Thriving marketplaces are generally viewed as a global phenomenon. Economic indicators in this sector increase every year. Over 40% of global e-commerce sales are expected to take place in marketplaces by 2020. In addition, we observe a record turnover in the e-commerce industry every year. Not without reason, another world brands are fighting each other in market share.
In the case of marketplaces, the dominant market is the U.S., which is also developing very dynamically in Europe’s marketplaces. At the beginning of 2019, 14 of the100 largest marketplaces are located in Europe, which is a promising fact. Customers often ask us which strategy they should choose to quickly develop a business and be competitive in the market. Certainly, this entails a long process, but on the basis of my experience and market observation, I would like to present you tips that are worth remembering during digital marketplace development.
Mobile and progressive web apps
If you use traffic monitoring tools in your marketplace (e.g., Google Analytics), then notice how much traffic comes from mobile devices. This phenomenon has been growing for several years, and it should be expected that mobile traffic will be increasingly crowding out traditional computer users.
That is why it is very important to have a well-adjusted and properly-designed marketplace. The most important rule is to ensure that your marketplace is responsive on every device. Meanwhile, many people are still unduly underestimating mobile devices. You must know that your marketplace could be more often displayed to users provided that it will be optimized for mobile devices. In addition, remember about high-quality UX design. This factor will allow you to ensure the experience of your users and make them better perceive your marketplace.
Progressive web applications (PWA) are currently a popular trend. Their biggest advantage is their exceptional usability and high user experience. By combining the functions of websites and native applications, PWA design is becoming the norm. It allows developers to build dynamic applications without the need for hybrid frameworks. I have no doubt that this solution can also be perfect for your marketplace.
I talked to Codest developers and asked them what they thought is the best technology that allows them to quickly scale their businesses. They quickly replied, “Ruby on Rails. ” Okay, Ruby is our core backend technology, but it does not mean that I would recommend Ruby on Rails as software for every product. In case you are building your own marketplace, you care about rapid development, and Ruby on Rails will be really the best solution. You can achieve the first product functionalities several times faster than in other languages. This scenario is made possible by the Rails framework, which speeds up the work of developers.
Moreover, it is easier to estimate the costs of a project developed with Ruby on Rails. When, together with a team of developers, you define the project specification, they will be able to assess the initial time range of the project, and you will find out what the minimum budget is.
The described marketplace scaling method is directly related to the minimum viable product (MVP) approach. The idea is to create a product with basic functionalities as soon as possible and to let your customers start using it. You will then have the opportunity to test different solutions and collect feedback.
When you want to develop your marketplace through the MVP approach, it is good to find an external partner who specializes in the software development project. You can also use ready-made paid services, but you must bear in mind that this solution will make your marketplace less suited to your expectations.
I am convinced that modern marketplaces cannot ignore artificial intelligence. Experts estimate that this is one of the most important technological trends in 2019, which may soon revolutionize the market. Anyway, just look at the world’s largest brands that also develop artificial intelligence. Some time ago, Facebook decided to use AI in their purchasing process.
In sum, if you want to be up to date with the latest and innovative solutions and to attract the attention of users and create a comprehensive marketplace, then you should definitely consider implementing artificial intelligence. A good strategy at the beginning is to gradually test artificial intelligence solutions and look for the best options for your marketplace. If you decide to do so, then ask for help from a partner specialized in this topic.
Looking for a niche
Maybe this is an obvious statement, but note that many marketplaces that are copies of solutions already available in the market are created. Competing with market rivals is inevitable in this case. In turn, if you manage to build a marketplace that brings new value to users and provide them with innovative experiences and products that are inaccessible from other competitors, then your chance for success is growing rapidly.
Searching a niche is also associated with numerous tests. It does not matter if you are just building a marketplace or you already own one. Tests are its integral part. You can test small functionalities and larger solutions. An experienced partner specializing in building marketplaces will certainly be helpful for you. Focus on what is visible to everyone, e.g., UI/UX design, and regularly develop your software.
A well thought out and developed marketplace is a chance for great success. Seeing the statistics that I presented in this article, I can easily guess what opportunities this market opens for new companies. Finally, remember that just obtaining investment for building a marketplace does not mean that you can celebrate success. Unfortunately, many startups present this approach and later run into problems. They ignore such factors as current trends, technology news, or make wrong decisions related to product development. Be vigilant.