How to Create an Online Marketplace Step by Step

Create an Online Marketplace

Some of the world’s most popular websites are online marketplaces. For example, platforms like Amazon and eBay have millions of daily users. They also make billions of dollars per year. In this article, you’ll learn how to build a marketplace website, as well as what you should know when launching this type of business. 

How to Build a Marketplace Website in 4 Easy Steps 

  1.  Types of online marketplaces 
  2.  How to create an online marketplace website 

2.1. Come up with an idea

2.2. Build your prototype

2.3. Build your MVP

2.4. Develop your user base 

Types of Online Marketplaces 

Online marketplaces come in three categories. These include:

  • Business to business marketplaces.
  • Business to customer marketplaces.
  • Customer-to-customer marketplaces.

In addition to this, marketplaces can utilize one of these business models. 

  • Commission-based business model.
  • Subscription-based business model.
  • Listing fee business model.
  • Paid promotions.
  • Advertising.

How to Create an Online Marketplace Website 

2.1. Come up with an Idea

What you have to realize is that competing against the existing marketplace is almost impossible. This is why you need to choose a niche where there is very little competition. Try to think of a unique problem that your marketplace can solve. Who are you going to sell to, and what are their exact specific needs. How big is this market, and can they support your idea? Also, think about your competition and what type of business model you’re going to use. 

2.2. Build Your Prototype

Start by designing your marketplace on paper. Doing this is a great way to think through your idea and is useful if you’re trying to attract investors. Once that is done, you’ll start to actually develop the platform. In order to create an online marketplace, you’ll probably need to hire developers. When doing this, it’s a good idea to create extensive project documentation. This will serve as a guide for developers. It will also help you save time and money. 

2.3. Build Your MVP

This acronym stands for the minimum viable platform. This is basically the point where your platform is fully functioning. If you’re wondering how to make a minimum viable platform, there are several boxes you need to check. First, development should be complete, and the platform must be online. Second, sellers must be able to list their products or services. Third, buyers must be able to browse the site and place orders. 

When building your MVP, it’s a good idea to keep things as simple as possible. This is because the aim of your MVP is simply to test the viability of the platform. For this reason, you do not want to spend too much money on design. 

2.4. Develop Your User Base

Attracting buyers and sellers is the most difficult step when you build a marketplace website. The reason why is simple, without sellers, you won’t attract buyers. The opposite is also true, without buyers, you won’t attract sellers. It’s sort of like the question “which came first, the chicken or the egg.” So how do you do this? Here are a few ways to get started:

Finding sellers:

  •  Find sellers on other marketplaces: Tell them about your marketplace, what you have on offer, and ask if they want to join.
  •  Use search engines: Look for people who are selling products or services related to your marketplace.
  •  Use social media: you can usually find groups of sellers on social media. These are great places to find recruits for your platform. 

Finding buyers:

  •  Start a blog: a blog about topics related to your marketplace. Use SEO to rank these posts and bring in visitors. 
  •  Use social media: build a community for your marketplace with platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  
  •  Use paid advertising: with online advertising, you can find people who are actively looking for your service.  

Final Thoughts 

Marketplace websites are the future of the internet. Platforms like Amazon and eBay are only getting bigger. Not only that, these platforms make billions and have almost completely replaced traditional forms of selling and buyers. With these steps, you can easily build a marketplace website and join in their success. 


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