How to Build a Marketplace Website? – Latest Guide

Inna Coker
Talent Mapping Specialist

Online marketplace development is something many people are willing to know because this industry has been steadily growing for more than ten years. Experts believe that it will make up more than 20 percent of total consumer spending by 2027. That is why it is high time to figure out how to build a marketplace now if you are thinking about that.

Here, you will learn all the important information about the process. Our team at Qubit Labs has enough experience in hiring top international professionals who can create outstanding marketplace websites from scratch. However, before you decide to go for a marketplace, you should understand what it is about, so keep on reading.


What Is a Marketplace Website?

It is nothing but a platform where different sellers present their stores. These marketplace websites are there to connect sellers and buyers and make it easier to process transactions.

The P2P (person-to-person) model plays a key role on these platforms, which means that the main interaction happens between users, while the marketplace websites must offer a convenient and safe environment for both sellers and buyers.

In addition to that, these platforms tend to grow quickly, and it implies that it is worth knowing how to build a marketplace website.


Types of Marketplace Websites

There are a few types of marketplace websites, and here they are:

Types of Marketplace Websites

  •   Business-to-business marketplaces. This type of platform offers products and services for businesses. Wholesale dealers also utilize these websites.
  •   Business-to-customer. B2C platforms are the classics of trade around the globe. In the case of such websites, online sales are calculated for individuals. For instance, the Amazon website, which is widely used in many countries, works on this system.
  •   Customer-to-customer. Here, business takes place between private individuals, both through barter and for money. A similar model is used on such marketplaces as Airbnb and eBay.


Key Features of a Marketplace Website

The good news is that knowing how to build a marketplace website does not mean that you have to produce goods. At the same time, this kind of platform has other high-quality characteristics that must be included. Your customers will find it easier to navigate your website if it obtains the following features:

  1.     Different payment options;
  2.     Clear product pages;
  3.     Straightforward search and filters;
  4.     Guest checkout.

1.    Different Payment Services

Your platform will benefit if there are different payment services or at least some of the most popular payment options. It is critical to consider this aspect during the online marketplace development process because it will not be possible to carry out transactions otherwise. In addition to that, it would be nice if your platform has specific features to ensure the necessary level of convenience:

  •   Developing a refund mechanism;
  •   Ability to generate tax invoices, receipts, and reports;
  •   The ability to delay and split payments;
  •   Linking the payment method to the shipping infrastructure.

2.    Clear Product Pages

Modern search algorithms are elaborate, and customers usually look for certain goods instead of vaguely wandering through a website.

In marketing, they usually adjust the structure and the description text of the marketplace to SEO requirements to promote the page with product details instead of the category and home pages. Thanks to this, people pass on to your website through the search results, while their first stop is usually a product’s page. It means that they find what they were searching for, so they might not even see other pages. Therefore, if you know how to build a marketplace so that it is competitive, you will not ignore the quality of the product pages.

You will be able to build strong relationships with your potential customers if you include the following features:

  1.     An informative description of the product and its provider.
  2.     The product`s highlighted information.
  3.     Product page that delivers the value of your brand.
  4.     Simplicity in content, elements, and navigation.
  5.     Feature video overviews and photos of the product.

3.    Straightforward Search and Filters

Great search and filters are a must, especially when the customer is still deciding what to purchase. Knowing how to build a marketplace website, professionals create properly navigated searches and filters that help customers find the right product intuitively. With the help of custom mechanisms, it is possible to come up with faster and more specific results. It is also critical to provide various approaches to viewing item lists and get the navigation experience customized.

Category filters are one more function that can significantly boost your platform and make it even more straightforward. The thing is that the more options are available to users, the more time they have to spend to pick one. Thanks to filters, they can reduce these options, which should increase the conversion rate.

There are a few studies that compare the various approaches to the arrangement of filters. According to Baymard’s article, a horizontal bar performs much better than a left-sided one because it is more efficient and convenient. The thing is that it allows customers to keep their attention in one place. However, if you have an idea of how to build a marketplace website, you know that horizontal bars might not be suitable for all websites.

When it comes to sidebars, it is recommended to remove long scrollable filters to introduce the relevant options only. The thing is that people do not usually use complicated filters. In general, the choice between the use of every filter type when designing a filter system always depends on the size of the marketplace website, target audience, and market focus.

4.    Guest Checkout

Many customers do not want to get registered to be able to buy a product. About 37 percent of shoppers decide not to purchase items because they could not do that without creating an account first. Consequently, a guest checkout is one of the most important elements when it comes to online marketplace development. The thing is that it is where the user takes the last step to buy a product. Therefore, it is recommended to offer a choice to customers, whether to create an account or not. It is better to encourage them to get registered after they make a purchase.


Benefits of Creating Online Marketplace Website

Knowing how to build a marketplace website, you can create a successful business and make it profitable. At the same time, everyone can benefit from these platforms, which means that it is worth considering advantages for all sides – sellers, platform owners, and buyers.

The founders of these websites can get the following benefits:

  • Revenue options. The owners of a marketplace platform can choose revenue models such as subscriptions, fees, or commissions. This way, there is flexibility and the potential for combining several schemes.
  • Scalable business. As marketplace websites expand, there are more sellers to meet the increasing demand. This maintains a balance between demand and supply for sustained growth.
  • User and investor interest. If you hire a professional who knows how to build an online marketplace, there will be a wide variety of offerings to attract user interest. Therefore, more investors will be attracted to your website.

Buyers can also benefit from marketplace platforms:

  •    Extensive product range. Online marketplaces provide customers with access to a wide array of products in one place.
  •     Trusted platforms. Reviews and ratings enhance customer trust in marketplace websites and apps compared to standalone companies.
  •   Convenience and promotions. Most marketplaces proffer discounts to attract and retain customers, while the convenience is enhanced by the one-click booking process.

Marketplaces are also extremely beneficial for sellers:

  • Elimination of self-promotion. Sellers avoid the need for independent promotion, which means that they save on support, development, and SEO costs.
  •     Enhanced search ranking. Marketplace listings tend to rank high in search results, which provides better visibility compared to standalone platforms.
  • Increased promotion opportunities. Sellers can take advantage of increased brand recognition on marketplace websites, and this will bring them a higher flow of buyers.
  • Access to analytics. Sellers can see purchases, product views, and other statistics via their marketplace accounts. This way, they can understand how successful their items are.


How to Build a Marketplace Website: Step By Step Guide

How to Build a Marketplace Website Step By Step Guide

The experts who know how to build a marketplace website successfully realize the importance of learning the domain well before creating a platform. Whether it is an online clothes store or an accommodation-sharing platform, you should carry out profound market and customer research to make your marketplace detailed, smooth, and user-oriented.

At Qubit Labs, we use a personal approach to every customer, which means that we improve the quality of our IT staffing services continuously. We have enough experience to provide you with the best team of experts who can and know how to create a marketplace website according to your requirements. We hire in top outsourcing locations, namely: Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Portugal, Brazil, and Mexico. Qubit Labs takes care of recruitment, onboarding, HR management, payroll, taxes, retention, and replacement. The chosen professionals will find out the needs of your business and craft the best platform to help you thrive. The process itself includes steps provided further.

1.    Product Discovery Stage

The process of product discovery is critical in creating an online marketplace platform. This is the stage where you meet your customers and learn what they need. Some people mistakenly believe that a discovery is a waste of time if they conduct a detailed marketing analysis of the customers and market. We will choose professionals who will not ignore this step because they know how to build a marketplace properly.

  • Competitors’ analysis. Even if you understand the size of the market and know your target audience, you might still need to make sure that your competitors are not able to offer a better solution. Analysis of competition is a great way to find it out.
  •  Proto persona. The professionals we choose for you can also create proto-personas to figure out the type of customers you are going to work with. Proto persona is something that will help you portray your customer and understand who the product is created for. When crafting personas, developers will start with assumptions and then carry out our research to validate them. Thanks to this, they will see what is required. For example, younger people tend to know all the icons and what they mean, which means that professionals do not need to create descriptions under the buttons if the target audience is between 18 and 24 years old.
  •  Customer journey map. Those who know how to build a marketplace realize that these websites are complex platforms, which implies that it is critical to create a customer journey map. Here, professionals highlight probable issues and possible solutions in general. They also identify deeper insights through an analysis of customers` experience in steps they take in various situations. As soon as they trace the behavior of users through all possible steps, it is possible to collect some insights and add a few features to the website or app.
  •  User interviews. After experts test their hypotheses, they create the prototype and conduct customer interviews. Thanks to these interviews, developers make sure that people will use the platform as it was designed and face no constraints or issues while navigating it.

2.    Developing and Testing Design Prototypes

Based on the research performed during the discovery stage, the professionals we choose will create design prototypes that show the primary customer flow. Since real experts know how to build an online marketplace, they realize the importance of these prototypes because they envision the product`s idea and show the basic functionality to test it with people. Moreover, design prototypes are about more things, not only design. They show the general business logic and the basic functionality. The team will find the users from the potential target audience and offer them the chance to use the given prototypes. Professionals do their best to be as objective as possible in this process, without making them stick to one option only.

3.    Software Development

As soon as the design team creates and approves the UI part and the concept, the development process starts. The coding part tends to include two stages, which are the front end and the back end. Qubit Labs will pick professionals who will make sure that the technical part is solid enough for your website so that you can scale it up in the future.

4.    The Launch of Your Product in the Market

All the effort and time experts have spent on discovery, development, and testing come to one outcome – they launch the product. However, the work is not completed at this stage because they still need to track the analytics of customer behavior on the platform. In most cases, the launch is the moment where they can get the most important insights. Consequently, professionals take them into account, add, and test the existing functionality.


Post-Development Actions

We always pick professionals who not only know how to create a marketplace website but can also make a successful platform that will be popular among users. However, if you want your business to grow, you need to do a few activities after the development part:

  •    Constant iteration and tests. To keep growing, you will have to look for new ways of enhancing your marketplace website by means of running one iteration after another. This is especially important if you want your business to take one of the leading positions. You will have to be active in this and do your best to be ahead of your competitors. If you track the behavior of your customers every time they use the platform, you will receive valuable insights that can help your marketplace grow.
  •     Expanding the functionality for partners. Just knowing how to build a marketplace, is not enough because you will still have to expand the basic functionality of your platform. The thing is that there will be a moment when you need to think of those who sell their products on the marketplace website. Therefore, they will expect you to deliver a few specific functionalities for them. Although care for providers comes after the clients, it is still critical to pay enough attention to building partnerships and trust.
  •    Developed partnership guidelines. Even though cooperating with providers may be relatively easy at first, it might become hard for you to manage hundreds of your suppliers when you expand. Therefore, you will have to specify the terms for a successful collaboration, and this is exactly where partnership guidelines are required. This document should include all the rules concerning how the partner represents their services and goods. For instance, it may comprise policies on
  1.     The use of graphic elements on the sale page of the product.
  2.     Information in the description of the product.
  3.     Review moderation and customer support policy.

Thanks to this, your marketplace platform will become more organized and user-friendly because users will easily understand the main rules of the website and navigate through it without any issues.

  •     You should remain consistent. While expanding and adding new functions, many products might push it too hard, especially when it is critical to meet deadlines and test new hypotheses. Under such pressure, the track of design consistency might be lost. That is why it is recommended to develop a design system and follow its rules carefully.

As you can see, creating a successful marketplace website is not as easy as it may seem. The process requires a lot of knowledge of how to build an online marketplace, but it also involves a lot of research, experience, and testing. That is why it is always better to contact a reputable company such as Qubit Labs, and we will find the most impressive developers for you, who work with your product on a long-term basis. 

How to Build an Online Marketplace With the Help of a Dedicated Development Team by Qubit Labs?

Even though Qubit Labs has a lot of experience in IT staffing, the company never stops growing and improving services. With our help, you can access the best team of developers who can deliver any sort of product you need. We will easily find top experts who know everything about online marketplace development. It means that you can focus on other tasks instead of trying to do the process yourself.

Here are a few reasons why you should choose Qubit Labs:

  •    We choose the top talents. Our company specializes in outstaffing, which means that you will be able to access an impressive pool of talent from different countries, namely: Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Portugal, Brazil, and Mexico. 
  •    We will deliver a great product. We will pick developers according to your requirements, and these people will provide you with a custom solution that will help your business succeed.
  •    Our prices are affordable. You might think that getting an outstanding marketplace website is extremely expensive, but the truth is that the cost will be affordable. Qubit Labs specializes in outstaffing, which means that you can access experienced experts for a lower price.
  • We guarantee quality hiring. You can read a lot of positive reviews from real customers. The thing is that the quality of our service is a top priority for our company. That is why we always do our best to meet every requirement of our customers. 
  • Fast hiring. The hiring process usually takes from 4 to 6 weeks depending on position complexity. 

As you can see, you do not have to know how to build an online marketplace because Qubit Labs is always there for you. All you need to do is contact us and receive the best team of remote professionals, who build a marketplace website for you.


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Inna Coker
Talent Mapping Specialist
I believe that the IT sector is one of the most promising fields in the world. That’s why I have been researching for skilled IT professional and analyzing different IT markets and tech hubs worldwide for more than 3 years. I enjoy analyzing information and creating it into sapid articles.