A Guide To Build Your First Marketplace Startup

The term ‘marketplace’ has been used to define a business that sells products, typically online, by bringing together buyers and sellers. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to launch a marketplace startup, then this post is for you!

Introduction: What is a Marketplace Startup?

A marketplace startup is a company that creates a platform for buyers and sellers to connect and transact. The most successful examples are Airbnb, Uber, and eBay.

Marketplace startups have the potential to be highly disruptive and transform entire industries. They are often lauded for their ability to create new economic value and empower consumers and small businesses.

However, building a successful marketplace startup is no easy feat. It requires a deep understanding of both the market you’re operating in and the technology needed to create a compelling user experience.

This guide will give you an overview of how to start a marketplace startup, from ideation to launch. We’ll also share some of the best strategies for growth and success.

Vertical or horizontal marketplace?

When choosing a marketplace business model, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to build a vertical or horizontal marketplace. Each option has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully before making a decision.

A vertical marketplace is a platform that connects buyers and sellers in a specific industry or niche. For example, Etsy is a vertical marketplace for handmade goods, while Upwork is a vertical marketplace for freelancers. You can read upwork reviews and find more about marketplace.

The benefits of building a vertical marketplace include:

  • Increased control over the quality of products and services offered on the platform
  • Greater ability to target a specific audience or market segment
  • Easier to establish yourself as an authority in your niche

The downside of building a vertical marketplace is that it can be more difficult to scale than a horizontal marketplace. That’s because you’re limited to connecting buyers and sellers in a specific industry or niche, rather than across multiple industries.

A horizontal marketplace, on the other hand, is a platform that connects buyers and sellers across multiple industries. The best example of a horizontal marketplace is eBay, which connects buyers and sellers of everything from electronics to clothing to collectibles.

The benefits of building a horizontal marketplace include:

  • Greater potential for scalability due to the broad range of products and services offered on the platform
  • Increased visibility due to the sheer number of buyers and sellers

Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

It’s no secret that building a marketplace startup is difficult. There are a lot of moving parts, and it can be hard to get everything up and running smoothly. One of the best ways to overcome these challenges is to start with a minimum viable product (MVP).

An MVP is a version of your product or service that has the bare minimum features necessary to be operational. The goal of an MVP is to test your hypotheses about your business quickly and cheaply. This allows you to make changes early on based on feedback from real users, rather than wasting time and money building something that no one wants.

Of course, launching an MVP doesn’t mean you can skimp on quality. Your MVP still needs to be well-designed and offer a great user experience. But it should be simple and focused, without any bells and whistles that aren’t absolutely essential.

Starting with an MVP can help you avoid common mistakes made by marketplace startups. It will also allow you to validate your business idea before making a more significant investment. So if you’re looking to launch a marketplace startup, don’t wait until everything is perfect—start with an MVP today.

Get Feedback from Customers at Every Stage

If you want to build a successful marketplace startup, you need to get feedback from customers at every stage. This will help you validate your ideas, assess customer demand, and improve your product or service.

There are a few different ways to get feedback from customers:

  1. Surveys
  2. Interviews
  3. Focus groups
  4. User testing

Surveys are a great way to gather feedback from a large number of people quickly and efficiently. You can use online tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to create and distribute surveys.

Interviews are another effective way to gather feedback from customers. You can conduct telephone or in-person interviews, or use video conferencing tools like Skype or Zoom. Focus groups are similar to interviews, but usually involve a smaller group of people (8-10) who discuss the topic together in one session.

User testing is a more hands-on approach to gathering feedback from customers. You can ask potential users to try out your product or service and provide feedback on their experience. This can be done in person or using remote user testing tools like UserTesting or TryMyUI.

Different Platforms To Build Your Marketplace Website

There are a number of different platform options available for individuals looking to build their own marketplace website. The best platform for each individual will depend on a number of factors, including the type of marketplace being created, the budget, and the level of technical expertise.

Some popular platforms for building marketplace websites include Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. Each of these platforms has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs. While building such marketplace websites, you need to follow the stringent ADA compliance website checklist, as the federal US government has made it 100% mandatory to design a site that is ADA & WCAG compliant, so that it is fully accessible to all kinds of individuals with physical disabilities or vision impairments. Therefore, you can consult the web accessibility implementation experts like “Accessibility Spark” that can analyze, check and fix all accessibility issues of your website.

Shopify is a popular eCommerce platform that offers a number of features and tools specifically designed for marketplace websites. It’s easy to use and requires no prior coding knowledge, making it a good option for those with limited technical expertise.

However, it can be more expensive than some other platforms, and it doesn’t offer as much flexibility in terms of customization. Else, you can customize your own Shopify website or WooCommerce store by incorporating a spin to win app or an email pop up app, where a user can play a game, win a discount coupon, and thereby shop on your store with the discount code. Here, an expert like “Tada” can help integrate one such Shopify email popup and increase store conversion, sales & decrease cart abandonment.

Magento is another popular eCommerce platform that’s often used for creating marketplace websites. It’s more flexible than Shopify and offers more powerful features, but it can be more difficult to use if you don’t have experience with coding or web development.

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that turns a WordPress website into an online store. It’s relatively easy to use and offers a lot of flexibility in terms of customization, making it a good option for those who want to create a unique marketplace website. However, because WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress, it can be more expensive than some other platforms. But if you stick to a good Woocommerce hosting service like, you’ll be able to build your marketplace at very affordable price.


There you have it — a guide to building your marketplace startup. With any luck, these tips will help you get your business off the ground and ensure its long-term success. Do you have any other tips to add? Be sure to share them in the comments below!

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