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Don’t be eclipsed by a marketplace.


The key motivator to joining service marketplaces is maximizing customer reach. But while helping to raise awareness of your business, marketplaces can actually divert your leads to competitors and dilute your brand.

We’re shedding light on how marketplaces really work, helping to ensure your customers experience your brand.

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white clouds on black background
white clouds on black background
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5 shady cons of online marketplaces.


Line ‘em up.

Your business stands apart from others – you’ve strived to make that happen. Marketplaces display your services side-by-side with direct competitors, backgrounding what makes you special.

Every listing follows the same rules, set by the marketplace. And your customers experience the marketplace’s brand, not your own.


Do you fit in?

Each brand is unique and shouldn’t be defined by preset filters. Marketplace searches function on basic categorization that doesn’t take your story, mission and values into account.

Break out of the checkboxes with alternative tech that gets you discovered, booked and championed – no commission required.


It’s *your* money.

Service marketplaces rely on your expertise to keep running. When a customer books with you, the marketplace gets its commission first. That’s typically up to 20% of the sale.

There’s a time and place to share the wealth, and marketplaces don’t earn their cut. If you’re the expert, your pocket should be the priority.


Two-faced, one-sided.

Brand loyalty is essential to growth. Online marketplaces can bring customers to your door but there’s no guarantee of how many and for how long. With competitors favored if they pay for display, it’s clear that marketplaces don’t invest in any particular brand. If the cost is on you to stay visible, is a marketplace listing really worth it?

Play your profits where they’ll count – creative marketing, local SEO and customer retention.


Does their success come before yours?

When a marketplace stores your leads, they’re no longer exclusively yours. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of selling on a marketplace. Potential customers get pushed to competitors without your knowledge.

Not only that, but service prices and discounts are promoted above all else, reducing your brand to dollars and cents. Your skills should be at the forefront – that’s what keeps customers coming back.

Online Booking Page for your service

Get seen, get booked.

9 out of 10 consumers believe that brand experience is just as important as the service itself (eMarketer). Present your brand in full from the get-go and enable people to engage with you, not a marketplace.

Personalize your online Booking Page and show the world why your business stands apart.

it's time to shine
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How to outsmart a service marketplace 💡

  • Over half of global online purchases are marketplace-driven, continuously leaving service providers with lighter wallets. If these one-stop-shops were free to use, we couldn’t deny their value.

    Looking to experiment with marketplace commerce? Explore our solutions to the common cons of selling on a marketplace and avoid being shortchanged.

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    Your brand is constrained by a marketplace’s guidelines for listings.


    Ensure you include links to your website, social media and other impressive content in your listing. Engaged leads can learn more about your brand elsewhere while they’re comparing services.

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    Your business is appearing alongside tons of direct competitors in your area.


    Price competitively and complete all sections of your marketplace listing. In addition to incorporating relevant keywords and USPs, ensure you upload photos and describe your brand and team’s expertise. All of this helps your business to step out from the crowd.

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    The fixed commission per listing or booking is higher than expected.


    You could pad the cost of commissions into service prices but this often frustrates customers and makes your overall pricing less competitive. Consider implementing different booking methods that take zero commission, e.g. via call, your website or Facebook.

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    Leads are seeing paid competitor listings first and you don’t want to spend more.


    Not every competitor will retain salient paid positions. Focus on targeting leads across search engines and social media as part of your organic marketing efforts. With an optimized Google listing and booking options on your social media pages, potential customers have additional routes to book online. This keeps your lead count up without your business needing to pay extra to the marketplace.

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    Your business relies on reviews provided by customers that use the marketplace.


    Set up an automatic email flow that prompts customers for reviews after appointments. This saves you time on manual follow-ups while ensuring a stream of new feedback. Many automation platforms are free to use and you can direct people to your preferred review site. You might also benefit from using an online booking platform that sends review requests for you.

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    A marketplace is storing your leads and pushing them to competitors.


    While marketplaces make it clear how many leads they provide you, it’s not clear how many leads they direct elsewhere. Don’t upload any lead details to the marketplace as these can be shared with other businesses. Your brand brought in those leads – they should book with you. Consider utilizing alternative booking platforms and directories that increase your visibility without creating an unequal playing field.

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    Your business relies on leads provided by the marketplace.


    Although it can be difficult to establish a business and maintain a customer flow, there are more cost-efficient ways to secure leads. If you have a website, Facebook, Instagram and other online marketing channels, enable visitors to book appointments without going through a marketplace. For more ideas, read our tips to getting bookings for free.

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