How to build & launch an online marketplace app?

Published by TRADLY TEAM on

This is one of the first questions you might have or any entrepreneur who is starting first would want to search. Building and launching an online marketplace is not a simple job. Let me share my experience when I and my cofounder wanted to build a social marketplace in order to allow:

  • Students to sell their used books 
  • Anybody to donate their pre-loved stuff 
  • And also allowing students to rent things from others 

We were very young at that time. Just finished college, so we wanted to solve the problems that we had. So other students can be benefited from it. It was a lot of testing and learning based on different experiments. One of the thought-provoking resources in terms of marketplace business strategy is from Sangeet Paul. I recommend you to read his articles (be patient and read them, it’s a Gem!)

Fast forward 7 years, the platform economy rises to a great height and many people like you want to disrupt the different industries through the platform business model. This is a good decision I would say. So we decided, we should make the infrastructure affordable for anybody to start their marketplace startups. Hence we built the TradlyPlatform

I am not sure exactly what stage you are in your entrepreneurial journey, however, I would use assumptions based on different scenarios and see how we can help you out.

Some of the assumptions

  1. You don’t know what is a marketplace and what’s the context behind it
  2. You already have the idea and just want to validate by launching one
  3. Confident about the idea, just need to know how to develop the marketplace
  4. Confused about whether to build own solutions or to use pre-built marketplace solutions
  5. Or you want to know what is the exact features that need to be there in a marketplace 
  6. Growing a marketplace
  7. Marketplace Features

Components of any Marketplace

This below image gives a glimpse of how a marketplace component should be. By thinking from this framework, it allows us to create and launch of an online marketplace in a more systematic way.

  • Producers & Consumers are the players who play in this platform
  • The seed is the interaction that allows 2 sides to interact. The evolution of a marketplace is
    • Consumption of information (like a newspaper)
    • Engagement (like social apps-Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
    • Curation (Like Pinterest)
    • Transaction(Amazon, Etsy)
    • Movements of products- after transaction job of delivery(like food delivery, product/digital Or the movement of service (online service or offline service)
  • Magnet, Toolbox, and Matchmaker are the part of a platform owner which is you who should develop things for the two sides to engage and make different interactions. Example: social elements to like, comment, or chat tools for both the parties to interact, or payment gateways for payment-related things, etc.
  • Toolbox is the one which allows the supply side to create more things. For example, you are giving something to the seller to create something and allow them to sell OR give a tool for them to promote their stuff to grow more, etc.
  • For more about this, read here or watch this video of platform thinking
Creating, Building and launching an online marketplace

If you already have an idea but not sure about the product-market fit of the business.

Assuming you are on the confusion about whether to go ahead with your idea or not. There are a few ways you can approach. 

If you have a strong funding capital with a minimum of USD 30,000 for the next 6 months, you can hire a team and build everything from scratch to get 100% exactly what you wanted. This will be a trial and error experiment from setting up the team to designing the right solutions and then bringing the product to live. Costly, risky but if it happens, you successfully cross the first stage. Then you continue managing the team and keep adding features. 

Let’s say you have a budget of less than USD 20,000. And you want to get the product into life within one month and start testing the idea, what can you do? 

You can use services like TradlyPlatform to launch your marketplace idea by changing the branding of the app according to you. We have pre-built solutions that can be customized according to your branding and you can start testing the demo in 5 working days and then in the next 5 working days, we can help you to launch 🚀 your app in Play Store and App Store. 

If you already sure about the idea and see many related players are doing well. 

This means the idea is a typical one but the strategy of executing and positioning could be different. Or even you just want to select a niche from the general marketplace and focus on that. If that is the case, and you want to do lots of front end design customization, you can buy Tradly platform Growth package to change the app front end design and grow the platform. 

If you are looking for Resources to learn about the growing marketplace (not technical development)

The resources in this link have vast resources about growing marketplaces. 

Marketplace Features

Each online marketplace has a different feature set


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