You should know that the development of your own marketplace may be a good startup idea, especially if pay attention to such successful projects like Amazon or eBay. The growth of marketplaces popularity grows exponentially, and if you plant to build your marketplace, you should do it wisely in order not to make mistakes.
This guide will spell everything out and you will study all the process.
Things you should start with
There are a few the main stages you should keep up with during the marketplace development process:
- Research. It is the very beginning of the process where you need to define the types of marketplaces, understand how to validate your idea, choose your business model;
- Planning. Business analysts of software development company will provide you with a detailed estimate, wireframes, and other requirements;
- MVP building. Each project starts with MVP development - all basic features should be integrated into a website to make it functional;
- Elaborate marketing strategy. You need to choose the way to promote your product and aim your target audience;
- Release and performance monitoring.
Research and validation of your idea
Before you find the company that will build a marketplace website for you, you should find out what type of website you need and whether it is on demand today. That is why you need detailed research.
For a start, determine the value of your marketplace. What problems can it solve? When you will compile all the advantages of your future marketplace, you should analyze the market and competitors. It is expected that this niche is already occupied by serious companies, but you shouldn’t get desperate. You just need to know your target audience and try to focus on a more specific niche. Then, if everything goes well, you will be able to expand your business. For example, if you need to build a food marketplace like UberEats, you can offer potential users something interesting and unique that UberEats lacks.
Validation of your idea
This stage is important although it is time-consuming. However, you cannot ignore it since you will be able to avoid many mistakes in the future. To perform it, you should answer a few questions as follows:
- How often would you use your product?
- Collect feedbacks of a few potential users to find out their opinion
- Ask users whether they understand what is your marketplace created for?
- Determine the size of your market
In order to find answers to all these questions above, you should hold a meeting with your partners. That is, together with partners you may make the right decision and not fail.
The planning stage is formed in every company in its own way, so it is impossible to list all the nuances. However, as a rule, it includes requirements list created by Requirements Analysts, market research report, technical requirements, user stories, wireframes, and detailed estimate where each feature is indicated with development time.
When everything is done and agreed, the development process may be initiated.
Marketplace website development process
To build a marketplace, there are 2 ways you can select:
- Construct it from scratch
- Utilize ready-made platforms
Your selection depends on your opportunities. If you have a very tight budget, you’d better use ready-made platforms and you won’t need to afford money on additional UI/UX. But if you want to create a innovative marketplace that will be altogether special in its type, you should spend more money on the development from scratch.
Marketplace website should include the following required features.
The marketplace website should provide both sellers and buyers with different types of profiles. Customers should have effortless navigation, search, filters, info about sellers. Sellers, in turn, should have features to manage their account, customize setting, add/remove products, and so on.
Search and filters
Filters and search assist customers find the product they need by location, price, type, and other important characteristics.
If buyers have any questions concerning a product they like, they can write sellers right in integrated chat and get an answer immediately.
To make payments for goods, payment system of your choice should be integrated into your website. But it is recommended to utilize trustworthy systems like Braintree, Stripe or PayPal.
Users may leave their comment and increase the quality of services they were provided with.
But if you want to enhance your website, you should add such advanced features for buyers like price comparison, advanced filters, wishlist, sharing in social media, push notifications, certificates. As for sellers, statistics of buyers’ behavior and advanced management of products will be also good additional features.
The team required to build your marketplace website
Generally, a team should include a few specialists that will make your project real:
- Project manager
- Web developers (front-end and back-end specialists)
- UI/UX designer
- QA engineers
- Requirement analyst
Of course, you also want to know how much will it cost to create your marketplace website? Let’s study this issue deeper.
Marketplace website development cost: nuances to consider
Well, figures may vary from $30,000 to $150,000, but it is impossible to estimate precisely because each project has its particularities and specific requirements. But figures above fall within an average price range for marketplace website development.
But how were these figures formed? Let’s find out it.
Development value includes both time required for features integration, UI/UX design, etc. and non-development time that is spent for meetings, research, and so on.
Detailed estimate document shows maximum and minimum hours required for the development, that is optimistic and pessimistic calculations. Pessimistic estimation includes possible outside variables, some troubles in the integration of new technologies, long testing time, and others.
To calculate the price, you just need to multiply the number of hours by the hourly rate of software development company you cooperate with. Hourly rate depends on where the company is located. Eastern Europe offers lower rates like $35-$50, whereas Western European companies’ hourly rate is $75-$100 in average. The highest hourly rate is in the USA - $150-$175.
What you should do when development is completed
When your marketplace website is ready, you should know how to promote it and capture the attention of first users.
For a start, you need to create a database of potential sellers that may use your platform to purchase their goods. But sellers should know that it will take some time before they will sell something using your marketplace. Merely explain to them that your platform will be a good source of profit for them.
To discover sellers, you can contact them on other marketplaces or use unique company forums where they spend their time.
To notify everybody about your platform, you should build the trust to your marketplace. You can keep up with these tips below to achieve success:
- Add pre-launch landing page that will offer users enter their e-mail and they will find out more in a comprehensive letter;
- Discover topical forums where you can perform crowd-marketing and mention your marketplace;
- Find influencers that may encourage your product and it will help attract more audience;
- Launch your blog or community
If you do everything right, you will have interested users soon and your digital commerce marketplace will gain popularity.
To monitor the performance, you should pay attention to use metrics like conversion rate and bounce rate, transaction metrics (repeat purchase rate and provider-to-customer rate), business metrics (customer acquisition, revenue, and ROI).
These indicators will help you improve your website constantly and record all changes. Now you know everything you should do to start your marketplace enterprise wisely. Just follow the right road!
Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It's a web and app development company in Ukraine. He enjoys telling about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses.