Five Ways To Build A Marketplace Platform (And How To Choose Yours)

To date, there are many different ways to create marketplace platforms. In this article, we will consider five particular methods so that you will be able to make the right choice based on your budget, competence, and the required release date.

Basic options for creating a platform

So, let’s list the main approaches to creating marketplace platforms.

Platform development from scratch individually

This approach implies that you and your team have enough knowledge of programming languages

and skills in working with frameworks. This is the most budgetary solution for experienced developers who want “from and to” take part in the creation of the project. Also, this method saves you from the need to purchase licenses (which can be quite expensive).

But you should be aware that the quality of the created solution will depend directly on your qualification, and the speed of its development will be closely connected with the size of your team. In addition, all updates and technical support will fall on your shoulders, which means that in the future you will need to spend a lot of time on servicing the already operating platform.

Hiring a development team for creating a new platform from scratch

This approach does not differ from the previous one too much, except that all the technical work will be performed by the team of developers you hire. In this case, you will not be so restricted by your knowledge as with the previous option. On the other hand, you, one way or another, will have to spend a considerable amount of money on the services provided. Keep in mind that the increased urgency and complexity of the created software will cause some additional costs (as a rule, American developers ask at least 50 thousand dollars). It is also important to know about risks associated with the fact that expenditures may not pay off.

Platform development on top of a ready-made solution by yourself

In this case, you build your own solution on top of the ready-made commercial platform. This is much cheaper than previous two options; moreover, in view of the fact that this template has already been repeatedly and successfully tested by developers and users, with a high probability, its deployment will fully pay off in the near future. Note that the launch speed of such a platform is also much higher than in previous cases. However, template owners rarely make its code-base open, so its configuration options generally are limited. You will also have to pay for the renewal of the license.

Hiring a development team to build a platform on top of a ready-made solution

Following this method, you will do everything the same as in the previous case, only with the hands of third-party developers. This is an excellent option for those who are ready to invest in their future project but have not enough professional skills in working with platforms to build their own solutions. Yes, it will require from you, at least, a couple of tens of thousands of dollars (if we’re talking about development teams from the US), but you can not waste your time learning nuances of working with the chosen web-platform.

Creating a platform using SaaS

This method involves setting up an almost ready-to-use template. This is the fastest way to deploy an online marketplace among all presented here. In addition, such templates are fairly simple to configure and can be easily used even by non-professionals who do not know any programming language aspects. The cost of SaaS software, as a rule, does not exceed $1,000. At the same time, you should remember that such solutions provide a rather limited set of parameters for customization and scaling at all.

What questions should I ask myself before choosing this or that approach?

And now we want to draw your attention to three main questions, based on the answers to which you will be able to make a decision – what approach could be applied in creating an online marketplace platform in your particular case.

How much is your budget?

If you do not plan to spend more than $5,000, you should rely on your strengths and build the platform by yourself. Alternatively, choose one of the SaaS services and just configure it. If the upper limit of the budget is 40-50 thousand US dollars, a team of freelancers can help you (in this case, they will use one of the ready-made platforms and build over it a new solution, which will meet all your business goals). And, if you are able to spend more than $50,000, it will be better if you hire a team that will thoroughly study your project and will build a solution that would ideally fit it.

Are you an experienced developer?

If you are an inexperienced developer, you may consider a dedicated programmers team. If you plan to use SaaS, you need, at least, the basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. Otherwise, if you have the time, you can rely solely on your knowledge.

How quickly should the product go into operation?

If you are limited to a few weeks – a couple of months, SaaS is what you need. Up to six months, the project can be fully built over one of the commercial platforms. Well, if you do not hurry anywhere – choose what you like the most.


We hope that our analysis will help you come to the right conclusion about choosing an approach in creating your own marketplace platform. In particular, if you decided to contact the high-professional development team, we will work with you with great pleasure!