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How to Build a Marketplace Website in 2022: Core Features, Steps, and Cost

Updated 20 May 2022

Published 10 Jun 2021

24 Min

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The global COVID-19 has made people shop online. In fact, 40 % of consumers are purchasing online more than they had done before. The best thing about the marketplace platform is that anyone can enter the market and become successful. Building an online marketplace, you don’t need to own any goods. Instead, you offer other people’s goods to users and simplify a transaction. The Sharing economy market, which peer-to-peer marketplaces are about, is expected to reach $355 billion by 2025. Isn’t that a significant reason to give your idea a start?

To give you a hint, here is a quick overview of how to start your own online marketplace:

  • Step 1. Come up with a fabulous marketplace idea and validate it.
  • Step 2. Find an experienced team to turn your concept into life.
  • Step 3. Collect the project’s requirements and draw up a feature set.
  • Step 4. Build your minimum viable product (MVP marketplace) to engage initial feedback.
  • Step 5. Test the product and launch it to the first consumers.
  • Step 6. Monitor your key metrics and promote your marketplace platform to acquire more users.

Let’s delve into how to create an online marketplace website, how to estimate your budget, and what you can do right now to make your service prosperous.

Before You Build Your Own Marketplace: What Is the Potential of Your Idea?

Not every marketplace startup starts with a superb idea. Sometimes this idea needs to be adapted to the needs of a specific market to become successful. So, it’s vital to analyze the market volume before actually setting up a marketplace website. It’ll help you to determine which part of the market you’ll target.

What Is the Potential of a Marketplace Idea?

Online shopping is one of the most widespread online activities worldwide. The Global retail e-commerce sales are forecasted to grow to 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022, with marketplaces taking a tidbit of these extra sales. Let’s take a look at the statistic:

  • The global marketplace market size was valued at $3.67 trillion by the end of 2020. Moreover, it is forecasted to expand at a compound annual growth of 9.7% from 2021 to 2028.
  • The world-leading online marketplaces have sold $2.67 trillion in 2020.
  • Sales on P2P marketplace platforms like eBay, Amazon, Airbnb accounted for 62% of overall online sales in 2020. In fact, they’re expected to make over $7 trillion by 2024, accounting for 90% of global web sales.
E-commerce market size, 2017-2028

U.S. Marketplace market size

The main factors that have contributed to the rise of the marketplace market across the globe are:

  • An increased amount of digital buyers
  • The convenience of shopping online due to the ease availability of mobile devices
  • The shift in consumer shopping habits during the pandemic
  • The lack of a well-organized offline retail sector
  • Wide AI implementation

As you can see, the potential of setting up an online marketplace is huge. You have an opportunity to enter the market with minimum effort and generate income in a short period. Above all, this growth is driven by more and more entrepreneurs considering building marketplace websites to streamline online sales, accelerate cross-border expansion, raise product range, boost logistics, automate operations, and reduce costs.

Why To Start Your Own Online Marketplace?

Considering marketplace growth and its potential, business startups can utilize the marketplace business model and design their own custom solution. Below are the top benefits of building an online marketplace.

Financial Advantages

Marketplace websites enable you to generate income with minimum effort. There is no reason to organize production or be concerned about delivery. All you need to do is to create your own marketplace with unique features and start attracting your first clients. The most demanded ways of generating money on the platform are commissions, listing fees, subscriptions, lead generation fees, advertising, and offering additional services. You can also combine several monetization models, but it’s better to apply just one at an early stage. Afterward, you can focus on making improvements while your bank account grows. For instance, marketplace leaders, such as Booking.com, eBay, Etsy, and Uber employ the commission business revenue model.

Convenience and Flexibility

P2P marketplace platform connects people who produce value and people who need that value. But how do you, as an owner, benefit from building a marketplace website?

  • Marketplace users attract each other. High-quality products make customers pay attention to your marketplace, and sellers come to your website due to a constant increase of potential buyers. For this reason, your marketing campaigns will be more effective compared to the promotion of independent web stores.
  • Marketplace platforms provide flexibility in terms of choice. Since you don’t need to invest in production, you’re flexible enough to choose niche, industry, or product specifics.

Smooth Development

Many specialists can create a marketplace from scratch. However, suppose you want to get a superb e-commerce project without being involved in the development process. In this case, it’s better to outsource web development to a reliable IT vendor with profound experience in marketplace websites architecturing. This model entails cooperation with a remote software development company. Doing so, you get a formed team of certified experts required to build an online marketplace in tune with your budget, time, and requirements. All the specificities concerning the development are taken over, from management to the coding and product release.

Customer Involvement

One of the significant benefits of creating a marketplace is that it bridges the gap between multiple suppliers or service providers. Clients are more likely to employ a platform with a large number of customizable options so they can purchase what they want without limiting to a single vendor. Moreover, as a marketplace owner, you are not the one in charge of product quality. By providing users with extra functionality, you enable them to value the product they buy by themselves. For instance, build a rating system or allow them to post a product’s review (text, photo, video) to get another significant advantage.

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How to Build a Marketplace Website in 5 Steps

Follow these steps to find out how to create a marketplace:

  • Step 1. Conduct research, analyzing probable niche leaders, competitors, and the core audience. Check your idea's viability before starting an online marketplace.

  • Step 2. Contact a software development vendor competent enough to help you make a marketplace website and answer all the questions that arise.

  • Step 3. During the planning stage, gather your company's requirements and turn them into a feature set. Discuss the expenditures with your service provider and prepare a specification. Assemble a development team for setting up an online marketplace.

  • Step 4. Start your own online marketplace with a minimum viable product (MVP) version and engage pathbreakers. Add optional functionality. After that, test and launch your product.

  • Step 5. After creating a marketplace, prepare a marketing strategy for a successful marketplace website promotion.

All these stages of marketplace software development have their peculiarities and winning strategies. So keep reading, and we'll discuss them one by one.

Research: Getting and Validating Your Idea

So, you've decided to build your own marketplace. But, before you get down to choosing the right marketplace type, platform or technologies, take some time to research whether there is a demand for the software you want to build.

That is why the first step should be defining the value proposition for your potential users. As for marketplaces, it’s usually solving a real problem. For example, Airbnb solves the problem of expensive hotel rooms for travelers, BlaBlaCar is a response to inflexible routes and schedules, and so on.

When you define a problem worth solving, take a look at competitors and market leaders. In a broad sense, all potential niches may already be covered. So you will have to think narrower and find your focus in a preferable niche and build an online marketplace that will stand out.

For example, Amazon started by only selling books. In any case, your idea seems perfect for you as you have the right background and industry-changing intentions. Still, the competition is too high, narrowing your focus geographically and in terms of the offered products or services.

The next step when you start your own online marketplace is to know your target audience. Again, careful analysis and research are worth the effort and time. As a result, you get a segmented audience, a list of their expectations that can be easily turned into features, and proof of demand.

Take a look at a detailed article devoted to targeting audience research and analysis.

How to validate your marketplace idea?

After you get an idea to build an online marketplace of a particular type, it’s time to validate it to ensure that you’re moving in the right direction. Such research takes a considerable amount of time, but it pays off and lets you avoid some of the common mistakes. So, here is a list of questions you should be able to answer honestly before moving to a planning stage.

  • Would you use this product and how often?
  • What is the feedback from the interviewed a group of potential customers
  • How well they understand the purpose of your product?
  • What is the size of the total addressable market?
  • How dependent are you on the external resources?

To answer the questions above, you will have to brainstorm with your partner(s) if you have one, gain feedback through interviewing your potential customers and do some manual research. Note, you shouldn’t involve your family and friends in the interview if you want to get unbiased insight and find out how to build a marketplace website.

Keep up with important steps to hire dedicated developers that help transform your idea into life

Planning Stage

This stage is also called the Discovery Phase, which stands for foundation of your project’s successful delivery and performance. Every company organizes it in its own way.

As for Cleveroad, we pay careful attention to the planning stage of the entire development process to provide our customers with a tangible outcome. Our Business Analysts scrutinize your business needs, technical, functional, and usability requirements. After all the input data is examined, BA draws up the detailed project specification along with a clear development plan. This document details all the marketplace project peculiarities, like features, tech stack, API integration (e.g., payment gateway integration), etc. Besides that, UI/UX designers create wireframes for each web page. Finally, the detailed estimate is produced coupled with software engineers and designers, along with every feature implementation time.

Later on, our customers have a choice to create a marketplace website with us, or postpone the development stage, or switch to another service provider with all necessary documents. Considering the issue of how to build online marketplace, let’s see in details how the marketplace website development process takes place.

Planning stage tasks

How Discovery phase goes at Cleveroad

How to Create a Marketplace Website: Development

There are two approaches to marketplace website development:

  • Development from scratch
  • Development using one of the existing marketplace platforms

Each of these strategies has its pros and cons. A platform-based development is a good choice if you’re limited with a budget of $5,000, and you want to incorporate the website into the business processes as soon as possible. In turn, custom software will respond to all your business needs, including features, design, logic.

To create a marketplace website from scratch, you need to go through the following points.

Step #1. Make a Prototype and Test the Idea

Firstly, you need to create a prototype (simple visual model) of your future marketplace website. You can start with an ordinary pen-and-paper sketch or design an interactive HTML model.

However, prototyping is a time-consuming process that requires specific skills. So it’s better to work with a web development company to design a first-class marketplace website prototype.

A prototype is a perfect way to validate your idea, attract first users, and gain initial investments. But, a marketplace website model isn’t functional. The basic features are built on the MVP (minimum viable product) phase.

Step #2. Make the Project Documentation

Now it’s time to prepare a project specification that includes detailed information about your product: number of features and its complexity, design, number of 3rd party integrations, etc.

Clients and software developers might have different visions of required features and how they should be implemented from the technical side. Specification helps to overcome these misunderstandings.

This stage aims to ensure that every team member clearly understands the project’s requirements and is ready to make a marketplace website complying with the client's needs.

Step #3. Develop a Marketplace Website MVP

Start with minimum valuable product development (MVP). It enables you to validate your marketplace idea and reduce time to the market with minimum investments. The core idea behind the MVP is to make your own marketplace website with enough functionality to attract early users and collect initial feedback. Let's detail the core functionality of online marketplace.

Must-Have Features

User accounts, profiles, and settings

Building online marketplace implies the creation of two kinds of website users: Buyer and Seller (or Service provider and Service recipient) with their specific needs. Among the important features for Buyers are simple registration, well-designed navigation, search and filtering, and access to information about Sellers. In their turn, Sellers would appreciate features that let them manage their private and public information, create new offers of products or services.

Search and filters

It should be convenient for buyers to search for goods or services on your marketplace website. So, think over a system of filters (location, price range, etc.) and relevant suggestions when setting up an online marketplace.

Real-time chats

Choosing the product or service, buyers usually have some questions to sellers. It’s crucial to let them get answers immediately and the best way is instant messaging.

Payment systems integration

Our main task as developers is to ensure complete security both for buyers and sellers, especially regarding payments. That’s why it’s important to implement transparent and trustful payment system like PayPal or Stripe.

Reviews and ratings

After the deal is over, buyers should be able to leave their feedback about it and rate the seller.

Why should you start your business with MVP? Watch our video below:

Why MVP is important for business success?

Once your product starts generating a profit, you can reinvest it into creating additional functionality. If you want to develop a marketplace website with more sophisticated features, here are a few ideas for you.

Advance Features For Buyers

Price comparison

Setting up a marketplace website, it’s good to consider price comparison as a lead magnet. Whenever a shopper will seek for a product, at the product detail page will be displayed other relevant offers from different sellers, thus, they can compare the prices.

Advanced search and sorting

Integrating advanced search features will allow consumers to filter the goods according to their preferences. It means, the web page will show the search details based on the filters applied. The users can also sort results by price, product type, color, and other parameters. All the results corresponding parameters will be displayed on the page.

Wishlist

Wishlist is an integral part for delivering a good shopping experience. Oftentimes, buyers are not ready to order some goods, but want to remember them to compare couple variants or buy them later. Building an online marketplace with a “wishlist” feature will allow shoppers to add objects to their favorites. Thus, they’ll get personalized groups of goods they intend to buy and store them in their personal accounts for future reference.

Sharing in social networks

Social media are a part and parcel of the modern digital world. Creating a marketplace with this feature will allow buyers to share preferable content (for example, lottery sales) to various social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This way, you’ll get an additional promotion channel that leads to traffic and sales.

Push notifications

Push notifications can contribute greatly to marketplace project success. However, before building a powerful message campaign, it’s essential to make segments for loyal users to come up with personalized offers. It’s inefficient to send the same message to every user, especially if you sell multiple products. For instance, one person may be interested in a 20% discount on bags, while another is excited about a 20 percent off shoes.

Advance Features for Sellers

Buyers’ behavior analysis

Creating a marketplace with in-built analytics tools will allow sellers to understand the buyers’ behavior patterns, thus, selling them the products they need. For example, with data analysis, you may find that your product is not selling because people simply don’t see it. Misunderstanding customers’ needs are the worst impression a business wants to leave because this is a straight road in sales decrease.

Advanced products management

This feature is required to let sellers offer their clients the most advanced services. Featuring this tool, vendors will be able to add, duplicate, edit, and save descriptions of multiple products on a single page. Moreover, it enables dealers to insert standard and customizable goods attributes to their product grid and edit any goods info via in-grid editable fields and save it in a click.

Step #4. Expand Your Online Marketplace Client Base

After you release the product, you expect many users, both sellers and buyers. However, it requires some time and effort to transform your marketplace into a lead generation machine. That’s why it's vital to increase the user base long before you start your own online marketplace.

Ensure that on launch day, your website won’t be a blank slate without any users. This makes it difficult for you to engage new users and lowers trust in your marketplace. So, put some effort into creating a loyal community before realizing your website.

Steps to build marketplace website

How to build marketplace website

Key Points to Build a Marketplace Website

To create a marketplace website like Amazon or eBay, you need to think of the following things:

  • A domain name (For example, cleveroad.com)
  • Web hosting account (Here are your website’s files are stored)
  • SSL Certificate (To secure payments)
  • CMS (Content management system)
  • Payment solutions

Let’s consider each element in detail.

Domain Name

The domain name is the address of your marketplace website that makes it easy for users to find and connect to your platform on the internet (e.g., amazon.com). Here are some tips on how to select the domain name:

  • It should be associated with your brand
  • Keep it short
  • Don’t use numbers and hyphens
  • Make it SEO-friendly (use keywords, stay relevant)

There is no one “ebay.com” marketplace, so you’ll need to look through many domain name marketplaces to choose the right option. The domain name approximately costs $10-$20 a year.

Web Hosting Account

Web hosting is another key point when you start your own marketplace. It’s a place where all files of your marketplace are stored. When people type your website name in a browser, it’s converted into the IP address of your web hosting provider’s computer. This computer holds your website’s files, and it transmits them back to the users’ browsers.

The most popular web hosting providers in 2022 are Bluehost, Hostgator, and A2 Hosting. Web hosting price ranges between $0.99 and $999 per month.

SSL Certificate

SSL Certificate provides increased security, privacy, and data protection for your marketplace and users' information. Every time you transfer data between a marketplace website and web server, an SSL certificate is applied. Moreover, if your website is SSL enabled, Google will rank your marketplace higher.

Content Management System (CMS)

CMS allows shop owners to make, edit, and publish digital content without coding. It also enables users to change the online store's look (e.g., modify product page layout, add advertising banners or add new website sectors).

There is a lot of ready-built CMS software like Shopify, WordPress, Joomla, etc. They are developed to reduce development hours and low the cost to build a marketplace website. But as any out-of-the-box solutions, they are limited in functionality and vulnerable to security threats.

Payment Solutions

Building an online marketplace is vital to have reliable payment systems to manage online transactions. There are three ways your website can process transactions from your buyers to your sellers:

Direct payments. Direct payments mean that your platform isn't involved in the transactions. But in this case, you have limited options of charging fees and managing returns and refunds. Besides, they won't allow your clients to purchase goods from various sellers simultaneously and request them to pass through the checkout process for each seller individually.

Aggregated payments. The aggregated payments imply that your platform combines the buyers’ money and later distributes funds between vendors via payouts. They create an opportunity for single checkout and enable you to own the transaction. But you need to monitor the vendors’ finances and regular payouts on your website.

Parallel payments. This method is associated with payment services. The payment providers split clients’ payments at checkout and distribute them among sellers and your platform. In this case, the providers are in charge of security compliance. The best payment solutions for marketplaces are PayPal, Dwolla, Stripe, and Braintree.

The Team You Need to Create Your Own Marketplace Website

The project team that helps you to build a marketplace consists of:

  • A project manager who knows exactly all the details of how to create an online marketplace and manages the processes and team members;
  • UI/UX designer;
  • Web developers;
  • QA engineers.

If you are serious about building an online marketplace, you surely want to know its development price even before the planning stage.

Price of Building a Marketplace Website

So, what is the cost of creating a marketplace in 2022? Roughly speaking, you may expect to be charged from $30,000 to $200,000 depending on the desired functionality and vendors you cooperate with.

Price of building a marketplace website

Marketplace website development cost

Let’s review where these numbers come from.

Development cost is based on the development and non-development time required to implement product’s features. The number of hours is estimated regarding the complexity of features, including frontend and backend development.

At Cleveroad, we provide the precise numbers in the Detailed estimate document during the Planning stage. The document has a minimum and a maximum number of hours required to implement each piece of functionality. If you want to get a detailed cost to build your own marketplace, please get in touch with our managers and they will eagerly help you.

After you know how much time is needed, you can calculate how much money you’ll need. Just multiply the number of hours by your vendor’s hourly rate. Take a look at the following table that shows how your budget of a sophisticated and fully-functional marketplace project can vary by developers’ rates. The table includes the average time for design, project management, and quality assurance, as well.

Average marketplace development price

DesignationMinimum time (h)Maximum time (h)Average time (h)

Development

900

1600

1300

Design

180

220

200

Total

1080

1820

1500

Price at $75

Price at $75

Price at $75

Development

$67,500

$120,000

$97,500

Design

$13,500

$16,500

$15,000

Total

$81,000

$136,500

$112,500

Post-development Actions to Make a Marketplace Website Successful

After the development stage, you expect to release your project. However, there is no need to rush. Instead, it's essential to think about how to start your own marketplace effectively and attract first users.

Who should these users be: seller or buyers first? The best thing to do is start forming the base of sellers who are able to suggest goods or services without expecting to get any sales at once. Before the launch, you should communicate with sellers and explain to them that your platform can become a permanent source of future income for them. Here is what you can do to find sellers:

  • Contact those sellers who are active on competitive marketplaces
    • Use business directories and Google search to find providers for your unique niche
  • Look through online forums and Facebook groups

While you let the providers be the first users of your marketplace website, it’s a good idea to perform some work with potential buyers and build loyalty to your platform in advance. There are a few tips on how to do it effectively.

  1. Set up a pre-launch landing page to gather emails
  2. Participate in topical discussions (online forums, communities, groups) and start mentioning your marketplace
  3. Contact influencers of your target audience and try to make them your early ambassadors
  4. Start your blog or online community in case there are no suitable communities

After you have a list of interested users, you are ready to start your own marketplace. A well-prepared pre-launch stage can help your service get an initial boost and continue working on building supply and demand.

What can you do next to grow your marketplace after the launch? You will need to set up some KPIs to track the performance and find the areas for improvement:

  • Usage metrics, such as conversion rate and bounce rate
  • Transaction metrics, like provider-to-customer rate and repeat purchase rate
  • Business metrics, for example, customer acquisition, revenue, and ROI

By taking a close look at customers’ behavior, you will identify the areas that need improvement. So, now you know the basics of how to build an online marketplace website.

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How to Build a Marketplace: Top 5 Marketplace Solutions

Now, let’s see how to create a marketplace website considering the most popular projects. The list is based on four main areas: profitability, client service, communication, and usability.

1. Amazon

Amazon is the best example of how to create a marketplace and succeed. It is a world-leading marketplace platform with a market share of 9.4% globally. The main advantage of selling on Amazon is that you can get access to 100 milion Prime members base. They spend about $1,400 a year on the website compared to $600 spent by regular customers, making Amazon an attractive place for retailers. Besides, Amazon mobile app may serve as a successful illustration of how to make a ecommerce app due to the laconic and user-friendly interface.

Amazon’s individual selling plan is the right option for sellers who want to set the work immediately. However, if you sell specific products in niche categories (e.g., fine art or collectibles), you need to subscribe for a professional plan and request permission.

Professional retailers need to pay $39.99 per month, plus fees per item-selling, depending on the category, variable closing fees, and referral commissions. The individual selling plan is $0.99 per sale plus selling commissions which also vary by category.

2. eBay

eBay is another good case of building a marketplace of this type. It's the world’s second-largest marketplace with a great market share (3.3% global traffic). It’s an expensive option that enables access to 168 million experienced buyers worldwide who together make $95 billion annually.

The platform offers two sorts of selling fees:

  • Insertion fee
  • Final value fee when the product is sold

However, you don’t need to pay for initial setups or pay monthly /annual commissions.

3. Walmart

Walmart provides access to more than 440 million active buyers. Additionally, you can participate in affiliate programs that enable you to get commissions from sales when you send customers to the platform. The platform doesn’t charge the commissions for setups, monthly or annual usage.

To start selling on Walmart, you need to get an invitation. It’ll give an extra time to launch. Moreover, you can add your products to Walmart’s portfolio of goods. All you need to do is fill out the form.

4. Etsy

Etsy gives you an idea of building online marketplace that focuses on selling vintage, unique, handmade items. The marketplace attracts creative people (both amateurs and artists) by enabling them to present their masterpieces to the world.

If the buyers have some questions, they don’t need to contact the support manager. Instead, the platform makes it possible for personal communication between customers and creators. Etsy it’s a kind of community for creative people to talk, share experiences, and encourage each other. This is a unique feature of the marketplace.

The primary revenue models of Etsy based on the following:

  • Sellers pay as little as $0.20 for listing items on the website. This price is valid for 4 months.
  • Apart from that, the marketplace charges sellers 3.5% per sale. The retailers can put their own sale price, but the platform reduces a commission of 3.5% from the sale price before sending money to the vendor.
  • Sellers can access additional features by paying an extra price (e.g., advertising options).

Learn how to create a shopping app to increase the profitability of your business

5. Taobao

Taobao has inspired entrepreneurs to explore how to build a marketplace platform. It is a China-based platform that takes no fees for transactions both from buyers and sellers. Instead, it generates money by taking vendor fees for SEO-like advertising (same as Google works). As a result, Taobao's business goal is to attract as many sellers to the website as possible so that they can compete for buyers' attention and the platform can charge promotion fees.

In 2008, Taobao initiated Tmall (B2C platform Taobao Mall) to supplement its existing C2C offering. Tmall enables Chinese and international businesses to sell branded products to Chinese citizens.

Taobao generates money on Tmall by charging companies fees for verifying and establishing a store on the website. The retailers need to pass verification and then pay a fee to Taobao for every further sale. The commission is around 5%. For instance, the sunglasses store Lemon Optics paid a commission of $25,000 to open a shopfront on Tmall.

Alipay (a Chinese online payment platform) also charges sellers fees for its services. Merchants need to pay a 0.55% fee for every closed deal. If the withdrawals are under 3,000 USD, the system will charge no commission. Above this sum, sellers need to pay a 0.1% fee.

Marketplace Building Expertise from Cleveroad

Building a marketplace software requires profound expertise in such a domain. Cleveroad is a professional software development company with 10+ years of experience in delivering a wide variety of IT-related services and custom-built software solutions. They improve workflow efficiency, address business issues, and aid in the acquisition of competitive advantages.

Building an online marketplace with us, you may obtain a wide range of qualified IT services containing the following ones:

  • Initial project estimation from our Sales Managers
  • Consultation with Project Managers or Business Analysts concerning your project
  • Signing Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) per customers' requests
  • Proven deep expertise in building software for various domains
  • Software development teams comprised of agile-minded, highly trained, and certified.personnel
  • Innovative technology stack and building methods
  • Quality control and assurance at all the development stages

We recently released a web solution — a platform to book custom services, called AYIO. It’s also available on iOS and Android platforms. It’s a marketplace to find a specialist in different fields. It is a good service if something is broken, you need to repair it, and AYIO will help you hire a skilled specialist. This social business platform was developed for one year, and it includes such features like complex search system, payments, activity tracker, scanning of documents, docs upload, and others. To find out more about the development process, you can check our case study.

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Frequently Asked Questions

From $30,000 to $150,000 and up. Everything depends on the website functionality, design, and vendors you cooperate with.

You need to consider adding features for both buyers and sellers.

For example, sellers should be able to check their earnings, manage listings, see statistics of buyers' behavior, and have an option to chat with customers.

  1. Start with research. Study your competitors and their offers, and find out what your target audience loves.
  2. Draw up all requirements. What features you want to see, how many users you expect, how your website should look like.
  3. Find a reliable software development team. Hire in-house devs (work from your office) or outsource to a tech company.
  4. Calculate the development cost. And make sure you have enough funds to cover the desired functionality.
  5. Develop an MVP marketplace with basic features. It's cheaper to build and faster to release. Good, if you're only testing your idea or need the website fast.
  6. Create a marketing strategy to promote your website.

Platforms like Etsy charge a selling fee (Etsy charges $0.20 for listing). Amazon offers a professional sellers' account (for $39.99/month) + charges additional selling fees.

Some marketplaces offer premium listing, charge demand fees, or sell ads.

Basic features:

  • User accounts, profiles, and settings
  • Search and filters
  • Real-time chats
  • Payment systems integration
  • Reviews and ratings

Advance features:

  • Price comparison
  • Advanced search and sorting
  • Wishlist
  • Sharing in social networks
  • Gift certificates
  • Push notifications

If you have limited time, you may develop the website using one of the existing marketplace platforms.

But it works only for small-scale marketplaces with a couple of features. To make something more complex and tailored to your business, focus on development from scratch. To speed up the time to market, you may start with an MVP.

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