Startups
Kamil Ferens
Kamil Ferens
Head of Growth
2021-09-16

Quick Guide: How to Build and Develop your Marketplace (Updated)

Well-prospering marketplaces are usually viewed as a global phenomenon. Economic indicators in this sector increase every year. Just in 2021, global e-commerce sales are expected to total $4.921 trillion worldwide and increase over 12% in 2022.

We can observe a record turnover in the e-commerce industry every year. Without a doubt, all global brands are fighting for their position, especially since the pandemic has proven to many of us the real power of online shopping.

We can see a huge potential in marketplace development in Europe as 25% of the top marketplaces worldwide come from European countries. As more competitors appear, companies need to take greater care not only to provide promising offers but also to maintain the technical side of their platform to entertain the clients with flawless performance.

Customers often ask us which strategy they should use. Surely, this is a much longer and complex process. On the basis of my experience and market observation, I would like to present to you some of the best tips that are worth remembering during digital marketplace development.

Mobile apps for the win!

If you use traffic monitoring tools in your marketplace (e.g., Google Analytics), then you will notice how much traffic comes from mobile devices. This phenomenon has been growing for several years, and it should be expected that mobile traffic will increasingly outweigh traditional computer contact.

That is why it is very important to have a well-adjusted and properly designed marketplace. The most important rule is to make sure that your marketplace is suitable and works well on all devices. Meanwhile, many people are still underestimating mobile devices. You should be aware that your marketplace could be more visible to users provided that it will be optimized for mobile devices. In addition, remember to keep in mind that a high-quality UX design really matters. This factor will allow you to provide the right experience to your potential users and make them perceive your marketplace in a better light.

Progressive web applications (PWA) are currently a popular trend. Their biggest advantage is their exceptional usability and high user experience ratings. Once you decide to combine the functions of websites and native applications, PWA design becomes a norm. It allows your developers to build dynamic applications without the need for hybrid frameworks. I have no doubt that this solution can also be perfect for your marketplace.

Marketplace scaling

I have talked to The Codest developers and asked them what they thought is the best technology that allows them to quickly scale the businesses they handle. They quickly replied, “Ruby on Rails.” Sure, Ruby is our core backend technology, but it does not mean that I would recommend Ruby on Rails as software for every product. In case you are building your own marketplace and you care about rapid development, Ruby on Rails will be really the best solution. You can achieve first product functionalities several times faster than in other languages. In many cases, programming in this language is possible thanks to the Rails framework, which speeds up the work of developers.

What's more, it is still one of the easiest ways to estimate the costs of a project developed with Ruby on Rails. When you decide to build your project together with a team of developers and define the venture specifications, they will be able to estimate the initial time range of the project, and you will find out what the minimum budget actually is.

The described marketplace scaling method is directly related to the minimum viable product (MVP) approach. The whole idea aims at creating a product with basic functionalities as soon as possible and letting your customers use it to gain some feedback and be able to implement it to improve the project. You will definitely have the best opportunity to test different solutions.

When you want to develop your marketplace through the MVP approach, it is strongly advised to find an external partner who specializes in software development projects. You can also use ready-made paid services, but you must bear in mind that this solution will make your marketplace less suited to your expectations.

To AI or not to AI?

I am convinced that modern marketplaces cannot ignore artificial intelligence. Experts estimate that this is one of the most important technological trends in 2021, one that is already revolutionizing the market. 

What can AI offer to your business? Starting with simple touches AI can help you make the conversation of your chat with your customers more personalized and add more human-like value to the interaction. For more challenging tasks AL can arm your ecommerce business with the right solutions to solve several challenges such as lead generation. What is more, artificial intelligence can be used for creating customer-centric searches, making the whole process more intuitive and less time-consuming.

In sum, if you want to be up to date with the latest and innovative solutions, if you want to attract the attention of users and create a comprehensive marketplace, then you should definitely consider implementing artificial intelligence. A good strategy at the beginning is to gradually run some tests on artificial intelligence solutions and then see which option suits your marketplace best. If you decide to progress, ask for help from a partner specializing in this topic.

Choose the right niche!

Maybe this is an obvious statement but note that many marketplaces are copies of solutions already existing on the market. Competing with market rivals is inevitable in this case. In turn, if you are able to build a marketplace that brings a totally new value to the users and provides them with innovative experiences and products inaccessible from other competitors, then your chance for success is growing rapidly.

Searching for a niche is also associated with numerous and unpredictable tests. It does not matter if you are just building a marketplace, or you already own one. Tests are its integral part. You should thoroughly test and comb through small functionalities and larger solutions. An experienced partner specializing in building marketplaces will certainly be helpful here. Focus on what is visible to everyone. Perfect attitudes are fresh UI/UX designs and regularly developing your software.

To sum up

If you learn more about the industry and your competitors, you are on the road of greater success! As you gain more insight and learn the market tendencies, you will notice that the world is basically waiting for you. What is crucial to remember is that obtaining funds for building a marketplace does not mean that you can already celebrate your success. Woefully, many startups assume such an approach and later run into problems. They usually ignore market trends as well as make wrong decisions related to product development and try to happily jump into the market. Be vigilant.

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