Marketplace App Development Cost: Structure, Saving Tips, Best Practice
16 min.

The rapid growth of the online marketplace industry has spurred interest in developing and launching new platforms to cater to various niches. However, creating a marketplace app or website can be a complex and costly endeavor. The challenges and pain points faced by aspiring marketplace owners are numerous especially if you don’t have the right guidance!

That is why at ProCoders, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that explores the intricacies of the cost of building a marketplace website, suitable tech stack choices, and unexpected expenses. We share strategies to save costs without sacrificing quality, aiming to support you in creating a competitive, scalable, and profitable marketplace that aligns with your target audience’s needs.

Attention to Marketplace App Development Cost

Tips to Consider on Creating Your Own Marketplace App or Website in 2023

Creating a marketplace app or website can be a lucrative investment if executed correctly. While the competition is undoubtedly fierce, there is always room for new entrants who can provide unique value propositions or target specific niches. Here are some key points to consider when deciding whether to invest in a marketplace:

Market growth: 

The global e-commerce market has been growing rapidly, and this trend is expected to continue. According to Statista, global e-commerce sales are projected to reach $6.3 trillion by 2024, up from $4.2 trillion in 2020. This growth creates ample opportunities for new marketplace entrants.

Niche markets: 

Rather than attempting to compete directly with giants like Amazon or eBay, consider targeting a niche market. Focusing on a specific industry, customer base, or geographical region can help differentiate your marketplace and attract a loyal following.

Unique value proposition: 

To stand out in the crowded marketplace landscape, it’s crucial to offer a unique value proposition to your target audience. At ProCoders, we proudly offer OmniMind, a platform that allows businesses to enhance the customer experience by using AI, providing personalized responses and recommendations. With OmniMind, businesses can revolutionize the way they interact with customers and create a truly exceptional buying journey.

Unique value proposition

Technological advancements: 

The rapid pace of technological advancements allows for new marketplaces to leverage cutting-edge tools and features that can help them compete with established players. For example, implementing artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning algorithms to improve the user experience, personalization, and product recommendations can provide a competitive advantage.

Collaborative economy: 

The rise of the collaborative economy has created opportunities for marketplace platforms that facilitate peer-to-peer transactions. This model, popularized by companies like Airbnb and Uber, has proven successful in various sectors, from car sharing to home services.

So while competition is intense in the marketplace sector, there are still opportunities for new entrants who can identify niche markets, provide unique value propositions, and leverage the latest technology to deliver a superior customer experience.

Types of Online Marketplaces: Which One to Choose?

When choosing the type of online marketplace to launch, it is crucial to understand the differences and potential opportunities within each category. Here’s a brief overview of the three primary types of online marketplaces: B2B, B2C, and P2P.


Business-to-Business Marketplaces facilitate transactions between businesses, such as wholesalers, manufacturers, and retailers. Examples include Alibaba and ThomasNet. B2B marketplaces can offer a wide range of products and services and generally cater to large-scale transactions.

Business-to-Business Marketplaces


Business-to-Consumer Marketplaces connect businesses to individual consumers. Some popular examples are Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. B2C marketplaces offer a diverse range of products and services, often providing buyers with access to multiple sellers and competitive pricing.


Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces enable transactions between individuals, often bypassing traditional intermediaries. Examples include Airbnb, Uber, and Etsy. P2P marketplaces tend to focus on specific niches, such as travel accommodations, transportation, or handmade goods.

From a business perspective, choosing the most promising type of marketplace depends on your specific goals, target audience, and industry. However, considering market trends and growth potential, B2B and P2P marketplaces appear to offer the most significant opportunities.

B2B marketplaces are expected to experience substantial growth in the coming years. According to a report by Globe Newswire, B2B e-commerce market size to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027. This growth is driven by factors such as increased globalization, improved digital infrastructure, and the need for efficient supply chain management.

On the other hand, P2P marketplaces are thriving due to the rise of the sharing economy and the growing demand for unique, personalized experiences. According to a PwC report, the global sharing economy market is projected to grow from $15 billion in 2014 to $335 billion by 2025. This growth is fuelled by factors such as increasing trust in online platforms, a desire for sustainability, and the ability to capitalize on underutilized assets.

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What Factors Affect the Cost of Building an Online Marketplace?

A question we often get asked is how much does it cost to build an online marketplace? The answer to that is several factors can affect marketplace app development cost. Here are some key aspects to consider, along with potential saving points for each factor:

Platform type: 

The choice between a custom-built platform or a pre-built solution can significantly impact costs. Custom-built platforms offer flexibility and customization, while pre-built solutions can be more affordable and quicker to deploy.

Saving point: We at ProCoders believe that if you Opt for a pre-built solution if you have a limited budget and need to launch quickly. As your business grows, consider transitioning to a custom-built platform for increased flexibility and scalability. ProCoders can assist you in formulating an effective create online marketplace pricing strategy!

Design and user experience (UX):

A well-designed, user-friendly platform can be a significant investment but is critical to the success of your marketplace. High-quality design and UX can impact user satisfaction, retention, and conversion rates.

Saving point: Use design templates and UI kits to reduce design costs without sacrificing quality is the best way according to our experts here at ProCoders. Continuously iterate on design and UX based on user feedback and analytics to optimize the platform over time.

well-designed, user-friendly platform

Feature complexity: 

The complexity and number of features you require for your marketplace will directly affect development costs. More complex and unique features require additional time and resources to develop.

Saving point: Prioritize essential features and implement them first thats what we suggest. As your marketplace gains traction and generates revenue, gradually introduce more advanced features based on user feedback and market demand.

Third-party integrations: 

Integrating third-party services, such as payment gateways, analytics tools, or shipping providers, can add to the cost of creating an online marketplace mobile app. However, these integrations can also save time and effort compared to building these features from scratch.

Saving point: Choose reliable, cost-effective third-party services and only integrate those that are essential for your marketplace’s initial launch. As your platform evolves, consider additional integrations to enhance functionality. A piece of advice from our CEO.

Development team: 

The cost of building an online marketplace will depend on the expertise and location of your development team. Getting a team of mobile app developers for hire, designers, and project managers can be expensive, but their expertise is crucial for a successful project.

Saving point: Consider outstaffing from a region with lower labor costs. Ensure that the team is experienced and can deliver quality work within your budget constraints. Something that has proven to be helpful! That is why we have brought you how much does it cost to hire an app developer and how much does it cost to hire a web developer so you can have the required knowledge before you begin your project! 

Development team is crucial for a successful project

Maintenance and support: 

After launching your online marketplace, ongoing maintenance, updates, and customer support will incur additional costs. These expenses are essential to ensure the platform remains secure, up-to-date, and responsive to user needs.

Saving point: Invest in proper documentation, training, and automation to minimize ongoing maintenance and support costs. Consider hiring a dedicated support team or outsourcing customer support to a specialized provider to save on costs while maintaining quality service. That’s what we at ProCoders would suggest! 

In conclusion, careful planning, prioritization, and strategic choices can help reduce the cost of building an online marketplace without sacrificing quality or functionality. Focus on essential features, leverage pre-built solutions, and hire cost-effective development teams to maximize savings while building a competitive platform. Make sure to understand the research and development cost before you begin your journey!

Choosing Tech Stack for Marketplace Development: How to Find the Performance-Saving Balance?

Finding the right balance between performance and cost-saving when choosing a tech stack for marketplace development is crucial when thinking about how much does it cost to create an online marketplace. Here are three popular tech stack options for building an online marketplace, along with a comparison table to help you make an informed decision:

Tech StackPerformanceScalabilityMaintenanceDevelopment SpeedCommunity & Ecosystem
MEANHigh (Node.js non-blocking, event-driven architecture)High (Node.js & MongoDB handle large-scale apps)Moderate (Angular steeper learning curve)Fast (Full JavaScript stack, reusable code)Strong
LAMPModerate (Suitable for small to medium-sized apps)
Moderate (May need additional config & optimization)
Moderate (PHP easy to learn & maintain)Moderate (Wide range of tools & libraries)
MERNHigh (Node.js non-blocking, event-driven architecture)High (Node.js & MongoDB handle large-scale apps)Moderate (React easier to learn & maintain than Angular)Fast (Full JavaScript stack, reusable components)Strong

Both the MEAN and MERN stacks offer high performance and scalability, making them suitable for larger applications. The LAMP stack may be more appropriate for small to medium-sized projects due to its moderate performance and scalability. Ultimately, the choice will depend on your specific requirements, available resources, and the expertise of your development team. Here we would also like to introduce application development outsourcing, it outsourcing trends and successfully outsource software development as guides which would help you make the ultimate decision and give you more visibility.

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How Much Does it Cost to Create a Marketplace Website and Mobile App?

You still ask how much to build a marketplace app? The cost of creating a website and mobile app depends on various factors, such as the choice of tech stack, features, complexity, design, and development team expertise. As previously mentioned, three popular tech stack options for building an online marketplace are the MEAN, LAMP, and MERN stacks. Here’s a rough estimation of the development costs for each tech stack:

Please note that these estimates are highly variable and may differ significantly depending on your project requirements, geographical location, and development team. At the same time for further insight, we suggest reading hire ecommerce developer and web developers for hire.

MEAN Stack:

  • Website Development Cost: $15,000 – $80,000, depending on feature complexity, design, and integrations.
  • Mobile App Development Cost: $20,000 – $150,000, depending on the platform (iOS, Android, or cross-platform), feature complexity, and design.

LAMP Stack:

  • Website Development Cost: $10,000 – $60,000, depending on feature complexity, design, and integrations.
  • Mobile App Development Cost: $15,000 – $120,000, depending on the platform (iOS, Android, or cross-platform), feature complexity, and design.

MERN Stack:

  • Website Development Cost: $15,000 – $80,000, depending on feature complexity, design, and integrations.
  • Mobile App Development Cost: $20,000 – $150,000, depending on the platform (iOS, Android, or cross-platform), feature complexity, and design.

When choosing between tech stacks like MEAN, LAMP, and MERN, your project requirements and budget are important. Additionally, elements like a WordPress developer salary, the practice of software development outsourcing, and the geographic location of your team can significantly influence the final cost.

Consideration of outsourcing software development can be a financially prudent choice, particularly if you’re an SME or a startup operating on a tight budget. There’s a notable surge in businesses gravitating towards Eastern Europe for software development outsourcing, owing to its competitive rates and an abundant pool of skilled developers. When you outsource web development, it’s important to collaborate with a reliable partner to assure the delivery of high-quality standards.

building an online marketplace are the MEAN, LAMP, and MERN stacks

Costs to Support and Upgrade a Marketplace to Guarantee Successful Growth

In this section, we outline various cost categories for supporting and upgrading your platform, providing insight into the financial commitment required to ensure steady growth and seamless user experience. This will help you have a rough idea about how much to develop marketplace app.

Expense CategoryCost Range (per month or year)Remarks
Maintenance & Bug Fixes$1,000 – $5,000 (per month)Depends on platform’s complexity
New Feature DevelopmentVaries
Cost depends on feature complexity and scope
Infrastructure & Hosting$50 – several thousand (per month)
Depends on platform scale and traffic
Security$500 – $5,000 (per year)
Depends on required security measures
Customer SupportA few hundred – several thousand (per month)
In-house or outsourced support
Marketing & User AcquisitionVaries
Depends on marketing channels and budget
Analytics & Optimization$50 – $500 (per month)
Depends on required tools and features
Legal & Compliance$100 – $500 (per hour)Cost of consulting with legal professionals

Hidden and Unexpected Costs that Can Drive To Overbudget and Bootstrapping

Hidden and unexpected cost of creating an online marketplace can lead to overbudgeting and bootstrapping challenges for businesses developing an online marketplace. Being aware of the potential marketplace development cost can help you better plan your budget and manage your resources. Here are some common hidden and unexpected costs:

  • Third-party integrations: Integrating third-party tools and services (e.g., payment gateways, analytics, CRM) may come with additional fees that are not initially apparent.
  • Platform fees: Some platforms or services charge a percentage of revenue or a per-transaction fee, which can accumulate over time and add to your overall costs.
  • Licensing fees: Utilizing premium software, plugins, or frameworks may require purchasing licenses, which can be an ongoing expense.
  • Code refactoring: As your marketplace evolves and scales, you may need to refactor or rewrite parts of your codebase to ensure optimal performance and maintainability, adding to the cost of developing an e-commerce marketplace.
  • Compliance and legal costs: Staying compliant with regulations and addressing legal issues may require additional expenditures for consulting, licenses, or fines.
  • Data storage and backup: As your marketplace grows, the cost of data storage and backups can increase, especially if you’re required to store large amounts of data securely.
  • Content creation and management: Producing high-quality content for your marketplace (e.g., product descriptions, blog posts, graphics, videos) can be resource-intensive and may require hiring professional content creators or managers.
  • Quality assurance and testing: Ensuring a bug-free and smooth user experience may require more extensive testing and quality assurance than initially anticipated, leading to increased cost to build an online marketplace.
  • Scaling expenses: As your marketplace grows, you may need to invest in additional infrastructure, security measures, or customer support resources, which can drive up costs.
  • Marketing adjustments: Your initial marketing strategy may not deliver the desired results, requiring adjustments and additional investments in different channels or tactics.
  • Team hiring: Building and maintaining a skilled team for development, marketing, and support may add to your expenses. However, partnering ProCoders can help you save on hiring and training costs while ensuring high-quality development.

To minimize the impact of hidden and unexpected cost to develop a marketplace, it’s crucial to research all potential expenses thoroughly and include a contingency fund in your budget. This can help you better manage your resources, avoid overbudgeting, and mitigate bootstrapping challenges. For further guidance, we at ProCoders recommend reading how to select an outsourcing provider and understanding the cost of outsourcing software development, offering invaluable insights.

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Strategy to Save Marketplace Development Costs

How much does it cost to build a marketplace website? Well, Developing a marketplace can be a costly endeavor, but with the right strategy, you can save on development costs while still creating a high-quality, competitive platform. Here are some tips to help you save on marketplace development costs:

  • Clearly define your requirements and choose the right tech stack: We have something called the ‘Discovery Phase’. It is when we at ProCoders will work closely with you to define project requirements, avoiding feature creep and reducing miscommunications, saving time and money. We’ll guide you and work hand in hand with you in choosing a cost-effective tech stack, balancing performance and scalability, and utilizing open-source technologies to optimize your development budget where possible. This collaborative process sets the foundation for a successful development journey, a plan that suits you and not just an idea but a complete development roadmap that would deliver exceptional results.
Strategy to Save Marketplace Development Costs
  • Leverage pre-built solutions: Utilize existing platforms, tools, or templates to reduce development time and costs. Customizing pre-built solutions can be more cost-effective than building everything from scratch.
  • Prioritize MVP development: Start by developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with core features to test the market and gather user feedback. This allows you to validate your idea and make necessary improvements before investing in full-scale development. We always advise start-ups to go with an MVP and we offer our helping hand in terms of understanding what are the requirements for it.
  • Outsource strategically: Consider outsourcing certain aspects of development to save on time, especially if your in-house team lacks specific expertise or resources. Be sure to choose reliable partners and maintain clear communication to ensure a successful collaboration. 

That’s where we come in. At ProCoders we specialize in staff augmentation where we provide you with an extra pair of hands if your team can’t cope with the tasks or face difficulties like lack of expertise, etc. Also, we are proud of providing developers with rare experience or unique technical skills, as well as designers and QA specialists, who you may not need full-time. With us, you have the flexibility to hire them even for just two weeks and save money when their services are no longer required.

  • Optimize the development process: Use agile methodologies, project management tools, and continuous integration to streamline the development process, reduce bottlenecks, and lower costs.
  • Reuse and repurpose code: Whenever possible, reuse existing code or utilize open-source libraries and components to save time and reduce development costs.
  • Invest in quality assurance: While it may seem counterintuitive, investing in thorough quality assurance testing can save costs in the long run by identifying and addressing issues early, preventing costly fixes later. We are proud of our QA team here at ProCoders who can help you make sure that your product is up to the standards!
  • Plan for scalability: Design your marketplace architecture with scalability in mind from the start. This can help you avoid expensive rewrites or major platform changes as your business grows.

By following these strategies, you can save on cost to develop marketplace while still delivering a competitive and high-quality platform. Keep in mind that striking a balance between cost-saving measures and maintaining quality is crucial for long-term success.

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How Can ProCoders Help to Build an Online Marketplace and Save Development Budget

We at ProCoders can help you build a custom online marketplace and save on your development budget in various ways:

Cost-effective staffing: 

Partnering with ProCoders saves you from the expenses associated with hiring and training in-house developers. Our affordable and skilled team is ready to work on your project, reducing your overall cost of marketplace development. For instance, while working with Deine Baustoffe, we were able to complete all the tasks with a small team, because our specialists are well versed with the technologies used, which minimises the need to hire more staff. 

Discovery phase: 

During the discovery phase, we will analyse your project requirements, offer suggestions, and help you identify the most appropriate tech stack, ensuring a cost-effective and minimize the risk of running into obstacles during the development process. An example of this is when a client approached us, they had an idea about an online market place and that was about it. We sat down with them and helped them with choosing the right tech stack and approach leading to a scalable, flexible, and secure platform that stood out in a competitive market.

Discovery phase for analysing your project requirements

Proven expertise: 

Our wide-ranging experience in building custom online marketplaces ensures high-quality development and efficient solutions. Some examples of our successful projects include Deine Baustoffe, a customized building materials marketplace, and an electronic commerce service for online deliveries in Portugal (name undisclosed due to NDA). Where we built the desired platforms for our clients from scratch, bringing their visions to life.

Customization capabilities: 

At ProCoders, our proficiency in crafting custom solutions offers you complete freedom in your marketplace design. Whether you aim for a bespoke platform or need off-the-shelf solutions, our team is well-equipped to bring your vision to life. This skill was demonstrated in our collaboration with Deine Baustoffe, where their unique need to sell building materials in custom measurements was met through a bespoke eCommerce software solution, setting them apart in their market.

Easy team scaling: 

With ProCoders, you can easily scale your development team according to your project needs. Need a designer for two weeks or a tester for a month? We can provide the necessary resources without the hassle of searching for and hiring additional staff. For example, during our work with the online delivery service, we were able to scale our team rapidly, creating separate applications for customers, delivery personnel, and stores. 

Which type of marketplace is the most expensive in development?

The cost of building an online marketplace depends on various factors, including features, complexity, and design. Typically, B2B marketplaces are more expensive to develop due to their complex functionality, larger scale, and the need to cater to multiple businesses with varying requirements.

How much does it cost to develop a marketplace app?

The average cost of creating marketplace website and mobile app can range from a few thousand dollars for a simple, pre-built solution to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a custom-built, feature-rich platform. Factors such as platform type, feature complexity, design, third-party integrations, and development team expertise all impact the overall cost.

How quickly can the marketplace be created and launch?

The time required to create and launch a marketplace depends on the chosen platform, complexity of features, and the development team’s efficiency. A simple pre-built solution can be launched in a few weeks, while a custom-built platform may take several months to develop and deploy.

What are main Online Marketplace Monetization models?

The most common online marketplace monetization models include:


  • Commission-based: Charging a percentage of each transaction facilitated by the platform.
  • Subscription-based: Charging users a recurring fee for access to premium features or services.
  • Listing fees: Charging sellers a fee for listing their products or services on the platform.
  • Advertising: Generating revenue through display ads, sponsored listings, or affiliate marketing.
Is it profitable to develop a marketplace platform as an independent business?

Developing a marketplace platform as an independent business can be profitable if you identify a niche market, provide a unique value proposition, and create a user-friendly platform. Success depends on factors such as market demand, competition, and the ability to attract and retain users.

Do you need a development team to build a marketplace?

Building a marketplace typically requires a development team with expertise in web or app development, design, and project management. The team’s size and structure depend on the project scope, complexity, and available resources.

Can one developer create a marketplace app?

While it’s possible for a single developer with the necessary skills to create a simple marketplace app, more complex projects may require a team with diverse expertise. Collaborating with designers, project managers, and other specialists can help ensure a well-rounded, high-quality platform.


Developing a successful marketplace app or website requires a thorough understanding of the various cost factors involved and a strategic approach to optimize your investment. By partnering with an experienced development company like ProCoders, you can benefit from their expertise in selecting the right tech stack, navigating hidden and unexpected costs, and implementing cost-saving strategies. We can also assist with discovery sessions, enabling you to better understand your budget and how it aligns with your goals before committing significant resources to your project.

ProCoders’ experience in building custom online marketplace solutions, such as Deine Baustoffe and other online delivery projects, demonstrates our ability to deliver high-quality, competitive, and sustainable platforms that meet users’ needs and deliver a strong return on investment. Our flexible team structure allows for easy scaling of resources, saving you time and money in hiring and training additional personnel.

As you embark on this journey, remember that striking a balance between cost optimization and maintaining quality is crucial for long-term success in the competitive world of online marketplaces. With ProCoders by your side, you’ll be well-equipped to build a thriving online marketplace that supports continued growth and delivers exceptional value to your users. Further guides that can help you enhance your knowledge, get ideas and explore a new world are how to create an NFT marketplace and metaverse in ecommerce, do check them out and ask us any questions that you have regarding your project!

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