How to reduce 'leakage' from a marketplace platform?

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June 9, 2021

How to reduce 'leakage' from a marketplace platform?


Hi all,

Hope everyone is doing well! I am currently working on a business idea and was hoping to get some advice from others on this sub that might have experience in the space or general ideas.

The idea I am working on is essentially a peer-to-peer marketplace platform that connects people hoping to learn a new skill with those willing to teach it. The method of monetization would be a commission on the seller side (similar to Upwork, Fiverr, Airbnb, etc.). One of the biggest risks that I've identified with starting something like this is app 'leakage' — essentially the idea that people will go off-app to do the transaction since that would be saving them money.

In my mind, the only long-term sustainable way to prevent against this is to make the platform competitive enough and providing enough value that people feel it is worth it to continue booking through the app vs. the instructor and learner messaging directly. That being said, I'm not quite sure how to do it.

Some ideas I have are:

– Incentivize people to book through the app by offering rewards/gamification after hitting certain volume (# lessons)

– Incentivize people to book multiple sessions upfront by offering volume-based booking discounts

– Disincentivize off-app coordination by banning teachers that use the app to find learners but go off app for payment (although this would be hard to catch without teachers feeling like we are invading their privacy, I imagine)

What are your thoughts on the above ideas? Are there any ways to reduce app leakage that might work better or that I am missing?

Thank you for the help!

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