eCommerce opens up a wide range of possibilities. The form of eCommerce—Marketplaces is flourishing now as well. Imagine that launch of your marketplace was successful, then you implement strategies and your business is growing. But once you can notice that your marketplace has reached its peak, what to do? You can make a marketplace app!
In this article, we will go through possibilities that an app can bring into your business, analyze statistics, and find some hints which can indicate stagnation of your business.
What is a marketplace app?
An online marketplace website is a platform where different vendors can display their products and services. A marketplace app is a mobile application of a website. Not only it may be the next step after launching as a way to expand the possibilities of your business, but also a part of the starting marketing strategy.
Keep in mind: before we come to the process of building an application marketplace should be already launched. Let’s turn to basic learning about this technology.
Marketplaces were created in the 90s and have been proliferating since the 2010s. The most common examples of such platforms are: Amazon, eBay, Shopee, Etsy, Airbnb, and Alibaba. Today all these websites have mobile apps. Let’s see the comparative table that shows the foundation date and app creation.
Most of the leading marketplaces choose to launch website versions first. It is curious to see the dependence: the later a marketplace was launched, the faster they decide to make a marketplace app. When big players came to the stage, mobile telephones were not as widespread and developed as now.
Actually, today the creation of an app depends on the budgets. And today’s business follows the strategy: the faster, the better. It is applicable to mobile apps, too. Companies are trying to cover as much of the audience as possible via computers, tablets, and mobile phones. After building an application, marketplaces get a new lease of life. Launching an app has certain advantages and we will look through them in this article.
The signs that your business is ready to adding a mobile application
In the sphere of marketplaces, the mobile application is usually a second step after successful launching of a website platform. It becomes a needity that can be distinguished by special signs. There is a list of them:
- Your business needs to be optimized. You have noticed that some employees have routine and monotonous tasks that can be performed technologically. You have repeated purchases; your clients often come back to make a purchase.
- Statistics of the website shows that customers often use the mobile version of the website. It means that your audience is ready and willing to switch to application.
- You already have the loyalty system and you can tell that a mobile application can help to boost and popularize it. This will increase sales and attract new customers.
- You would like to get the other little advantages that applications can offer.
Mobile applications look like a rosy picture for most entrepreneurs. They are partially right. In the next section, we will take a glance at the statistics and challenges that entrepreneurs can face when they are trying to create app marketplaces.
Pros and cons of the idea to build marketplace apps
Increasing number of people prefer shopping online, since it gives more opportunities of big choice and comparing products. Moreover, delivery services and return of the goods which are usually included makes online shopping even more appealing. New possibilities that come with the decision to build marketplace apps are not surprising. Let’s see why entrepreneurs should think about creating an app and we should definitely start with statistics.=
Ordering via smartphone is increasing constantly. Tablets become less popular. The percentage of people who prefer using the desktop version is approximately the same for both years. We are looking forward to seeing the statistics for the current year.
Researchers have found that people spend 3 hours 15 minutes and pick up their phone 58 times daily.
Researchers have found that people spend 3 hours 15 minutes and pick up their phone 58 times daily.
This interesting fact is the reason why you should start a mobile application, but the significance of this point will be fully disclosed a bit later.
The graphs show the advantages of selling online, which were mentioned by companies. First of all, you can accumulate information such as geographical location, preferences, devices that they use and make. Mobile applications help to centralize this information and make it more convenient for users and companies.
Given all the benefits of online selling and frequency of mobile phone usage, we can guess the advantages of using an app:
- Your app is always on display and serves as a reminder of the possibility of shopping. More than 3 hours a day potential clients use their mobile phone and see your app every time when they come to a home screen. It is a good free advertisement. You can also use push notifications to promote products or vendors. There is a guarantee that clients will see them.
- Improvement of shopping experience. Mobile apps are usually more user-friendly, look better and work faster. You need only a couple of clicks to make an order. All these factors determine a tendency to build marketplace apps.
- It helps to engage people in your community. Comments, feedback, and exchange of photos of products is easier to do via mobile phone. It helps to cultivate trustful relationships between seller and buyer.
- Positively affect the image of your marketplace. An app is a signal that a company is big and reliable. It is like a psychological trick.
- Improve customer loyalty. Application is a convenient tool to introduce special offers and discounts.
- Provide advanced analytics. It can show the customers preferences, interests, and other features to make your marketplace more customer-oriented.
- Optimization of business processes. Managers usually spend most of their time filling the client’s ordering form. With the mobile application clients can provide the information once and automize the ordering process.
Challenges of creation of the mobile app:
1. Mobile apps should be adapted to several mobile platforms: Android, iPhone, and etc. It requires time and money.
2. The future updating and developing can be expensive. You will need to hire specialists to serve an application. It adds more costs for the business.
3. General unwillingness to add new applications. People are linked to being suspicious about everything new. It may take time to convince them to switch to an app.
How to cope with these difficulties?
Firstly, you can find investors for your project. Surprisingly, they might be in your close circle of friends or relatives. You need to discuss your ideas with them to find like-minded people. Do not forget about special platforms where people can present their project and find investors. They are very effective only when you can present your project confidently and specifically. But there is nothing more beneficial for planning than preparing a presentation. You can notice some unpleasant gaps and cover them on the stage of planning.
Secondly, appropriate marketing strategy can help to smooth the first contact mistrust. Favorable conditions and discounts may convince users to download the app. An important part is to make an application user-friendly. With these measures you can win long-term relationships with both sides and attract them to register in your marketplace app.
In general, it is very important to choose reliable partners for developing your application. CS-Cart also has opportunities that allow users themselves or our developers to create marketplace apps. You can see the advantages of it and try the demo version on this page.
How to successfully make a marketplace app
There are some relevant steps when you decide to build marketplace apps. If we try to present them briefly, we will get this result:
- Build a model of your idea
- Contemplate details of creation and managing
- Count expenses and profits
- Look for good examples of app design of such business model
- Tackle documentation and development issues
- Find contractors and specialists for your project
- Prepare a marketing plan
- You should consider wisely how to promote your app
- Decide what benefits the users will gain from your app
- Prepare all analytic tools
- You are ready to expand your business!
- Find strengths and weaknesses and correct the work of the app.
The key point is to find reliable and competitive developers. If you hesitate about your choice, try to check feedback from their clients, look at their portfolio and ask them questions related to your future project.
How much is the price of mobile app development?
A mobile app creation depends on the difficulty of the project and number of features that you are going to add there. The total price varies about 3,000-6,000$. Yet one of the best offers on the market is presented by the CS-Cart team: the price can be included in the all-included set, can start from 999$ for clients who launch their marketplace on a cheaper rate and for outside clients the price starts from 1,999$.
Is it enough to make a very basic application for vendors to make an emphasis on the buyers’ application to save money?
Basic configuration for one side can work for the first time. However, it may negatively affect the image of a company. Big companies prefer to provide both sides with decent and convenient services. Sometimes one app has two ways of registration for buyers and sellers. It can solve the problem of demand for 2 apps.
How can I find reliable contractors?
It might be a company that has built and maintains a website version of your marketplace. So, it is very important to choose a company that has all possibilities in advance. If you are still looking for a professional team for your project, look at the demo version of a mobile app of the CS-Cart team. The developers will be happy to help you.
Do we need to do several apps: 2 different for Android and IOS and 2 different for vendors and sellers?
Yes, you will need to build an app marketplace for each platform Android and IOS but different applications for vendors and sellers are not obligatory. They can be all in one but from different accounts. In CS-Cart adaptation for both platforms is included in price and an app for vendors and buyers will function as one.
In conclusion, mobile applications can be a great support for your business. The way to determine the moment when you should introduce a mobile app is very accurate and clear. There are a lot of methods to monitor the development of processes and decide when the time for expansion comes. Mobile phones are a resource of free client traffic, good for image, and convenience. Do not miss a chance to boost your business!