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In the first quarter of 2021, Facebook Marketplace registered more than 1 Billion monthly users worldwide. It shows the immense popularity of online marketplace apps.
The COVID-19 pandemic fueled the growth of online shopping channels and the trend does not seem to end soon. Seeing the demand, businesses of every niche are trying to develop or join marketplace apps as they do not want to lag behind.
The overall forecasts regarding online shoppers, mobile traffic, and e-commerce sales emphasize an online marketplace app’s vast potential and scope.
Let’s clear the air for you – it’s the huge growth potential that marketplace apps like Facebook bring to the table. However, some pivotal factors to consider for an on-demand marketplace app development are the app features, business model, and development cost.
So, if you’re someone planning to launch a marketplace app like Facebook, here’s everything you need to know and it will help you estimate the cost of developing a marketplace app.
According to Forrester, 17% of transactions will occur through online marketplaces by 2023. In addition, their popularity is growing in every part of the world and people are using these apps regularly to make purchases.
There is no doubt in saying that online marketplaces are in full swing these days, especially after the pandemic when almost everyone is relying on online shopping. Due to this growing demand, a number of businesses are planning to create a marketplace like Facebook with the sole goal to make billions of dollars in revenue.
A marketplace mobile app can act as a powerful tool in facilitating your business growth and expansion. You can leverage multifarious benefits by investing in marketplace app development, the major ones being:
1. Multiple Revenue Streams
It’s called a ‘marketplace’ for a reason! Who wouldn’t like the idea of having a revenue model with multiple income streams? With a marketplace app, you can choose from various popular revenue options like listing fees, lead generation premium, commissions, advertisements, subscriptions, and value-added service charges. For instance, Craigslist and OLX rely on premium listings while leading players like eBay and Etsy bank on commissions.
2. Effective Customer Acquisition
Marketplace apps provide businesses with a convenient trading platform to manage their supply without incurring asset costs.
From customer review features and heavy discounts to loyalty benefits and better customer experience – marketplace apps facilitate vendors with countless strategic possibilities. As a result, this works wonders for you when it comes to customer acquisition and revenue generation.
Another business POV is that marketplace apps present a huge earning potential for sellers and ensure the best shopping experience for the users.
With your marketplace, you’re looking at a tremendous scope of branding along with the privilege to onboard sellers at attractive rates. A greater online traffic intake is imminent once you have a decent pool of brands and companies on your marketplace platform.
3. Sales and User Analytics
Everyone knows how crucial data has become for e-businesses! A marketplace app can help collect relevant sales data and analyze user preferences. This lets you narrow down on the most successful vendors, best-selling products, and the most preferred product categories, to name a few.
Utilize such data to make better business decisions like promoting the most popular products or brands. Collabs with the seller companies are icing on the cake.
Before you look at the cost associated with marketplace app development, you should know about the business model your app would use to operate. Depending on your business model, you will be able to decide features you want to add to your app and it will directly impact the cost of your online marketplace app development.
So, let’s check out different types of business models that marketplace apps use to operate:
The Business-to-Business (B2B) marketplace models help business organizations purchase products or services from other businesses. Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retail businesses can connect with other organizations for striking deals. Usually, businesses purchase products/services from other businesses to further sell them to consumers.
According to research by Forrester, B2B e-commerce sales will be worth $1.8 trillion by 2023. The best example of a B2B marketplace is Amazon Business, where businesses can connect with the myriads of registered sellers.
Being the most popular marketplace model, the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) concept unites sellers directly with individual buyers. For instance, wherever you shop online and purchase apparel or a new pair of shoes – that’s a pure B2C marketplace. Such a business targets the buyers’ individual needs and convenience, offering them a platform to fulfill the same.
For example, Facebook, AliExpress, and Amazon are some of the biggest names in the B2C marketplace industry.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) marketplaces allow individual entities to connect and conduct business. Popularly called Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) models, P2P marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist are third-party platform providers that let individual buyers and sellers strike deals. Some key elements of a P2P marketplace include price bidding and negotiations.
Before heading to the costing section, let’s learn more about the inception of the Facebook marketplace. It was launched in 2016 by Mark Zuckerberg to enable Facebook users to shop directly from the social media networking app.
As per Statista, the Facebook marketplace welcomed over 1 billion users every month in 2021 (1st Quarter). Just in 2020, it had introduced Facebook Shops, which onboarded nearly 250 million stores and over a million users a month by March 2021!
Automotive, Retail/E-Commerce, and Real-Estate businesses can directly sell their products on Facebook! With a user-friendly and seller-friendly platform, the Facebook marketplace app has become a go-to place for online shoppers over the years.
Now, let’s cut to the chase and discuss what features are needed in a marketplace app.
While the features you should integrate depend completely on the business model you select, in this article, we will provide you with an overview of basic features that are common and can be integrated into every type of marketplace app.
So, here’s a list of such features your all-new marketplace app must have to compete with other similar apps in the market:
1. Social Media Integration
It’s a no-brainer – buyers and sellers are always looking for fast online login options wherever they go! This is where social media integration plays a crucial role. Your marketplace app should allow users to log in via Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social media platforms.
Integration of social media with your marketplace app will provide you with many benefits. It will let users register and log on to the app without filling out a long registration form. In addition, this feature will help you improve your brand awareness by allowing customers to share their experiences on social platforms right away.
Remember, to stand out in the app development market, you can ignore tactics like this. That’s the reason social integration comes at the top of our list of must-have features of a marketplace app.
2. Multiple Payment Modes
All sellers wish for a marketplace app that can let them offer flexible payment options to their customers. Hence, your app must consist of a wide range of popular payment choices like wallet payments, card payments, net banking, etc.
Remember, customers are very specific about the payment methods they use, so make sure you provide them with the ones that are popular in their area. Else, you may lose out on a number of leads, leasing to low revenue.
3. Robust Product Search
Of course, potential buyers will use your marketplace app to look for products they need. And, it is your responsibility to provide them with accurate results whenever they search a query. Your app’s search engine should be robust enough to yield precise results so that it becomes easy for customers to find the product they are looking for.
In addition, your app should have filters that let users find products based on various parameters, like size, color, brand, or any other factor.
4. Simple and Strategic User Interface
What’s pleasing to the eye sells better! A clean look to your application and easy navigation can lure more users to your marketplace app. Also, it can boost your user retention ratios.
You can also go the extra mile with your app features by strategizing its user interface. Placing sections with targeted product recommendations or adding alternative and complementary product suggestions can contribute to a better user experience.
5. Order Tracking
Let your users know whether their order is in transit or just outside their doorstep! Order tracking is a crucial marketplace app feature that can provide you an edge over your competitors.
Moreover, you should up the game by facilitating direct interactions between the buyers and sellers. Remember – your marketplace app will be identical to Facebook, but you can always improvise!
6. Push Notifications
This is one of the best features to keep your users hooked with your marketplace app. The ability that comes with reminding the customer what they are missing can help define the success of your business. Thus, it is crucial to formulate a push notification strategy to attract customers and prevent them from abandoning carts.
7. Wishlist Button
These days a Wishlist Button is another must-have feature for eCommerce marketplaces. Your marketplace application will likely have a huge number of products and it is difficult to track down a similar product once you have shut the application.
However, with the wishlist button, your customers would be able to save the item they like so that they can purchase them later in just one click. You can also increase your sales by sending offers to customers about the products on their wishlist.
8. Easy Checkout
You can not scale a marketplace app without providing easy and fast checkout options. From a customer’s perspective, providing too many details or filling out long payment forms is a hassle. So, make sure your app provides an easy checkout option to consumers.
Now that you’ve got a crystal clear idea of what your app should comprise, let’s understand the budget requirements. The process of marketplace app development can incur costs across 3 main stages:
1. App Wireframing Charges
Prototyping is like the food menu on a food delivery app – only that can help you choose the best end-product you desire! The wireframing charges of a facebook-like marketplace app can range anywhere between $700 to $1100.
2. App Designing Cost
The GUI (Graphical User Interface) is among the many design features contributing to the overall cost. You may have to pay anywhere between $6500 to $9500 for the same.
3. App Development Cost
The development cost of a marketplace app like Facebook depends on the number of features, coding requirements, and other resources. Considering these factors, you may have to shell out anywhere between $15000 to $40000 as your app development cost. Also, don’t forget to separate out a budget of $4000 to $5000 for QA testing!
Also, app developers across different regions charge at various hourly rates. For instance:
Wondering how to hire an app developer? READ THIS.
Your total cost to develop a marketplace app like Facebook would ideally range from $25000 to $60000, plus additional costs.
With a net worth of $561 billion, it’s a piece of cake for Facebook to develop such an expensive marketplace app! However, as a client-friendly mobile app development company, we can help you build a marketplace app like Facebook at unbelievable prices and all of the features included! At Apptunix, it’s about customers, customization, and all things technology.
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Nikhil Bansal is the Founder and CEO of Apptunix, a leading Software Development Company helping startups as well as brands in streamlining their business processes with intuitive and powerful mobile apps. After working in the iOS app development industry for more than 10 years, he is now well-equipped with excellent problem-solving and decision-making techniques.
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