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How to Build a Marketplace Website MVP

codicacom profile image Codica Originally published at codica.com ・3 min read

The article was originally published on Codica Blog.

Do you want to build a successful and profitable marketplace website? Start with a Minimum Viable Product approach. It allows saving a lot of time and money, and receiving valuable feedback on the solution and its primary features. Building an MVP, you will surely realize whether your idea is worth investing in or not.

In this article, we want to explore the way you can build a marketplace website MVP within simple steps.

Why start with an MVP

An MVP is a version of your marketplace that includes only the most basic functions. Once the Minimum Viable Product is built, you will be able to realize what should be changed/deleted/added on the website. It becomes possible with feedback from your early users.

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The main principles to follow when building a marketplace MVP

  • Narrow focus
    Aim both your financial and mental efforts at covering the smaller groups of the audience in the early days.

  • Users in mind
    Always take into consideration the users’ pain points you solve. For example, you can try to answer the following question: why would someone need your product and what can it offer them?

  • A slow, but promising start
    Success always takes time. You need to build all the basic and additional features, target both consumers and sellers, and promote the platform. For sure, it cannot be performed in one day. It means that you should go on creating and expanding your product.

World-famous examples of an MVP for marketplaces

Amazon
To date, it is difficult to meet a person who does not know about such an e-commerce giant like Amazon. However, few do know that in 1994 the corporation began selling low-cost books with the simplest design.

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It was a successful MVP as the books are easy-to-sell and easy-to-ship products. Step by step, the marketplace started expanding the product categories. This way, they became the largest online marketplace platform in the world.

Core functionality of a marketplace MVP

As stated earlier, the functionality of an MVP marketplace should provide value to your potential users. It means you need to implement features that will cover most of both platform sides’ needs. It includes providing the best user experience, easy navigation, and others.

Let’s now take a look at the main features for your MVP:

  • Account page of buyers and vendors
  • Product page
  • Search option
  • Messaging
  • Payments processing
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Notifications
  • Administration panel.

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How to further develop your marketplace MVP

When you finish building the MVP version of your e-commerce platform, you will get feedback from website users. It allows you to understand what features should be improved or added.

Here comes the Build-Measure-Learn (BML) technique of Lean Startup methodology. With the help of this approach, you can make the online marketplace development process efficient. So, you create the product, analyze it and collect feedback. After that, you decide what should be added/deleted/modified. This is a cyclic process that leads to constant improvement.

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Let’s now take a look at some additional marketplace features that you can build after implementing the main functionality.

  • Mobile version
  • Comparison of goods and services
  • Social network sharing
  • Wish list
  • Localization.

Technology stack

At Codica, we form a list of the best possible technologies before starting a new project. It is important as different tools have their specific advantages.

Below you can see the list of tools we use in practice for custom marketplace development:

  • Server-side
    We work with Ruby, Ruby on Rails, ElasticSearch, Redis, i18n gem, MySQL, and Sidekiq for handling server-side operations.

  • Client-side
    Considering the client-side tools, we use HTML5, CSS3, JS, Ruby on Rails, React, and Vue.js in practice.

  • Tools
    At Codica, we prefer the following tools: AWS S3, GitLab, GitHub, Slack, Digital Ocean.

Conclusion

Marketplace web development can be a tough hill to climb, it takes a large amount of time and effort to succeed. The more efficient way is to know how to build a marketplace website MVP version that validates and verifies your ideas in the early days. This way, you collect initial feedback from potential users and investors. As a result, you can generate a client base and improve the product.

The article was originally published on Codica Blog.

Discussion (2)

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dana_k profile image
Dana Kozubska

That's a good guide, thank you! MVP development is an important part of successful marketplace development.

Did you know that there are four alternative ways to build a marketplace? Open-source software may be the first that comes to mind, but it's not the only one. I covered it extensively in my recent article: byteant.com/blog/p2p-peer-to-peer-....
You might want to check it out!

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parasgr7 profile image
Parasgr7 • Edited

Hey Guys,
I have been working on developing an eLearning platform called 1oh1.

Instead of being structured courses of text and video like other sites, it’s designed so you can learn anything from anyone by booking time and having a live, one-on-one video conversation with the experienced individual to get specific help.

Think coffee with a mentor, office-hours at university, or, as we suggest, the Uber of education.