filtering by job quotes, location, and ratings.
Upwork supports advanced search operators (another reason why it raked in over 370 million dollars in revenues in 2020).
Create Flexible Profile Management for Your Sellers Services
Closely tied to the need for a comprehensive profile listing page is the ease to update their profile as frequently as necessary.
Thumbtack has got this down pat, as have other freelance or service marketplaces.
Service providers that want to edit a certain section only need to go to that specific section and click "Edit." Kind of like a "what you see is a what you get" editor.
In the same light, if your sellers intend to sign-up to one of the massive open online courses platforms and get a certificate, they should be able to proudly publish that new skill certification on their profile.
According to Upwork, the certification area is the most frequently updated portion of a freelancer's profile.
Create Convenient Messaging for Fast Online Marketplace Response Times
Did you know that the ideal response time is only one hour?
A survey conducted by SuperOffice and Toister Performance Solutions found that among surveyed customers, 31.2% want a reply within one hour or less.
But for other customers, an immediate response in 10 or fewer minutes is ideal.
Whichever way you cut it, though, customers expect fast responses.
And this makes messaging through a service marketplace software an important feature to access for service providers, as well as service buyers.
Create an Easy Way to Leave a Review on Your Service Marketplace
Finally, make it easy for posting, receiving, and reading reviews on the online marketplace.
Market data shows that 78% of people consider online reviews to be as trustworthy as personal recommendations from friends or family members.
For those aged between 18 and 34, this percentage goes up to 91%.
Similarly, these reviews impact purchasing decisions by as much as 67 percent.
And when faced with two choices, people will opt for the one with more reviews.
On Thumbtack, for example, clients don't just get to post reviews about the pros they have worked with, the website has also made these more comprehensive by encouraging users to post up to three highlights from a project or contract.
Similarly, on Fiverr, buyers have 10 days upon the completion of an order to leave a review.
This gives the gig seller time to look at the review, as well as post a review of the buyer; once these reviews have been provided or the 10 days have passed, the reviews go public.
And on Upwork, both contractors and employers can provide public and private feedback on contracts.
Additional Marketplace Features You Might Want to Consider for Services
On top of these five must-have features, a software marketplace builder or software will also benefit from the following:
Secure online transfers for sending or receiving payments are necessary to the success of your platform.
On Upwork, freelancers can receive their payments in four ways: direct to a US or local bank, US Dollar wire transfer, or Instant Pay for US-based users.
And for employers, there are eight ways to pay freelancers, including credit cards, electronic funds transfer, and TransferWise.
Speaking of credit cards, you might also want to enable escrow services through holding payouts.
Your platform will release the funds only when the terms of the service contract have been satisfied.
In this way, you can protect your users from fraudsters, particularly those that target freelancers or independent service providers.
Maps and Location
There are reportedly over 23 million websites that use Google Maps, and for a good reason.
Localization is important to finding the right service provider or contract.
This is especially true if your service marketplace software or builder will focus on connecting people in need of services in your local community, like babysitters or home improvement professionals.
This will also generate more interest for your platform, especially if you’re just starting out and need traction to scale.
Matching Service Providers with Buyers
Finally, you can also make it easier for service providers to find employers or buyers.
With matching algorithms, you help both your user sets to fully optimize the power of your service marketplace software.
Build Your Services Marketplace with Yclas
Yclas is a one-stop platform for building a service marketplace for your target audience.
With a comprehensive list of out-of-the-box features such as social logins, one-click integrations, content optimization, secure payment gateways, and advanced management, you can ensure that every key functionality that your users want is available on your platform.
Additionally, you can create custom features to deliver a complete customer experience.
Start with a free trial.