I am helping a women-only platform / start-up called LQ, it is used by more than 70K verified and approved women users, as a start-up they have grown rapidly among their target user group, which is primarily women.
On this platform, Women engage with each other in various activities like showcasing their skills and productivity, buying, selling, reselling, whole-selling, stall-spaces, events, workshops, finding jobs, earning from home, growing their small businesses and overall boosting womenprenuership as a community. The platform is highly engaging with high amount of activity by users. It is growing smoothly as a vertical social and business network of women, women users spend lot of time browsing and connecting with other women there.
Primarily, there are 2 types of users groups:
1. Merchant Women- Women who are running their small business.
2. Queens - who want to do extra in their free time, work from home or make an extra income. They verify each and every user and only let women users to use the platform - no men allowed at the moment.
Lately, there is lot of interest from various big brands and 1540+ established merchants to be on this platform, as it is a niche community of women & womenprenuers - but most of these new brands and merchants who want to be on the platform are male merchants. From business point of view is it good, but from community point of view the situation is complex.
Do you think it is advisable for LQ to - Move from women-only to open-for-all? Women-only is definitely an advantage in terms of positioning, but being open-for-all is the best way to scale. Since, it is a community, what if there is backlash from women users on going open-for-all?
Or may be, for merchants open-to-all BUT keeping queens as women-only!?
Recently, I've seen Voonik, which started-off as women focused e-com site, starting-up a spin-off MrVoonik - which is men e-com.
As we are a community here at NBW, so I thought I should ask this community transition question first here.
Have you guys come across such transitions as LQ is foreseeing, what are the key points to take care of? If you guys can share some more insight on this kind of transition, that'll be super