How to Create a Marketplace App? All Questions Answered

Posted by ongraph · June 28, 2021 · 7 Min read

In this pandemic era, people prefer online marketplaces rather than traditional ones. Marketplace app development has gained huge popularity today, all thanks to the growing mobile app development industry. Some well-known examples of online marketplaces that have succeeded to set new milestones in the E-commerce sector are eBay, Airbnb, Amazon, Etsy, and AliExpress. Their rising popularity has led many businesses to build online marketplaces via websites and mobile apps.

Marketplace app development directly connects vendors to their potential customers. It provides large and small companies with a mobile platform while also enabling them to increase revenue and improve their online presence. Moreover, the marketplace app offers more exposure to the merchants while also providing them with the advantage of cross-selling. 

Mobile marketplace apps kicked in 2009, two years after the initial iPhone release. That has been a very productive decade for Uber-for-X, aka on-demand, marketplaces.

Following the mid-2010s, we’ve seen more accomplished marketplaces popping up. 

Today, marketplaces that unlock supply for regulated services industries, law, finances, or healthcare, have higher chances of growing rapidly. So, if you are in the healthcare industry and plan to create platforms that connect doctors and care providers with patients, a marketplace app is the best solution for you.

Why build a Marketplace app?

Marketplaces have become the first choice for people to buy products and services. They’re profitable for everyone: sellers, buyers, and marketplace owners.

This is the best place for sellers to sell their products without having to put lots of effort into marketing. It is an easier and faster way to put your product on an online platform than a traditional one where you had to create your own e-commerce website or app and then struggle to get traffic, investing thousands of bucks in search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertisement.

Another reason is that the target audience is already there, so you do not have to reach individuals to sell your products. 

More and more companies choose to market their products on marketplaces for they get an audience instantly and don’t spend the budget on developing their own retail website.

Marketplace app provides buyers with a lot of options for different prices and the ability to compare products, therefore, it saves their time and money. They can buy everything in one place without having to browse multiple e-commerce shops.

As the owner of a marketplace, you get a lot of effective ways to generate revenue. You can get money from promotion, and of course, you can charge a percentage for each deal. Another business model includes seller subscriptions, which enable merchants to post a limited number of goods on their profiles.

Marketplaces are presently the most successful form of online retail business. Not only for online shops but for individuals as well, marketplaces prove to be a great place to sell products. 

To make a reliable place in the market, you need to be mobile-first. For a marketplace app development business, you should have both a website and a mobile application, as people make over 50% of their purchases via mobile phones. Mobile websites are also an excellent option, but they aren’t nearly as responsive and adaptable as mobile applications. 

Another great option is to take the help of an app builder, but its templates won’t give you nearly as much versatility as you need to make your marketplace reliable. An app builder is a good option for an MVP though, but after you find out what the market demands, you’ll need to build a custom app that will match your business needs.

Now let’s discuss the must-have features for the first version of your online marketplace application that you can add to make your app irresistible.

Marketplace mobile app must-have features:


The onboarding process should be simple and easy for both buyers and sellers. You can let them sign up with email IDs or social media profiles. If you have one app with two different user roles, allow people to choose to form a seller or a buyer profile. Just after the onboarding step, you can add an engaging tutorial on how to use your app’s features and how to manage user profiles.

Personal profile

Whether a buyer or a seller, both of them need to have personal profiles. A buyer’s profile should have information about the user, their favourite items, current and past orders, a payment method (for example, a credit card), and settings.

Sellers should be able to see their own listings, the number of product views, and the number of people who have added one of their products to the wishlist. All users should be notified about the incoming messages and chat history. 


There should be a settings option that allows a user to make the changes they want to see in their profile.  Through settings, they should be able to customize push notifications, personal information, and so on.


Listings are the key focus of any Marketplace application. This is an important feature for the buyers as it showcases the products, including their names, pictures, description, ratings, and reviews. Pagination is essential for listings: it allows the application to load information faster because it divides data into small parts and loads it gradually.


The best way to drive sales in your application is to make suggestions to users. You can recommend products to them based on two things:

  • Their previous searches and items they have added to their wishlist.
  • The paid products that are promoted on the main page of your app in the recommendation section

Search and Filters

Search and advanced filters are important for a marketplace app. The best practice is to make the search predictive. Filters by categories, price, delivery type, rating, discount and so on are also a vital part of any application that has anything to do with choosing products.

Ratings and Reviews

Feedbacks are a must because they tell a lot about the success and scope of improvement of the products. Most users won’t even buy a product if there are no ratings and reviews, so this is a must-have feature. This feature is also useful for sellers as they get to know if people are liking their product or not. 

Shopping cart

A shopping cart is essential for any marketplace mobile application or website. A shopping cart allows buyers to add products from different sellers and shows the total price of all products.  Remember to include coupons, discounts, and any other loyalty program credits in this feature.

Payment gateway

Once the user has added the desired products to their cart, checking out is the next step. Make sure that the payment process is fast, easy, and secure. Security is the foremost concern for people who shop online. To avoid shopping cart abandonment, choose a reliable payment gateway that will meet both your and your users’ needs.

Delivery tracking

If you have a marketplace, delivery will reasonably be the responsibility of sellers. However, you should make sure that sellers send goods through a verified delivery service. In any case, both buyers and sellers wish to see the package delivery status in your application, it should be convenient for them. This will make your service more trustworthy and helpful to use.

Push notifications

Push notifications notify your users all about their orders, remind them of abandoned shopping carts, and inform them of any price changes, offers or discounts. Push notifications are the best thing for marketplace mobile apps because you can attach media to the notification. This makes it more noticeable and tempting to click on. 

Wrapping up

Now, you have an idea of why and how to build a marketplace app. You can build a reliable marketplace app for your business and grow your business even in times of a pandemic. To find out more about the features and budget drop us a line here.

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