Building a mobile marketplace app is no easy thing. It requires many hours of work, a clear vision, a well-defined target audience, and a great team that can make it happen. Once it is done, the work is only starting. You will need to contact businesses that believe in your app in order to offer their products and services, and most importantly, you will need to keep things going. After all, sales are an essential part of a marketplace’s growth.
Marketplace app development for iOS and Android, the two most popular mobile OS, can be hard if you don’t have a well-thought-out plan. Although plans usually don’t work as expected, having one will help you prepare for what’s to come. Consumers can be very demanding and they want to have the best customer experience possible.
In this article we will review what a marketplace is, its fundamentals, and factors to consider when building a mobile marketplace app.
What Is a Mobile Marketplace?
An online or digital marketplace is an online store that aggregates various vendors that can offer products and services on the same platform. Just like a regular marketplace, an online marketplace gives small businesses the opportunity to access a bigger market than they would otherwise be unable to do on their own. A mobile marketplace is a specific type of online marketplace that is thought out with a mobile-first strategy.
On some occasions, a digital marketplace is often referred to as an eCommerce marketplace. This is usually very confusing, as a marketplace and an eCommerce solution are two different things. A marketplace is a broader online sales concept that offers a wider variety of products and services. Its business model is not to sell things directly, but to offer businesses the place where they can sell them. On the contrary, an eCommerce solution focuses on selling directly to consumers or other businesses.
On a marketplace, a customer can buy the same product from many different vendors. On an eCommerce platform, customers can only buy from one seller. In other words, an eCommerce platform is usually a dedicated selling place for one company.
Benefits of an Online Marketplace
Just like a physical shopping center, an online marketplace offers companies a series of benefits that they would be unable to achieve on their own. Through strength in numbers, small businesses can compete using the same tools that larger companies use. These are some of the benefits that a marketplace offers to small businesses:
- Greater visibility
- Increased sales
- Online sales infrastructure
- Customer support tools
- Customer Relationship Management systems
- Smooth Customer Experience (CX)
- Brand awareness
Why a Mobile Marketplace App?
With mobile devices everywhere, customers can easily access online stores directly from the palm of their hands with a mobile marketplace app. This makes it easier not only for customers to buy what they need but also for businesses to reach their target audience. Through powerful iOS and Android apps, businesses can use a marketplace app to tap into the potential of mobile devices.
Many small businesses do not have the resources to develop a mobile app of their own, even if they know that this might benefit their bottom line. A mobile marketplace app is an ideal solution for companies that wish to reach wider audiences but do not have the capability to develop an app.
Types of Marketplaces
There are as many different types of marketplaces as there are business relations. The different types of marketplaces are:
- Business to Business (B2B)
- Business to Consumer (B2C)
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
- Consumer to Business (C2B)
For more information on them, we recommend researching what eBusiness is about.
Building a Marketplace
Marketplace app development can be hard if you don’t understand some key ideas. In order to create a marketplace app, make sure to keep the following considerations in mind:
- Ideate your vision carefully so that you offer potential business partners a clear and defined target audience and business niche.
- Understand the different mobile app technologies based on your marketplace’s requirements. A mobile app development partner can help you.
- Choose between iOS or Android for your marketplace app development project. For Cross-Platform apps, consider using React Native.
- Plan how you will scale your business. Consider using business analysts that can help you gain perspective on how to gain traction.
- Offer business partners that will be on your marketplace a clear and beneficial value proposition.
- Understand the customer journey in order to offer a superb Customer Experience (CX) to your business partners’ customers.
Examples of Marketplaces
There are many big marketplaces that have consolidated themselves as the dominant players in specific niches. Some of them focus on geographic niches, while others are more driven by specific products.
Amazon is the most important and biggest marketplace in the world, and although it might be tempting to imitate them, consider that they are a behemoth that’s hard to compete with. Other important marketplaces include Mercado Libre in Latin America, and Ali Baba, which has been gaining traction all over the world. An example of a niche-specific marketplace is Etsy, as it focuses on handmade and vintage products.
Cost of Development
Developing an app can be expensive. After all, a world-class digital product is something that only expert developers do. Keep in mind that a cheap product will almost always deliver suboptimal results. When it comes to building a mobile app, cheap is expensive, so make sure to find the right app development partner.
Understanding the costs of app development can give you a clearer sense of what your financial requirements will be.
Marketplace App Development: Final Thoughts
Building a mobile marketplace app is not easy and it will surely take some time before you start to gain traction, but it surely pays off. Make sure to have the right vision, one that can help you get businesses on board. More importantly, make sure to have the right app development partner by your side.
When it comes to developing a mobile app, having a technology partner who knows what is best for your idea can make all the difference between failure and success.