How to Build a Marketplace App

Published On: October 20, 2022
Last Updated: December 7, 2022
How to Build a Marketplace App

The marketplace platforms account for half of all digital purchases. Hence, creating a marketplace application may be financially rewarding. However, given the presence of market goliaths like Amazon and eBay, companies might decide that entering the sector is too difficult. Fortunately, there are still many niches left that need attention, and new possibilities appear daily.

If you have decided to create your own marketplace app, you have reached the right place. Here we will provide a streamlined process to create a marketplace application. We will also look at the most well-known markets, top products, appropriate tech stacks, and development expenses.

Before we look at the process, let us discuss some basics.

What is a Marketplace Platform?

In a marketplace platform, numerous sellers can display their offerings. It is the primary distinction between the type of online platform in question and the traditional online store operated by a single business. It implies that consumers can select goods from various business owners’ offerings.

The platform’s owner processes the complete transactions; however, after the order gets placed and paid for, the seller who made the offer is given the information about the sale. They are responsible for sending the merchandise to the consumer and generating the bill. The operator’s responsibility is limited to providing customers with a place to make offers and process orders.

To give their customers a more comfortable shopping experience, many online retailers increasingly make their space available to other manufacturers and dealers.

From the perspective of the customer, it is undoubtedly more convenient to add items from multiple vendors to the shopping cart on a single website, confirm the transaction, and make a single payment for the entire purchase rather than shop on different platforms, make multiple transfers, or enter a credit card number.

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Why Should You Build A Marketplace App?

eCommerce is not only a thing of the future. It is unquestionably the present as well. There has never been a better time for a company to create its eCommerce platform, given the recent acceleration in growth.

Here are some of the statistics that prove the demand for marketplace apps.

  • Due to the pandemic, eCommerce increased from 16% of all worldwide retail sales in 2020 to 19%. The transition from physical storefronts to the various types of eCommerce marketplaces significantly accelerate by COVID-19. Five years’ worth of anticipated growth in eCommerce was condensed into just one year in 2020 to put a number on that.
  • As per Oberlo, 48% of online shoppers directly prefer to purchase from a large eCommerce marketplace.

Applications for marketplaces are what propel the growth of mobile commerce. They provide numerous advantages to businesses that create online marketplace apps, including substantial earnings, future expansion potential, and a quick start.

Building your own marketplace app is a terrific way to tap into the rapidly expanding mobile market, which promises more revenue for all online marketplace operators.

After looking at the marketplace app statistics, we will look at the key features & steps to build a marketplace app.

Types of Marketplaces

Every marketplace is different in one or the other way. Therefore, you need to become familiar with the types of marketplaces before building an app. Based on your marketplace, you can further decide the business model and define the target audience. So, let us get started.

By Commodity

The first way to categorize a marketplace app is based on the commodity traded. Here are some crucial options:

  • Physical goods such as books, electronics, furniture, and more.
  • Services like tutoring, housecleaning, etc.
  • Selling products & services.

By Structure

There are various marketplaces & market networks that are created based on the structure. One of the most notable examples of a marketplace is Airbnb. Here as a customer, we emphasize more on the commodity and read reviews & check the profiles of the owners. In the end, our goal is to discover a great place.

In the case of market networks, both sides focus on building a good profile and making excellent connections.

Wellfound (formerly AngelList), a leading startup community worldwide, is an excellent example of a market network. It was established in 2010, and its core purpose is to help startups get fundraising and hire suitable talent.

By Participants

A marketplace is also categorized based on the total number of participants involved. It can be two-sided or multi-sided.

Uber is an excellent example of a two-sided marketplace. Here, a user books a cab from the app & the driver accepts the requests based on their requirement.

DoorDash allows users the option to order food online from any place and also allows users to order food online & pick-up it up from the desired restaurant. Hence, it is a two-sided marketplace.

By Focus

Marketplace is categorized depending on the focus. It could be vertical or horizontal.

A vertical marketplace sells products or services of a specific niche to the customers. On the contrary, a horizontal marketplace provides various types of products or services with the same characteristics from different industries.

By Target Audience

Marketplace have different audiences based on what you are serving them. Here is the list of audiences you can target.

B2B: It is a marketplace where businesses sell products or services to other businesses. Generally, retailers, manufacturers, and wholesale suppliers follow the B2B model.

This type of marketplace focuses on acquiring new customers and increasing sales. Businesses that use a B2B marketplace will be most successful if they automate their sales procedures efficiently for the client while also delivering an exceptional experience (CX).

Let’s understand this by an example. One of the biggest electronics providers to companies is the German firm Conrad. They desired to provide clients with a better shopping experience and a more comprehensive selection of goods generally not found in a single eCommerce store. The business was able to draw in more customers and add three million more products after launching its online marketplace successfully.

B2C: Businesses that sell to customers make up B2C marketplaces as opposed to B2B marketplaces. Examples of this can be Walmart, Amazon, Newegg, and more.

The first is that a B2C marketplace seeks to boost revenues by luring as many clients as possible. Although customer experinece is still important, client relationships individually give less weight. There are also significant disparities in how payments, deliveries, and prices are handled between the two marketplaces. Here are a few instances:

A company that sells slide sandals is called Kubota. Despite being renowned in Poland when it was founded in 1994, the company quickly lost ground to powerful international shoe brands like Nike, Adidas, etc. It was a massive task to create and establish its eCommerce marketplace because it had been out of the industry for many years. It needed to draw in new clients and re-engage its previous ones.

Kubota sold 1,000 pairs of sandals in its first month of sales after its 2019 introduction. Since then, the daily traffic to its online marketplace has increased by 192%, and return visitors have increased by 5%.

Peer to Peer or C2C: As the name suggests, C2C stands for the consumer-to-customer marketplace where a customer sells goods & services to other customers.

Poshmark is not well known, even though it has a sizable readership. This online marketplace, which specializes in fashion, was established in 2011. Seventy million devoted users and over 200 million things for sale are available on the website. Poshmark is the best platform for those new to eCommerce because it makes selling easy. They offer shipping and logistical assistance and charge sellers a final value fee.

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Features You Should Include in Your Marketplace App

When developing a marketplace app, you should keep in mind that every marketplace contains a variety of user roles. These are the user roles:

  • Vendor
  • Buyer
  • Admin

Either create a single app that combines the vendor and buyer functions or create two different apps. You’ll need a separate online application, especially for admin on the desktop.


Onboarding should be straightforward. People can register using their social network accounts or email addresses.

The structure of your app will determine the onboarding logic. Allow users to create a seller or buyer profile if your app has two different user roles.

Another choice is to integrate these two responsibilities into a single profile, enabling users to buy and sell items using the same account. Or you might develop two separate apps, albeit this is less frequent for apps found in the mobile app store.

You may add an interactive lesson on how to utilize the features of your app and how to manage user profiles right after the onboarding phase.

Personal Statement

Users must have personal profiles for both roles. A buyer’s profile should have details about them, their preferred products, past and present orders, a payment mechanism (such as a credit card), and settings.

The number of product views, the number of people favoriting one of the seller’s products, and their own listings should all be visible to sellers. The conversation history and new messages should be visible to all users.


Users should be able to modify push alerts, personal information, and other things from the marketplace app.


An application’s main component is its listings. It should display the products’ names, images, and reviews. Pagination is essential for listings because it divides data into manageable bits and loads it progressively. Ultimately enabling the application to load information more quickly.


To make users’ searches easier, you should incorporate categories in your mobile marketplace app. The categories will vary depending on the theme of your marketplace. Make sure they are practical.

Filters and Search

A marketplace app needs to search and sophisticated filters to be successful. Making search predictive is the best approach. For instance, Aliexpress displays the quantity of outcomes for a given query, enabling users to select a question that will provide them with more possibilities.

Any application that deals with product selection should provide filters by price, delivery method, rating, and other criteria.

Profiled Products

All the information a customer needs to purchase should be available in product profiles, including the item’s name, images, description, average rating, reviews, and specifications.


Enable customers to add products to their favorites so that customers don’t miss out on a product they like and are thinking about buying.

Reviews & Ratings

Reviews & ratings are essential because the majority of consumers won’t even buy a product if there aren’t any reviews. There are many different rating systems, but the five-star system is the most widely used right now. You can think of something more creative, but make sure that consumers can still understand the ratings.


Any retail mobile application or website needs a shopping cart. Allow customers to add items from various sellers to their shopping carts and display the total price of everything in the basket. If you have any coupons, discounts, or other aspects of a loyalty programme, include them.

Payment Gateways

After adding items to a shopping basket, a user will proceed to check out. Make sure that paying is quick and simple to prevent shopping cart abandonment. However, keep in mind that security is a top priority for online shoppers. Select a trustworthy payment gateway that will fulfill your requirements as well as those of your users.

Delivery Monitoring

If you have a marketplace, the sellers will likely be in charge of delivery. However, you should be sure that the vendors use a reliable delivery provider to send the items. Anyhow, your application must provide the parcel delivery status to both buyers and sellers. Your service will become more dependable and practical as a result.

Order Confirmation and Status

Sellers can handle orders and determine which ones can be closed using order status and confirmation. When buyers confirm a specific order, they should be asked to leave a review.

Using Push Notifications

Push notifications offer users up-to-date information about their orders, serve as a reminder for abandoned shopping carts, and alert them to any pricing or discount changes. The most excellent solution for marketplace mobile apps is rich push notifications since you get an option to integrate media with the notifications. It increases its visibility and allure as a clickable link.

Profile information

Your marketplace’s sellers ought to have access to data that indicates how interested customers are in their goods. It should at least provide statistics on product views and the number of users who have favorited a product.

Customer Support

Evert marketplace runs on trust. Both your buyers and your vendors must have faith in your dependability. Your app’s users must all be aware that you’ll resolve any conflict equitably. To resolve any disputes, you must include one or another kind of support in the app.

Text-based conversation is one option. An alternative is a callback button. The ideal solution, in our opinion, is a conversation because people may attach screenshots and images to support their arguments there. Your business will be able to resolve problems more quickly as a result.

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Steps to Build a Marketplace App

Here is the streamlined process you need to follow to build a marketplace app.

1. Identify the Appropriate Market Type and Monetization Strategy

Determine the type of marketplace you want your app to be before you begin developing it. The following stand out among the many distinct reasons for differentiating market categories:

By type of audience:

Peer-to-peer: — a type that links those who have a product to those who wish to purchase it.

Business-to-customer – in this paradigm, consumers and retail businesses are connected directly.

Business-to-business: This type enables businesses to offer products and services to other businesses.

Based on the merchandise offered:
Selling actual goods is the main focus of this sector; examples of such businesses are Amazon and Aliexpress.

Marketplace for services, where users may find a variety of services; notable examples include Uber, Fiverr, and Airbnb.

Marketplaces that offer a variety of goods and services are hybrid. The two best examples are OLX and Craigslist.

Additionally, it will help if you decide how your app will be monetized in advance, as this choice will impact how your app is developed moving forward. You can monetize your marketplace in the following ways:

  • A fee for each transaction.
  • The monthly cost for a specific period of use.
  • A price for publishing a new listing or an additional charge for promoting listings.

Additionally, you can sell advertising space to generate income from your app. To know in detail, check this blog on mobile app monetization strategies.

2. Define the Key Features of the Vendor

You must accommodate merchants and purchasers who will utilize your on-demand marketplace app. Therefore, you must determine your product’s essential features for both segments before developing a marketplace app.

Start with the sellers. You might wish to incorporate the following features in your app for them:

  • Order and stock management.
  • Solution for private communication (built-in chat system).
  • Transaction oversight.
  • Simple ways to integrate promotions, discounts, and limited-time deals for users.
  • Tools for analytics and statistics.
  • Access to social media networks.

3. Define Crucial Features for the User

You need to make the app’s buyer side simple and intuitive to use. To attract more consumers, offer support and security features. Buyers must trust your marketplace app before buying anything from it.

Here are some of the essential features you should offer to the user:

  • Advanced search filters include price, popularity, location, and category.
  • Shopping cart.
  • Wishlist.
  • Track orders efficiently.
  • Integrate popular payment methods.
  • Simple return process.

4. Emphasize on the UI/UX design

It’s time to start building the marketplace app with the following step. Designing the UI/UX of your application based on your target market, objectives, and chosen features is the first step in that process.

It is generally preferable to develop an MVP for your application. The UI/UX design for this version must be improved. A thoughtful user experience and a modern, fashionable user interface will help you acquire better community feedback and make a better first impression on your target audience.

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5. Select the Proper Technology Tools

Use the appropriate tools to handle any problems you may encounter when developing an app. Numerous tech solutions are available today, most of which have a wide range of frequently overlapping duties. It makes selecting the best tool challenging and often a matter of developer opinion.

6. Develop an MVP

Any app development strategy that uses MVP app development is beneficial. Making a viable product is advantageous in many ways when it comes to developing market applications.

  • First, when you create your MVP, you’ll become aware of the difficulties ahead as you build a whole product.
  • Second, an MVP will enable you to test the market and determine whether your product is viable.
  • Additionally, you will be able to acquire insightful criticism on the critical elements of your app from your target market and learn fresh suggestions for how to advance your creation.

It is even more advantageous if you intend to create a complicated program with numerous features that require testing and debugging.

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Widen Your Scope

Reaching many people as possible is vital to create a thriving marketplace app. As a result, you must make your app available on several platforms, promote your platform through numerous widely used social media channels, and ensure that your application is scalable and prepared for a sizable audience.

For this reason, cross-platform development technologies like React Native are helpful when creating marketplace applications. On this basis, you can develop and promote your platform on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store if you are unsure which platform your target audience prefers (typical for MVPs).

Get Ready for Proper Maintenance and Assistance

When you release a product to the market, the process of developing an app doesn’t finish immediately. The lengthy process of maintaining, supporting and improving your application begins. It involves testing your product to determine what features you still need to add and what features your customers like and dislike about it.

After the app is out, work is still to be done, including customer support, bug fixing, adding new features, and more.

Required Tech Stack for Marketplace App Development

A marketplace application can be created using a variety of technologies. A buyer app, a selling app, a backend component, and an admin panel for your moderators and administrators are all necessary.

For sellers and consumers, you can create a single app by adding two distinct profiles with various functionalities. For users to be able to access your marketplace from desktop computers or mobile devices, you’ll typically also need a web version of it.

Let’s talk about each component of this infrastructure’s technology.

Function Technology
Frontend HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Angular, Vue, React
Backend PHP
Database MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL
Web Server Apache, Nginx
Storage AWS, Firebase
Third-party services Payment gateways, analytics tools, shopping modules, social networks, etc.
Mobile Development Java, Kotin for Android. Swift, C++ for iOS. Flutter, React Native for Cross-Platform

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Marketplace App?

The cost to build a marketplace app starts from $35,000 and goes up to $80,000.

The difference in the cost depends on various factors like complexity, features & functionalities, developer location & experience, development approach, and more.

The app development cost will vary depending on your budget and the development approach. To know how the estimated cost of the mobile app is decided, check out the blog on app development cost.


Overall, there is a growing market need for applications, encouraging the development of new, improved apps. There are many rivals in this market, so if you’re set on entering it, your product must be of high quality and successfully address several customers’ wants.

Overall, you can succeed in this industry better if you follow our guidelines. Don’t be scared to make mistakes; keep improving your app, keep up with modern trends, and pay attention to your users.

If you have decided to build a marketplace app, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Guru TechnoLabs is a leading mobile app development company. We have a highly-skilled team of developers who have experience building mobile apps for multiple industries worldwide. Hence, we can understand your project needs and provide you with a suitable marketplace app.

FAQs on Marketplace App Development

What exactly is an online marketplace?

An online marketplace is a platform that connects service providers with potential clients or consumers and vendors.

What are the many categories of markets?

Online markets are categorized in a variety of ways. Typically, we distinguish between local and international marketplaces, vertical and horizontal marketplaces, and service and product marketplaces.

How do marketplace apps generate revenue?

An online marketplace can be profitable using several business models, such as freemium, listing fees, subscriptions, and advertising. The majority of marketplaces mix a few to create their unique revenue strategy.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.