Crafting the Perfect Marketplace App: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Subhnandani Yadav Subhnandani Yadav
  • May 19, 2023
  • 5 min read

Did you know the concept of marketplace app platforms has wholly transformed the global economy? These days marketplace start-ups are taking over entire industries and are incredibly successful at attracting buyers and sellers to their platforms. Marketplaces like Amazon’s mobile app dominated the US marketplace in 2022 with almost 35 million downloads. (Statista)

If you are considering building your app, view the marketplace route. But here’s a little catch: many people need to understand what a marketplace is, and they often need clarification on it with just being an eCommerce platform or a drop-shipping model. So, before you dive into building your marketplace app, it’s crucial to grasp the concept of a marketplace in detail.

What Is A Marketplace?

A digital marketplace platform is designed to address customers’ challenges by facilitating connections with appropriate sellers and service providers. The marketplace model proves effective across various niches and business models, encompassing product sales, rentals, and service offerings. A grocery app like Getir is the best example of a successful marketplace app.

Read Also: How To Develop High-Performing Supermarket Grocery App?

Types of Marketplaces Apps

Marketplaces apps come in various sizes, ranging from prominent grocery marketplace app such as Getir to specialized mobile apps that cater to specific categories like courses or jewelry. The categorization of marketplace apps is as follows.

1. Marketplace based on a target audience

Audience Type Examples
B2B marketplace apps Alibaba, eWorldTrade, SeeBiz
B2C marketplace apps Amazon, Teachable
P2P marketplace apps Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, Quikr, OLX

2. Marketplace types based on focus

Focus Examples
General or horizontal marketplace apps eBay, Amazon, Walmart
Niche or vertical marketplace apps Airbnb, Etsy, Instacart

Business Model of A Marketplace App

Generally the business model of a marketplace app is categorized under six categories:

business model of marketplace app

• Commission Model

  • Major revenue source for marketplaces.
  • Platforms earn fixed or variable commissions on successful orders.
  • Sellers pay a percentage-based commission on each sale.
  • Free joining for sellers, payment after successful transactions.
  • Examples: Amazon, Airbnb, eBay, AppSumo, Gumroad.

• Subscription Model

  • Charges membership fees monthly or annually.
  • Offers valuable features to encourage membership renewal.
  • Common in dating apps, learning platforms, real estate marketplace, etc.
  • Examples: Home Exchange app, OK Cupid,, LinkedIn Recruiter.

• Freemium Model

  • Offers free and paid plan options to users.
  • Makes money through subscriptions, upselling, and cross-selling.
  • Limited features for free users.
  • Examples: Freepik, Craigslist.

• Listing Model

  • Charges sellers for listing products or services.
  • Ensures visibility of offerings.
  • Examples: eBay, Etsy, Realtor.

• Lead Fee Model

  • Charges service providers for qualified leads.
  • Professionals pay for placing bids on customer requirements.
  • Commissions when professionals have been hired.
  • Examples: Upwork, Thumbtack.

• Hybrid Model

  • Combines multiple monetization models.
  • Revenue streams include listing fees, membership fees, commissions, etc.
  • Example: Etsy

Steps to Build A Successful Marketplace App

If you are pondering how to build a marketplace app, you must know that it involves several crucial steps that require careful planning and execution. Below are five key steps to guide you through the process:

steps to build marketplace app

1. Research and Define Niche and Target Audience

Conduct a thorough investigation to identify a profitable niche and target audience before developing an app. Determine your target users’ specific needs, pain points, and preferences. It will help you tailor your marketplace app to meet their requirements and stand out from competitors.

2. Select a Business Model:

Choose a business model that aligns with your marketplace app’s objectives and revenue generation strategy. Standard models include commission-based (earning a percentage from each transaction), subscription-based (charging users a recurring fee), or listing fees (charging sellers to list their products or services). Consider the positives and negatives of each model, evaluate your target audience’s willingness to pay, and select the one that best suits your app’s long-term sustainability.

3. Hire a Professional Development Team

Building a marketplace app requires expertise in design, development, and project management. Seek experienced professionals or a reliable development team specializing in creating marketplace apps. Look for individuals with a strong portfolio, positive client testimonials, and the ability to understand your vision. Collaborate closely with the team, establish clear communication channels, and ensure they comprehensively understand your app’s requirements.

4. Platform Design and Development:

Create an intuitive, user-friendly platform design that enhances the user experience. Begin by developing wireframes and prototypes to visualize the app’s structure and flow. Implement responsive design principles to ensure compatibility across various devices and screen sizes. Focus on features such as seamless registration, product search and filtering, secure payment gateways, and effective communication channels between buyers and sellers. Regularly test and iterate the app to address any usability issues or bugs.

5. Finalize, Launch, and Market the App:

Once the development is complete, thoroughly test it across multiple devices and operating systems to ensure functionality and performance. Pay attention to security measures to protect user data and transactions. After finalizing the app, prepare for a successful launch. Create a compelling marketing strategy that includes app store optimization, social media campaigns, content marketing, influencer collaborations, and targeted advertisements. Continuously monitor user feedback, iterate based on user insights, and strive for ongoing improvements to optimize the marketplace app’s success.

Essential Features of A Marketplace App

In the marketplace app development process, it’s crucial to include essential features that facilitate smooth transactions and provide a seamless user experience. Here’s a list of important features you should consider having:

features of marketplace app

Remember, this list provides a foundation for essential features, but it’s important to consider your specific marketplace’s unique requirements and target audience. Conducting user research and gathering feedback throughout the development process will help you refine and tailor these features to effectively meet your users’ needs.

What Does it Cost to Develop A Marketplace App?

Suppose you have a brilliant idea for developing a marketplace app and are eager to kickstart the grocery app development process. Still, the associated marketplace app development cost is the primary concern holding you back. Estimating the expenses to create a marketplace app can be daunting, as numerous factors come into play. For instance, building a marketplace app with comprehensive features and functionalities may range from $50,000 to $80,000. It is crucial to explore various cost-related factors to plan your budget proactively. Another option is to engage a reputable app development company that can provide reliable cost estimation for your marketplace app.

Popular Examples of Marketplace Apps

App Description Number of Active Users (approx.)
Uber A ride-hailing app that allows passengers to book rides and drivers to charge fares for their services. It offers real-time tracking, dynamic pricing, and discounts for first-time users. 131 million
Amazon An online retail platform offering various products and services, including clothing, electronics, and flight tickets. Known for its brand trust, convenience, user-friendly interface, and fast delivery. 197 million
Practo It is a healthcare app that enables patients to connect with healthcare providers, book appointments, make payments, and access health records. It provides a secure platform for digital healthcare services and facilitates millions of appointments annually. 40 million
HubSpot A CRM platform that integrates marketing, sales, content management, and customer service to enhance the customer experience. It offers scalable and customizable solutions for businesses and is used by over 167,000 companies to attract, engage, and delight consumers. N/A (company count: 167,000)

Final Thoughts

Marketplace apps are gaining popularity due to the growing number of users and the eCommerce industry. However, developing such apps is complex and time-consuming, with technical issues, high costs, and bugs posing challenges. Hiring a marketplace app development company to create an app that meets your business needs is always a good idea. Prioritize user-friendly features to exceed expectations and become a top choice in the market.

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