What is online marketplace?
You use online marketplaces every day even if you don’t know what they are. We do Ruby on Rails marketplace development every day. A mobile or online marketplace is a mobile app or website that facilitates business between buyers and sellers.
Over the last several years the number of marketplaces has exploded. At the moment every second project we do is a Ruby on Rails marketplace development project. We have done tens of mobile and online marketplaces in different countries and industries. Despite the fact we do websites, SaaS, mobile apps, It seems that Ruby on Rails marketplace development is our main expertise. While we publish marketplace development project stories in our portfolio and different discoveries in our blog, we decided to make this article as an entry point to all materials that we share on marketplaces.
Why you should read this article? Here we gathered the most complete information about marketplaces, their types, examples, technologies, features and online marketplace development. We do not create this content, we just document our work. We built a lot of marketplaces and know that it is hard. It demands the highest level of proficiency, skills, talent and ingenuity.
We have some insider knowledge on how marketplaces gain their success and become famous. And, of course, we want to share about their mechanism of making money.
So this article is a kind of marketplace’ guide. Enjoy and don’t hesitate to ask Syndicode if we miss something.
Why marketplaces are so popular businesses nowadays? And why you should enter
How do you know that it’s time for you to launch your online marketplace? When do you see the necessity to provide the ultimate clear and fast “brand-consumer” communications?
The point of an online marketplace is to grow customers loyalty by offering them an ever-expanding range of products. A brand, whether online or not, must use its reputation and expertise to make its marketplace successful.
Let us point you some advantages of marketplaces:
- Vendors have the right to create their own stores
- Vendors are allowed to create and upload products
- The commission structures provide the marketplace with the piece of the action
This is a story in a nutshell. The strongest argument is the benefit. Each side of marketplace gets its own benefits:
- For consumers
With the online marketplace, the consumer sees all the products being sold by the supplier and there is real-time information about the products being presented to consumers on an online marketplace’s site or app. Consumers don’t like using apps from a single retailer, that’s why they are much more likely to download an app that offers product ranges broader than one store can offer.
- For suppliers
Here suppliers can get more customers with no extra resources for advertisement. With the online marketplace, they’re easy to find by category or another relevant search filter. In other words, marketplaces provide an additional sales channel for suppliers with low additional expenses.
- For owners
Online marketplace owners can earn money not even inventing the product or service themselves. This is a profitable business with lesser responsibilities and expenses: vendors take care of logistics and list of products. And as more vendors and their customers, a marketplace has the more profit owners gain from sales. All owners have to care about is community and marketing.
8 online marketplaces created in our Ruby on Rails development agency
Despite we’ve done many more of them, let us introduce you only selected several in order to showcase that every marketplace is different. We will start with two classic examples of two-sided marketplaces we did:
HelloCare is a project which is a perfect case study of online and mobile marketplace development. It brings together senior citizens, families and single people (customers) with qualified everyday helpers (suppliers) and thereby supports them in their daily lives. This is a two-sided peer-to-peer marketplace with Android mobile app for service providers.
CleanAgents is also a classic peer-to-peer two-sided marketplace platform for cleaning services. With the help of CleanAgents client can easily order recurring cleaning service online. This marketplace also offers mobile app for cleaners to help them manage their business.
Next interesting online marketplace we developed is called Wecam. It is a place to buy and sell video production online in Germany. Here clients can find the best professionals for their custom needs and crowdfund for projects they like. It is a two-sided marketplace which can be referred to as peer-to-peer type.
Woobra is a classic B2B marketplace for product sourcing. The platform has a listing of suppliers, their products and special deals with categories, country, and basic description. This is a two-sided marketplace with product producers and clients-brands. The marketplace is special as it does not cut any commissions as transactions happen elsewhere. The online marketplace facilitates search and communication between buyers and sellers. This online marketplace males money on subscription payments from suppliers.
Another very interesting example of a marketplace is Movinga. We refer to it as one-side marketplace though this could be a wrong definition. Idea is that consumer orders services from Movinga, but service fulfillment is done with subcontractors, at least during the early stages of the company when we took part in the project. Movinga is in a sense B2C marketplace.
Hotel Cloud (which now has a new name Black Bell) offers modern powerful B2B SaaS software system worldwide. Hotel Cloud develops a platform to create e-concierge mobile apps for hotels and apartments rentals that enabled their guests to order any internal service. However recently they introduced the possibility for hotels to offer external services in their e-concierge apps. Also, it opened its platform for third party extensions. Thus at the moment, BlackBell is a platform with the marketplace for extensions and the platform with extensions is used to create mobile and online marketplaces.
Senden24 is a three-sided delivery service marketplace. It provides a 1-hour delivery service free of charge for shoppers. The order is made by aims to shops. The delivery is crowdsourced by different delivery service providers (couriers, taxi, express delivery companies, etc.).
Talking about SummitHub we’re touching the area of the professional education marketplace. This is a cloud-based professional knowledge network with a focus on connecting professionals for the purpose of professional development and continued learning. This marketplace is four-sided: it is used by conference organizers, onsite and online visitors, speakers and video production suppliers.
Shipwise is two-sided B2B marketplace that takes the pain out of booking freight shipments. It eliminates numerous emails and calls by providing direct access to capacity and transparent billing. We completed the MVP development project for Shipwise with Ruby on Rails in 45 days. In this B2B marketplace development project business proposals submitted from several logistics providers. Shipwise MVP marketplace includes electronic document exchange functionality for shipment clearance procedures. Now Syndicode can be considered as a B2B marketplace development agency.
There are many marketplaces available for you to use and explore. Some of the TOP online marketplaces are mentioned in our article 11 famous online marketplaces of different types.
Types of online marketplaces
While describing our marketplaces we mentioned some types of them you have to be acquainted with. In this article Types of Online Marketplaces, we listed 8 well-known types. For instance, you can know marketplaces as BlaBlaCar, OLX, Etsy and Couchsurfing among C2C (customer-to-customer). AliExpress, Booking.com, and Amazon – are the B2C (business-to-customer) marketplaces. And you can refer Alibaba.com primarily to B2B (business-to-business) type of marketplaces. In the article mentioned above, you will also read about horizontal and vertical types of platforms for marketplace.
How you can develop an online marketplace
When we’re talking about online marketplace development, there are many ways you can do it. It doesn’t matter which type of it you plan to create: B2B, C2C, e-commerce or even auction.
Here you have 3 options:
- Build your own marketplace from scratch and develop an MVP platform with hired developers or company that will take your project. It might be the most time-consuming option. But only in case you’re not about using Ruby on Rails framework. Later on, we’ll tell you how it can save the situation.
- Buy an existing off-the-shelf solution for online marketplace development. Launching is relatively fast and easy but afterward, it requires time to customize and might be even not possible to tailor to your needs.
- Use one of the existing open-source systems to develop your marketplace on its base. There are plenty of solutions for this option. We will stop on some of them to introduce you to all the possibilities and treats in our article 3 options to build online marketplace and tools.
There you will also find up-to-date information about existing platforms which we called “off-the-shelf” solutions. Sharetribe (we wrote about it in details in our article 8 hours to self hosted Sharetribe), Mayocat, Spree, WordPress, Woocommerce, Near Me, Yo-Kart and Magento… All of them good but at the same time have pros and cons that you have to consider before using. To read it all go to this material.
We can talk a lot about open sources and platforms, but if you aim to create something specific, they’re not a very good solution anyway. For building your own marketplace platform that is unique, you need to use a generic web application framework. That was in the first place in the list of your options for online marketplace development.
In Syndicode we develop Online Marketplaces with Ruby on Rails framework. And here’s why.
Why Ruby on Rails marketplace development is a standard?
Nowadays Ruby on Rails Marketplace Development on its peak and won’t slow down. The explanation is quite simple: speed, low cost, productivity, availability.
- Ruby on Rails reduces the time for development in 1.5-2 times – you can present your app on market 2 times faster!
- Ruby on Rails is free! You don’t need to pay anything for use
- It’s perfect for CRM, CMS or e-commerce system – Ruby on Rails highly suitable for websites that require a lot of content input
- Plenty of gems (libraries), so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just use it. Especially that matters, when the deadline was yesterday, and the budget is supersmall
But let’s take it closer. If you are only at the start of your business journey — you have to be quick. With Ruby on Rails, you will find a lot of answers to a problem you only think you might face. You’re likely to find hundreds of items on any given topic. When you’re running a sprint, such network effects are the most important consideration for a startup. All the patterns or structures you can desire already exist, you have just to configure something – and voila! This is great for rapid prototyping. A small team can get a minimum viable product into beta very quickly using tools that are fun to work with. Moreover, Rails has a history: there are many years of experience which matters a lot to startups which outsource their coding. They would prefer trusting experienced hands and Rails developers tend to have a lot of that.
If you are already experienced and your company is on the market for a long time: the trick is in the availability of developers. The developer you need is right here, you can easily find the right one, and he’ll be good. Because Ruby is elegant and easy to start it has huge ecosystem and plugins for every possible need. A new generation of programmers loves it. Convention over configuration in Rails means no worry about new hires to work on the project. They can jump in and start coding immediately. And you can expand your online marketplace with new features anytime you need. When you run huge business flexibility is among the first priorities.
Ruby on Rails online marketplace development has continued to dominate the tech space for many years. Ruby on Rails is leading the marketplace as one of the best solutions out there that will allow clients to be able to create new applications and choose the right options for their business. Ruby on Rails marketplace development is booming because it uses the language of Ruby and means that there are many options out there for development that will increase productivity, as well as ensure that there is a huge uptake in growth. When you look at the Ruby on Rails Marketplace Development, you will see right away that their client list is a who’s who of fortune 100 companies and that there are many who are using the platform. A few of the Ruby on Rails clients include Amazon, BBC, Cisco, Groupon, CNET, and many more.
There are many reasons out there that make Ruby on Rails marketplace development the new standard, here are a few of them! One thing that is very clear is that this is now the easiest and most productive way to be able to build applications, and that means that there are customers who have been using the platform for over 5 years. The custom development that is required to build custom applications has always been expensive. Ruby on Rails marketplace development is now dominating the market because of the way that companies are using the different capabilities of the software and the ways that they are looking at all of the different applications. Ruby is also much more affordable than traditional means of development.
There is a huge amount of custom development that is a part of the Ruby on Rails marketplace development model and it is that development that it is becoming the go-to and the standard for the future and also for there to be a change in the way that things are done. As long term clients have continued to use the software they have been able to use Ruby on Rails marketplace development to find ways to be able to cut costs and to ensure that there are now mechanisms out there for being able to work in a manner that does not raise the price of the software. Ruby continues to be the most nimble of current development platforms.
One of the main reasons that Ruby on Rails marketplace development also continues to be on the rise is the fact that it also assures that there is custom application development without too much of a rise in price. Ruby on Rails marketplace development assures that there will always be a new way for companies to be able to develop custom applications out there as well for a suggested platform without a huge increase in the annual IT budget. Ruby on Rails online marketplace development leads the pack because of its flexibility, scalability, and its affordable implementation cost.
Marketplaces created with Ruby on Rails
Actually, there are many marketplaces built with Ruby on Rails. But as the best examples, we took only 8 of them which you obviously heard about before. Find information about them in our article 8 well-known Ruby on Rails Marketplaces. Also in our blog, you can read about other famous sites built with Ruby on Rails.
How to develop a marketplace step by step?
When you use a marketplace you not always recognize these viable steps you pass through for registering or adding a product to your cart, or searching for service/product provider, etc. You’re not paying attention to this until facing some errors or inappropriate work. That’s why you need to know all the requirements and parts which should be presented in your own custom marketplace to make it ultimately attractive and convenient.
With this in our minds, we prepared a special material for you: 13 major features of the online marketplace. Here you will find all the milestones and necessary details for online marketplace development.
UPD. For 2019 we gathered Online Marketplace Development trends.
Estimated time and costs to build Ruby on Rails marketplace
After understanding what should be done to create your own custom marketplace, we can proceed to calculate the time for developing. It will depend on the different details of your project. But looking back on our practice and experience Syndicode can share with you information what it takes to build the typical custom two-sided online marketplace. You can find calculations for time and costs in Online marketplace development cost. Read, compare and find out that working with Syndicode will help you to save a lot of money.
Difficulties you might face building you custom Ruby on Rails marketplace and why you should outsource
Difficulties only appear when you’re about to develop Ruby on Rails marketplace by yourself. And the most difficult part is organizing the process. You can find good freelance programmers but will be not able to cope with managing them and building the process. Because to get the result you want, – custom, effective, and powerful marketplace, – you need to spend a lot of time developing all the stages. Sure, learning can be done while building your product. But it will take time. In this case, we advise you to deliver all the process to the team of dedicated professionals who have built many marketplaces before and know how to set the process from the very beginning to the release date not spending extra time (which is also = money).
Outsourcing web and mobile development allows a company to focus on the big picture: driving revenue. Read 5 reasons why you should outsource marketplace development.
As a Ukrainian software development company, Syndicode gathered 4 main reasons why you should hire dedicated developers in Ukraine.
Reading the literature about marketplaces and online marketplace development will definitely help you to be in the driver’s seat. For this purpose we’re giving you an upper hand by providing material with the 13 books will make you expert in online marketplaces
Moreover, the outstanding list of useful links about online marketplaces, their development, features, and history is here!
- The definition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_marketplace
- To keep your eyes on the ball take the list of marketplace experts you can follow on Twitter, Quora, Medium or Linkedin: https://www.sharetribe.com/academy/ten-marketplace-thought-leaders-every-marketplace-entrepreneur-should-follow/
- The hidden traps in building an online marketplace https://hbr.org/2016/04/network-effects-arent-enough
- Read about investing in online marketplaces at the beginning of a boom, catalyzed by mobile technology and social identity https://hbr.org/product/investing-in-online-marketplaces/714520-PDF-ENG
- Tips For Building A Two-Sided Online Marketplace https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/02/07/5-tips-for-building-a-two-sided-online-marketplace/
- The Platform Economy: new ideas, advice on strategy, world’s best practices https://hbr.org/insight-center/the-platform-economy
- What Influences the Market Outcome of Online P2P Lending Marketplace https://www.igi-global.com/article/what-influences-the-market-outcome-of-online-p2p-lending-marketplace/127023
- Infomediation and competitive advantage in B2B digital marketplaces http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026323730100024X
- Fixing Discrimination in Online Marketplaces: Airbnb, Uber, and others are facing the unintended consequences of their platforms’ design choices https://hbr.org/2016/12/fixing-discrimination-in-online-marketplaces
- Ruby on Rails community to discuss questions you’re interested in https://www.reddit.com/r/rails/
And stay tuned. We’re working on the outstanding list of useful links, articles and reviews about Ruby on Rails marketplace development. Here in Syndicode we know a lot about marketplaces and would love to help you build your own!