It’s absolutely clear that any online marketplace can generate more than satisfying revenue for its owners. For example, according to the official report, the most popular freelance marketplace – Fiverr, earned $189.5 million in 2020 by simply matching customers with service providers.

Nowadays, thanks to the rapid growth of sharing economy, even a small niche marketplace can be a robust business opportunity.

If you run a marketplace of services, you probably know that it can be monetized in at least two different ways. The first and the most common way is charging a commission on every transaction made through the website, and the second one is charging users for listing their services on your website.

In this short tutorial, we’ll show you how to monetize a service marketplace with WordPress using both of the mentioned revenue models. Firstly, we’ll show you how to set up commissions and then explain how to create and sell listing packages.

Please note that in this guide, we’ll use HivePress and WooCommerce plugins. So, the following instructions are applicable only for marketplaces powered by HivePress. Also, we’ll use TaksHive, a freelance marketplace WordPress theme with its demo content imported as an example (just to show you how to monetize a service marketplace hassle-free).

Additionally, if you are only thinking about launching your marketplace of services with WordPress, you can check out our step-by-step tutorials:

Now let’s move on and set up the first revenue model!

1. Monetization Model: Commissions

We’ll start by setting up commissions, which means that you can take a cut from each transaction that occurs on your marketplace. It’s not only the most popular revenue model among service marketplaces, but it’s also the most lucrative and scalable one.

In order to set up commissions on your website, navigate to the WordPress Dashboard > HivePress > Settings > Vendors section. Then, locate the “Commission Rate” field, where you can set a custom rate. The commission rate is set as a percentage value, e.g., if you set it as “10”, there will be a commission of 10% on each sale.

Setting a commission rate in the HivePress settings.

Once you set the commission rate, click on the Save Changes button.

Also, it’s possible to set a custom commission rate for each service provider. Simply saying, you’ll be able to charge each user a different percentage if necessary. To do that, go to the WP Dashboard > Vendors section and select any of your service providers. Then, in the “Commission Rate” field, you can set a custom commission rate for this user.

Setting a custom commission rate for an individual vendor.

That’s it! Once we set up the second monetization model, we’ll show you how everything works on the front end.

2. Monetization Model: Listing Fees

Let’s create a few listing packages with different per-category restrictions, so users will have to choose one of them if they want to list services on your peer-to-peer marketplace. Firstly, you need to install the Paid Listings extension that allows you to create listing packages. You can install it in the WP Dashboard > HivePress > Extensions section.

The HivePress Paid Listings add-on.

Within this page, you’ll see a list of the available HivePress add-ons that you can purchase or install for free to extend your service marketplace functionality. Find the Paid Listings extension within this list and proceed by installing and activating it.

Once you activate the extension, you can start adding the listing packages.

Go to the WP Dashboard > Listings > Packages section and click on the Add New button. For example, let’s start with adding a free package. Simply enter the package name, describe it and set the maximum number of listing submissions.

Adding a free listing package.

Once you are done with the free package, let’s add a premium one. To do this, navigate to the WP Dashboard > WooCommerce > Products section to add a new product so you can link it with the package later.

You need to fill in the name field, set the product price and mark it as a virtual product. Then, finally, click on the Publish button.

Adding a premium WooCommerce product.

Now, let’s return to the WP Dashboard > Listings > Packages section and add a new premium package. Enter the package name, fill in the description, set the maximum number of listing submissions, and finally select the WooCommerce product that you’ve created previously (check the screenshot below). When finished, click on the Publish button.

Adding a premium listing package.

Monetizing a Marketplace of Services

Okay, now we’d like to demonstrate how these two monetization models work on the front-end. To do that, let’s sign out and register a new user account to get a better idea of how everything works for website visitors.

Buying Listing Packages

Firstly let’s try to list a service using one of the listing packages. You can do it by going to your website, clicking on the List a Service button, and selecting one of the listing categories.

A list of the service categories.

Then you’ll be taken to the listing submission page, where you need to fill in all the listing details and click on the Submit Listing button.

The listing submission form.

Once you click on the Submit Listing button, there will be a redirect to the listing packages page, where you’ll have to select one of the listing packages to submit a new listing.

Example of listing packages that allow you to monetize a service marketplace with WordPress.

For example, if you choose the premium package, you’ll be redirected to the checkout page to provide billing details and make a payment.

Example of the checkout page.

That’s how the first revenue model works! Now let’s take a look at the second one and check how the commissions work.

Charging a Commission

Now, let’s buy one of the existing services to check how the commission rates work. To do that, navigate the Services page, select any service and click on the Buy Now button (as shown on the screenshot below).

Example of how to buy a service on the peer-to-peer marketplace.

Again, you’ll be taken to the checkout page. For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll fill in the details, proceed to payment and then mark this order as paid manually. Once the checkout is completed, let’s switch back to the admin account and check the vendor’s balance.

Example of the completed checkout.

Once you log in as an admin, go to the My Account section. As you can see, the sales chart displays the revenue of $99, while the account balance displays $89.1 because the commission fee has been deducted from the order amount.

Example of the dashboard in the freelancer's account.

Final Words

That’s how it works! Now you can start monetizing your marketplace of services in at least two different ways, by charging users for listing services or by charging a commission on every transaction made through the website.

Also, keep in mind that if you want to create and monetize a peer-to-peer marketplace with WordPress, you can easily do it with the HivePress plugin and its TaskHive theme since they have all the required features for building a marketplace of services right out of the box.

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