How to build an online marketplace website

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Over recent years, e-commerce has been booming. No wonder business owners puzzle with how to build a marketplace to get a piece of this luxurious pie.

Come to think of it, a marketplace creates win-win conditions for all parties engaged. 

Being a marketplace owner, you connect customers with a certain pain point with the service providers that can solve that very problem. There is no need to own huge warehouses or hire hundreds of employees.

With your marketplace, users get lots of options and a super-simple and convenient way to choose the right solution for their issues. For example: 

We had a house-service and cleaning company customer. They did not have a digital solution and were working in a semi-manual mode. Over 300 operators were processing more than tens of thousands of calls a day. They accepted orders and, after that, looked for contractors in a large catalog. Finally, after finding a suitable specialist, operators called them to agree on an order and make a sale.

As you may guess, these activities were cumbersome and took a lot of valuable time. So the company wondered how to create a marketplace to digitize their processes.

We were happy to help. Our team created a fully automated complex system that brought the customer fantastic results. The number of orders has grown by ten times. At the same time, the speed of order processing has increased by three times.

The typical interface of online marketplace
The interface of HLPRS online marketplace developed by Syndicode

For more information about the project, review the full case study

So if you are looking for a specialist who will teach you how to build a marketplace, look no further. 

We used our domain expertise and best practices to create a detailed guide on building a marketplace. Today we are eager to share it with you.

In a nutshell, the steps below define how to create a marketplace that will become a flourishing business.

  1. Learn the business side of creating a marketplace.
  2. Discover the fundamental things about online marketplaces.
  3. Validate your business idea.
  4. Build your marketplace wisely.
  5. Hold a discovery session.
  6. Focus on user-friendly design.
  7. Build a marketplace website and test it.
  8. Take care of its maintenance and support.
  9. Define the right marketing channels to grow your marketplace business.

Step 1. Learn the business side of building a marketplace

The e-commerce domain is thriving. You have heard these words before. However, without exact figures, they are just words. So, here we prepared some statistics that show why it is the best time to learn how to build a marketplace website.

  • Online sales reached $791.70 billion in 2020. That is a 32.4% growth compared to $598.02 billion the previous year. (Digital Commerce 360)
  • Black Friday alone brought business owners $9 billion in revenue in online sales in 2020. (Forbes)
  • US e-commerce spendings are predicted to reach between $850 billion and $930 billion in 2021. In 2022, this figure is expected to reach $1 trillion. (Adobe)
  • eBay’s revenue is expected to grow by 23% and reach $12.6 billion in 2021. (Forbes)
  • Global B2C e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4.89 trillion by 2021. (Shopify)
Growth chart sales of online marketplaces
Sales from online marketplaces around the world

Top five business reasons to create an online marketplace

Online marketplaces are beneficial for all parties engaged. Buyers find e-commerce platforms convenient and secure. They are also excited to be able to buy the desired item then and there. 

Sellers, in turn, are drawn to the marketplaces by a wide range of potential customers. Also, they are happy to get the chance to interact with their target audience. 

But what about business owners? Why should they invest their time and money in building a marketplace? 

To answer these questions, we will discuss the top 5 reasons to build a marketplace website today:

  • The diversity of monetization options. Online marketplaces offer many ways to earn income—commission, freemium, featured listings, to name a few. You can choose any model you like or even combine several options. However, if you are getting hip to the marketplace business, we recommend sticking to one revenue model you find the most suitable.
  • Scalability. Another case for building a marketplace is their quick expansion. If everything is done right from the start, your traffic will grow pretty fast. So soon, you will need to add new sellers to meet the demand. The most important thing here is to find the right balance between supply and demand. The more reliable and high-quality the vendor is, the more customers it attracts. At the same time, a growing customer base encourages more sellers to join your platform.
  • Complex analysis. As soon as you start a marketplace website, you will need to track the sales process. Intuitive dashboards with accurate data can become a silver bullet for you. They show accurate data about the most desirable products and the most popular sellers. Armed with this information, you can promote products and services that bring actual value to your customers. As a result, you get great chances to increase your revenue. So add them to the list of must-have features if you wonder how to build a marketplace that will thrive. 
  • Reduced financial risks. The good news about owning an e-commerce platform is that you do not have any inventory. It means you are free from any issues and expenses that come with inventory management. But there is more. You do not have to deal with warehousing, logistics, or delivery. All these burdens lie with sellers. Being a marketplace owner, you have other tasks. Thus, you are responsible for providing a platform that links together buyers and sellers.
  • Vendor’s loyalty. As a marketplace owner, you have business goals that largely overlap with the aims of your sellers. To be more specific, both of you want to gain as many customers as possible. For this purpose, provide sellers with all tools they may need to do business on your platform. It could be onboarding manuals or a simple order management system. By offering sellers the required assistance, you can reduce marketing expenses significantly.

Etsy created a handbook to help rookie sellers run a successful store on the platform:

Seller Handbook on Etsy
The Seller Handbook created by Etsy
Want to build a profitable marketplace?
We will help you grow your business with a custom marketplace solution.

Step 2. Discover fundamental things to make a competitive marketplace

If you wonder how to build a marketplace that will differ from Amazon or Rakuten, you need to do some background work. In particular, you need to define your target audience. Also, you need to know the primary types of online marketplaces to choose the right one for your business.

All this valuable data will allow you to create a marketplace that will pay off and bring you stable cash flow.

Classification of online marketplaces

There are several classifications of online marketplaces. Each of them views e-commerce platforms from different perspectives. Generally, marketplaces are classified by participants, focus, and offerings. Let’s take a closer look at each classification:

By participants:

  • Business-to-consumer (or B2C for short). This model comes first, being the most popular one. We use this term to talk about marketplaces where sellers are other companies. Hence the term business. As for buyers, they are regular end-users.
  • Consumer-to-business (or C2B). On such platforms, individuals, e.g., developers or designers, offer businesses their services. The most popular marketplace of such type is Upwork. It links employers and individual contractors.
  • Business-to-business (or B2B). This model is simple as pie. Businesses sell their product or services to other companies. The first B2B marketplace that comes to mind is Alibaba.
  • Customer-to-customer (or C2C). Both parties, as in buyers and sellers, are regular users. So if you have ever bought something on eBay or Etsy, you have made a C2C purchase.

By focus:

  • Horizontal marketplaces. Such platforms offer a great range of products to a broad audience. Toys, books, clothes, electronics—you can buy all these items there.
  • Vertical marketplaces. These marketplaces offer specific products to a limited audience. Over the last few years, this approach has gained momentum. The success of Airbnb, Etsy, Upwork, and other narrow-focused platforms only proves this fact.

Learning platform Udemy is a classic example of a vertical marketplace.

Udemy homepage
Homepage of the educational online marketplace Udemy

By products available:

  • Product marketplaces. These marketplaces sell physical goods that you can touch and feel. They include clothes, books, beauty care products, etc.
  • Service marketplaces. They are designed to help buyers find a skillful professional for almost any activity. Whether you need to design your logo or launch a Facebook ad campaign, you will find a specialist for such tasks there.
  • Project marketplaces. Such platforms allow entrepreneurs to raise money for their startup projects through crowdfunding. The most famous project marketplace is Kickstarter. 

Below you can see the example of a project on Kickstarter:

A project on the Kickstarter platform
Example of a project on the project marketplace Kickstarter

To sum it up, below you can see the table displaying the main types of online marketplaces:

СlassificationsTypes of marketplacesExamples
By participantsB2C (business-to-consumer)
C2B (consumer-to-business)
B2B (business-to-business) 
C2C (consumer-to-consumer
Amazon
Upwork
Alibaba
Etsy, eBay
By focusHorizontal
Vertical
Amazon
Etsy, Airbnb
By productsProducts
Services
Project marketplaces
Walmart, Rakuten
Upwork, Fiverr, TaskRabbit
Kickstarter

Top marketplace trends to watch out for in 2021

To create a marketplace website that will convert, you need to know what is happening in the e-commerce industry. So let’s take a look at the latest trends that will shape the marketplace sector in 2021 and beyond:

  • Artificial intelligence is widely used for analyzing customer’s behavior
  • Chatbots are the next best thing
  • Optimization of online marketplaces for voice searching becomes a must
  • The shift toward vertical marketplaces is getting more prominent
  • Omnichannel selling is gaining traction
  • Green consumerism becomes a new reality
  • Mobile e-commerce sales are on the rise and are expected to exceed $3.56 trillion in 2021.
Total mobile e-commerce sales
The rapid growth of mobile e-commerce sector

Top 5 revenue models to build a profitable marketplace website

We mentioned earlier that there are several ways to commercialize online marketplaces. Now we will take a closer look at each revenue model.

  • Commission. This business model is one of the most popular and transparent ones. You charge buyers, sellers, or both parties a certain percentage of each transaction that takes place on your platform. TaskRabbit, for example, takes 15% of the price paid for a certain task.
  • Freemium. With this model, you offer users basic marketplace functionality for free. However, some advanced features come at an extra price.
  • Membership. Users pay monthly or yearly fees for getting access to your e-commerce platform.
  • Advertisement. You can allow third-party companies to promote their offerings on our platform for a specific fee.
  • Listing fee. You can follow the lead of Etsy and charge sellers a specific fee for posting their products on your marketplace.

For example, the real estate marketplace, Zillow, chargers real estate agents for promoting their listings on the platform.

Real estate listings on Zillow
Agent listings on the real estate marketplace Zillow

Step 3. Validate the marketplace website idea

Before defining how to build a marketplace, make sure there is an actual demand for your platform. In other words, you need to validate your business idea. There are five steps to take to find out whether it is worth the cost.

1. Conduct market research. Take a look at the industry overview to define the latest industry trends. Define the size of your market segment and the biggest players. Research your main competitors and their solutions. What features do they have? What about their revenue modes? Armed with this information, you will figure out how to build a marketplace that will stand out from the crowd.

2. Choose an unoccupied niche. There are dozens of marketplaces on the internet. Your task is to find an unexplored market area, a so-called “blue ocean.” Alternatively, you can come up with an exclusive solution to a common problem.

3. Identify your target audience. Think about your potential users. Define their age, location, interests, occupation, and income. You will need this data to promote your online marketplace accordingly. 

4. Create a unique value proposition. You don’t want to build a marketplace that will be another Amazon clone, do you? So focus on building a marketplace with some unique functionality. Today customers are more demanding than ever before. Given that, you need to show extra creativity to satisfy their needs.

A non-profit educational organization, Khan Academy, created an amazing value proposition that reflects their mission perfectly.

Khan Academy homepage
Homepage of the educational online marketplace Khan Academy

5. Build a prototype. A prototype can be seen as a draft of your future marketplace platform. You can present it to your investors to explain a rough idea about your e-commerce project.

Step 4. Build a marketplace website wisely

Finally, we’ve arrived at what this article is really about. From now on, we will be discussing the actual marketplace development process. How to build a marketplace that is user-friendly. What functionality should you implement? How do you find a reliable software development partner? 

If you want to know the answers to these tricky questions, we are happy to help.

Discovery session

The discovery phase is equally important for both customers and software development companies. If you turn to software developers to create an online marketplace, it will help you validate your business idea. Vendors, in turn, collect all the data they need to define how to build a marketplace that will meet your target audience’s demand.

Below you will see the detailed description of a discovery session held at Syndicode regarding its main tasks and deliverables. This valuable insight will help you discover how to build a marketplace with our team.

At Syndicode, we have an online meeting with a new customer to discuss the general subject idea. If you turn to our team to create a marketplace website, we need to know your business model and the desired functionality. 

With that data in hand, we will create a presentation for you to demonstrate how we will build a marketplace app. You will learn how we work and what project management methodology we apply (Scrum, Agile). 

You can read our new blog post about How to build an on-demand app.

Also, we explain how we approach the task evaluation and what development team we will need to create a marketplace website.

Finally, we will provide you with ballpark estimates based on specified requirements.

The primary purpose here is to prepare the ground for the business analysis phase.

Business analysis 

At this stage, we will create the architecture of the marketplace website. With its help, we define its future design, infrastructure, user experience, and software modules. Here we focus on the scalability of the future e-commerce platform.

We follow the basic principles of scalable web architecture design. This approach will allow us to define how to build a marketplace for you that will support the higher loads without fundamental changes and additional expenses.

After that, we form technical specifications based on user stories. We define a user story as a brief description of the main tasks the software product should perform. They are written in plain language and viewed from the users’ point of view.

Below you can see the user stories list created by our team for a custom web product:

User stories created by our team
An example of user stories we prepared for a custom web project

At Syndicode, we have been helping customers define how to build marketplaces that will blossom since 2014. Over these years, we have learned to hold discovery sessions 40% faster. This approach allowed us to define how to create marketplaces that will cost 30% less than before. In addition, we can define the functionality that your marketplace website actually needs.

Finally, we have learned how to build marketplaces and deliver them to customers on time and within budget.

Based on user stories, will we give you estimates for the back-end and front-end development and the UX/UI design. Then, the same goes for the testing and management parts of the web development process. 

In other words, we define how we will build the server-side and the client-side of your marketplace app. Also, we determine how the project will be managed and tested. In addition, we assess how much time each particular process will take.

Relying on the document with time estimates, we create a project timeline. It defines what specialists we will need and when they will join the project. Also, it determines the project milestones and demos we will present to you.

An example of a custom software development project timeline at Syndicode:

Project timeline we specified for a custom web project
Project timeline for a software product built by the Syndicode team

We divide the whole project into months and form a budget accordingly. It means that we will charge you the monthly fees for the team that will build a marketplace app for you.

In the end, you will get an infrastructural diagram and technical specifications. Apart from that, we will provide you with the project time and estimates. If the desired functionality exceeds the budget or timeline, we will start prioritizing features. We will define the core features that should be included in the first version of your marketplace.

If the software development team expenses are the issue, we can offer the following option. We can create a team that consists of a senior developer and a junior developer instead of a middle one. 

That way, you will be able to save money and product quality. However, the timeline will be exceeded.

Product design process

1. Strategize phase

At Syndicode, the design stage comes after the discovery session. As soon as the project documentation is completed and aligned with your requirements and needs, designers will start the strategize phase.

They will conduct market research and communicate with the stakeholders. Based on the data received, they will create a feature list or job stories list.

The complete list of the deliverables looks the following way:

  • Competitive analysis
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • User interviews
  • Analytics Insights
  • Creative brief answers

2. Execute phase

The next stage will be the execute phase. The main goal at this stage is to create and test optimized designs to reduce risks and improve usability.

At this stage, we analyze the results we have gotten to create a proper information infrastructure. The aim is to get a clear picture of the system our team needs to develop.

At Syndicode, the completed information infrastructure or the so-called Mind Map looks the following way:

A Mind Map built by Syndicode team for online marketplace
An example of a Mind Map created by our design team for an online marketplace

The next part is wireframing. Wireframes are black and white layouts that show the structure of your future marketplace website, the arrangement of UI elements on the screen, and their size. They will not have any logos, images, or colors to keep you focused on usability rather than visuals.

Apart from wireframes, the execute stage will end with visual concerts and the final list of Job Stories.

3. Design and produce

At the next stage, our design team will develop UI design and show it to you so you can review it. UI design is created based on Wireframes and Job Stories. Also, designers test the flow of your future e-commerce platform on real users.

Below is an example of UI design created by our team:

UI design of an online marketplace
An example of UI design for an online marketplace created by our design team

The deliverables for this stage are:

  • Visual designs in Figma
  • Interactive prototypes
  • Design Library.

4. Assess phase

Here our designers will measure the product performance. This process implies collecting and processing feedback from real users as soon as your marketplace is launched.

This stage will end up with the new features proposals.

Software development 

The software development stage will start with putting up a team of specialists to build a marketplace website for you.

At Syndicode, our development team traditionally consists of the following specialists:

  • 2 back-end developers (1 Senior Ruby on Rails Developer and 1 Middle/Junior Ruby on Rails Developer
  • 2 front-end developers (1 Senior React Developer and 1 Middle/Junior React Developer
  • Project Manager who will be managing the whole project.

At Syndicode, we focus on the high quality of our written code. We firmly believe that high-quality code has the following attributes:

  • Simple
  • Well-tested
  • Refactored
  • Documented
  • Compliant with the standards of the specific industry.

Technology stack

Speaking about our tech stack, we use Ruby on Rails for the server-side of our web products. We have been using this framework for a long time and have learned its pros and cons.

Ruby on Rails has a simple syntax. Besides, it is noted for many ready-made solutions. They speed up the development process and reduce the web application development cost.

Initially, we have been using Ruby on Rails for creating minimum viable products. However, over the years of practice and after dozens of projects delivered, we have learned how to build marketplaces and other large complex solutions with the help of this framework.

The client-side of web applications we deliver is written in React. This open-source library is used for building user interfaces. The following benefits have increased its popularity over the recent years.

  • Many reusable components make code more accurate and save developers time
  • Usage of the virtual DOM (Document Object Model) helps build better user interfaces
  • Simple programming style speeds up the development process.

Kick-off session

The development stage will start with a kick-off session. We will hold onboarding for the team members by introducing them to you and telling the team about a marketplace they will need to build.

Usually, this phase takes up to one week. During this time, developers read user stories and technical specifications. Thus making it easier for them to offer the most suitable solutions.

At this stage, we assess how much time the team will need to complete a particular task and define the priority of tasks.

Sprints

We will divide your project into short sprints that last for two weeks. Each sprint will start with planning. In the following weeks, the team will perform the tasks. Daily meetings will be held to make sure all goes according to plan. 

The sprint will end with a retrospective to help our team analyze what has been done during those two weeks. In addition, we will consider possible ways to improve current processes.

Schematically, sprints can be presented the following way:

What does a sprint look like in Agile
A sprint as a core element of Agile project management methodology

If we identify a bug during the sprint, we will create a new task and plan to fix it during the next sprint.

You will be able to join our team for a demo session at the end of each sprint. Also, you can ask for a demo at a specific stage of product development.

The product development stage will end with the project answers stage. We discuss with you the finish of the development process. Usually, it is a product release or a soft launch.  

Testing and Release

Before delivering the solution to you, we will ensure every product feature works as it should.

To ensure that we create online marketplaces that are secure, reliable, and bugs free, our quality assurance engineers perform manual and automated tests. Also, they make sure the code is clean and business requirements are met.

At Syndicode, the developers write automation tests during the product development stage. They include unit tests, integration tests, and behavioral tests. As soon as the task is completed, the code is deployed to the staging server. Here it is tested by a manual tester. 

If everything is okay, the code can be merged to master. After that, it is tested once again on production.

Occasionally, testers should perform reverse tests.

Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, we can offer you several options. 

First, we can provide you with a certain amount of hours. To some extent, it is similar to a subscription model when users pay a specific monthly fee for a particular service. 

Suppose you have very rare requests for product improvements. In this case, we will recommend gathering all tasks in the backlog. As soon as there are enough tasks to take 80+ working hours, our development team will start working on them.

The team needed to build a marketplace website

Here are our development team’s main roles and responsibilities that will create a marketplace website for you.

  • Business Analyst. This specialist will evaluate your business idea and your input data. This information includes a business model, basic functionality, and requirements. All this data will help a business analyst to form the correct technical specifications for the development team.
  • Software Development Team Lead. This professional will create user stories and offer the most suitable technical solutions. The team lead will communicate with project managers and business analytics so that developers can focus on the tasks at hand.
  • Designers. They will create mockups, wireframes, and prototypes. These tools will help both customers and the development team understand how the web application looks and feels. 
  • Back-end Developers. They will build the server-side of a web application. It implies business analytics, architecture, and third-party integration. Also, back-end developers will deal with cloud computing and are responsible for the overall system stability.
  • Front-end Developers. Their task is to convey visually appealing designs in code to provide end-users with the best experience. They will create buttons, search bars, navigation, and other web page elements.
  • Quality Assurance Engineers. They will verify that the software product meets the required technical specification. Also, will they make sure that each feature works properly and there are no bugs.
  • Project Manager. This specialist will manage the whole development process. Also, project managers will communicate with the team and update you on the current status of your projects.
The software development team composition
The main roles in a software development team
Inspired by the success of Amazon or eBay?
Our expert team will build a similar solution for you

Step 5. Define the cost to create an online marketplace

Apart from how to build a marketplace website from scratch, you must be interested in the cost of a marketplace project. So let’s take a look at specific figures.

A marketplace MVP cost starts with $50,000, whereas to build a fully featured e-commerce platform, you will need $100,000 or even more.

As for the timelines, the software development team will require four to five months to build a minimum viable product of a marketplace website. Meanwhile, they will need nine to twelve months to create a marketplace website with extensive functionality.

Be aware that we provide you with rough estimates. Each project is unique, and so is the cost.

Factors that define marketplace website development cost

The marketplace development cost is defined by two equally important factors:

  • Marketplace functionality. If you want to create a marketplace with some complex and unique functionality, be ready to pay the higher price for a completed solution.
  • Location of the vendor. In Western Europe or North America, hourly rates for software development services are higher than in Eastern Europe.

The correlation between the location of software developers and their rates:

CountryAverage hourly rate
US$100
Western Europe$70
Eastern Europe$40
India$20

Benefits of outsourcing software development to Ukraine

Over the years, it has become a popular trend to outsource software development projects to Ukraine. The reasons are as follows:

  • Strong technical education
  • The best value/cost ratio
  • Convenient location and time zones
  • The rapid growth of the tech industry in Ukraine
  • A great pool of skilful tech specialists
  • Advanced soft skills
  • Good knowledge of English.
The state of the IT industry in Ukraine
The state of the IT industry in Ukraine for 2021

Marketplace MVP development cost

At Syndicode, the cost of building an MVP version of an online marketplace starts with $50.000. As for the timeline, our team will need 4-5 months to create an online marketplace with limited functionality.

During this time, the following primary marketplace features will be developed:

  • Personal profiles
  • Search system
  • Administration panel
  • Messaging system
  • Product page
  • Payment gateways
  • Shopping cart.

Building a full product marketplace cost

The timeline and the cost of a full marketplace depend on the number of extra features you want to implement. If you need specific figures, the cost full-featured marketplace website built by the Syndicode team starts at $100,000.

Our team will need 9-12 months to create an online marketplace with diverse functionality. It will include the features discussed above, plus some functionality you may find desirable. 

If you want to know how to build a marketplace that will stand out from the competitors, you need to focus on building some exceptional features to attract more users. They may be as follows:

  • Wish lists
  • Notification system
  • Social media sharing
  • Localization
  • Product comparison
  • Rating and review system.

Cost to create a website like Amazon

Amazon serves as the best example of a successful and profitable marketplace. Besides, Amazon.com, Inc. is a part of “The Big Tech companies,” along with Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. 

There are 14 leadership principles that distinguish Amazon from other e-commerce platforms. Let’s specify some of them:

  • Big thinking
  • Customer obsession
  • Curiosity and constant learning
  • Inventions and innovations
  • Introducing the highest standards.

For these reasons, business owners wondering how to build a marketplace seek this internet giant. As for the cost to create an online marketplace with similar features, there is no unified answer since each case is unique. However, based on our experience, we can say that it starts at $200,000.

Cost to create a marketplace like eBay

eBay is an online auction marketplace that allows buyers to purchase physical goods. It operates in B2C and C2C sectors.

What makes eBay different from other B2C and C2C platforms is a pricing option. Apart from fixed prices, eBay uses an auction model. It works the following way:  

Sellers set a starting price for a listed item. Buyers who are interested in purchasing this product place bids. As soon as the auction is over, the item is sold to the buyer who sets the highest bid.

So how much does it cost to build an auction platform similar to eBay? The price starts at $150,000.

Cost to create an online marketplace like Airbnb

The popularity of Airbnb shows the importance of finding your specific niche. Over the years, this website has become the most popular renting marketplace. It connects guests who need an apartment or vacation space in an unfamiliar place with homeowners. Consequently, there are three parties: travelers, hosts, and admins. 

If you want to build a marketplace website like Airbnb, you should focus on the right functionality and superb UI/UI design for all parties to provide them with the best user experience. 

The price of a rental marketplace like Airbnb starts at $180,000.

Step 6. Grow your marketplace business

Ensure the ongoing website and application development

At Syndicode, if you want to update your current website, we provide you with the same team that has been building your online marketplace platform.

The whole process looks the following way: You tell us about the desired improvements. We discuss these ideas with the business analytics, project managers, and the development team. We assess the scope and give our estimates. 

As soon as the customer agrees, we start working on the second project phase.

Choose the right promotional channels

Creating a marketplace is only half the battle. You need to turn it into a profitable business. That’s when you will need the proper promotional channels.

To make things easier, we identified the most efficient marketing strategies you can use to gain traction. Check them below if you wonder how to build a marketplace that will bring you stable cash flow.

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is a process aimed to increase a website’s visibility in search engines. With the right action plan, you can gain new customers who come to your marketplace from Google. The SEO process can be divided into four parts. Technical SO improves the technical aspects of a marketplace website. On-page optimization deals with such factors as keyword density, page title, and image alt optimization. Off-page SEO means building a reputation for your e-commerce platform. Finally, content optimization refers to the optimization of all content on your website. It can be blog posts, product descriptions, videos, etc.
  2. Content marketing. You have good chances to attract new platform users by producing high-quality content. First, if users find your content engaging, they will want to share it on their social media. Thus, you will get the desired visibility. Second, the optimized content improves your ranking in search engine results. When browsing your niche, people will likely come across your marketplace. Finally, you can create educational content to help vendors grow their sales.
  3. Paid traffic. If you have spare money that you are ready to spend on promoting your marketplace, you may try this strategy. There are several popular traffic sources. First, consider search engine marketing. You can display ads with your main keywords on Google or other search engines. Second, you can launch an ad campaign on Facebook or Twitter. Finally, you can publish banner ads on other websites. However, this promotion option is not flawless. You must be sure that the return on the investment will be positive.
  4. Influencer marketing. Collaboration with famous influencers in your industry is a proven way to increase your marketplace visibility in social media. It works the following way. You hire an influencer, i.e., a person who can influence others, to promote your marketplace. This way, you can attract new users much faster. This strategy is often used by Airbnb. The brand offers celebrities accommodations in return for a promotional post on Instagram.

Thus, Airbnb offered Lady Gaga a $20 million estate in Houston for Super Bowl LI. The singer then thanks the company for the gift in her sponsored Instagram post.

Sponsored Instagram post that promotes Airbnb services
The instagram post by Lady Gaga that promotes Airbnb services

Bottom line

We hope that this comprehensive guide answers your question about how to build a marketplace.

Apparently, building a marketplace can seem a challenging task. Still, things start looking very promising if you have a reliable software development company to take up your project. 

Their experienced specialists will build a unique and powerful solution to help your marketplace business thrive.

Want to build a money-making marketplace?
We are happy to help you.

FAQ

  • The first reason for building a marketplace is the diversity of revenue strategies. There are many monetization models to choose from: commission, membership, listing fees, advertisements, etc. Second, online marketplaces are known for their quick expansion. Provided that everything is working fine from the beginning, the number of buyers and sellers will increase rapidly. Finally, since marketplace owners do not have inventory, they are free from any issues that come with its management. The same goes for delivery and logistics. Vendors are dealing with these processes. The marketplace owner is responsible for providing an online platform that connects buyers with sellers.

  • To start with, Ukraine faces the rapid growth of the IT industry. For example, currently, there are over 1,650 software development companies in Ukraine. For comparison, in 2011, their number was 1,050. Second, Ukraine is famous for its high-end education, particularly in the fields of technology. Over 36,000 tech specialists graduate from local universities every year. Another important reason to build a marketplace website with a Ukrainian outsource software development company is the best value/quality ratio. Though Ukrainian software developers set lower rates than their North American or Western European counterparts, the quality of their services is pretty high. Finally, 85% of Ukrainian software developers have a high level of English proficiency.

  • Syndicode has been building marketplaces since 2014. Over these years, we have built dozens of e-commerce platforms of any complexity for a number of industries. All of them paid off quickly and turned into profitable businesses. In addition, we have accumulated vast experience in holding discovery sessions successfully. It means we have learned to collect the basic requirements from customers and offer them the most suitable technical solutions in a fast and convenient way. This approach allowed us to define how to build marketplaces that meet specific customers’ demands and bring value to the end-users.

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