Last Updated on
March 1, 2024

How to Build a Marketplace App in 2024

Published in
Key takeaways:
  • This guide on building a marketplace app gives you three options to go live with your own Amazon or Airbnb.
  • Marketplaces are huge today, with marketplace platforms making up most of today's top shopping apps.
  • Managed services like MobiLoud are the best way to build a marketplace, launching on the web first and then converting your web store into an app.

In the previous year alone, ecommerce app sessions rose 92% while app downloads increased by 11%.

Consumers crave convenience. And the ultimate level of convenience is an online marketplace app.

Of the most popular shopping apps today, a large majority are marketplace apps, such as Amazon, Walmart, Shop, eBay and Etsy.

Creating a marketplace is a great way to build a high-revenue ecommerce business without handling logistics for millions of products yourself. It doesn’t just work for physical products either - a marketplace app can work for services, it can be B2C, B2B or P2P, and can occupy a wide range of niches and verticals.

Marketplaces work for anything where you can connect people who want to buy with people who want to sell products or provide a service.

Take Gear2Go as an example: a P2P (peer to peer) lending marketplace, dubbed as the “Airbnb for everything in your garage”.

If you want to build a marketplace app in 2024, this guide is the guide you need. Read on and learn more.

How to Create a Marketplace App

You have three options for developing a marketplace app: the traditional coding approach, a no-code solution or a managed service. Let’s compare them.

Traditional App Development Process

The first option that comes to mind may be developing a marketplace app from scratch with a development team.

Traditionally, creating a marketplace app from scratch requires 100% involvement through the following steps:

  • Define your idea: Identify a market need and formulate a strategy.
  • Set goals: Establish SMART goals for the app.
  • Outline core features: List all desired functionalities and attributes.
  • Choose design approach: Choose between DIY, freelancing, in-house, or agency development based on needs and resources.
  • Plan development process: Create a roadmap from conception to launch.
  • Establish a team: Assemble a skilled team for varied roles essential to app development.
  • Create initial build: Develop the app's first version or minimum viable product with essential features.
  • Test the app: Conduct tests to assess quality, functionality, and user experience.
  • Launch and submit to app stores: Choose an optimal launch date, avoiding times of low audience activity or high market competition.

The traditional app development process is detailed and suits those who want complete control over every aspect of their app. It's ideal if you have specific needs and the time to invest in thorough development.

However, building an app from scratch is incredibly costly, complex and time consuming.

You can expect to pay a minimum of six figures for an app like this. Time to launch will be six to nine months if things go well (and there are no significant roadblocks in development).

It’s also going to require a full-time team to maintain the app, which will cost a lot, and make it difficult to make small changes and improvements quickly.

No-Code App Development

Instead of developing a fully native app, you might opt for no-code development.

A no-code app builder lets you create an app without coding, and without hiring developers. You could manage it yourself, or with a small team of people with moderate technical expertise (but no actual coding background).

This is drastically cheaper and less effort than putting a development team together to code fully native apps.

However, there are some downsides to this approach:

  • No-code app builders trade off complexity for flexibility. You might find it hard to create the app you really want, due to the constraints of the platform.
  • Though it’s no-code, it’s not no-effort. You still need to compile a deep and functional app, which will take time.
  • If you want your app to be available on the web as well as a mobile app, you’ll have to manage two platforms separately. There will likely be inconsistencies between each platform that could hurt user experience.
  • You’ll be locked in to the platform you use to build your app. If you want to migrate to a new platform in the future, you’ll need to start again from scratch.

For very simple marketplaces, a no-code app builder could work. But these tools are not ideal.

Managed Website to App Service

The best way to build a marketplace app for long-term, sustainable results is to use a managed website to app service like MobiLoud.

With this approach, you’ll build a marketplace for the web first, with an ecommerce website builder like Shopify or Squarespace.

Next you’ll use us to convert your online marketplace into a marketplace app.

 We’ll use your website to create native iOS and Android apps, fully synced with your website, launched with no coding or effort required from you.

There are several advantages to this approach, over native development and no-code app builders:

  • You get to use more user-friendly and flexible website development platforms to build and manage your marketplace.
  • You’ll be able to launch on the web and as an app, but manage everything from one place.
  • It’s far cheaper than native development and much less effort than a no-code app builder.
  • You still don’t need to have any coding ability or knowledge of mobile app development.
  • All the work is done for you, from building and configuring your apps to launching them on the app stores.
  • Your apps will have everything they need to look and feel fully native, such as native navigation UI, app-specific experiences and push notifications.
  • MobiLoud is platform-agnostic - you can use any website platform or tech stack you want, and you will always own your design and your customers.

You can go live in as little as two weeks (if you’ve already built your web-based marketplace), and pricing starts at $350 per month, with a 60-day money-back guarantee and no long-term commitments.

Our process for transforming your mobile website into an app is effortless, ensuring a smooth experience while you maintain control over the outcome.

Step one: Initial consultation

Begin with a consultation call where you can get a preview of what your app will look like.

If your site is mobile-friendly, you'll find that 90% of the app creation work is already done. If your site needs optimization for mobile, let us know, and we'll assist in smoothing it out.

Step two: Collaborate with our team for app development

You'll work with our team to fine-tune and design your app. Since most of the groundwork is already laid out, your role mainly involves signing off on the tweaks we make to ensure the app feels native.

After finalizing the design, our team takes care of the technical aspects of app creation, requiring no coding or work from your end.

Step three: Prepare to launch

We’ll let you test the app on your own devices, to see if the user experience matches your expectations. If there are any changes you’d like us to make, you can pass that on to us now.

We'll equip you with resources to help with the launch process, including app store descriptions, launch announcements, press releases, and more, and help you put together a plan to launch and get initial users.

Step four: Launch and submit to app stores

The final step involves launching your app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Navigating the submission process can be daunting, but with MobiLoud, it’s hassle-free.

We manage all aspects of the submission process, including any necessary updates, and offer a 100% approval guarantee.


Once your app is live, we’ll take care of technical updates and maintenance for your mobile app, such as bug fixes and security updates for new OS releases.

You don’t need to worry about anything technical to do with your app. You just manage your website, make changes and improvements as you see fit, and think about customer acquisition.

MobiLoud helps you launch your marketplace app with minimal disruption, allowing you to rapidly extend your reach to mobile users and maintain a consistent experience across your web and mobile marketplaces.

Ready to learn more? Book a free consultation now.

The Best Way to Build Your Marketplace App in 2024

The app development landscape, particularly for marketplace apps, has significantly transformed in 2024. The rise in ecommerce activity and the preference of online sellers towards marketplace platforms highlight the importance and potential of these apps.

Traditional app development processes, while offering complete control and customization, come with high costs and longer timeframes, and make it difficult to iterate and improve your business.

No-code app builders are an advantage in a sense, but they are also extremely limiting and are not scalable.

If you want to build a marketplace app with the potential to be a multi-million dollar business, the best approach is the one we outlined above.

"Truthfully, I expected the app to be somewhat functional, but I thought it wouldn't be as high quality as some of the apps I've seen that have been built from scratch. But I was incredibly surprised. I saw no difference in terms of quality or functionality in our app and an app built from the ground up, that could have cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars."

- Gavin McGarry from Gear2Go; read more case studies of successful MobiLoud users here.

If you’ve already done the initial steps to build your marketplace on the web, and you’re ready to launch an app, talk to us.

With MobiLoud, you bypass the intricate and time-consuming coding process. It dramatically reduces development time and costs, and increases flexibility, making it an excellent choice for startups and established businesses.

You get a marketplace app up and running in record time, allowing you to focus on what's important—growing your business.

Schedule a free consultation now and start building the next Amazon, Airbnb or Etsy with MobiLoud.

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