Study demonstrates how sales of goods to consumers enriched the most promoted 100 online marketplaces in the world at $3.23 trillion. Impressive figures, aren’t they? If you look around, you’ll see that there are so many variants of e-commerce platforms: they offer food, clothes and shoes, legal consultations, educational services, tickets, and so on. There are more and more business niches that found an audience online. And if you’re researching the issues of online marketplace app development, you’re on the trendy path. Online marketplace app opens fantastic opportunities since they can easily overcome national borders and almost has no limits to the choice of specialization. A wide range of items for pets, sports training, industrial equipment, or exotic plants – what will your platform offers, it’s up to you.
Types of E-Commerce Platforms
An online marketplace app can be described as a digital service—an intermediary between buyers and sellers. When we’re talking about the diversity of services honed for shopping online, we can systemize them into three groups. Before starting your own online marketplace app, define which type it will refer to.
- C2C platforms connect people with each other so that everyone can be a seller as well as a buyer. Etsy, eBay, and Livemaster are eloquent illustrations of this type.
- B2B platforms are targeted at helping businesses to buy or sell something to businesses. Fair lets the big souvenir manufacturers cooperate with the wholesale retailers.
- B2C platforms empower companies to sell their goods/services to customers. AliExpress is a widely known type of interaction.
What Differentiates B2C Apps From Other Types of Marketplaces?
When you decide to start an online marketplace app, you become an owner of your online store with potential opportunities to sell to customers worldwide. At this step, it’s essential to determine which brands and assortment will be showcased in the project. You can manage the platform as a single seller or you can let other entrepreneurs join your platform.
When Amazon started, it was an online bookstore. But later the assortment was expanded, and nowadays, it’s hard to name what isn’t presented on the platform. Such an approach when you invite other sellers to use the opportunities for attracting customers on your platform seems fruitful.
Which Spectrum of Features Do Customers Expect to Meet in the Online Marketplace App?
Why invent the wheel when you can lean on the experience and expertise accumulated by your competitors? Select the platform that deserves your admiration, and ask yourself which features are repetitive in each solution and which are unique and irreplaceable. Here we depicted the functionalities that can’t be escaped if you’re planning an online marketplace app.
- Personal accounts are necessary since they equip sellers as well as buyers with the opportunity to introduce themselves.
- The onboarding page demonstrates users who and why can be interested in the platform: display your unique selling proposal clearly and briefly.
- Sign up page lets users get into the internal space of the platform. Try to ask for a minimum of details at the first step in order not to frighten users with a complicated onboarding process.
- Search bars with filters are irreplaceable facilities when we’re talking about customers’ ability to find precisely what they searched for.
- A catalog accumulates all the items into a system if it’s perfectly organized. Buyers can see the variety of goods/services they can purchase, compare alternatives, and select the listing that seems to be the most attractive.
- The listing or item page gives buyers more detailed information on the product: photos, where it is manufactured, size, color, weight, and situations of use). The cost of delivery and its conditions are usually depicted on the page.
- Wishlist presents people enough time if they want to take a pause for thinking and comparing items. Many people refuse to purchase something spontaneously, and a wishlist is a good tool to retain them.
- Payment services. Built-in facilities for the check-in process are a must-have. Oversee integration with third-party services to accept bank cards, e-payment systems currencies, or even cryptocurrencies on the platform.
- Order history opens a door to the consequence of acquisitions the person made in the service. This is convenient to have access to previous purchases, especially, if one wants to repeat some of them.
- Customer support chat lends a helping hand in case of a puzzling situation.
These are the core features you’ll find in the majority of similar services. As for the shtick, think of it meticulously on your own. What will make your platform incomparable? Invite your team to participate in brainstorming sessions.
Online Marketplace App: Three Steps Towards Launch
Let’s roughly outline the “ladder” leading to bringing your concept into a real-world solution.
1. Learn the market
By observing the plethora of existing products, catch insights and convert them into a bunch of shticks for your online marketplace app. Thanks to the analysis of the strong and weak sides of competitors, sieve through your criteria the features for creating a version of the product that can delight users. Make a list of mandatory functionalities honed for the fast and effortless problem-solving your users expect. Since you’ve caught a clear vision of a future product, spend time searching for an IT partner who matches your requirements.
2. Create a clickable prototype
We recommend you start cooperation with the full cycle app development agency since a fully staffed team provides fast and efficient transfer from one stage to another. Cooperating with the UI/UX team, transform your ideas into a visual form: a clickable prototype. Colors, fonts, illustrations and animation, UX copywriting, modules, buttons, and slides: the experts know how to organize all the elements into a well-structured architecture. It becomes possible to assess the visual side and navigation and explain to investors exactly what you’re going to bring to the market.
3. Build a fully-functional platform
As the logic and visualization of the product are determined and agreed upon, and the first feedback is received, due to the well-tailored UI/UX design you can attract investors to financially support further development. Transform a prototype into a product working as required. At this step, you need competent website developers, QA experts, and project management support.
Monetization Schemes for Your Online Marketplace App
Your online marketplace app is expected to be the source of revenue and think in advance about how to make it profitable. If you know how to invent your own way of money making, it’s cute. Here we’ll list the practice-tested approaches to monetization.
Since delivery for free is an all-around practice, it can be hard to become popular with this strategy. The survey showed that no more than 25% of buyers would be loyal to be charged for delivery. So, about alternative ways.
This marketing technique presupposes two options on the marketplaces: the fixed sum or percentage. The shop owners are charged a few percent of the cost of sold items. Let’s illustrate: Etsy charges 5% for each sale. You can also set the same scheme or a solid transactional fee on your platform.
Subscription is the most balanced way to take into account sellers’ and buyers’ interests. By buying a subscription, sellers can receive a package of opportunities: setting a definite quantity of listings on the platform. As for customers, they acquire the tariff plan opening access to special prices or a zero-cost delivery.
Payment for posting each listing on the platform is charged from sellers. Etsy applies this method asking $0.15 per set for every listing as well as renewal of it. Such an approach facilitates more money-making even if you’re dealing with digital goods.
It expands your opportunities to make money with a service. Willing to promote certain items, sellers buy specific tools to reach the aim. Direct advertisement along with auctions, fairs, testings can be offered in order to help attract more visitors.
We have drawn the picture of an effective start with your own e-commerce solution. Think over the data, analyze it, and what is more important, don’t let your knowledge stay just theory since real practice is the only way to get real experience and tangible results.