How to Build a Marketplace App

How to Build a Marketplace App
The Siliconreview
08 September, 2021

How to Build a Marketplace App

The popularity of online shopping is steadily growing and 82% of internet users in the USA shop online via their phones. Store owners are moving forward and along with selling goods live in the store, they are opening stores online. Due to the great opportunities of online shopping, it has become inconvenient for buyers to buy only from one seller. That is why people turn to marketplace apps where various buyers and customers are gathered together. If you want to build a marketplace app and uncover all the limitless possibilities of selling the goods online, read this step-by-step guide for creating a marketplace.

#1 Determine Your Goal

Before you start doing all the technical stuff, you need to get a clear picture of your future user activity. Depending on the type of marketplace - product, service, project, or hybrid, you can identify its structure. Answer the following questions: who is going to use the platform, which services will be offered there, what the monetization model will be, etc. You may think such typical questions do not play an important role in building a marketplace app, but for example, the UI of the application depends on the type of users and the products because it should be functional. You may also need to study the state of the online shopping market because it is an integral part of a successful marketplace.


#2 Create a Prototype

Here you can choose two ways of creating the platform: build it from scratch, or build on the existing platform. Needless to say, the development of a marketplace app with a strong base is much cheaper, easier, and less time-consuming. But the idea of your individuality will not be implemented there. Thus working from scratch should begin with creating a simple sketch or HTML model. If you don’t have a strong development team in-house, cooperate with a third-party software development vendor. Mind that your prototype should include administration, seller, and buyer panels.

  • Administration Panel: A marketplace owner would be able to manage all the activities on the marketplace through this panel. Payment processing, seller- and buyer-base management, item classification, and all other crucial actions would be taking place here.
  • Seller Panel: Here the seller will find the registration, store URLs, order and stock management, promotions, transaction, and analytics sections.
  • Buyer Panel: The customer will use the buyer panel to register, create a profile, connect to the seller, get feedback, see the testimonials, create wishlists, and track the order.

A marketplace app prototype is the chance to test your idea, draw new clients, and get feedback on what to improve. In other words, you create an MVP (minimum viable product), with the basic functions to see how the project is perceived by the users.


#3 Prepare the Platform Documentation

This step is about the paperwork. The documentation should include official detailed information about your marketplace app as evidence of your project. The purpose of documentation is to record what you have created. It is also helpful as you can turn any time to your documents and compare whether your project is the same as it was planned to be. Written in the right form, project documentation allows all team members to avoid misunderstandings while working together. Here you determine the time of the final product delivery and its costs as well. For the platform documentation, you can easily use the templates as its structure is the same for every platform.

#4 Refine User Experience

No matter how great the programming of your project is and no matter how innovative the idea, it is the user experience that is responsible for whether the customer stays with you or just skips your project. Profoundly analyze the user journey and make sure that your platform is easy to navigate and all important areas are easy to find.

  • Make the Navigation Simple: When the client finds it easy to buy the product, they will turn to your platform again. The process of purchasing shouldn’t take more than a few clicks so the customer doesn't get bored.
  • Save Your Customers from Hackers: As Cyberpion states, 83% of the leading retailers in the US are in danger of cyber-attacks. Cheating in the online shopping field makes buyers very careful even while using the well-established marketplace apps. So you need to incorporate all the modern security measures and create a safe online shopping experience.
  • Inspire the Visitors: While you shop in-store you can touch, fit, and feel the product, however, online stores have no such possibility. In your marketplace app, you have to present the goods from different angles: with photos, videos, online consultation, etc. Surely the look of the buyer panel should be designed in a tasteful way.
  • Build Strong Relationships: The user journey should be supported from the first seconds. Implement helpful tools like chat windows, FAQs, testimonials, and others to make customers think they are special. Even when the journey is successfully ended with the purchase, keep in touch with the client by sending offers and promotions.

Making a marketplace app design is not at all easier than programming. Thus you may consider asking a professional software development team like Purrweb to help you. ''Two heads are better than one'', and it works with the design as well.

#5 Improve Your MVP and Release the Final Version

On the stage of testing the product, you need to analyze which features need improvement. Even when you release an MVP, it should contain user accounts and profiles, search and filters, chats, payment systems variation, ratings, and reviews. By analyzing users' feedback you can upgrade an MVP and release its ready-to-use version.


Building a profitable marketplace app is a challenging task. Having a great idea is not enough, as you need to make sure that your product satisfies the needs of the final users and has competitive advantages. We hope our article has expanded your knowledge about building a marketplace app and now you see a clear picture of how to work in the future.