How to Build a Marketplace MVP and Not Fail

by Anna Khrupa on Jul 27, 2022

Everyone nowadays knows such giants as Amazon, AliExpress, and eBay. The marketplace model has proven to be workable and profitable to sell goods and services online. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to create an attractive and popular web solution on the first try, because every marketplace has its specifics. That’s why it’s a good idea to start your new platform development with an MVP.

MVP stands for the Minimum Viable Product, which means a fully operational version of the software solution with only basic features. It can be fixed and scaled later based on the early adopters’ feedback. So, marketplace MVP development can help you create a custom site that will be scalable and much-loved.  MVP allows you to get a valuable response from your clients immediately after the launch of the platform.

What’s more, MVP creation is time and budget-saving, because you will quickly understand if your idea is worth your investments.

What Are the Key Principles in MVP Creation?

Every software solution has its peculiarities and principles of development. Go on reading to learn the major principles of MVP development.

Narrow focus

In the very beginning, the efforts should be aimed at the key functionality and smaller user groups. In such a way, you can make the most of your budget and continue with the larger target audience clusters.

Clients in mind

To gain your clients once and forever, focus on their pain points, fix them, and provide positive UX. So, think about how your product will improve your customers’ lives, and what to offer to stand out among competitors.

A slow start

Don’t try to get everything at a time, but remember that success takes time. During your marketplace development, you’ll have to implement all the main features and add-on value for both vendors and target customers, then take care to promote it. However, if you spend much time and do not reach the defined goals at the stage of creating an online MVP marketplace, reconsider the business model.

How to Create a Marketplace Website MVP?

To create an efficient marketplace MVP, you need to carry out a detailed and profound analysis of the product, target audience, and business specifics. So, the following steps are required:


It includes competitors’ research, weak points detection, and a roadmap for further development creation.

Core features definition

Only the features that provide MVP’s smooth work and appropriate representation for users and stakeholders are determined. Still, it’s vital to keep a balance and avoid making the site too austere.

UX concept

User experience or UX is the key to a platform’s popularity, so be user-oriented. Prepare a clickable representation of the product with your product before the actual development starts.

MVP development

Marketplace MVP development requires accuracy and attention to detail and should be realized step-by-step.  More than that, the developer should be able to correct a mistake right away and scale the solution later, which means that the technologies for development should also be carefully chosen.

Getting feedback

It is not enough to launch an MVP; you need to gather feedback and ensure your clients are happy.  In case there are some bugs found, they should be fixed.  This step is valuable because it helps to define the vector for further growth.

What Are the Core Features of a Marketplace MVP?

When you build an MVP for an online marketplace, it should attract users with its functionality. So, implement the functionality that will cover the maximum of the users’ needs, providing them with an outstanding user experience, intuitive interface, simple navigation, etc.

Keep in mind the expectations of both user groups: customers and vendors.

Customers want:

  • safe and sound transactions;
  • a broad assortment of products/services with a varied price range;
  • a smooth UX;
  • special offers for the items they buy most often.

Vendors want:

  • more clients and increased market share;
  • a full package of services in one place;
  • low marketing costs;
  • opportunities for business promotion.

So, the major features to develop are described below.

A homepage should be simple, yet attractive.

Registration and authorization options should be realized to allow account creation.

Personal accounts for both vendors and buyers should allow them to easily manage their goods and orders.

Product pages should be developed so that the customers can find all the item details, including its description, price, customer reviews, warranties, and price.

Reviews and ratings make your platform trustworthy. Reviews from real people make customers feel more confident.

Search is an extremely important feature for user convenience. It enables the users to find the product they want quickly and without hassle.

Messenger helps the customers and vendors get in touch and discuss a product or service, its cost, delivery options, etc.

Multiple payment options are vital to get payments and help attract different users.

Notifications allow the users to stay engaged with your brand and marketplace. They also enhance UX and can effectively boost traffic.

Admin panel provides an administrator with the possibility to edit platform info as well as monitor, track and manage the sellers’ and buyers’ interactions.

Once building an MVP with the basic features, get feedback from the users and analyze what to improve, modify, delete, or add.

Additional features to implement later may become:

  • Platform mobile version;
  • Localization;
  • Goods comparison option;
  • Social media sharing;
  • Wish list.

How Much Does it Cost to Build an Online Marketplace MVP?

Any development cost is always determined by multiple aspects. It depends on the approach and methodology of product creation, the chosen tech stack, and the specialists involved.

You can build an MVP for the marketplace from scratch or get a ready-made template and customize it, hire freelancers or outsource to a development company, trust your project to junior developers or prefer seniors. Each of these factors impacts the budget of your project.

However, you can expect something between 15,000 USD and 50,000 USD. To get a more precise figure, you should consult the developers and provide them with all the details of your project, solution requirements, and business model.

Final Thoughts

Starting your project development with an MVP, you get multiple advantages: a quick time to market, finding out the features more likely to get popular, verifying the right choice of features, ensuring your target audience is really interested, and fast detection of flaws and imperfections. So, MVP is a cost-effective initial step to cutting-edge full-featured marketplace development in the future.


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