The eCommerce business is a popular choice among entrepreneurs nowadays. It’s a scalable and really flexible approach to make money online. However, the “no gain without pain” principle applies to the eCommerce scope as well. Creating a marketplace platform is a complex objective that requires both knowledge and perseverance.
The worldwide eCommerce community is continually working on refining its professional area and providing more and more opportunities for new members to join. There are numerous paths of marketplace platform development, and we will highlight 3 most common and popular methods to build and launch your very own eCommerce project!
1. Unaided Development from Scratch
This is the cheapest solution for building a platform, as you rely entirely on your team. No additional expenses on hiring developers or software licensing. The project can have zero budget, but what is more important, this method opens the broadest range of customization options. You get the possibility to implement some unique ideas the way you want it. That’s an indisputable advantage of this approach.
But there are always two sides to a coin. You have to understand that the quality and development time of your business is 100% based on your programming and management skills. Professionals always guarantee excellent results in a timely manner, but can you manage that on your own?
All in all, these are the main characteristics of building an unaided platform from the ground up:
- Remarkably low costs;
- Decent flexibility and customization;
- Significant time needed;
- Your team’s expertise completely determines the project’s quality.
2. Creating a Marketplace Platform from Scratch with Development Experts
Still insisting on business personalization and total uniqueness, but wishing to invest money in ensuring the platform’s quality? Hiring a developer team may be exactly what you are looking for! Experts definitely know how to meet your expectations in the fastest and most reasonable way.
Nevertheless, it often costs a pretty penny to keep professional developers working on your business. What is even more crucial, you have to always bear in mind that your investments may just not pay off if you make a mistake in your platform strategy. How can you dodge this bullet?
Try Going Agile
Modern startup methodologies include testing your idea before expanding it to the production levels. It’s called an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
What you have to do is develop an early version of your marketplace platform and validate your idea. In this way, you can avoid wasting the whole budget on an ineffective idea and maintain decent product level at the same time.
On balance, building a marketplace platform from scratch with the developer team means:
- Unique design and features;
- Moderate development cycle time;
- Questionable cost-effectiveness (can be handled with MVP).
3. Using SaaS
The SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions are, basically, ready-made marketplace platforms. Software suppliers do all the platform development work for you, letting you configure and customize it the way you want. SaaS products come with CMSs (content management systems), removing the necessity to interact with the code. Software as a service solution is the best choice for entrepreneurs who have no time to waste and absolutely zero tech background, as the marketplace platform management is simplified to the user level.
On the other hand, SaaS can’t provide any significant custom design configuration options, as the CMSs only cover the base transformations. Furthermore, subscription plans for SaaS are quite expensive. If you find a software supplier who offers a lifetime license, you can end up paying a 5-digit sum for a not particularly customized solution. This method is perfect for those who prefer to skip the coding and jump right into sales.
To sum up, SaaS products are characterized by:
- Swift configuration;
- Intuitive design and feature management;
- A substantial license or subscription plan cost.
Using SaaS, you can go further the two following ways:
Use SaaS to Build Your Marketplace Platform by Yourself
Sometimes you don’t need the full power of customization or are just aiming to cut the development time substantially. That’s when you choose to create your marketplace platform using existing frameworks and software. Easy-to-learn technologies and moderate building time puts this solution in between the from-scratch development and ordering the completed marketplace platform from developers.
Although this way implies a much faster project launch, ready-made software providers often make you pay for a subscription plan and restrict some configuration options. They don’t usually offer open-source solutions, and this places certain limitations on your business.
On the whole, this development methodology brings the following aspects to the process:
- Low budget demands;
- Moderate time of platform creation;
- Limited flexibility;
- Need for license renewal.
Use SaaS to Build Your Marketplace Platform with the Developer Team
Third-party experts charge a considerable payment for their services, but sometimes it entirely pays off. If you are looking for fast and efficient solutions that will cost you less than hiring a team to build a marketplace platform from the ground up, this is precisely what you need.
One more aspect that plays in this method’s favor is that the flexibility issues are much less drastic than in the previous one. Professional workers can perform significantly deeper customization and implement more features in your platform than you can by yourself.
These are the main pros and cons of this development path:
- Moderate monetary expenses;
- Relatively fast building cycle;
- Medium flexibility and customization levels.
What to Bear in Mind When Building Your Marketplace Platform
You have to evaluate and keep in mind some business aspects to pick the right approach to your project development, because an impulsive decision can lead to tremendous losses.
Consistent funding for your platform development is essential, as a lack of money in the middle of the project will ruin the whole process, whether it’s losing developers or admin panel being locked due to license expiration.
Decide on the money you can afford to spend. If it’s a $5,000 solution, go for unaided approach or use the SaaS to start sales immediately to keep the figures up. If we are talking about $20,000-$50,000, you have the opportunity to engage with the top tech guys to realize your idea with cutting-edge concepts and technologies.
Your Development Expertise
Let’s be honest here, you don’t need to work on the development on your own if you can’t deliver decent product quality. Attempts to prove yourself wrong will only discourage you at the end. If you don’t feel confident in programming and coding architecture scopes, we strongly recommend cooperating with experts or choosing a ready-made marketplace platform.
Time to Market
The last but not least: the time you have till the launch. The technology race sometimes creates a situation when two similar companies with similar products start growing. The one that got on the market first receives all the credit for technology and, consequently, all the revenue from it. Don’t overestimate the time you can afford to spend when planning your business.
The Bottom Line
Marketplace platform development is not a one-day project. It’s full of complex subtasks and decision you need to make. How will your company grow, which level of expertise do you need and how many tech professionals you can afford paying to keep up a stable and consistent building cycle?
Remember to take into consideration all the aforementioned aspects, and always think twice when choosing your way to build and launch a marketplace platform.
If you decided to have professional assistance involved, we would gladly help you to start bringing your idea to life today!
A source https://roobykon.com/blog