The Evolving Landscape of App Onboarding and Marketplace Business Models


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 01, 2023

4 min read


The Evolving Landscape of App Onboarding and Marketplace Business Models


In today's digital age, app onboarding plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining users. This article explores the current trends in app onboarding, as well as the various types of marketplace business models. By understanding these trends and models, companies can adapt their strategies to stay competitive in the ever-changing market.

App Onboarding Trends:

In the world of app onboarding, there are two contrasting approaches that have emerged. The first trend involves using a single image as the initial screen, providing a concise and visually appealing explanation of the app's features. This approach aims to capture the user's attention and convey the app's value proposition effectively. Conversely, the second trend revolves around the use of tooltips as the primary means of guiding users through the onboarding process. Tooltips provide step-by-step instructions, ensuring that users understand how to navigate the app. While the use of tooltips may be more prevalent, the single image approach has gained popularity due to its simplicity and visual impact.

Marketplace Business Models:

When it comes to marketplace business models, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. As companies grow, they often adapt and sequence to new or additional models over time. One common business model for marketplaces involves selling incremental demand to customers as the primary value proposition. In the early stages, these marketplaces may function similar to Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms, focusing on solving customer problems and offering payment solutions. As they evolve, they begin to offer more sophisticated value propositions to suppliers.

The Evolution of Value Propositions:

The sophistication of value propositions offered to suppliers increases as we move further to the right of the marketplace business model spectrum. A light marketplace typically offers leads or connections, leaving it up to the supplier to close the transaction. However, as the marketplace aims to provide more liquidity, the focus shifts to matching supply with demand. This requires the marketplace to actively ensure that supply attracts demand, rather than simply generating leads.

On the demand side, the value proposition landscape is relatively simpler. SaaS companies, for example, have no direct relationship with the demand side, and therefore do not offer them any value proposition. In contrast, SaaS-like networks focus on making transactions with suppliers as efficient as possible. This area poses challenges for companies as they must make strategic decisions regarding payment handling, depending on their long-term goals and desired marketplace model.

The Importance of Payments and Trust:

Payments play a crucial role in marketplace business models. They not only enable transactions but also allow the company to enforce policies that build trust in the marketplace. For example, a managed marketplace can use its payment infrastructure to ensure secure and reliable transactions, fostering trust between buyers and sellers. Additionally, payments help differentiate between SaaS companies and SaaS-like networks in terms of their relationship with consumers. While SaaS companies have no branding or direct relationship with consumers, SaaS-like networks must address consumer concerns and provide support based on the supplier chosen.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Understand your target audience: When developing an app onboarding strategy, it's essential to understand your target audience's preferences and behaviors. This can help determine whether a single image or tooltip-based approach would be more effective in capturing their attention and guiding them through the onboarding process.
  • 2. Align value propositions with marketplace goals: As a marketplace evolves, it's crucial to align value propositions with the desired marketplace model. Whether it's focusing on generating leads, increasing liquidity, or providing managed services, understanding the goals and making strategic decisions regarding payment handling can greatly impact the marketplace's success.
  • 3. Prioritize trust-building measures: Building trust is vital for marketplace success. Implementing secure payment systems and enforcing policies that protect buyers and sellers can significantly enhance trust in the marketplace. Consider investing in payment infrastructure and support systems that provide a seamless and reliable experience for all users.


The world of app onboarding and marketplace business models is constantly evolving. By staying informed about the latest trends and understanding the different types of business models, companies can adapt their strategies to meet the needs of their target audience and achieve long-term success. Incorporating these actionable advice, businesses can enhance their app onboarding processes and effectively manage their marketplace to foster trust and drive growth.

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