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Market trends and business perspectives

How Do I Build a Marketplace Website From Scratch?

It’s difficult to resist the urge to embark on the most lucrative business venture today and build an online marketplace. With so many people entering the field, an abundance of similar products, and the dominance of big players, you should give much consideration to the choice of a software company that can either aid you on a challenging journey or greatly hamper it.

One of the things Fively is undoubtedly good at is custom marketplace development. A profound understanding of the current trends in eCommerce helps our experts in software engineering create unique and secure software products.

Whether you will end up bringing your outstanding idea to a software agency or building it with the help of one of the ready-made online templates, this general outline will enlighten you on the aspects you should ponder at the start of your marketplace entrepreneur journey.

Define what you can offer pampered users

Having a specific purpose is the first step towards the success of your marketplace. What problem will your marketplace alleviate? How exactly will users benefit from it? There are plenty of marketplaces in the sea. Why should people choose yours and not the fabled Amazon?

Here’s one idea that can point you in the right direction. Traditionally, you can focus on one of the following aspects and make it extraordinary:

  • Market access;
  • Price; and
  • Convenience.

Thus, you can provide users with some brand-new features and make their online experience more convenient; offer much more efficient pricing plans; or provide them with access to a niche customer or product base.

Choose the right business model

According to the parties involved, marketplaces can be:

  • Business-to-Business (B2B);
  • Business-to-Customer (B2C);
  • Customer-to-Customer (C2C).

According to their monetization methods, another five types of marketplace business models can be pointed out.

1. Commission

It boils down to charging commissions from each transaction held on your marketplace. This will incentivize you to constantly upgrade your website and simplify the payment process, as each successful selling will bring you profit.

2. Listing Fee

This type is often used with the previous one, as waiting for some items to be sold can take years. That’s why, besides commission, you may charge a fee for listing an item.

3. Membership

According to this business model, users pay a membership fee to use your marketplace. It can be dating or home-swapping platforms in the C2C field or recruiting websites for B2C. On the initial stage, you might need to eliminate fees to build up a user base.

4. Freemium

The logic behind this one is that all the basic functions are available for free to users of the marketplace. To gain profit, you need to offer people an enhanced version of your platform with paid features like shipping and listing promotion.

5. Featured Listing

So that their listings are not lost, vendors can pay you to place their advertisement on the homepage or at the top of a list, where it will get the most eyeballs.

Some of the described models can be implemented simultaneously if they fit your overall business strategy. Still, at first, it’s better not to disseminate your attention and focus solely on one revenue source.

Decide if You Want to Build It Yourself or Turn to a Software Development Company

The most affordable option is, obviously, the first. Such a platform as Shopify makes it possible to use one of the uniform solutions on the basis of which anyone can build a marketplace and fill it with a bunch of useful features.

It’s a perfect option for anyone whose budget is tight or who believes that the nail that sticks out gets hammered down. If you think otherwise, consider resorting to a software agency.

Custom marketplace development services provided by Fively do not encompass conformity to standards. So be aware that the possibility of ending up with an exclusive modern software product easily accessible via any device is very high.

Usually, the process of custom marketplace development consists of the following steps:

  1. You come with your own vision of the marketplace and its business and revenue models. Then, inform us on the preferable time frames, the desired KPIs, and the goals of your business.
  2. We build the first working prototype of your digital marketplace, called a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Doing this, we can assess what else can be improved and added to your platform before building a whole-scale marketplace.
  3. In order for your clients to start enjoying the functionality of a platform, we need to lure them in. That’s why our designers work out impeccable UX and UI for your target audience.
  4. After thorough testing and optimizing a product, we launch your marketplace, maintain it, and, whenever it’s needed, come to help with its operation.
  5. Then, you monitor customer activity and their preferences in interaction with your platform with all the administration tools we’ve embedded into your website.
  6. By keeping track of user behavior and analyzing the effectiveness of your business, you may continue the enhancement and address us to go for custom mobile marketplace development, place your servers in the cloud, or augment the platform with the latest AI-driven technology.

According to a recent survey, 70 percent of US consumers prefer shopping on marketplaces to traditional eCommerce websites. It’s only natural, as marketplaces provide a much larger assortment and allow users to compare products from different sellers.

Being a profitable and enthralling experience, be prepared, that marketplace development is no bed of roses. But the more complex a task, the more rewarding the results will be. And, by the way, dealing with challenging projects is our favorite pastime.

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