Looking to develop a custom marketplace app for nannies? We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to developing a marketplace app for babysitters that your prospective users will love.
You want to see that new release at the cinema or check out the awesome restaurant that everyone is raving about.
The only issue? You need to make sure the kids are looked after and are happy.
Finding a babysitter can be tricky. You need to know not only who is operating in your area, but how much they charge, and what qualifications they have. It can take a lot of time and energy to find the perfect match.
However, what if there was an easier way? A marketplace app for babysitters you could use to find and hire a nanny? One-click on your smartphone and the job is done!
If you dream of developing a great custom marketplace app for nannies and parents, you might not be sure where to start. So we’ve put together this thorough guide to take you through the process of developing a ‘find a nanny’ app, from development to launch.
With us, you’ll be ‘app’ and running in no time at all!
Table of Content
- What is a marketplace app?
- Why would people want to use a marketplace app to hire a nanny?
- Some examples of marketplace apps for babysitters
- The process of developing a custom marketplace app for nannies
- Our top tips for developing a babysitter marketplace app
- Want to know more about developing killer apps and marketplaces?
- Create a marketplace app for babysitters FAQ
Before we begin though, let’s take a look at what a marketplace app is all about…
What is a custom marketplace app?
A developed custom marketplace app for nannies is a smartphone app (or desktop equivalent) you can use to buy and sell products and services.
Think of a developed custom marketplace app like a traditional market you might go to in your town or city. Like a real-life marketplace, you can check out the vendors, see what they have to offer, and even chat with them to find out what they can do for you!
The benefit of a custom marketplace app for nannies and parents (both buyers and sellers) is that it makes it easy to find the right people to work with. As there is a wide selection of people all in one place, you don’t have to waste time searching lots of websites and apps to find what you need. There is a wide range of different marketplaces available, so you can find one that truly suits your requirements.
Examples of marketplace apps include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Fiverr, Just Eat, and Uber. We’ll look at some specific examples of ‘babysitters near me’ apps later on in this article.
Why would people want to use a developed custom marketplace app to hire a nanny?
The main advantage of developing a marketplace app for hiring a babysitter is to make life easier.
Traditionally people would have to ask friends for recommendations or search multiple online directories to find the right babysitter. And in the modern world, many people just don’t have time to do that, especially if they need someone at short notice!
With a developed custom marketplace app for nannies, prospective customers create an account and search for babysitters using their criteria of choice. When they find the right person, they can check out their profile, look at their reviews, ask them a few questions, and arrange for them to look after their kids.
Many marketplaces will hold the money in escrow – which means the marketplace keeps hold of the money until the sale is complete. So if the babysitter doesn’t show up, then payment is returned to the buyer. It also means customers don’t have to mess around finding coins and notes to pay the babysitter at the end of the night!
A developed Marketplace apps for nannies are not just ideal for parents, but for babysitters too. Rather than spend time and effort advertising their services, the platform does all the hard work for them. Many babysitting marketplace apps have great SEO, meaning they rank at the top of Google when people search for specific keywords and phrases, for example, ‘marketplace to hire a nanny’.
Some examples of developed custom marketplace apps for babysitters
There are already some custom marketplaces for nannies and babysitters out there including:
You may think that this means there isn’t space in the market to launch your babysitting app, but this is not true at all!
It’s all about identifying a gap in the market and knowing what your target audience wants. You may also have a unique selling point that your competitors just don’t have; we’ll talk about this in more detail later.
Take a look at the marketplace apps for babysitters above and make some notes. What do you like about them? What do you not like about them? What features do you find the most interesting? What is the user experience like? This will help you with your market research.
The process of developing a custom marketplace app for nannies
So you want to develop a custom marketplace app for babysitters, but how do you go about making it?
Here are the steps you need to take.
1. Do your research
What is the first thing you need to do before you start developing your custom marketplace app for nannies? You need to carry out extensive market research.
Market research will help you see if there is a gap in the market for your babysitting app. That way, if there is no interest, you can save time and money and move quickly on to your next idea.
42% of failed startups do so because there is no market need. This means that if you can identify a requirement for your app, you’re well on the way to success!
Things you need to do include:
- Determining your target audience. Of course, your target audience will be parents and babysitters, but you can dig a little deeper to get some additional insight. For example, what country or region will your target audience live in? Will they be older or younger? How much money are they looking to spend or earn?
- Looking at your competitors. We’ve already established that there are already a number of babysitter marketplace apps out there. It’s essential to look at the features these apps have, the price point, and how well-established they are. Take the time to download the apps and have a play around with them to see how they work. That way, you can see what you need to do to stand out in the market
- Reviewing the state of the market. As well as looking at your own business and your competitors, you need to identify risks and opportunities in the market. For example, if another pandemic and subsequent lockdown occurred, how would this affect your startup idea? A SWOT analysis is a good and effective way of looking at both internal and external risks and opportunities
- Identifying your unique selling point, or USP. This is what you do better than anyone else and makes you stand out from the crowd. You’ll use your USP to market your app and appeal to your target audience. For example, you could offer additional services like housesitting, pet care, or senior care, alongside babysitting services. Alternatively, you could take less commission than the market leader.
A business model canvas or lean canvas will help you plan what research you need to undertake, as well as give you something to refer back to later on.
2. Find your funding
Developing a marketplace app isn’t cheap. Depending on the complexity and the features you want to include, you can expect to spend anything from $30,000 to $300,000. This means it’s essential to know how you will pay for the development and launch of your app. That way, you won’t run out of money halfway through!
The majority of startups are financed by ‘bootstrapping’ – this is when loans or personal savings are used to cover costs. Some startups are funded by investors, who offer a set amount of money in exchange for equity in the business. The other benefit of working with an investor is that they can provide you with help and advice.
Alternatively, some startups are funded by grants offered by governments, charities, and private companies. While it can be hard to get some grants, you get the money to develop your business idea without having to give away part of your business. We’ve put together some guides about grant funding in the UK, USA, Canada, and EU.
The best thing to do is to work out how much your babysitting marketplace will cost to create, from hiring developers to marketing your app. Then you know what you need to do to finance it, or if you need to reduce your costs in any way.
3. Get the right tech team on board
The right development team will make sure your marketplace app for babysitters is created and launched smoothly.
Whether you hire in-house, pick a team of freelancers, or opt to work with a web development agency, it’s important to choose the right team for the job. If they have experience in marketplace tech already, all the better, as they will have a good idea of what users want to see!
While you might want to go with the cheapest development team, this isn’t always the right option. We always say to think of choosing your tech team in terms of return on investment. If a high-quality coding and development team will lead to increased revenue when you launch, it’s worth the initial outlay.
4. Work on your MVP
When you’re developing your marketplace app for babysitters, you might be tempted to create something that has lots of fantastic features when it launches in order to wow your prospective customers. However, this can be counterproductive.
The issue with launching a fully-fledged app is that it takes time, meaning a potential competitor can get to the market before you. Not only this, but if your marketplace app fails, you’ve wasted a lot of time and money. This is where creating a minimum viable product, or MVP is essential.
An MVP is a no-frills version of your marketplace app. While it is basic, it’s fully functional, meaning prospective customers can start using it straight away.
The benefit of an MVP is that you can launch quickly and at a low cost. Not only this, but you can use it to get valuable feedback from users. You can use this feedback to implement additional features later on.
In fact, we estimate that using an MVP makes your app 40% less expensive to build, and 35% faster to get to market!
Of course, the next question you might ask is what features to include. An excellent place to start is to list all the features you want to add to your marketplace app. You can then determine which ones you want to prioritize, and which ones can wait for a future update.
Try to be as objective as possible when looking at potential features. While you might have your heart set on a specific feature or include a cool easter egg, you need to concentrate on what your customers want to see!
Things you will need to think about include:
- Necessity. Which features are critical to your app? For example, multiple language support is nice, unless you’re launching in a multi-lingual area; it’s better to focus on one language first
- Customer feedback. Which features do your customers want to see, and which are they not too bothered about? Don’t just speculate; ask your target audience for their thoughts
- Cost and time. Which features are quick wins, and which ones will take time and money to implement?
- Your competitors. Which features have your competitors implemented, or conversely, not implemented?
For a custom babysitter marketplace app, we’d advise focusing on the following features as a starting point:
- A login feature. As with most marketplaces, both babysitters and parents will need to be able to log in safely and securely. If you’re creating an MVP, using social login not only saves your development team time but makes it easier for users to create an account. Leave two-factor authentication for a future update
- Reviews and ratings. While reviews and ratings are essential for all marketplaces, they’re especially important if you’re developing a nanny marketplace app. This helps you build trust and credibility
- A payment system. You will need a solid and secure system in place so parents can make payment and babysitters can receive their earnings
- Push notifications. When people need babysitters quickly, they need to know that a prospective nanny has accepted their offer as soon as possible so they can start making plans. Push notifications on smartphones will keep everyone happy
- Chat functionality. It’s only natural that customers will want to ask prospective babysitters questions, so in-app chat functionality is imperative to the success of your marketplace. While it might be tempting to let a babysitter provide their email address or mobile number to customers so they can go off the platform, this isn’t ideal for you. This is because both parties could make an arrangement without using your app, meaning you lose out on earnings
- Search and filters. Parents will want to be able to instantly search for prospective nannies. Search and filter functionality means they can find babysitters in their local area, who can work at a time convenient to them. Geolocation capabilities are great, but they’re not entirely essential at the MVP stage
You don’t have to build these features from scratch. There are plugins and off-the-shelf solutions available that mean you can get up and running quickly. You can create custom features later on if there is demand for them.
As part of developing an MVP, you’ll also need to decide whether you want to develop a web app or a native app.
A web app is one that can be run in any browser on any device, while a native app is one specifically designed for iOS or Android. While native apps provide better performance and a higher quality user experience, they are more expensive and take longer to build. Unless you’re willing to make two separate versions of your app for iOS and Android, you’ll also need to decide which platform to focus on.
As time is of the essence when building an MVP, we advise starting with a web app. Then, when you get customer feedback and see which platforms they are using to access your babysitter marketplace app, you can focus on native app development.
5. Prepare for the launch
When you get ready to develop your ‘babysitter near me’ app, you’ll need to decide whether you want a ‘hard’ launch or a ‘soft’ launch.
A hard launch is when you release your app with a formal launch on a set date. Conversely, a soft launch is when you quietly launch your app, making changes as you go along.
If you’re developing an MVP, we recommend launching quietly as it’s more cost-effective, and you can continue to gather customer feedback to add extra value to your app. However, there may be times when a hard launch is more beneficial. For example, you know some of your competitors are launching a rival babysitting app, and you want to get an advantage by getting lots of publicity.
There’s nothing to say that you can’t use both types of launch. For example, you could start with a soft launch while you refine and perfect your nanny marketplace app, then officially launch when you’re satisfied that the app does everything you want it to do.
Don’t forget to think about how you’ll market your app. There are lots of different marketing channels that you can take advantage of, with many of them being low and no-cost.
Focusing on your SEO and looking at the keywords people use to find your babysitting app is always a fantastic strategy for long-term success. Alternatively, find out which social media platforms your target audience use and focus on growing your customer base.
6. Start collecting feedback
When you finally develop your custom marketplace app for nannies and parents, you might think the hard work is done. However, it’s only starting!
It’s essential to see what customers, both the parents and the childminders, think of your MVP. That way, you can see what they like and dislike about the app, and which features to roll out next.
There are different ways you can get feedback. The easiest way is to create a survey and email it out to customers. You can also give users the opportunity to provide their thoughts in the app.
Some customers may not proactively give you feedback; you might have to hunt for it. Look at your reviews in the app store, comments on social media, as well as thought pieces in magazines and news sites. We always recommend setting up an alert on Google Alerts so you can monitor when your brand name or app name is mentioned online.
As well as qualitative feedback from customers, also look at the stats. For example, monitoring the churn rate lets you see how many customers stop using your app. If this spikes after an app update, it’s likely that you have implemented a change that users don’t like.
Our top tips for developing a custom babysitter marketplace app
So far, we’ve looked at the benefits of developing a babysitter marketplace app and the steps you need to create it. As a company with several years of experience when it comes to launching a variety of mobile and desktop apps, here are some additional tips we’ve learned in our time to help you succeed.
Know your pricing model
Earlier on in the article, we talked about how you will fund your custom marketplace app for nannies. As well as knowing how much it will cost to develop and launch, you need to know how you will earn money.
Different marketplaces have different monetization models. Some of the options available to you include:
- Taking a commission for each transaction
- Charging the seller (or buyer) a fee for using the marketplace
- Offering the marketplace for free, but charging buyers and sellers for premium listings or expedited services
It might be that you offer early adopters a reduced fee or commission in exchange for signing up for the app and providing feedback.
It’s essential to choose the correct pricing model for your babysitting app – it’s a fine line between making money and keeping users happy. Otherwise, you may find buyers and sellers get frustrated and go elsewhere.
Effective market research and asking prospective customers how they would prefer to pay for using the app will help you here. Also, look at the costs of developing your babysitting app to see how you can most quickly recoup the money you’ve spent.
Think about how you’ll vet sitters
When you’re operating a marketplace, especially one where people offer services, it’s vital to ensure that people are who they say they are.
When developing a custom marketplace app for nannies, you’ll need to vet sitters thoroughly to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being.
You may want to ask for:
- Proof of ID to verify their identity and age;
- References from clients they work with;
- Evidence of a criminal record check;
- Vaccine records (for example, COVID-19 vaccine status);
- Motor vehicle records if the babysitter will be driving for your family;
- Evidence of qualifications (for example, first aid certificates);
- Some countries may also have their own verification processes. For example in the UK, nannies that look after children from more than two families at a time will need to register with a childminder agency or Ofsted.
Peer recommendations can also be a helpful tool. For example, to be active on Bambino, all sitters must receive a recommendation from a community member. This shows they’re a legitimate and experienced babysitter that is already offering services in their local area.
Remember that it’s just as important to vet parents, especially if babysitters will be working in someone’s home. One of the ways you can do this is by asking for proof of ID.
Reviews are equally important on your app as they build trust. Parents can give feedback about the babysitters they hired, and likewise, babysitters can offer their thoughts on the parents.
Want to know more about developing killer apps and marketplaces?
Alternatively, check out some of our comprehensive guides about creating mobile apps and marketplaces.
- How to develop a B2B marketplace app
- How to develop a car rental app
- How to develop a fitness app
- How to develop a multi-vendor marketplace
- How to develop an NFT marketplace
- How to develop a restaurant reservation app
- How to develop a SaaS marketplace
Develop a custom marketplace app for babysitters FAQ
Need a quick answer to your question? We’ve got you covered. Check out our ‘create a marketplace to hire a nanny’ FAQ section.
What do you mean when you talk about developing a custom marketplace app for babysitters?
We mean a mobile app that parents can sign up for in order to hire babysitters to look after their children.
The parents sign up for an account, search for babysitters in their local area, and ask them if they are available. Once the babysitting has been agreed upon, the parent pays the babysitter for their time.
So what is a custom marketplace app?
A marketplace app is one where people can sell their products and services to interested buyers.
In the case of a marketplace for babysitters, a nanny signs up for the marketplace and creates a profile detailing who they are, where they’re based, and the services they provide. Parents looking for someone to help look after their children then search for a babysitter and pay them in exchange for their services.
Why is it so important to launch quickly when developing a custom marketplace app for babysitters?
There can be a lot of competition between marketplaces, with different marketplaces vying for prospective buyers’ and sellers’ attention. This makes it vital to launch your nanny marketplace app as soon as possible, in order to get ahead of any potential competitors and encourage users to sign up.
The other benefit of launching as soon as possible is that if your babysitting app isn’t successful, you can move on to your next startup idea without wasting too much time.
What’s an MVP?
An MVP is short for ‘minimum viable product.’ It refers to the process of creating a simple version of an app or piece of software with minimal features available. Even though the app is ‘no frills’, it is still fully operational.
The benefit of developing an MVP for your custom marketplace app for nannies is that you can launch your app sooner and more cost-effectively. This means you don’t waste time and money developing features that nobody wants to use. In addition, as you are getting to market sooner, you can also beat out any potential competitors.