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.
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.
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.