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How to Build an Online Marketplace App in 8 Steps

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160 Views | 7 min | Published On: April 25, 2024 Last Updated: June 10, 2024

With the number of people shopping online reaching 2.71 billion in 2024 and ecommerce sales expected to reach $8.1 trillion by 2026, accessing how to build a marketplace app seems like a money-making proposition.

However, with big mammoths like Amazon, Airbnb, eBay and Alibaba dominating the landscape, businesses may be at unease to test the water. Thankfully, there are several niches that still have rooms, with new opportunities knocking every now and then.

If you are preparing to kickstart your own project, this piece of information will assist you in creating a marketplace that succeeds. As an online marketplace e-commerce app development company with myriad successful apps under our hat, we can assure you that it’s financially rewarding if you choose the right team to do the job.

3 Key Questions this Blog Will Answer:

  1. What is a marketplace?
  2. What are the fastest-growing marketplaces in 2024?
  3. How can I create an online marketplace app?

Let’s jump right into it to help you make the most out of it!

What is an Online Marketplace?

An online marketplace is a type of ecommerce website or an app that offers products or services by third-party providers. In layman’s terms, the marketplace owner doesn’t necessarily store or sell physical inventory, indeed, they present other sellers products and services and handle the transactions.

To your surprise, a study by Think with Google stated 84% of people purchase something in any given 48 hours accompanied with 63% shopping done online. This unearths the treasure trove and underlines the fact “why a brand must have a strong online presence”.

When talking about a marketplace, you must have heard words like peer-to-peer, vertical and horizontal or B2B marketplace app development. As for now, we want to spill the beans about different types of online marketplaces.

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Categories of Online Marketplaces

Primarily, there  are four facets of online marketplaces:

  • Vertical Marketplace

This online marketplace sells one kind of product or services from several different sources. Udemy exclusive boutique of services from modules, languages to courses curates it as an example of a vertical marketplace. These types of websites offer a range of solutions that cater to well-defined users or customers with similar needs.

  • Horizontal Marketplace

“Horizontal” as the name suggests sells different products or services with similar characteristics. Etsy is an example of a horizontal marketplace primarily selling handmade products.

  • Global Marketplace

This marketplace not just sells goods but simultaneously facilitates trades and exchange of services, like Craiglist. Often, customers are attracted to these marketplaces because of the easy access they get to a variety of products, information or services in a hassle-free manner.

  • Service-based Marketplace

This marketplace extensively sells services rather than products. Freelancer, are some of the examples of service-based marketplaces offering services varying from design, writing, household chores etc.

The Fastest Growing Online Marketplace Niches to Consider in 2024

With industry big names like Amazon, Flipkart and eBay dominating the lion’s share, it may seem onerous to penetrate the market. However, there are a handful of emerging niches for online marketplace app development.

  • Sustainable Products

With climate change reaching an alarming level, more and more people are inclining towards environmentally conscious and eco-friendly products. Though, the diversity in product is pretty huge, consisting of sustainable clothes, reusable straws, biodegradable garbage bags, glass bottles, etc.

So, considering this segment for your horizontal online marketplace app development, definitely marks it as a groundbreaking idea.

  • Digital Artwork & NFT

The NFT (Non-Fungible Token) market is rapidly growing, with projections expected to reach $342.54 billion by the end of 2032. This focuses on the fact that the digital art industry is gaining momentum and recognition, therefore making an NFT online marketplace a rewarding investment with minimal competition.

  • Online Education

Nowadays, the conventional way of educating is fading away.

Online education is the new buzz allowing people to access knowledge easier, quicker and in a pocket-friendly manner. Therefore, considering all these parameters make it an ideal choice for startups and entrepreneurs alike as it caters a huge market base from toddlers to learning aficionados.

  • A Handyman Marketplace

Chop Chop the complex process of going through agencies and paying hefty amounts for finding and hiring a reliable professional. Address this pain point with a handyman marketplace app where people can offer their services and find gigs directly in a hassle-free manner.

  • Home Gym & Fitness Marketplace

There’s no denying pandemic has revolutionized the way people work and workout. With a huge percentage of people working from home, it’s directly relatable that they buy fitness gadgets and equipment at home to stay healthy.

This trend in the market witnessed and overlaps $16.5 billion revenue last year defining a CAGR of 10.1% growth by 2027. If you are at square one, this is the time to jump on the fitness app development and cement your footprints.

  • The Home Office Equipment

During the peak of the epidemic, many people opted for WFH (Work From Home), and even in the present scenario, more than half of them prefer working from home on the grounds of a pay cut. Thus, the home office equipment market proves to be a dark horse and launching a marketplace app catering to the niche would be profitable.

How to Build a Marketplace App From Scratch?

We at Apptunix understand the challenges of creating an online marketplace, especially if it’s built from scratch. Herein, we are not just sharing you a tutorial on how and what to consider in the development process, but the core objective is to help you plan in terms of development time, tech stack and developers skills.

Step 1: Choose the Type of Marketplace

First and foremost, picking the type of marketplace holds the utmost importance when catering your specific audience. Therefore, identify and categorize the right marketplace platforms to attract your target audience and create an app that bridges the gap left unaddressed.

Refer to the below table for different types of online marketplace:

Step 2: Outline Your Marketplace App Development

Next comes outlining the key considerations for a successful marketplace app. It includes careful consideration of several aspects, from defining your target audience and choosing the right type of marketplace scalable business model to crafting the user experience and establishing key features.

The key features your app must have include user profiles, product listings, search option, rating and review, safe payment method ensuring your online marketplace app stands out from the crowd.

Step 3: Decide on the Monetization Model

The inescapable is deciding on monetary strategies, especially when the focus is on earning passive income from online marketplace apps. Therefore, to get the maximum ROI (Return On Investment) on B2B marketplace app development, pick the best scalable monetization models from the below table that suits your business as well as audience requirements.

Therefore, considering the business and target audience requirements you can choose your monetization model. Although, make sure to choose the right monetization model for maximum as well as quick ROI (Return On Investment).

Step 4: Choose a Reliable Online Marketplace App Development Company

Now that you are all set to bring your groundbreaking idea to life, it’s time to access and partner with a trusted marketplace app development company. This pivotal step marks the initiation of bringing concepts to creation, where further you’ll collaborate with development teams who understand your vision.

Imagine having a dedicated development team who not just understand the complexity of online marketplace app development but also value your efforts. Apptunix is a reputed marketplace app development company with a track record of delivering successful projects varying from creating online marketplace to innovating with AI and crafting immersive experiences. Their dedicated team dwells with bespoke experience in languages, tools and frameworks, articulating technical concepts seamlessly.

Step 5: Design User Experience of Marketplace

Whether you believe it or not, designing the visual aspect of your B2B marketplace app development to attract and engage the audience, especially, if you are planning to develop a multi-vendor marketplace.

So, let your partner app development company share the accountability of aesthetics and functionality offering an experience that is personalized and effortless. Besides, BA starts the process by analyzing the required functionalities and simultaneously comprehending the objectives and needs of the target audience. Next, they outline wireframes that offer a visual representation of the app’s interface.

Once wireframes are approved, a prototype is created. Further, the design team works on creating the UI/UX of the marketplace app with a user interface that anticipates user needs and streamlines their journey of your marketplace app.

Keep a Note – User Experience is not limited to the screen – rather, it’s an emotional journey. So, it’s important to infuse every interaction with purpose and clarity, from the first impression to the final action. 

online marketplace app development

Step 6: Start with Marketplace App Development

Now that you have picked up a development company, without gushing any more moment start coding for features and functionalities of your marketplace application. Also, ensure your mobile app development team is well-versed with backend and front-end development as it serves as the foundation for seamless operations.

Here are the functions of backend and frontend development in the online app marketplace development.

Collectively, backend and frontend development collaborate to develop an online marketplace app that caters the needs of both sellers and customers, offering a smooth experience.

Throughout the development cycle, your partner development team ensures to create a marketplace using the best coding practices that is easily scalable to address the future requirements. Also, an experienced development company keeps the communication transparent, provides regular updates and ensures the app is aligned with the goals.

Step 7: Test and Resolve

The most crucial element in the complete marketplace development process is testing and debugging.

To assure the app functions precisely, caters the needed requirements and offers a flawless user experience carrying testing and debugging is inescapable. Here, the QA team comes into the picture crafting a comprehensive testing strategy with best-in-class development practices.

They carry thorough examinations reviewing code compliance and identifying potential red flags across devices. From functionality to performance, the QA team deployed various testing methods, encompassing unit, functional, performance, security, compatibility, usability, and finally user acceptance testing.

Step 8: Launch Your Marketplace

Finally, your marketplace app is all set for roll-out.

Once again your development team will initiate the deployment across several online platforms, customized to your specifications. However, prior to launch, adhering to the app’s store guidelines and prerequisites is crucial.

Whether you are planning to launch on the Apple Store or Google Play store, it’s a must for an eCommerce mobile app builder to navigate the deployment process for your marketplace app. Also consider, the approval time bracket is from 2 days to 5 business days for Apple stores whereas it can extend to 7 days in case of Google play store.

online marketplace app development


Evaluating how to create an online marketplace app might seem tricky at first for startups and SMBs. Thankfully, with the right development team, tech stack and best development practices like MVP, you can deliver a groundbreaking product without having a burning hole in your pocket.

After all, the industry is growing at an exceptional pace opening up new opportunities for entrepreneurs. So it’s time to bring the ball in your court and develop your own online marketplace app like NAMSHI, Pro Referal and many more.

Experts at Apptunix are all ears to share your ideas while sipping coffee, so why wait? Get in touch now and bring your idea to life.

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