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E-commerce marketplace development: 5 trends to consider

9 minute read
How to start online marketplace

Explore the latest marketplace development trends to launch a platform that will be in demand for the next five years.

The revenue from buys through marketplaces will exceed  $7 trillion in 2024 compared to $1.7 trillion in 2019. The growing demand for selling platforms can be explained by excellent user experience derived from the ability to find all the necessary things in one place. Marketplaces enable shoppers to compare prices and goods from different sellers. Thus, the users can choose the best option from the price/quality perspective.

The popularity of online marketplaces will continue to grow in upcoming years. There will be multipurpose platforms like Amazon or eBay and narrow-focused solutions like Etsy or Ububba. With this in mind, e-commerce marketplace development is an informed business decision in 2022. If you want to start such a project, take a look at the five trends to consider.

Ready-made platforms

Different business models require different development approaches. Some companies prioritize project launch speed over unique features. Others lack e-commerce app developers and look for little to no-coding development tools.

In any case, many entrepreneurs search for an optimal way to build a marketplace app. So, it is no wonder that various multi-vendor development platforms arise.

What are these platforms about, and how can they help a business to start an online marketplace? 

To quickly understand what’s what, remember Lego. It has a lot of details from which you can assemble a certain figure. E-commerce marketplace software works the same way. It helps create a multi-vendor solution from predefined templates. However, the main drawback of this approach is the dependence on a third-party tool. The functions of your marketplace will be limited by the technical capabilities of the software provider you choose.

If you are thinking to create a marketplace using SaaS marketplace platforms, here are the best options to consider:

Shopify

Shopify acts as a website builder, meaning that you can create an e-commerce store based on a graphical user interface (GUI). If you are not going to customize the store theme or adjust non-basic settings, no coding skills will be required.

Pros

  • Integration with multiple sales channels 
  • Support for over 100 payment systems worldwide
  • Ability to sell both digital and physical goods

Cons

  • High prices for advanced features
  • Limitations for Shopify Payments in some countries
  • To customize the theme, you need to use Shopify’s programming language: Liquid

Wix

Wix is primarily known as a simple website builder with intuitive drag-and-drop elements. Wix’s e-commerce platform has no less usability. It provides all the needed functionality for beginner sellers and allows for launching a straightforward selling platform in a matter of days.

Pros

  • Quick setup
  • Ample customization opportunities
  • Affordable prices

Cons

  • Fewer features compared to other e-commerce platforms
  • Tracking and analytics are available in a paid plan only
  • SEO tools may not meet the needs of demanding users

BigCommerce

This is another major player in the e-commerce market. It provides advanced functionality for marketplace website development. BigCommerce serves both beginners and experienced merchants as it has an intuitive interface and numerous features for the most demanding customers.

Pros

  • Advanced management tools for products, orders, reports, and more
  • No transaction fees
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Expensive custom themes
  • Strict limitations for the online sales amount
  • Challenging tax settings for merchants selling digital goods

Adobe Commerce

This is the former Magento platform, which has become the missing e-commerce component of Adobe. The platform is designed for B2B and B2C segments and offers all the necessary functionality to run a full-fledged multi-vendor software.

Pros

  • Free starting plan
  • Extensive customization opportunities
  • A lot of Magento developers

Cons

  • Complex setup, strong development skills are required
  • Lack of native SEO tools
  • Limited multichannel strategy

Arcadier

Arcadier is a handy web-master toolset to create a marketplace for renting spaces, ordering services, or buying goods. Unlike its predecessors, Arcadier moves away from the strict template-based approach and allows you to customize the platform using advanced programming tools.

Pros

  • Private marketplace
  • Robust search bar
  • Integration with any payment service provider

Cons

  • High cost of developing any functionality via API
  • No way to sell digital goods
  • May be complex for non-experienced users

Blockchain e-commerce marketplace

Blockchain is a technology represented by decentralized blocks that record, verify and track transactions and contracts between parties. Some time ago, blockchain was associated only with cryptocurrency. But now, it penetrates various industries, and e-commerce development services are no exception. 

According to Statista, B2B cross-border transactions on blockchain will reach $1,77 million in 2025, which is three times more than the same indicator in 2022. Today, e-commerce developers use various ways to involve blockchain in their projects. In some cases, they take it as a main marketplace technology; in others, they apply it to extend existing functionality.

If you don’t want to follow OpenBazaar’s example and create a marketplace fully based on blockchain, consider some of these ways to apply blockchain in your project:

  • Accept cryptocurrencies. This will allow you to expand the payment options for buyers and increase the chance of purchase. Also, cryptocurrency transactions enable transparent payments and fee-free foreign payments.
  • Verify product history. With the help of blockchain, you can enable sellers to prove their brand’s identity and increase customers’ trust.
Marketplace technologies blockchain
Showing product’s history with the help of blockchain technology

Blockchain-based brand verification at Provenance

  • Ensure warranty. If the buyer has a warranty case, they can easily prove product ownership through the records in a distributed ledger.

Buy now, pay later integration

BNPL allows customers to postpone payment for goods that they receive immediately. As a part of BNPL functionality, shoppers can buy high-value and low-value products by joining long-term or short-term installment plans respectively.

For sellers, integrating the BNPL functionality means

  • fewer cart abandonments
  • higher conversions
  • more sales
  • more clients
  • higher brand trust

To add this feature to the marketplace software, the development team should integrate a BNPL solution. Affirm, Afterpay, Sezzle, and Klarna are the most popular BNPL services. The more of them you integrate, the better. The wide range of options will enhance user experience and let customers choose the most convenient payment method.

BNPL feature in e-commerce marketplace software
Multiple BNPL options at e-commerce website

PCI DSS, firewall, and other data security approaches

Security is a critical factor for most customers who shop online. Therefore, when creating a B2B or P2P marketplace platform, developers should pay maximum attention to data protection and compliance with security laws.

The surest way to set up software security is to follow a secure software development life cycle (SSDLC). This approach aims to provide superior app protection through the usage of advanced development technologies and conducting regular testing iterations at every project stage.

At Erbis, we have long adopted SSDLC and successfully applied it for various project types. To achieve the best results, we adapt the development flow for each client, taking into account business specifics and expected deadlines.

When dealing with e-commerce software, we pay special attention to online payments and sensitive data traffic. Here is what we implement to create a safe marketplace platform:

Integrate a reliable payment gateway. We partner only with reputable companies that guarantee high security of payment transactions.

Set up firewalls. This is necessary to filter incoming and outgoing data packages and protect the marketplace platform from external attacks and malware.

Implement HTTPS and SSL certificates. This ensures encryption of user data before transferring it to e-commerce websites, so hackers cannot use it for personal gain even if they access it.

Implement protection against DDoS attacks. For this, we use special third-party solutions. For example, Cloudflare is one of the tools we widely use in e-commerce projects.

Follow Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This is a comprehensive security standard that includes requirements for software dealing with credit card data and online payments.

Enable backup. We store critical data on different servers to enable retrieval in case of an emergency.

Track malicious activity. We connect special security plugins that monitor website traffic and alarm admins if malicious activity is detected.

Educate clients. As part of the project implementation, we provide training sessions for the client to reduce the chance of data breach due to the human factor.

Security in e-commerce app development
Establishing security in e-commerce

Delivery matters: better to be faster than cheaper

The fast pace of life forces people to make quick decisions and be selective about services they use. Today, a great user experience is a priority for many customers. Shoppers are willing to pay more for better products, superior support, and faster delivery.

When ordering clothes, cosmetics, furniture or other manufactured goods, customers want to receive them within 1-2 days. When it comes to groceries, users’ expectations become even more demanding with customers wanting to receive the order within an hour or less.

The recent Statista research shows that half of US shoppers regularly use rapid grocery delivery services. With this in mind, establishing an efficient logistics system is a must for entrepreneurs who want to start an ecommerce app development.

By integrating shipping API, you can partner with local short-distance carriers executing delivery by bicycle, scooter, or on foot. Available express delivery on your website will attract more buyers, grow sales, increase profits, and create stronger confidence in your brand.

Summing up

On the one hand, an enormous number of online stores provide customers with a wide choice of goods; on the other, it leads to some confusion about which seller to choose. E-commerce marketplaces solve this problem by gathering all sellers in one place. They allow shoppers to compare prices and products and choose the store which best meets their needs.

In 2022, marketplace development is a sure trend, and e-commerce developers are highly in demand. However, finding true specialists is a big challenge and recruiting can take months, if not years.

At Erbis, we have vast experience in marketplace development for web and mobile platforms. If you want to start an e-commerce project and are looking for a mature development team, contact us. We will be happy to help.

April 29, 2022
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