Do you want to create a marketplace that will become the next Airbnb or eBay? But how to choose a marketplace development company correctly? There are dozens of web agencies, and their services seem to be quite similar. So, how can you know whether you can trust a web provider?
We have a solution for you. In this article, we have prepared the top factors you need to take into account when choosing a web development agency.
Why choosing a marketplace development firm can be tricky
Nowadays, the web development domain is progressing rapidly. According to Internet Live Stats’ research there are more than 2 billion websites in the world.
And marketplaces generally won the particular attention of users. In the graph below, you can see how many people visit popular marketplaces every month.
As demand grows, the number of web development companies is also increasing. It means that it becomes extremely difficult to select the right company even if it has a smashing portfolio. Because it is not clear how accurate the declared reputation is and how adequate the price the company sets for its services.
How to overcome this issue? The answer is pretty simple: you should know exactly what kind of platform you need. Therefore, your search focus will be narrowed to a specific level of services. It will become easier to make the right decision.
Why is it important to choose the right marketplace company?
Without any doubt, it is crucial to find the proper web provider for quality product development. Most seem to have a sufficient experience level, a great portfolio, and average rates. However, there is more to this than meets the eye.
Do you want to start a custom online marketplace platform with specific business logic? In this case, the quality of the final product really matters. It includes the following list of aspects:
- the number of features,
- the value-for-money ratio,
- SEO optimization,
- duration of online marketplace development, and so on.
Once you contact a marketplace development firm, outline the technological challenges with your startup. Then you can ask your potential partner how they are going to solve these issues. The company’s answers will reveal the level of their competence and expertise.
Don't mind if you don't know much about web application development, an expert agency will help you figure it out. They will explain pricing and the basics of website development and will create an efficient solution for you.
So, what aspects should you pay attention to when choosing a marketplace development firm? These are the following:
- Expertise in marketplace development;
- Portfolio and reviews;
- Marketplace development approach;
- Team composition;
- Technology stack.
Let’s consider these aspects in detail.
Key aspects to consider when choosing the development firm
Below you can find a list of main aspects you should take into account when choosing the best suited web agency.
1. Expertise in marketplace development
Experience in online marketplace development is one of the most critical aspects you should consider. The matter is that this niche requires extensive learning and many years of practice.
The skilled vendor knows exactly what business logic, UX/UI design, and tools suit your type of marketplace. Top web houses will show you successfully completed projects to ensure high-quality delivery.
Ensure the firm has experience in working with startups
When you ask the vendor to help implement your ideas, make sure of their experience in working with this type of business. An expert marketplace development company will consider your preferences and requirements. Specifically, they will conduct an analysis and offer features that your marketplace platform needs.
Besides, web consultancy can also offer you to create a minimum viable product (MVP). It will help you save both time and money in the early stages of the engineering process and define the needed features for your online platform.
You can watch a brief video where our sales manager talks more about the benefits of the MVP.
Check UX/UI design expertise
What are the next ones of the top factors for online marketplace success? We can highlight a user-friendly UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) design. It represents the way you will interact with the visitors.
Do you want to build a rapport with your clients? Pay attention to the marketplace development companies that provide UI/UX design services. Experienced agencies know what UI and UX your online marketplace should offer.
At the end of this stage, a marketplace development company will provide you with mockups and interactive prototypes. Use them to show to investors or early adopters. This way, you can get their feedback and improve particular aspects to build the best user experience.
Take a look at the mobile mockups our design team created for an online marketplace for campers.
This platform is a popular Australian marketplace, TradeRV. On this website, people can easily shop or sell motorhomes, caravans, and recreational vehicles.
The client wanted us to redesign the existing platform for better business results. The top requirements for this marketplace were the following:
- modern design,
- higher conversion,
- mobile optimization.
In terms of web design, we ensured that the essential marketplace functions and platform appearance followed the mobile UI. Regarding UX, the marketplace is convenient and easy to use for shoppers and merchants. Thanks to our improvements, the client has increased the conversion rate by 480%!
By the way, here is a video of how this web platform looks and operates in real life.
2. Portfolio and reviews
When a client chooses to hire a web development company, it is evident they will check out its portfolio. Therefore, a quality portfolio website and a good business presentation are absolutely essential.
Look at the company’s website
Form your impression by visiting and analyzing the agency's website. Take a look at the design and content on the official website. If the firm positions itself as an experienced one providing high-quality delivery, then its website should be proof.
Is a company’s web page outdated and has an antique design? Then this marketplace development company might fail to meet your requirements.
By the way, on the Codica’s website you can check our portfolio and reviews from our clients.
Related reading: Marketplace Design: Why UI/UX Matters
Pay attention to the product development methodologies
You need to pay much attention to the software development approach followed by the company. It affects time and resource management. In case you are a startup, we recommend picking a marketplace development company that implements an agile approach. This methodology allows you to make changes at any stage of the development process.
Statistics state that the agile methodology delivers more successful projects than the traditional model. Many researchers prove this. For example, the study conducted by PWC shows that agile projects are 28% more lucrative than traditional ones.
On the image below you can see the comparison of traditional (waterfall) and agile approaches. Waterfall (traditional) is a well-planned approach where the performer keeps to the plan. Agile is the exact opposite. This model assumes the flexibility of development. So it is possible to make changes at each stage of the project.
At Codica, we use an agile methodology to deliver profitable web solutions on time and within budget. Read more about our custom engineering process in this full article: How to Create a Successful Custom Web Product Step by Step: Codica's Experience
Check the clients’ reviews
Typically, web development companies post reviews on their websites, socials, or YouTube channels.
One of the best variants to see the company’s expertise and competence in practice is to read reviews from existing clients. If you’re unsure where to start, visit Clutch or GoodFirms - websites collecting feedback from software providers’ customers worldwide.
Related reading: Codica Named Top Web Development Company in Ukraine by Clutch
Cast an eye on the review from one of our customers on Clutch.
Also, based on the reviews, you can see whether a web company has dealt with online marketplace development projects. This source is a nice option to compare different software providers and rank them.
At Codica, we value feedback from our clients. These reviews help us to develop further and inspire new achievements. For example, we developed two marketplaces for one client not long ago. One is TradeABoat, an Australian boat sale website for sailing fans.
The second one, TradeRVs is a platform intended for selling new and used campers, caravans, and recreational vehicles.
Thanks to our web development, our client has increased his website’s conversion rate to 480%. And he was glad to share this with us in the review video below.
View case studies
The portfolio is a proven way to check a company’s expertise in a particular type of platform. Most companies suggest case studies overviews on their own websites or on such platforms as Dribble and Behance.
So, take a look at the portfolio and the projects already delivered by the company you’re interested in.
At Codica, we provide our customers with detailed case studies. They show our expertise and experience in delivering modern and user-friendly e-commerce products.
Verify company’s blog and social networks
Publications on social networks and blog updates show that the company has something to share and talk about. As for social networks, we are talking about LinkedIn and Facebook. Blogs usually describe case studies and analyze industry trends and technologies. Also, they offer educational content. This is an excellent way to test how deep their knowledge is.
So, check if the company has expert materials on their socials and blog.
3. Organization of the development process
Developing a new product is an exciting but quite challenging deal. Each new product is unique at all stages, from the idea to development and prototype creation. However, the proper organization of the development process will help to go through this path most efficiently.
It is very important to know how the company organizes the marketplace engineering process. Learn the way the company forms a project team and distributes the roles. Also, you can ask about the report system, which updates you on the progress status and the frequency of reports.
At the Codica company, we have built an internal time tracking software called Timebot. It allows specifying a particular project, task, and the amount of time spent on it.
Thanks to this system, our project managers can easily provide clients with daily, weekly, and monthly reports on the work done. Thus, our clients always stay informed and can check the product development status at any time.
4. Team composition
The composition of the development team varies from project to project. But if you are the future owner of a startup, we recommend you to find a full-fledged team. Such teams are usually well-functioning and stable. And the better the team, the fewer concers.
Since you will be building a marketplace platform from scratch, you will need a full-cycle development team.
- Project managers (PMs),
- UX/UI designers,
- Developers (back end and front end),
- QA specialists.
So you should ensure that your provider has the required team with the corresponding qualifications. Because they need to work successfully on your platform.
At Codica, we have a strong team of highly skilled UX and UI designers, software developers, DevOps, and QA engineers. These specialists cover all the stages and aspects of marketplace development. We also have experienced PMs. They ensure timely delivery and great communication with the clients throughout web development.
5. Tech stack
The chosen technology stack determines the performance, requirements for hardware, and reliability of the software. In turn, it is experienced specialists who will help you choose the right technology for the project.
Programming tools and technologies define the future foundation of your marketplace. The tech stack you implement will influence the application’s performance and maintainability. Shortly, you may get a low page loading speed and face scalability and update problems. So, choose an experienced company that pick the best tech stack for your project.
To define the needs of users and the right tech stack, specialists at Codica always conduct project discovery sessions. These sessions mean the process of gathering information about the product that should be developed.
We know that these sessions are the best way to start your project. This phase helps eliminate uncertainties and make informed decisions regarding web development. At this stage, we create a series of documents and diagrams to work effectively on the web solution. Designers also create prototypes and wireframes to see how the solution will work and looks like.
Codica's specialists start work on all the web solutions only after the product discovery stage ends. Thus, we know that we will create the product end users need. Moreover, we will not waste our clients' budgets.
Below is a video that shows what the clients will obtain after the product discovery sessions with us.
Do not search for a marketplace development firm that specializes in everything, the so-called “master of none.” Better find online marketplace software developers with vast experience using a particular technology. This way, you will be sure of the high performance and maintainability of your platform.
In general, there is a list of questions you should answer before choosing a programming tool:
- Do you want to scale the platform in perspective?
- What are your timing expectations for your marketplace to enter the market?
- What integrations and features do you plan to implement in your marketplace further?
Below you can see the technology stack we use at Codica for custom online marketplace development.
Surely, our marketplace developers will advise you on what is better to choose for your specific platform with its own business model.
Pitfalls you may encounter choosing a company
Question the web development company's professionalism in the following cases:
1. A web development firm mainly discusses financial issues
Yet, they do not delve into the subject of business and its features. They don’t ask what customers need to be satisfied and who is the main target audience.
The marketplace should be developed to meet the needs of the target audience. And the tastes of users may differ from the tastes of the owner of the platform being developed or promoted.
Furthermore, you need to consider that the online store has one target audience - buyers. At the same time, the marketplace has buyers and sellers. Therefore, it will be necessary to find an approach to attract both parties to the site.
2. The company cannot pre-estimate the term and cost of marketplace development
It is also not a good sign. Evaluating a project is a complex task that requires knowledge and experience. Inexperienced development companies might not spend enough time in the research and architecture design phase. Or they may underestimate potential issues with integrations and the like.
Expert companies always give a preliminary or accurate estimate of the terms and the cost of each stage of work on the platform. You can also get an idea of the approximate cost of different projects' development in our detailed articles.
3. Lack of information about the company
This is also a bad sign when there is no information about the company, its values, and development approaches on its official website. In this case, you are purchasing a "cat in a bag" at your own risk.
Sometimes, there are no reviews, case studies, or the portfolio on the site of your potential contractor. In this case, study the information about such a company in more detail. Why? Because this may be when the company is still young and has not had time to post the necessary information on its website. However, this can be a sign that these are unscrupulous performers.
Recommended reading: How to Choose Web Hosting for Your New Product
Any of the points mentioned above should cause you additional doubts. They may lead you to the question, "Maybe it's worth looking for another web development agency?"
Yet, small companies are more willing to take on the development of small projects at a reasonable price.
We have discussed the main aspects you need to consider when choosing the right custom marketplace development firm.
Contact different agencies, analyze their pros and cons, compare with their market rivals, and make a proper decision. Definitely, one of the crucial factors of your future platform outcome is the development team you will cooperate with.
Codica has vast experience in building custom online marketplaces. Contact us to discuss your idea, and our experts will help to bring it to life.