The rise of networking platforms
In an ever more connected world, new information technologies have made it possible to contract (or even erase) physical distances. Web platforms are used to connect people who otherwise would never have met. In this context, web sites for networking are developing at a rapid pace. They bring together offerers and service seekers from all horizons: professionals between them, individuals between them, or professionals with their customers.
Behind the generic expression of “platform of connection” lies a vast reality, today unavoidable in the web economy, based on different business models, and which touches more and more sectors formerly little digitized .
Areas that were previously poorly digitalized and affected by the relationship
The ease of development of web infrastructures and the low fixed costs incurred in launching an online platform partly explain the rapid arrival on the market of several relationship services throughout the last two decades. Most sectors benefit from this new form of economy. This is the case, especially of three digital domains rather late. Thus the health of the seniors becomes the Silvereconomy, the notariat begins its digitization and the real estate evolves towards the PropTech.
Yet very close to the health sector which has seen innumerable technological innovations, the world of retirement homes has remained for a long time archaic. Fortunately, the sector is undergoing major changes, notably due to the emergence of dynamic players.
To cite just one example, the start-up Happy-to-Retire. com reference, on its website, all Accommodation Facilities for Elderly (Dependents) – EHPA (D) – in France and accompanies free families to quickly find the ideal retirement home for his family.
Being a highly regulated and regulated profession (the notary is a public officer appointed by decision of the Minister of Justice), notary is a profession of law that has changed little in the technological field in recent years. This includes the removal of the status of provider of business since the Hoguet law of January 2, 1970.
But in the same way that Doctolib.fr has established itself in the middle of making medical appointments thanks to its smart registration calendar, new innovative startups are needed in the landscape of notarial studies. This is the case of Neonotario.com which offers appointment scheduling services. you online for individuals, but also offers a service of organization of appointments between notaries.
The real estate world
The real estate sector is one of those sectors that were late in the digital revolution. He has however negotiated his turn and are now in the limelight. This is partly thanks to the giant airbnb.com that the sector has strongly open to an armada of ambitious young companies ready to shake the status quo.
Hub-Grade itself was born of the opacity that prevented businesses having unused office space to rent them to other professionals. Democratizing the new types of flexible, precarious leases as well as the possibility of associating service delivery with a rapidly changing sector.
Variable business models offered by the linking platforms
If linking is an invariable aspect of these platforms, but conversely their business models and their compensation systems can strongly diverge. We will come back to these, after presenting the classic principle of “lead generation” on the internet, at the heart of most linking platforms.
The generation of “lead”
Indeed, these linking sites are as strong as the size of their network is important. However, it is not a question of acquiring any type of network or any community. The challenge is to increase the number of users to expand its commercial base, but these users must be able to become customers of the service offered by the site. These potential customers are generally referred to as “leads” or “leads”. Various techniques are used by the platforms to generate “leads”: mailing campaigns, forms offered in the site itself, etc. The most important thing is to identify the most efficient acquisition channels in order to grow their community quickly, but especially with people who could become customers tomorrow.
Moreover, these networking platforms are primarily intended to bring together two groups of actors who gain knowledge (eg companies seeking customers, and individuals seeking a quality service offered by these companies) it is about growing the community of users / customers as much on one side than on the other. The platform must maintain the goal of eventually being a “liquid” digital marketplace, ie an internet portal where supply and demand are in sufficient quantity and in good enough proportion to be able to meet without difficulty.
One of the dangers facing Internet sites embarking on the relationship is to grow one side of its commercial base, or to grow this side in a bad proportion compared to the other, so that that the relations between supply and demand are no longer easy.
Different compensation formats
Apart from non-profit groups that gather a large number of people free of charge around a common theme and let the community take full care of its own relationship (for example, many Facebook groups “Wanted” who have rapidly developed in several cities around the world to link offerers and applicants for services or goods, without any compensation), the platforms of connection use different formats of remuneration:
- A subscription offered to companies to be able to put more information online to stand out from the competition.
- A “free-mium” subscription for connecting platforms from individual to private in order to have more options (“features”) on the site.
- A business introducer model with a commission taken on the linking itself (paid by the company where the individual as the case may be), or success, on the value of the transaction made between the actors put in relation (for example a crowdfunding platform can be paid on a percentage of the value of funds raised).