The last several years have been marked with the rise of different marketplaces. Airbnb, AliExpress, Etsy, are on everyone’s lips. That's not surprising that the idea of launching a second Amazon or eBay seems so appealing.

To win the e-commerce race, entrepreneurs focus on providing excellent customer experience and build fast-loading and scalable websites. Besides, business owners take various security measures to protect their customers’ sensitive information. This way, they can gain clients’ trust and boost sales.

When building a custom marketplace, what technology stack is best to achieve all these goals? Our answer is simple: Ruby on Rails.

In this article, we will fill you in on the Ruby on Rails marketplace development. At Codica, we are passionate fans of this framework and have built numerous e-commerce platforms with its help. Based on our experience, we will discuss the key reasons to choose RoR for building a successful marketplace.

About Ruby on Rails

The Ruby on Rails framework was introduced over fifteen years ago. It is based on the programming language Ruby. David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) developed RoR while working on the Basecamp collaboration suite. DHH admitted that he wanted to allow programmers to focus on the creative endeavor more than the complex part of coding. So he created a framework that has intuitive, compact, and easy-to-understand syntax. It allows developers to write less code and thus increases their productivity.

The philosophy of Ruby on Rails rests on several principles. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

  • DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself). Lessen the amount of repetition of software patterns. Replace them with abstractions or use data normalization to prevent redundancy.
  • Fat models, skinny controllers. Place the most of the application logic within the model. Leave the controller light to the max.
  • Convention over configuration. Specify the unconventional aspects of an app only. Don’t create your rules.

The Ruby on Rails framework is popular all over the world and is widely used to build various solutions across multiple domains.

The chart below shows industries with the biggest amount of RoR websites:

Industries with the biggest amount of RoR websites | Codica

Source: Builtwith

As you can see, the framework is often used for online marketplace development. The most famous marketplace platforms based on RoR are Airbnb, Fiverr, Shopify, and Couchsurfing.

When you should opt for Ruby on Rails marketplace development

1. You want to cut development time

Ruby on Rails can cut back the marketplace development time by 25-50% in contrast to other well-known frameworks, which is considerable for startups. That’s all thanks to a lean code base, modular design, and object-orientation of Ruby programming language.

Another reason to use the services of a Ruby on Rails development company is a great number of Ruby gems. These free open-source libraries offer particular functionality for your e-commerce platform. So, if you want to add a specific feature, your development team will not have to write it from scratch. All it takes is to use a particular gem. As a result, Ruby on Rails marketplace development time is reduced dramatically.

Let’s take a look at the total number of Ruby gems and their downloads:

A great number of gems as a key benefit of Ruby on Rails marketplace development | Codica

For any must-have functionality of your e-commerce platform, you can find useful gems:

As you can see, there are many ready solutions that can speed up launching your marketplace. Of course, an experienced Ruby on Rails development company knows them all and will recommend the best options for your particular project.

Related reading article
Related reading: 40 Best Ruby Gems We Can’t Live Without

2. Security of payment information is your top priority

Shopify predicts that e-commerce sales will reach more than $4.5 trillion by 2021. These figures look very promising. They mean that the popularity of online marketplaces will only grow. The success of e-commerce platforms made them a sweet spot for cyber-criminals.

There are several ways of how they can exploit gaps in the security of your e-commerce platform. First, cyber-criminals can create malware to get full access to all data on your system.

Besides, your customers may face credit card fraud and e-skimming. The latter term means capturing customers’ payment information in real-time as soon as they get to the payment page.

The mentioned security threats may result in lost revenue. However, you can suffer from even bigger reputational damage: you may lose the trust and confidence of your shoppers. To avoid these potential negative effects, make data security your top priority.

That’s when Ruby on Rails marketplace development becomes the best choice. This framework offers in-built security measures. You do not have to worry about Cross-Site Scripting, SQL injection, and Cross-Site Request Forgery. With the RoR, your marketplace will be resistant to the most common threats.

Therefore, a professional Ruby on Rails development company will help you build a reliable and secure marketplace platform.

3. You search for efficient ways to reduce expenses

The launch of an online marketplace can be an expensive project. This forces business owners to seek ways to keep costs down. Luckily, with Ruby on Rails marketplace development, you can reduce expenses.

For starters, RoR is an open-source framework, which means it is totally free. Also, it is compatible with many free databases and servers.

Besides, in addition to free gems, RoR developers can use a great variety of free library extensions and utility classes.

Finally, this technology makes possible rapid prototyping. It means that you can launch a minimum viable product of your e-commerce website within a short time. You can quickly show your marketplace MVP to investors and potential users to get valuable feedback. After that, the Ruby on Rails development company you partner with will know what should be added/modified/removed from your website.

An MVP can help you reduce the final cost of online marketplace development services. For example, when building a minimum viable product, developers do not have to implement all the functionality. Therefore, your Ruby on Rails development company will need less time to complete the project. As a result, their services will be less expensive.

Related reading
Related reading: How to Build a Marketplace Website MVP and Not Fail

4. You consider the potential growth of your marketplace

Your online marketplace will grow, eventually. Given that, make sure that your e-commerce website will be able to maintain the high traffic. You should prepare for increased loads and a growing number of requests beforehand.

Ruby on Rails scalability is another strong suit of the framework. Let’s take a look at the specific figures that prove this fact.

  • Shopify processes more than 4 million requests per second;
  • Github can boast of over 28 million users and 57 million repositories;
  • Airbnb hosts over 5 million listings in more than 190 countries.

As you have guessed, all those platforms harness the power of Ruby on Rails marketplace development.

However, the chosen framework is not the only thing responsible for your e-commerce website’s scalability. You should think about the server's capacity and database architecture. Besides, the deployment strategy should be taken into account as well.

5. You want to attract talented developers to your project

What is the key to the successful launch of an e-commerce website? To a great extent, it is the experience and proficiency of the vendor. If you are looking for talented and skilled specialists, think of turning to a Ruby on Rails development company. Thus you will get a fast, scalable, secure e-commerce platform.

What makes RoR developers such great specialists? In truth, Ruby is not the easiest programming language to learn. Therefore, developers need to master other technologies at first. After that, they can proceed to learn Ruby and Ruby on Rails.

When it comes to Ruby on Rails marketplace development, programming experience alone is not enough. Building an e-commerce project that will stand out from the competitors and bring unique value to consumers requires dedication and passion for work. These qualities mark RoR developers from other coders. Their passion and dedication help create top-notch solutions. Their customers are satisfied with excellent Ruby on Rails development services.

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Best examples of Ruby on Rails marketplaces

Now let’s have a look at the most famous marketplaces built on Ruby on Rails. Their success stories will show you why it is a good idea to partner with a Ruby on Rails development company for building your ecommerce marketplace platform.


This is a well-structured and user-friendly e-commerce platform. Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake founded it in 2004. It enables business owners to launch and manage online stores.

In 2004, Tobias Lütke decided to launch an online store that offered snowboard products. He chose Ruby on Rails marketplace development for his project. At this time, the framework has just emerged. So Lütke joined David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of RoR, and started making his contribution to Ruby on Rails. At the same time, he was working at creating the Shopify platform.

Ruby on Rails marketplace Shopify | Codica

Shopify still gets the most out of Ruby on Rails development. The majority of their projects are built with this framework.

Over the last few years, Shopify has achieved fantastic results. The company has opened over 800,000 online stores and has got revenue of $1.578 billion. Their staff exceeds 3,000 employees.


This is a freelance services marketplace. Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger launched it in 2010. They aimed at building a platform connecting companies and entrepreneurs with freelance talents.

Ruby on Rails marketplace Fiverr | Codica

The multi-vendor marketplace development platform is noted for its simplicity. Users will not face any issues with buying or selling services there. This clarity became possible owing to the combination of different technologies, and Ruby on Rails development holds a valuable place among them.

Today Fiverr lists more than 3,000,000 services across 100 different categories. They include Legal Сonsulting, Technical Writing, Craft Lessons, or Lead Generation. The company reported having earned $107.1 million in revenue in 2019.


This is one of the most popular platforms for renting and leasing accommodations. It was founded by Joe Gebbia, and Brian Chesky in 2008. The marketplace is designed not only to offer guests a place to stay, but provide a unique travelling experience as well.

Ruby on Rails marketplace Airbnb | Codica

Why did Airbnb opt for Ruby on Rails marketplace development? One of the key reasons is rapid development. It allowed them to cut costs significantly and launch their platform in no time.

The huge popularity of Airbnb can be easily proved by specific figures. Thus, the platform has hosted over 400 millions of guests and opened 31 offices all over the world.

Further reading
Further reading: How to Build a Website Like Airbnb: Step-by-Step Guide


As you can see there are several reasons why you should invest in Ruby on Rails marketplace development. These are security, cost-efficiency, scalability, and reduced development time.

If you are looking for a reliable Ruby on Rails development company, feel free to contact us. We have built multiple online marketplaces with RoR, and we will be happy to build one for you.

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