The global COVID-19 has made people shop online. In fact,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 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 create a marketplace website:
- Step 1. Find an experienced vendor to turn your concept into life.
- Step 2. Come up with a fabulous marketplace idea and give the vendor's experts to validate it.
- Step 3. The specialists will conduct UX research and pay attention to metrics.
- Step 3. The specialists will collect the project’s requirements and draw up a feature set.
- Step 4. They'll build your minimum viable product (MVP marketplace) to engage initial feedback.
- Step 5. The specialists will test the product and launch it to the first consumers.
- Step 6. They'll also help monitor your key metrics and promote your marketplace platform to acquire more users.
Keep reading to know the price of building a marketplace platform, preparation steps, and what you can do right now to make your service prosperous.
Before You Create 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. Global retail e-commerce sales are forecasted to grow to 8.1 trillion US dollars in 2026, with marketplaces taking a tidbit of these extra sales. Let’s take a look at the statistic:
- The global marketplace market is forecasted to expand at a compound annual growth of from 2021 to 2028.
- About of consumers in America shop online.
- The world-leading online marketplaces sold trillion in 2021.
- Sales on P2P marketplace platforms like eBay, Amazon, Airbnb accounted for of overall online sales in 2020. In fact, they’re expected to make over by 2024, accounting for 90% of global web sales.
Why Build a Marketplace Platform?
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Build a Marketplace Website in 5 Steps
Follow these steps to find out how to create a marketplace:
Step 1. Contact a software development vendor competent enough to help you make a marketplace website and answer all the questions that arise.
Step 2. The specialists will conduct research, analyzing probable niche leaders, competitors, and the core audience. They'll also check your idea's viability before starting an online marketplace development.
Step 3. During the planning stage, the vendor's experts gather your company's requirements and turn them into a feature set. After that, they discuss the expenditures with you and prepare a specification. The provider's experts will also assemble a development team for setting up an online marketplace.
Step 4. The software development team will start your own online marketplace with a minimum viable product (MVP) version and engage pathbreakers. Then, they'll add optional functionality, test and launch your product.
Step 5. After creating a marketplace, they'll also care about preparing a marketing strategy for a successful marketplace website promotion.
All these stages of online marketplace development have their peculiarities and winning strategies. So keep reading, and we'll discuss them one by one.
How to Develop a Marketplace Website: Research
So, you've decided to build your own marketplace. First off, you should think about finding an experienced tech partner that will help you conduct various researches as to your future web resource and build it based on their expertise and knowledge as to the matter. Below, we'll tell more about what steps you'll pass along with your vendor from a concept to a cutting-edge e-store.
But, before the specialists will help you choose the right marketplace type, platform, or technologies, they take some time to research whether there is a demand for the software you want to build.
Research and analysis steps
First, you should understand how relevant your project will be. To do this, the vendor will analyze user requirements to uncover opportunities for your solution. Also, it is worth conducting a detailed analysis answering such questions:
- Is there a problem, and what is it?
- Who are the users who face this problem?
- What are the main pains of consumers, and how can your product solve them?
This stage is required to determine whether consumers will need your product and whether you should start building an online marketplace.
Determining your target audience
The next step is to identify and study the target audience. It implies determining their fundamental needs and highlighting the main focus of your marketing strategy. Moreover, if you start creating a marketplace website with your target audience in mind, you can offer them a unique value proposition, ensuring that your platform will be in demand and generate revenue.
Learn how to research and analyze your target audience
After you get an idea of how 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. For this purpose, you can apply to a skilled web development company with in-depth expertise in e-commerce solutions creation. They will conduct such research that'll take a considerable amount of time but pay off and let you avoid some of the common mistakes.
Particularly, such research will assist you in answering the following questions (before moving to the planning stage):
- Would your clients use this product, and how often?
- What is the feedback from the interviewed group of potential customers
- How well does your target audience understand the purpose of your product?
- What is the size of the total addressable market?
- How dependent are you on external resources?
To reply to 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.
Choosing marketplace type
Before you start building a marketplace platform, it is worth deciding on the type. There are three basic options:
- Vertical marketplaces offer multiple vendors from the same niche. Examples: Zillow, Stock.
- Horizontal marketplaces specialize in selling products from different categories united by a common theme. For example, it can be various sports goods or goods for animals. Examples: Etsy.
- Global marketplaces offer a large number of products and suppliers. Examples: AliExpress, Amazon.
You can always turn to an experienced IT provider for help. They will analyze your goals and needs and assist you in building your marketplace solution that meets your requirements best.
A vital step influencing the success of your marketplace is also an analysis of competitors. By studying their strengths and weaknesses and the features through which they attract their users, you will understand what strategy you should choose to build your own online marketplace and succeed. In this way, you can avoid their mistakes and be inspired by some of their successful solutions to create your unique product that can outperform the competition.
It is equally important to plan the budget for marketplace website development carefully. Hence, you should pay attention to the following items:
- Preparation costs. Take into account the charge of marketplace research.
- Development costs. The cost of building a marketplace can vary depending on many factors, including the number of features and the location of the software vendor.
- Post-release costs. After building a marketplace, you will also need to spend some time and money for promotion and technical support.
- Monetization strategy. Think through exactly how your marketplace will generate revenue and how soon your costs will be recouped.
Planning your budget is an important step that will allow you to allocate your investment and achieve good financial results.
Choosing an experienced software vendor
Choosing a professional software provider with advanced expertise in online marketplace development is vital for all your requirements to be met and to get a great result. The best option today is to work with an outsourced IT partner ; this way, you can cut costs and get access to unlimited talents and technologies worldwide. To make the best choice, pay attention to such aspects:
- The company's experience in marketplace software development services
- Feedback from customers on professional platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms
- Portfolio with previously created software solutions
- Information on the company's website and blog
Choosing an experienced software vendor will give you quality development services and help during the research and planning stages. This way, you can be assured you’ll get a proper digital solution for marketplace activities.
Keep up with important steps to hire dedicated developers that help transform your idea into life
How to Build a Marketplace: 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. During the Discovery Phase, a team of specialists consisting of a solution architect, business analysts, designers, and a project manager provides you with extensive assistance and consulting services. At Cleveroad, this phase includes the following activities:
The team analyzes all project requirements, including the necessary functional, design features, third-party integrations, and non-functional requirements, and translates the data into a clear development plan.
Monetization model selection
A monetization strategy should be considered during the planning phase of creating an online marketplace so the team can implement the necessary functionalities. Typically, marketplaces use such models as pay-per-transaction, advertising, subscriptions, a freemium model with fees for additional services, etc. Business analysts at the Discovery stage will advise you and help you choose the best strategy.
Choice of architecture
At the Discovery stage, the team determines and designs the architecture of your future marketplace. This helps make the development process easier and faster.
Defining tech stack and integrations
During the discovery phase, developers determine the most appropriate technologies and third-party integrations to build a marketplace platform, considering all functional requirements.
Based on the goals and type of marketplace, the team determines what basic features need to be deployed to make the platform run and what additional features might be added to make all your ideas come to life.
Forming Software Specifications Documentation
Finally, the team creates all the necessary documentation to continue working on making a marketplace website. This includes BPMN diagrams, UML diagrams, impact maps, flowcharts, quality attributes, design concept & UX maps, Feature Breakdown List (FBL), team composition, and rough estimation.
How to Create a Marketplace: Product Development
Once all the preparatory steps are passed, and all the product documentation is created, the development process begins. 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. The from-scratch model is considered more profitable not only for the usual marketplaces offering physical objects, but for the digital ones as well. To illustrate, when it comes to NFT trading platforms.
To create a marketplace website from scratch, you need to go through the following points along with your vendor:
UX and UI analysis
In order to enhance the user experience, UX analysis looks into and evaluates how people interact with the UI of a marketplace website, web app, or landing page. The goal is to improve user flow and the product's usability.
What constitutes effective UX analysis at its core? Understanding the user is having empathy for their needs, desires, and opinions on the product. Since user experience and site design have such a big impact on conversion rates, this information is quite valuable.
Keep in mind that conducting a UX analysis of an online marketplace is quite complex to perform. So, you can apply to a web development company, and qualified specialists will make such an analysis for you.
When creating a marketplace platform, the UI is just as important. Your website should attract the user at first sight. A UI/UX design services and relevant expertise will help create a quality interface that offers the best user experience.shows that 75% of users judge a website based on its aesthetics. In this regard, the interface of your marketplace platform must be attractive and establish your brand in the best possible way. A software vendor with quality
Marketplace website MVP development
At this stage, the software development team comes up with the building online marketplace. Firstly, they build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). 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.
Marketplace website MVP 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, and 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.
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 systems like PayPal or Stripe.
This feature contributes to a better user experience. For example, quick orders will enable users to fill in personal details such as billing information and shipping address only once so that they can place orders in the future with one click.
The ability to change the status of an account from a seller to a buyer and vice versa without the need to log out allows users to work with your site much more efficiently.
Each product in the catalog should have a separate page containing all the information about the manufacturer, cost, available options, and product characteristics. Also, allow users to view the product's photos and videos so they can view it in more detail.
Users can add their favorite product to their shopping cart to purchase it later. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the "add to cart" button is visible to customers and that entering and navigating through the cart is as simple and convenient as possible.
In addition to the shopping cart, users can add items they like to a wishlist, which they can later share with friends and family.
Both buyers and sellers need to be aware of information about orders, their status, and delivery time. So you should implement custom push notifications to keep users up to date with the latest changes.
When shopping online, users may have questions or problems. Provide them with a connection with the administration of the marketplace, which will allow them to solve any difficulties that arise. To implement this function, you can use an AI-based chatbot to answer customer questions 24/7.
Reviews and ratings
After the deal is over, buyers should be able to leave their feedback about it and rate the seller.
Watch our video below to explore why MVP development is beneficial for your business.
Why MVP is important for business success?
Testing and release
The whole process of creating a marketplace is accompanied by mandatory quality assurance. In addition, after the developers complete work on the project, QA engineers conduct multiple tests to ensure the software works as expected and meets your requirements. This allows them to identify and fix all possible bugs before the release.
Finally, after completing all work on making a marketplace website, the developers promote it to the server and launch it. In the future, you may need to continue cooperating with your software provider to update your marketplace for better performance and scalability. Then, once your product starts generating a profit, you can reinvest it into creating additional functionality.
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
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Advertisement module (for post-MVP)
- Content moderation (with AI)
Let’s consider each element in detail.
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 create 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 the current year are Bluehost, Hostgator, and A2 Hosting. Web hosting price ranges between $0.99 and $999 per month.
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.
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.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You may make a marketplace website of good quality, but will anybody know it? In order to get people acquainted with your resource, you may use Search Optimization Engine (SEO) algorithms, and we'll give you some common hints on how to do that.
Researching keywords. By incorporating background keywords in descriptions, articles, comments, and review answers, the online marketplace may improve its SEO performance. Tools like Google Trends may be used to achieve it.
Change your product descriptions to more concise ones. Customers who are well-informed are far less likely to return goods. So, you should provide them with short product characteristics fully reflecting the main things as to the product.
Work with keywords to mark your items. Always use the top two or three keywords for each item on your website to assist customers in finding your merchandise. In order to improve search results, include the keywords in the category and description of each product and salesperson.
Always give a thorough description of your goods. The ideal product descriptions highlight how the item is unique, why it is of superior quality, how the customer would benefit, and why the price point is ideal. Simply said, persuade your audience to click the "purchase" button in order to enhance their lives.
Your vendors and consumers may create and post adverts on your online shop using such module. It will help them quicker offer and find the required items, making each ads interaction with your website more accurate and streamline.
AI-Empowered Content Moderation
Web marketplaces typically need qualitative interactions and listings to grow and become more popular. However, a dangerous content also appears, harming users' interactions on the online marketplace. Thus, the AI-empowered content moderation system may provide your customers with a seamless UX and well-protected site content.
The Team You Need to Create Your Own Marketplace Website
The project team that helps you to build a marketplace consists of the following parties:
- Product owner. You act as the product owner, the primary stakeholder, and the conductor of ideas.
- Project manager. He divides all the work into smaller parts, appoints responsible persons, monitors the timely completion of tasks, and organizes communication with the team.
- Business analysts. Their main task is to transform your vision into technical requirements.
- UI/UX designer. This specialist is responsible for creating the interface of your site, positioning your brand, and creating a high-quality user experience.
- Web developers. Front-end and back-end developers create the code for your website.
- QA engineers. These specialists are responsible for finding all possible errors and ensuring the website's smooth operation.
If you are serious about building an online marketplace, you surely want to know its development price even before the planning stage.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Marketplace Platform
So, how much does it cost to create a marketplace in 2023? Roughly speaking, you may expect to be charged from $30,000 to $200,000 depending on the desired functionality and vendors you cooperate with.
Prices for marketplace development can vary depending on many factors. Find out the cost of creating a marketplace in our full guide
Let’s review where these numbers come from.
We at Cleveroad offer two types of estimates: rough and detailed.
These estimates specialists create during the project's initial stages, namely during the Solution Design and Discovery phases. They will give you a general idea of how much it will cost to build an online marketplace.
To start with, our experts calculate a Solution Design Workshop estimate. It is the rawest and is based on defining the project's key goals, the work scope, the level of complexity, and the non-functional requirements. The team also uses the experience of previous projects to provide three cost variations: pessimistic, neutral, and optimistic.
The Discovery Phase estimate allows for detailing the figures obtained in the previous step and is more accurate. The team analyzes in detail the features needed and the complexity of the design. Also, experts determine the exact team composition and the approximate time to make a marketplace website for you.
A detailed estimate allows you to get 100% accuracy and calculate the cost of building a marketplace. Taking the discovery phase estimate as a base, the developers, the solution architect, and the project manager supplement it. Specialists are including in the detailed estimate:
- Comprehensive record-keeping, including wireframes, specifications, and other project documentation
- Non-development activities, such as technical writing
- Rates and number of development hours
Thus, a detailed estimate allows you to learn about all the nuances that make up the cost of creating a marketplace platform. Get a consultation on the cost of your marketplace development and product estimation from our tech experts.
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 make your own marketplace website 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.
- Set up a pre-launch landing page to gather emails
- Participate in topical discussions (online forums, communities, groups) and start mentioning your marketplace
- Contact influencers of your target audience and try to make them your early ambassadors
- 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.
Explore 7 best ways to promote an app for free in our article
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.
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 a 100 million Prime members base. They spend about $1,400 a year on the website compared to the $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.
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.
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 commissions for setups or monthly or annual usage.
To start selling at Walmart, you need to get an invitation. It’ll give 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.
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
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.
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 platform requires profound expertise in such a domain. Cleveroad is a professional software development company located in the CEE region which has 10+ years of experience in delivering a wide variety of IT-related services and custom-built software solutions. They improve workflow, address business issues, and aid in the acquisition of competitive advantages.
The Cleveroad team has impressive experience in marketplace building. We'll tell you about a few new e-commerce solutions from our portfolio.
Our team created the Web-Based Marketplace Platform for the US company. Our customer wanted to build an online B2C marketplace and spend the money for the project wisely. We helped the client by creating an attractive and competitive MVP marketplace website with a thoroughly crafted feature set. After collecting customer feedback, we continue to work with the client to further product scaling, bug fixing, and development of additional features.
Our second case is a Location-Based Marketplace for bars and pubs. Our client wanted to allow bar visitors to buy drink subscriptions to various pubs in London using the app. So we created a cross-platform Flutter app with a user-friendly design and admin panel, allowing the client to manage users and partners. As a result, the customer can cooperate with the pubs, helping them attract new customers.
Our experts also successfully combine marketplaces and decentralized technologies. For example, the Cleveroad team has built a web-based NFT Marketplace for creating, distributing, and selling NFT collectibles. Our client, involved in decentralized data and finances (DeFi), wanted to expand the presence area with an NFT solution. Our experts created a web platform allowing users to view, buy, and auction various NFT collectibles and successfully integrated it with their existing customer solutions. As a result, our client expanded the revenue stream and increased the entire business capitalization.
If you're considering creating a marketplace website and need help figuring out where to start, turn to us. Our experts will pick up your project at the raw idea stage, go through all the development steps with you, and provide an ecommerce solution that will allow you to outperform your competitors and increase your revenues.
Start your web marketplace now
We’ll assemble a team and build a solution allowing you to enter the e-commerce market successfully
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.
- Start with research. Study your competitors and their offers, and find out what your target audience loves.
- Draw up all requirements. What features you want to see, how many users you expect, how your website should look like.
- Find a reliable software development team. Hire in-house devs (work from your office) or outsource to a tech company.
- Calculate the development cost. And make sure you have enough funds to cover the desired functionality.
- 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.
- 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.
- User accounts, profiles, and settings
- Search and filters
- Real-time chats
- Payment systems integration
- Reviews and ratings
- Price comparison
- Advanced search and sorting
- 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.
Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
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