A business model of the marketplace is hot. Massive success of platforms like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Uber, Airbnb, booking.com, Kickstarter, CircleUp, Upwork, and more has proven that marketplaces will work for almost any business vertical. 

How much an ecommerce marketplace development cost? It’s not cheap and it may cost tens of thousands. For anyone who wants to know the cost, this guide will help him understand price based on features and timeline.

You have products and you have decided to sell them online. But you don’t know where to sell them and scale them. For that matter, either you sell them on marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, etc. or you build one. 

If you sell on a marketplace, you usually get a lower profit margin despite the greater sales. Also, their buyers are not your customers and you get lower brand visibility. 

On the other side, if you build a marketplace you make more bucks but it takes a lot of commitment, time, and planning. 
Do you know Amazon alone made $386 billion in 2020 as a net profit? $100 billion more than 2019.
And it’s just one marketplace we are talking about here. 

In this blog post, you will get to know about different marketplaces, the MVP features for a marketplace, and ecommerce marketplace development cost

Ecommerce marketplace development cost

Depends on the region from where you are getting the developers and the type of marketplace you want to develop. 

  • Vertical marketplaces focus on a single niche but have multiple vendors. Zillow is a perfect example.
  • Horizontal marketplaces focus on multiple niches/categories but with a single characteristic. Etsy sells handmade stuff in 8 categories. 
  • Global marketplaces offer products in multiple categories with multiple vendors all around the world. Amazon is a good example here. 

Cost of building a marketplace website starts from $20,000 and goes up to $40,000 (again it depends on the type of marketplace and the core features a client wants).

Time required for building an ecommerce marketplace is 3-5 months. Again it’s tentative.

This figure is a rough estimate in order to give you an idea about how much cost and time a marketplace development would require. 

Our business analyst can help you build a better idea about how much does your project cost? Get the estimates. We offer half an hour of FREE consultation

Cost based on different regions

  • Eastern Europe – $50/h
  • Asia – $50/h 
  • Central and Western Europe – $100/h
  • USA – $150/h
  • Australia – $100/h

Constraining your marketplace, build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

Creating a minimum viable marketplace for a product is what done by almost every marketplace. Example, Airbnb started from the New York. 

This helps in figuring out if your marketplace is good enough for penetration. There are two ways of doing it i.e. Geography and Category.

Geography

70% of the companies constrained their initial marketplace by geography (source Lenny Rachitsky). Top examples are Airbnb, InstaCart, Caviar, Lyft, Rover, Breather, Uber, Zillow, TaskRabbit, DoorDash, GrubHub, OpenTable and more.

We started in Seattle and stayed hyper-focused on Seattle for a while, Seattle was perfect market for us: very dog-friendly, early adopters, techy, working professionals who go on vacation and business trips. Plus Amazon is super dog friendly. There is probably no more dog-friendly city in America. This helped figure out the product quickly – David Rosenthal (ex-board member of Rover)

Category

Around 30% of the companies constrained their initial marketplace by category. Top examples are Etsy, Eventbrite, Angelist, TaskRabbit and more. 

‘Find your core use-case, and gain traction there. For Eventbrite, this was tech mixers and conferences. As you got invites from events, you started to see the name Eventbrite over and over and it became a thing. We focused on this, based on seeing where most early traction was – Brain Rothenberg (ex-Growth at Eventbrite)

Tech stack for ecommerce marketplace development

Although each marketplace has its own unique set of features. 

Three must-have or can say common ones are:

1- In-app search – Elastic Search 

2- Payments – Briantree, Stripe, PayPal

3- Instant messaging – Firebase 

Frontend

  • React
  • JavaScript
  • WebStorm

Backend

  • Node.js
  • EC2
  • MySQL
  • Swagger
  • Express 4
  • Sequelize

Integrations

  • S3
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Kalviyo
  • Amazon SES
  • Twilio

Ecommerce marketplace development cost

MVP features along with timeline and price

A good and common practice is starting with a minimum viable market/product version. Why is it so? MVP comes only with the must-have features and complex or sophisticated features could be added in the next layer/version in the development process. 

We believe, the faster you launch your marketplace, the sooner you get feedback, what to improve, add or delete. 

Basic Features (almost every marketplace needs) Timeline (approx.) in hours
Sign up
Sign in
14 hrs
Help screen 16 hrs
User profile 12hrs
Homepage 50hrs
Shopping cart 10hrs
Add listings 40hrs
Product details/ pages 50hrs
Payouts 4hrs
Collection page 24hrs
Policy pages 4hrs
Admin panel 20hrs
Ratings and reviews 16hrs
Filters and search 30hrs
Notifications 30hrs

The above features are just the common ones, every project is different and so are the requirements. Based on which, price and timeline change. 

Ecommerce marketplace development cost starts from $20,000.

However, adaptive design is what everyone is interested in these days because more and more customers use their mobile devices for online shopping. Adaptive design makes web pages render smooth on all devices including mobile phones.

Final verdict

In general, ecommerce marketplace development cost depends on the complexity of the project, features, and the region from where you hire a developer/s. Again, we recommend adaptive design so that your web pages open on any device smoothly. 

Phaedra Solutions provides software development services for 7+ years and we know how to build B2B, B2C and P2P marketplaces. Our BA (Business Analyst) team will give you a complete brief on what sort of marketplaces help you sell more, sell better and how we can help you build one. 

Phaedra Solutions Recent Work

We would like to share our recent work on a marketplace we have built for our client.

TwobyThree (MVP Mobile app)

A peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace is developed for sports card trading. The client initially wanted to get listed on eBay but the vendor onboarding and product listing was time taking and not worthy enough in terms of sales. Sports cards buying and selling on a transparent platform with a data-focused approach was what the client was looking for.  

We sorted all of our client’s concerns and offered a marketplace development where vendor can easily list and access his product. User interface is designed in a way that he can upload his products in just few steps. We have provided a deck for each tradable card with analytical tools such as line graph presenting the historic and real-time trading and bidding data on that respective card. 

How much does my marketplace project will cost?

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