How much does it cost to build an online marketplaceWeb development services aren’t cheap, and your idea may cost tens of thousands.

For anyone who wants to know the cost of building a marketplace website, this guide shows the price feature-by-feature and the total cost.

Want to build a P2P marketplace website like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay? Great idea: in 2018 alone, Etsy earned $603.69M. And it's not even the most popular marketplace in the USA.

But there’s one question – how much does it cost to build an online marketplace? Web development services aren’t cheap, and your idea may cost tens of thousands.

For anyone who wants to know the cost of building a marketplace website, this guide shows the price feature-by-feature and the total cost across different regions.

Online Marketplace

Types of Marketplaces

But before we jump right into the costs, let’s see what marketplaces are there.

There are three types of e-marketplace:

  • vertical — focused on one area or niche.
  • horizontal — offers goods from a few categories with a secondary character in common.
  • global – offer items or services from a wide range of categories.

Let’s take a more detailed look at them.

Vertical Marketplace

They offer goods from several vendors but of the same type. Vertical marketplaces are 'exclusive clubs' that offer a greater depth of products and have expert sellers.

For example, on Zillow, it’s free to list a home for sale or rent. The platform works with many owners and agents/brokers, but their services are all about buying, renting, or selling houses.

Horizontal Marketplace

Horizontal e-marketplaces sell goods or services in several categories but with a single common characteristic.

For example, Couchsurfing works with and for travels, Etsy sells handmade items in eight categories. DogVacay offers different services but only to people with pets.

Global Marketplace

Global marketplaces have everything under one roof – books, furniture, food, grocery, apparel, toys, software, music, gadgets, and a whole lot more.

That's what makes global marketplaces special. They consolidate several market segments to cater to a broader audience.

This type of online marketplaces is focused on people striving for maximum speed and minimum price. There are many categories of goods, and sellers compete in price offers.

Amazon is the standard example. Yep, it became famous for selling books, but today you can buy literally anything on Amazon. eBay works in a similar way.

MVP Marketplace: Core Features

Starting a project with an MVP version is a common practice. MVP comes only with the much-needed features, and you can add more sophisticated ones on the way.

After all, the faster you launch the marketplace, the sooner you start getting feedback. And figure out what to add or improve.

1. Registration/Authorization

To fully use a web marketplace, users must sign up and fill in their personal details. They are often asked to enter the first name, email address, and password.

Plus, to buy or sell on the marketplace, users should agree to Terms and Conditions. And have a feedback form to ask questions. You’ll need to add a Help Screen for that.

Here’s how the registration goes on a horizontal marketplace...

The marketplace asks for the first name, email, and password. They offer social sign up via Google or Facebook, and the links to terms of use and privacy policy are right there.

2. User Profile

There are two user roles on a P2P marketplace MVP – sellers and customers – and these profiles differ.

We’re starting with the buyers.

Authorized users will need to update their profile details. For example, add a delivery address or a payment method, change the email or password. Or manage email subscriptions.

Besides, they should have access to the order history to check on or repeat an order.

Vendor pages should be easily-manageable, from changing the account settings to adding payment methods.

Now, the sellers.

Vendor pages should be easily-manageable, from changing the account settings to adding payment methods.

Plus, sellers may need to add some personal details:

  • company name
  • phone number
  • address
  • links to social media
  • ratings/reviews
  • testimonials

Some types of e-commerce marketplaces offer to change the account type from a buyer to a vendor in the profile. We’re going to discuss this feature later on.

3. Homepage

The home page is the site’s face; make sure it looks awesome.

Here are a few nice-to-haves.

One thing all customers want to see is a clear navigation system. Think over a system of filters (location, price range, etc.), relevant suggestions, and don’t forget about UI/UX design.

Add last watched products to the homepage. It'll help buyers to pick them up faster without looking for the same item again and again.

Another idea is to add a list of popular products to the homepage. That should help users make a choice (or add something extra to the cart).

4. Shopping Cart

In their cart, users check the price details, fees or discounts, delivery and payment options, and add comments.

They should see the list of goods added (an have an option to remove them), then proceed to purchasing one or a bulk of items. And choose the checkout method: PayPal or credit card is enough for a marketplace MVP.

5. Add Listings (for sellers)

We’re done with the buyers, so it’s vendors time.

Sellers need to publish and describe the products they offer. They should have an option to list them, create new items, add photos from all angles, and write a product description.

And, of course, change availability when the products are out of stock.

6. Payout Management (sellers)

We’ve discussed payment methods for buyers, but what about sellers’ payouts?

Your MVP marketplace must let vendors retrieve their earnings. Sellers need to view payout details (like the amount earned) and have an option to add or change the payout method.

7. Product Details

Most marketplaces use photo slider to show the item from all angles. They ask sellers to write its description, set the price and availability status, add warranty and delivery info.

8. Admin Panel

No doubt, you’ll need an admin panel to manage both buyers and sellers’ accounts.

A standard MVP marketplace admin panel offers:

  • User management. The list of users, the details screen, edit user option, delete or block user, create an account manually, users search.
  • Messages. Getting and answering messages from 'Contact us' form.
  • Products management. Same as for sellers.

Сost of Building a Marketplace Website

Building a marketplace website like the one I’ve described costs around $5000 to $10,000. It's the number based on a $20/h rate ( USA, Europe, UK etc)

How did I get this number? It’s simple: the more hours devs spend on the website development, the more it costs.

Our business analyst estimated how many hours it will take to develop a web marketplace (including the sellers’ part, backend, and admin panel).

Then, we've multiplied the number of hours by $20.

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