Published: May 23, 2014 Last updated: Dec 22, 2021 Yan Kulakov

eCommerce is a lucrative way of doing business. eCommerce scalability is growing from day to day. One of the prospective branches of eCommerce is marketplaces. Marketplaces are web stores where you can find products and services from different sellers. Marketplaces can be presented as a website and as a multi vendor marketplace mobile app. In this article we will explore the issues of who needs a marketplace app and what you should know about this technology.

This article is based on statistics related to marketplaces, apps, and eCommerce in general. This approach helps to make an appropriate plan of marketplace mobile app development. The article reveals the questions on what are the leading operating systems, what development platforms exist, their pros and cons.

Why are marketplaces and marketplace apps in demand?

In the global overview report for 2020 it was announced that more than 50 percent of the Internet global time falls on mobile phones. They claim that results depend on the country and other devices are still important. As for mobile phones people use mobile applications far more often than checking the same companies via a web browser. According to this report, one of the main headlines of this year is the growth of eCommerce. Let’s see the statistics on applications.

Combined global Apple App Store and Google Play app downloads from 1st quarter 2015 to 3rd quarter 2021, source

It is a global statistics on the number of applications downloaded. From 2015 the application usage is climbing steadily. The leap has happened in 2020 which coincides with the COVID pandemic. Nowadays we witness stabilization after the boom of 2020. Yet the figures are still impressive and it provokes entrepreneurs to build applications more often.

Applications and operating systems

Many entrepreneurs are trying to compare operating systems (OS) and decide what is the most profitable one. That is why let’s have a look at the statistics on software popularity.

Mobile operating system distribution for software development worldwide as of 2021, source

World statistics on the use of smartphones shows the absolute predominance of only two operating systems. Android was installed on 87% of all smartphones in use, and 60% users prefer iOS. Other operating systems constitute a minority measured by 3%.That is why a marketplace app for windows mobile, blackberry, symbian and other operating systems is not a wide spread choice in developing.

In 2021 the number of available applications in the Google Play Store is more than 2,700,000 and about 3,700,000 number of apps in the Apple App Store.

So, among all OS it is profitable to create applications either on IOS or Android to cover most of your target audience.

Cross platform VS native development

Marketplace mobile app builders can be divided into two groups native development and cross-development platforms. Both ways of development have certain advantages and disadvantages.

Native development

Native applications are created for a specific hardware and software platform. In the developing process there are used languages ​​created for a certain platform. Both iOs and Android have their software development kits (SDK) and the technology stack based on a special programming language. For example, the languages ​​for Android are Java and Kotlin; for iOS there are Swift and Objective-C. Native apps serve to run on the target platform and can be used with all native technologies and hardware.

Pros of native platforms:

  1. Advanced application performance—As the platform-specific development is directly related to this platform, you can use all functions according to the operating system. Therefore, the interaction of the application with the native functionality of mobile devices is easier in comparison with cross platform development; it improves the overall performance of the application, especially when it comes to graphical or multimedia content. It can reduce response times, crashes and freezes.
  2. All possibilities of the OS are available—the application is going to be used on a certain platform and it can use all the functions of this or that OS. These are connections with camera, bluetooth, geolocation, and others.
  3. Good UX* and UI**—when using all functions of an OS, an application becomes appealing to users.The better user experience, the higher the rate an application has. With good esteems from users it will get more recommendations for different audiences and increase in app revenue.
  4. *UX—user experience;

    **UI—user interface.

Cons of native platforms:

  1. Incompatibility with different OS—as your app is coded for a certain platform you limit your audience. Developing apps targeting only one platform can lead to missed opportunities and loss of income.
  2. Expensive development—if you want to cover the whole audience, you will have to hire a developer or a team for building an app for each OS. It is an expensive deal.

Cross platform development

Cross-platform means building applications that can be applicable for variety systems. After creation of an application, you can develop it on different devices and platforms and have no problems with incompatibility. It is a versatile approach widely used to save time and money on the job. There are often used cross-platform frameworks.

Pros of cross platforms:

  1. One code for several platforms—Unlike native application development, cross-platform application does not require a separate technical stack for each OS. It is easy to integrate an application with different platforms.
  2. Simplicity and speed of creation of mobile applications—the developer team does not have to know several different languages but a particular set or stack of technologies. Moreover, any changes of the application can be made in one time and there is no need to perform changes on each platform.
  3. Cheap development—as one developer team can create the project on all platforms at once the development becomes much cheaper.

Cons of cross platforms:

  1. Are not as agile as native platforms—Despite the fact that applications can be implemented across all platforms, you likely will not be able to take all the advantages of each platform. A unified technology stack does not provide the same customization and flexibility as a technology stack for a specific OS.
  2. There might be difficulties as different OS have different requirements—The process of adding your cross-platform app to the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store will be different. The requirements of these app stores for the products vary. Complying with both stores can be challenging.

Examples of developer platforms

As it was mentioned in developing mobile marketplace apps and any apps by the means of native platforms, specialists use a certain language, for example, for IOS they are C, Objective-C, C++ and Swift.

The cross platforms are different. There are a lot of cross platform tools which can be considered as marketplace mobile app builders, too. According to Statista there is a rate of top cross platform tools:

A top 3 cross platforms are:

  • Flutter
  • React Native
  • Cordova

So, if you need to reach a larger audience and the functionality of the application is not complicated, it is easier and cheaper to use a cross-platform approach. If you are going to use the specific features of the platform, you can develop a native application for the chosen platform or both of them separately.

When you need to create a marketplace mobile app

The more you develop, the more tools you need to implement to keep your status and profit. First marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay created their apps 15-20 years after designing a web version. Today the gap between the creation of web and mobile versions decreased significantly. It is 2-3 years. It is not for nothing since there opportunities of building apps sharply increased.

Signs which indicate that your business needs a marketplace mobile app:

  • Number of employees increases but the efficiency is the same—the number of employers is permanently growing, their tasks become more and more monotonous and the efficiency of business processes stagnates. It is high time you started to automate your business. Marketplace mobile app allows customers to purchase products and services in one or two clicks. It eliminates the problem of registration of customers and processing orders via employees.
  • A lot of views via mobile browsers—this is a significant factor which can be monitored by learning the statistics of a marketplace. Our previous exploration shows that mobile apps are very popular. Apps also provoke repeat sales, since they are always displayed on a phone desktop.
  • A loyalty system—mobile marketplace app helps to implement advanced loyalty systems, introduce sales and discounts via push notifications or user’s account.

Read the article for a complete ready-made plan on how to start a mobile app marketplace.

The criteria of a good mobile app marketplace

Each entrepreneur desires to create the best mobile marketplace app. You can lean on the shoulders of big players and see what feachers Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Etsy, and others use.

The main rule here is simplicity. This term includes a user-friendly design, clear conditions, appealing visuals, and many other things which make user experience positive.

The CS-Cart Multi-Vendor has much to offer about marketplace applications. It is a user-friendly app for both IOS and Android OS for an appealing price which starts from 999$ for clients who launch their marketplace at a cheaper rate and for outside clients the price starts from 1,999$. If we talk about mobile app source code marketplace software vendors often provide customers with the app code for an extra fee. Yet, there is free access to code on CS-Cart Multi-Vendor. Try a free demo version of CS-Cart Multi-Vendor App.


In conclusion, mobile phones’ popularity has a tendency for growth. That is why businesses prefer to have both versions of a marketplace. We look through the operational systems, two ways of development, and cases when a multi vendor marketplace mobile app is a necessity. When starting mobile app development marketplace owners have to take into consideration many factors and one of the most important is the development issue. Each approach for developing a mobile marketplace app is relevant. Use that one which allows you to maintain a price-goals balance.

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