2022 saw the peak of the development of online shopping and delivery, due to which many sites were transformed into online sales platforms. The popularity of such sites is growing, so business representatives are more likely to ask themselves: how to create your own trading platform on the Internet?
Marketplace – what is it and why?
The marketplace performs not just the functions of an online store with online payment and delivery options, but also helps to establish links between a large number of suppliers and buyers. Simply put, this is an online market with its own characteristics and rules.
Online trading platforms are attractive for businesses due to the following features:
Increasing profits due to high customer flow;
Large audience coverage due to the variety of goods and services;
Multiple monetization options;
Savings on the rent of retail and warehouse space;
Quick resolution of disputes between the seller and the buyer due to a strict regulatory framework;
Expansion of the trading opportunities of the company, as On marketplaces, you can exchange not only goods and services, but also ads.
The above list is only a small part of the advantages of online trading platforms. No wonder so many people have recently appeared who want to create their own marketplace.
Marketplace development, where to start?
1. Goal setting, tasks and analytics
This stage includes:
Determining what the product will be like, what consumer problems it will solve, its main idea and feature.
Deciding if it will be products or services, and defining a niche. To do this, you can study the frequency of search queries using SEO tools.
Target audience analysis. At the same time, it is important to take into account that the marketplace has 2 categories of target audience: sellers and buyers. You need to not only find out who is in your target audience, but also conduct research and surveys to understand what product they need.
Analysis of competitors: who they are, their chips – which ones to borrow and which ones can be implemented better.
Analysis of ways to monetize the site and choose the most suitable one.
You can do analytics yourself, or hire an experienced business analyst. For him, this work will take approximately 40 to 100 hours.
2. Designing and forming a clear image of the product
At this step, important decisions are made: how the site will look like, and what will happen when clicking or selecting sections.
It is important to remember that the design of the site should be unobtrusive, simple and understandable for the user. And in the minimum functionality it is desirable that there be:
For buyers: a well-thought-out system of filters and search, simple registration and viewing of information about sellers.
For sellers: convenient creation of new offers of goods and services, a system for managing private and public information.
For everyone: technical support service, real-time chats, rating and feedback system, profiles for buyers and sellers (2 types of interface), convenient payment system.
As a result of all decisions, it is necessary to prepare project documentation, which will set out all the principles, so that the developers know in which direction they should go.
3. Design and development of the marketplace website
After a clear image of the product is ready, it’s time to move on to creating an MVP that carries the idea of the product for its subsequent improvements.
The design must be created deliberately, in detail and functionally. But there are 2 approaches to developing a marketplace. Each of them is convenient, but you can choose depending on your goals.
You can save money and use a ready-made platform or templates, but this is not the most reliable option. But it’s easier to implement. Or create a trading platform website from scratch. Yes, it is more expensive and a little longer, but it gives a way to implement unique ideas. There is more freedom here.
To help at all stages of development, you will have to attract people from outside. You will need the following specialists:
A UX/UI designer will help ensure that the user has the best experience when working with the marketplace. It is important to focus not only on beauty, but also on convenience. On his work can be taken from 250 hours.
Frontend and backend or full stack specialists for software development. Here, the duration depends on the required functionality, its complexity and the size of the team. On average, it will take from 1000 hours.
A competent tester will be needed to fix bugs and ensure the quality of the product right during development. Some business owners may think it’s easier to do it yourself, maybe. But a specialist from outside will be a guarantor of quality and save development time. Testing will take from 250 hours.
The cost of this stage is easy to calculate by the number of hours, since many developers have a flat rate per hour. Development is a costly but important step, the main thing is to choose the right specialists. You can do this in several ways:
Search for freelancers on special exchanges and platforms. Finding such employees is relatively cheaper and easier, but such specialists do not delve into business processes, they need a clear task. Some find this method unreliable, plus the work of freelancers must be constantly monitored.
Building your development team from scratch is the most expensive and time-consuming way, but it gives you the opportunity to closely contact your developers and make changes at any time you want. Another issue is the difficulty of hiring and selecting really suitable employees. There is also an increased tax burden.
Contacting the development studio. The most optimal solution in terms of cost and speed of creating a marketplace. The only difficulty is the right choice of a studio, where there will be not only high-quality development, but also competent project management in the person of an adequate Project Manager.
Here you need to take into account that you will need the services of developers not once, because improvements and updates are necessary for the stable operation of the service.
4. Search for sellers and buyers
To attract buyers, you can declare yourself in social networks, your blog, in similar thematic communities, or with the help of the media and opinion leaders in your field.
The mechanics of finding sellers is similar, but it’s better to focus on competitors, look for sellers with high ratings and good reviews.
5. Thinking over a marketing campaign before launching a marketplace
It is important to communicate effectively about a product before it goes to market.
6. Product launch and further promotion
After the launch, it remained to set up analytics to track indicators and promote the platform for expanding the target audience: publications in the media, using the ideas of competitors or launching marketing campaigns.
Creating your own trading platform is not such a difficult task, but there are nuances in it. It is noticeable that these steps on the way to the finished project can be applied to the formation of any product. All that is needed is knowledge, skills and sufficient funding for implementation. It is important not to stop at creating a marketplace, you need to constantly make improvements based on the opinions of buyers and sellers to automate the work and popularity of the web service.
Creation of a marketplace, what is the result?
Own trading platform for business is a very promising project. But the development will require a lot of resources – time, effort and finance. And if you are seriously planning to implement it, then nothing is impossible, because to facilitate development, you can always turn to specialists. They optimize costs, meet deadlines and create a marketplace the way you imagine it.