Do you want to start a successful marketplace like eBay, Amazon, or Etsy? It is a sound idea as eBay has generated $10.8 bln of net revenue in 2019. Here comes the main question: how much does it cost to build a website marketplace in 2020?
For this reason, we have prepared a thorough guide that will help you find the key answers to your questions. It includes the list of features, technology stack, and software type your future marketplace will need.
Types of online marketplaces
What is a marketplace website? It is an e-commerce platform that works as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. It facilitates virtual shopping for consumers who can choose goods or services online from different suppliers.
Before building an online platform, you should define the type of your future marketplace. It is a business model that will help you implement the right monetization strategies.
|Types of marketplace websites|
|Vertical||This type of platform focuses on a particular industry or niche.||StockX, TrueFacet, Chegg, Zillow|
|Horizontal||This type of platform covers various goods and services with a common unifying characteristic.||Etsy, Couchsurfing, DogVacay, Poshmark|
|Global||This type of platform offers goods or services from a variety of categories.||Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Upwork|
Besides, marketplace websites can be divided by participants involved. They include the B2B, B2C, and C2C marketplaces. This classification is also important to understand the best revenue sources you can implement on your platform.
How to create a marketplace website?
Ready-made solution vs custom marketplace development
When it comes to building a marketplace website, you can choose from two possible options:
- Off-the-shelf solution
- Custom software.
Let’s discuss each solution, its benefits, and drawbacks to pick the right one.
If you want to build a marketplace app easily and quickly, you can choose an off-the-shelf solution. Most entrepreneurs opt for this software as it requires less time to launch compared to a custom software development solution. Mostly, it happens due to the fact that you have an opportunity to avoid wireframing, development, and testing.
On the flip side, an off-the-shelf solution has cons, for instance:
- You may not be able to make some customizations due to the software specificity;
- Competitors might use the same template.
If you want to create an online marketplace like Amazon or Flipkart, then you should choose an open-source option. It provides you with full control over your platform and more room for customization. Magento is one of the most popular open-source e-commerce platforms.
So, how much does it cost to build a b2b marketplace? Here is the example of Sharetribe pricing, one of the leaders in marketplace software providers.
Build your marketplace from scratch
Do you need to start an online platform with personalized business logic? Then you should choose custom software development. This way, you absolutely define the functionality that will be included on the platform.
The tailored solution frequently requires more resources for coding and final launch. However, it is a perfect option if you need to improve your marketplace website with more personalized functionality and integrations.
There are different ways of starting the development process and all of them have both pros and cons. The main options are as follows:
- In-house development team
- Freelance services
- Software development agency.
The core benefit of the last option is that such companies have solid experience in marketplace development. This way, you can be sure to get the solution that you need.
How much does it cost to build a marketplace website with a custom software approach? It fully depends on the location and the developers’ rates. For example, according to PayScale, the average hourly rate of Web Developer in the USA can be more than $100 per hour.
In Eastern European countries, the rates are lower. For example, if you decide to turn to Ukrainian software development companies, they will charge you around $25-49 per hour.
To be more precise, here is a table of the average web developer hourly rates for the US, Western, and Eastern Europe regions according to Accelerance.
|Average web developer hourly rates|
|The United States||Western Europe||Eastern Europe|
|$132-$140 per hour||$61-$80 per hour||$35-$56 per hour|
Technology stack for marketplace development
Before building a marketplace, consider the programming tools you will use to create a platform. Why is it important for entrepreneurs? The tech stack you implement will influence the application’s performance and maintainability. Shortly, you may get low page loading speed and face the scalability and update problems.
Let’s take a look at the main technologies you will need to implement the platform features.
We recommend using the most up-to-date and modern tools. They allow making your product scalable, maintainable, and sustainable. To develop the server-side part, you can take into consideration Ruby, Ruby on Rails, ElasticSearch, Redis, i18n gem, MySQL, Sidekiq.
We implement the technologies that enable us to offer customers brilliant UI solutions. They have both high performance and stability. We believe you should take a look at the following tech stack for front-end development: HTML5, CSS3, JS, React, Vue.js, Angular.
Tools and integrations
Integrations and tools simplify development, communication, DevOps, and other processes. At Codica, we use the following instruments: AWS S3, GitLab, GitHub, Slack, Digital Ocean.
Core features for an online marketplace
Marketplace MVP features
Registration / Authorization are important features that allow newcomers to start using your platform. Registered users can sign in to their accounts and list products or search for goods.
Profiles contain all the necessary information, about both suppliers and buyers.
The vendor panel includes specific data, such as shipping and payment methods used by a seller, their product listings, etc.
Buyers’ accounts are mostly about personal information, the ability to view previous orders, and a wishlist.
Item listing allows sellers to offer their goods or services and make them visible to potential customers.
Advanced search is a vital feature for any online marketplace as it makes navigation easier and less time-consuming. This way, buyers can search for services or goods listed by suppliers.
The product page should provide customers with comprehensive information about each item sold. High-quality photos and videos, detailed descriptions make your platform look reliable.
The shopping cart contains the products chosen. It is the space where a buyer can change the number of goods they want to buy, delete them, view payment methods, shipping prices, etc.
Payment methods allow buyers to purchase via different types of cards and multiple gateways. With a wide array of payment options, you will give your customers the possibility to choose the one that suits them best.
The administrator panel is a must-have functionality for the business holder. The owner of a platform customizes settings for various groups of suppliers. These settings include shipping and payment methods, fees. The administrator can also manage sellers’ listings, filters, and categories.
Shipping is a must-have function that helps consumers choose the most convenient delivery option.
Additional marketplace functionality
Ratings and reviews help buyers come to well-thought purchasing decisions. Besides, the functionality makes your website more trustworthy, because you provide users with both products’ and vendors’ ratings.
Wishlist is a strong marketing strategy as this feature allows customers to save products they are likely to buy. When buyers share their wishlists with their friends or family, it sends free traffic to your online marketplace. So, let vendors create extra possibilities to drive engagement to the platform.
Notifications allow both buyers and sellers to reach a certain web page as fast as possible. It works pretty simple: you get a notification, click on it, and immediately shift to a certain page. This way, it greatly boosts user experience and accelerates many processes.
Messaging enables sellers and buyers to communicate and discuss the details of products, pricing, shipping, etc.
Community support is a valuable service that processes users’ problems and helps to solve them.
How much does it cost to develop a marketplace app?
If you are looking for specific numbers, below is the detailed table. It shows the approximate costs of building must-have features for a basic online marketplace.
|Average cost of marketplace website development|
|Features||Amount of Story Points||Hours (approximate)|
|UX/UI design||5 Story Points||42 hours|
|Authorization and Security||5 Story Points||44 hours|
|User Profiles||5 Story Points||42 hours|
|Functionality for sellers||5 Story Points||38 hours|
|Product page||5 Story Points||42 hours|
|Managing Listings||20 Story Points||160 hours|
|Search and Filters||8 Story Points||64 hours|
|Payments||5 Story Points||42 hours|
|Payout||5 Story Points||42 hours|
|Reviews & Ratings||8 Story Points||68 hours|
|Notifications||3 Story Points||32 hours|
|Admin panel||10 Story Points||85 hours|
|Approximate cost (based on $40/hour rate)||$26,800|
Thus, you can see that it will take approximately 670 hours to create an online marketplace with advanced functionality. If we take the average rate of $40, the cost to build a marketplace will start from $26,800.
In fact, the amount of development hours depends on the unique requirements of each project. Also, the final price to build a marketplace depends on the hourly rates of the software company you choose.
Codica expertise in a marketplace website development
At Codica, we have been delivering complex custom marketplace websites since 2015. Our priority is to build fast-loading and engaging platforms. They will help you generate traffic, boost conversion rates, and increase sales.
Multi-vendor vehicle marketplace
The platform was built by Codica team for a successful startup that stands for the first vehicle marketplace in Africa. It allows consumers, private traders, dealers to connect for the purpose of buying, selling, exchanging new and second-hand cars, motorbikes, and trucks.
What are the results?
- 430% traffic growth for the past two years thanks to the SEO-optimized website;
- 90+ independent online marketplaces operating separately as part of the platform;
- Decreased page load time within 2-3 seconds.
We hope our guide helped you understand how much does it cost to build a website marketplace. If you are looking for a reliable development partner, we will gladly help to create an online platform for you. Check our ready works or contact us to discuss your project.