How to monetize B2C marketplaces, on-demand economy & employee motivation

3 startup opportunities for your next venture

Note: This article is part of my resource newsletters↗️ where I share insights on building things in tech. Join me :)‍

👋 I’m Zoe Chew, a product builder. I’ve built multiple apps using the rapid MVP method: sneaker app, personal FAQ, meal kit app, virtual event app, SaaS tracker, food delivery, content app +more

At VentureScale, I’m on a quest to understand the future of the Internet and how we can improve other people’s lives through product creation. I analyze startup opportunities with revenue potential — at the intersection of Internet culture, consumer tech, and platform economy.

Today’s post is about increasing lifestyle experiences. Read here if you’re interested in the future of social networks or FinTech & wellness tech.

In this venture report, I break down 3 market opportunities:

  • Helping home-based entrepreneurs to sell online (Consumer marketplace)
  • Unlock luxury experiences for everyday people (On-demand app)
  • Increase employee motivation and talent retention (HR tech)

Below is the PREVIEW of the report with research-based tech trends, product frameworks, revenue models to help you make better decisions on building your next big thing.

Trend #1: Vertical B2C online marketplaces

Existing B2C e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, and BestBuy are going after the horizontal approach — by offering products that span across multiple categories and covering a wide scope of audiences.

New B2C online marketplaces are created to cater to specific types of communities, creating unique buyers/sellers experiences and focus on a particular segment or vertical to grow. For example,

  • GOAT is a marketplace for buying and selling sneakers.
  • Houzz is a marketplace for home furniture driven by a community of interior designers & home improvement enthusiasts.
  • Watchbox allows you to buy, sell and trade luxury watches online, driven by communities of watch collectors.

As online businesses continue to rise, more vertical-specific marketplaces will emerge to help small business owners to make money from home.

🚀 Takeaway

  • Any hobbies can potentially be a vertical marketplace opportunity. Connect people who want to monetize their hobbies as an at-home business. See — Startup Opportunity #1.

Trend #2: New on-demand platforms will emerge

The on-demand economy has unlocked “luxury services” to ordinary people. What used to be “only the rich could afford” are now accessible for everyday people through an app — anytime, anywhere:

Today, on-demand services have exploded across different industries — transportation, shopping, food delivery, home cleaning, etc. to help people save time and eliminate hassles.

New on-demand services will focus on enhancing our lifestyle experiences in different aspects. Stitchfix — get a personal stylist service. Urban — get massages, facials, and lashes done at home by professionals.

🚀 Takeaway

  • Help people to curate lifestyle experiences and make money as a business. See — Startup Opportunity #2.

Trend #3: Reinventing employees experience & creating talents moat

Remote work is changing human resources (HR) practices forever.

Interviewing and onboarding new employees are no longer done in face-to-face meetings. Hiring is becoming distributed around the world. Team-building is conducted through Zoom.

New problems that are born out of remote work practices are still awaiting solutions. How can you manage payrolls from multiple countries? How to build great company culture virtually? How to ensure the mental health of employees? How to create workplace engagements?

The future of HR will be focusing on leveling up remote employees’ experience — onboarding, employees reward, elevating motivation, diversity, and personal values:

  • Lattice helps leaders build highly engaged teams remotely.
  • Fond consolidates employee rewards and recognition processes in one place.
  • Officevibe helps managers build trust with their team members.

The next Internet world war will be the tech talent war. Companies are fighting for the best engineers & designers by driving up wages. Those who can retain talents and satisfy their employees will drive out talent competition and create defensibility for their businesses.

🚀 Takeaway

  • Help companies maximize employee satisfaction through rewards. See — Startup Opportunity #3.

👉 Download full version of this report

Startup Opportunity #1: Wood furniture marketplace

An online marketplace for buying and selling handcrafted wood furniture, woodworking products, and tools — driven by a community of woodworking enthusiasts, furniture makers, artists, and designers.

For Who

  • Handcrafted wood furniture makers. Builders, designers and home-based furniture entrepreneurs who want to start selling wood furniture online.
  • (📥 Full version) 3 more target audience descriptions.


  • Horizontal platforms like Wayfair, Ikea, Etsy, and The Home Depot aren’t built specifically for wood furniture enthusiasts, therefore, generate diluted interests and lower sales volume for wood furniture sellers since these platforms are targeting a wide range of industries and audiences.
  • (📥 Full version) 2 more problem definition examples.


  • Online store for wood furniture. For sellers: list your handcrafted wood furniture (new or second-hand) and start selling online; create a seller page, upload product photos, pricing, and description. For customers: discover wood furniture made by wood furniture makers; shop by category (e.g. living room, kitchen, bathroom, outdoor, decor); filter search by furniture colors, sizes, prices, materials, or free shipping.
  • (📥 Full version) 4 more solutions and feature examples in detail.

Revenue model

  • Marketplace commissions, 2% to 5%. Take a percentage cut from the buyers-sellers transaction.
  • (📥 Full version) 1 more revenue stream to add to your pricing strategy.

Venture Scale

(1) Industries: E-commerce, Furniture, Home Decor, Online Retail

(2) Business model: E-commerce, Online Marketplace

(3) Market potential: High ◼️◼️◼️◼️◻️

  • Global retail e-commerce sales are on the uptrend and will reach $6,388 billon by 2024.
  • More than 50% of all businesses in the United States are now home-based and will continue to rise in a post-pandemic future.
  • (📥 Full version) 2 more research evidence to prove the validity of the market

(4) Execution strategy:

  • Go to Etsy, search for “furniture” keywords. Manually curate wood furniture products and list them on your website. Look for top sellers on Etsy — for example, busywood has 1.9K+ sales and DM the maker.
  • (📥 Full version) 3 more strategies to gain traction and acquire customers

(5) Moat: To create a profitable consumer marketplace, layer defensibility around your business to drive out competition.

  • (📥 Full version) 2 ways to create business moats for this marketplace platform

👉 Download full version of this report

Want more? Get the full version of this single report:

  • 🔑 Breakdown of Startup Opportunity #1 (Helping home-based entrepreneurs to sell online / Consumer marketplace)
  • 🔑 Breakdown of Startup Opportunity #2 (Unlock luxury experiences for everyday people / On-demand app)
  • 🔑 Breakdown of Startup Opportunity #3 (Increase employee motivation and talent retention / HR tech)

All 3 ideas combined, you will unlock:

  • 🔑 3 startup opportunities breakdown in 1 report
  • 🔑 7 target audience definitions
  • 🔑 12 problem definition examples
  • 🔑 13 solutions and feature examples in detail
  • 🔑 6 revenue streams you can create to monetize your startup ideas
  • 🔑 17 in-depth evaluations on each startup idea — how to prove market potential and create competitive advantages
  • 🔑 10 ways to execute these startup opportunities

👉 Download full version of this report :

Built 11+ MVPs with rapid validation. Founder: Analyzing Consumer Tech & Platforms. Product/Market advisor US/APAC 👉About me: