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How Squarespace created their Experts Marketplace with the 99designs API

Squarespace is a market-leading all-in-one platform where millions of creative entrepreneurs can build a website, sell online, and market a brand. Here’s how they created their Expert Marketplace to match their customers with design experts.

Using 99designs’ API, Squarespace created their Experts Marketplace, a solution for matching customers and Experts
mid section of homepage showcasing the variety of experts
Squarespace Experts on the Marketplace page

Design professionals have always been an important segment of Squarespace’s ecosystem and nurturing the talents of these individuals organically evolved into a community called Circle.

Recognizing Circle as a valuable resource of web design knowledge, Squarespace experimented with a manual matchmaking flow. The idea was to connect customers with Circle members, who had the skills to help customers progress with their websites.

The demand for this service outsized the capacity for manual matchmaking and, in fact, the experimental system couldn’t match customers and experts fast enough. Squarespace knew that the project required extensive expertise and a bigger investment to create a dynamic marketplace that would deliver a great experience to both customers and experts.

Rather than build the marketplace themselves, Squarespace decided to partner with 99designs so they could make the most of their ready-to-roll technology and get to market fast.


1. The technology

Using the 99designs API, Squarespace created a solution that could match experts and customers using real-time data, such as availability, capacity, and industry relevance. Squarespace already had an existing online brief that could be integrated via the API and designer profiles were also mirrored on Squarespace to bring the marketplace to life.

But there’s so much more after the match. The 99designs platform provides experts and customers with simple solutions to complex problems, such as creative collaboration, payments, and global multi-lingual support.

2. Community

99designs worked with Squarespace to invite hundreds of experts from Squarespace’s Circle community, all of whom wanted to be connected with work opportunities.

As demand grew, the 99designs team has worked with Squarespace to add more designers to provide additional supply for customers.

It’s been absolutely incredible to be a part of the Squarespace Marketplace. It has quadrupled our business and we’ve been able to reach clients all around the world, which would be really hard without having 99designs and Squarespace Marketplace to advertise and to collaborate with.

– Squarespace Expert, Visuable
minimalistic travel website design
A minimalistic yet edgy Squarespace Website Design by Visuable
Lidia Drzewiecka, founder of Visuable
Lidia Drzewiecka, founder of Visuable, is a Squarespace Marketplace Expert based in London

3. Metrics & strategy

At 99designs, we have been running our own marketplace for over 10 years and were able to provide Squarespace Marketplace with a rich dashboard of metrics on day 1.

The 99designs and Squarespace teams continue to review these metrics on a daily basis and are able to make decisions around conversion optimization, balancing supply and demand, and also ensuring that customers and designers are both having a positive experience. With this process, the Squarespace Marketplace grows with the feedback and experience of everyone involved.


In the space of a few months, Squarespace was able to launch a best-in-class marketplace experience that capitalized on more than a decade of investment from 99designs.

I’m so grateful for this service and design, it really brought everything to life for me. I couldn’t be happier with the results!

– Squarespace Marketplace customer, Kathryn Last
Kathryn Last, a Toronto-based artist, created her website through Squarespace Marketplace
The Kathryn Last Art website, designed by Squarespace Expert, Wei Hass Creative

Squarespace is now able to attract and convert a new segment of customers—the do-it-for-me customer—that they previously didn’t have a solution for.

This has benefited both customers and experts on Squarespace Marketplace alike. The platform provides highly relevant matches as well as a secure space for end-to-end project collaboration.

Erin Petree, Marketplace Team Lead at Squarespace
Erin Petree leads the Marketplace team at Squarespace

Leveraging 99designs’ years of expertise and established marketplace infrastructure helped Squarespace get to market quicker. They’re collaborative partners, and we’re excited for what the future has in store.

– Erin Petree, Marketplace Team Lead, Squarespace

As a result, Squarespace now has a rich platform for connecting the ecosystem around their core product, and they can continue to focus on building best-in-class tools knowing that they have a partner in 99designs who will continue to drive their marketplace experience forward.

Want to create a do-it-for-me solution like Squarespace did?
We can power your marketplace.

Original article written by Laura >

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