Dec 21, 2023

How to build a marketplace for pet sitting

Creating an online platform for pet sitting presents a promising business venture with ample potential for success. If you are contemplating building such a website, this guide is tailored to provide insights on why and how you should develop a marketplace for pet sitting.

What is a marketplace for pet sitting?

Online marketplaces for pet sitting connect pet owners with local pet sitters who offer their services through the platform. These marketplaces allow pet owners to search for and compare different pet sitters based on their location, availability, and reviews from previous clients. Pet owners can also communicate with potential sitters, ask questions, and discuss specific requirements before making a booking. The marketplaces often provide secure payment systems, ensuring a smooth and reliable transaction between the pet owner and the sitter. Additionally, some marketplaces offer additional features such as insurance coverage, emergency support, and background checks for added peace of mind.

Why build a website for pet sitting?

What are the benefits for buyers?

Buyers on the pet sitting marketplace can easily find and connect with trusted pet sitters in their area. They have access to a wide range of options and can choose the pet sitter that best fits their needs and preferences. Additionally, buyers can read reviews and ratings from other pet owners to make an informed decision.

What are the benefits for sellers?

Sellers, or pet sitters, can expand their client base and reach a larger audience through the pet sitting marketplace. They can showcase their experience, skills, and services to potential buyers, increasing their chances of getting hired. The marketplace also provides a platform for sellers to manage their bookings, schedule availability, and communicate with buyers efficiently.

What are the benefits for the marketplace owner?

The marketplace owner benefits from the pet sitting platform by earning a commission or fee for each successful transaction between buyers and sellers. As the platform grows and attracts more users, the owner can generate a steady stream of revenue. Additionally, the marketplace owner can establish partnerships with pet-related businesses and service providers, further expanding the platform's offerings and revenue potential.

Successful marketplaces for pet sitting

Here are a few thriving online platforms exclusively focused on pet sitting. Analyzing these platforms can provide valuable insights into the market and assist you in finding your niche.

  1. Rover: Rover is a popular online marketplace for pet sitting, dog walking, and other pet care services. It connects pet owners with trusted and experienced pet sitters in their local area.

  2. Although is a broader platform for various types of care services, it also includes a section for pet sitting. Pet owners can find and hire pet sitters through this platform.

  3. is a dedicated marketplace for pet sitting services. It allows pet owners to search for and connect with local pet sitters who offer their services through the platform.

  4. Fetch! Pet Care: Fetch! Pet Care is another platform that connects pet owners with professional pet sitters and dog walkers. It operates in various cities across the United States and offers a range of pet care services.

  5. Pawshake: Pawshake is an international pet sitting platform that connects pet owners with trusted pet sitters in their local area. It allows pet owners to browse profiles, read reviews, and book pet sitting services directly through the platform.

What features does a platform for pet sitting need?

The most important functionality of a marketplace for pet sitting would be:

  1. Search and matching: The platform should allow pet owners to search for available pet sitters based on their location, availability, and specific pet care requirements. It should also provide a matching algorithm that connects pet owners with suitable pet sitters.

  2. Booking and scheduling: The marketplace should enable pet owners to easily book and schedule pet sitting services with their chosen pet sitter. This includes specifying the dates, duration, and any additional instructions or preferences.

  3. Reviews and ratings: The platform should have a review and rating system where pet owners can provide feedback on their experience with the pet sitter. This helps build trust and allows future pet owners to make informed decisions.

  4. Messaging and communication: A messaging system is crucial for pet owners and pet sitters to communicate and discuss any specific needs or concerns regarding the pet's care. This ensures clear and effective communication between both parties.

  5. Payment and transaction management: The marketplace should provide a secure and convenient payment system that allows pet owners to pay for the pet sitting services. It should also handle transaction management, including refunds and cancellations, if necessary.

  6. Insurance and safety measures: The platform should have proper insurance coverage for pet sitters and pets in case of any accidents or emergencies. It should also implement safety measures, such as verifying the identity and background of pet sitters, to ensure the safety of pets.

  7. Additional features: Additional features like GPS tracking of pet sitters during the service, photo updates of the pet's well-being, and access to veterinary services or emergency contacts can enhance the overall user experience and provide peace of mind to pet owners.

What are the options & costs of building a marketplace for pet sitting?

Costs of building from scratch

Building a marketplace for pet sitting from scratch can involve several costs. Firstly, there will be expenses related to website development, including design, coding, and testing. The complexity of the platform, features required, and the expertise of the development team will influence these costs. Additionally, there may be costs associated with server hosting, domain registration, and ongoing maintenance.

Furthermore, marketing and promotion expenses should be considered to attract both pet sitters and pet owners to the platform. This may include online advertising, social media campaigns, and partnerships with relevant businesses or influencers. Building a strong brand presence and acquiring a user base will require a significant investment in marketing efforts.

Another important cost to consider is the implementation of a secure payment system. This will involve integrating a payment gateway and ensuring the platform complies with relevant security standards. The costs associated with payment processing, transaction fees, and potential fraud prevention measures should be taken into account.

Lastly, ongoing operational costs such as customer support, platform updates, and continuous improvement should be considered. These costs will vary depending on the size and scale of the marketplace.

Overall, building a marketplace for pet sitting from scratch can range from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on the scope and complexity of the project. It is essential to carefully plan and budget for each aspect to ensure the successful development and sustainability of the marketplace.

Other options for constructing a marketplace for pet sitting

Creating an online marketplace for pet sitting from the ground up is a significant, costly endeavor. However, nowadays, there are numerous alternative methods to construct a marketplace that do not require a substantial budget.

The choice you should make depends on:

  • The features you believe your marketplace requires
  • Your technical abilities (or the skills possessed by your team)
  • Your budget
  • The amount of time available.

The various methods for building a marketplace include:

  • Utilizing WordPress and plugins
  • Constructing on top of open-source software
  • Utilizing a combination of no-code tools
  • Utilizing a dedicated no-code marketplace SaaS tool
  • Developing on top of an API-based marketplace SaaS tool

In addition to considering your constraints in terms of skills and budget, you should also take into account the speed of learning. Launching your pet sitting platform quickly enables you to rapidly gain insights about your audience. These insights assist you in creating a platform that users prefer over any other existing solution.

Sharetribe's marketplace software is designed with this iterative learning process in mind.

Initially, we assist you in launching a pet sitting platform in just one day without any coding. Use the two-week long free trial of Sharetribe's Build plan to get your marketplace ready fast. When you're happy with your marketplace, you can subscribe to go live.

Once you have launched, you can learn about the additional features and functionality that your platform needs to cater to your audience. You may want to completely change the design and workflow, integrate multiple third-party services, or develop a mobile app. With Sharetribe, you can easily customize all these modifications and much more, either on your own or with the assistance of our Expert partners.

At Sharetribe, we have been constructing marketplaces for over ten years. Our experience and expertise are available to you through our content resources, which you can access and utilize regardless of the approach you choose to build your platform.

Best of luck with your pet sitting website!

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