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Today marketplace trends in most industries - education, medicine, entertainment, commerce, housing, transport. In 2021 the top 100 online marketplaces in the world sold over $3 trillion in goods.
If the success of Amazon, eBay, Airbnb, Etsy, or Fiverr inspires you, read our successful case, and check out practical tips and lifehacks on how to create a marketplace app and what are the total development cost.
The idea for creating a marketplace
Of course, the first piece of advice on "how to create an online marketplace app" is "starts with a great idea". Our client, the founder of Rozmova, had an idea to create a trustworthy and convenient mental health platform for Ukrainians. The mission of Rozmova was to improve people's mental health in Ukraine and make psychotherapy a natural part of a culture of life.
The goal was to create an online marketplace that makes finding a psychotherapist easier and reduces it to a few steps.
Their clients don't need to understand tools for self-knowledge and personal development with many approaches and methods to choose a specialist for themselves. All they have to do is answer a few questions and focus on working with a therapist.
At the same time, Rozmova supports professionals and will do our best to let people who need them hear about them. The Rozmova team is interested in psychotherapy and professionals in this field, so they wanted to promote them differently.
Steps to create an online marketplace
Rozmova founders worked out the idea very carefully, researched the market and competitors, came up with a go-to-market strategy and hypotheses, conducted surveys and tests, returning from the third stage to the first again and again. But for most inspired and entrepreneurial people, the main issue is not finding an idea but its validation.
In February 2022, the founders realized that Ukrainians needed psychological help just as much or even more than material. Therefore, we focused on the main thing and quickly launched the service. We used a unique approach to create an online marketplace within two months. Here is our plan in a nutshell.
- Select 3 main mega-functions/user flows for implementation in version 1.0.
- Write simple and clear software development requirements.
- Use no-code tools - Bubble and Webflow. Add code only in a few cases where it is essential.
- Use standard flows (registration, login, search/filter, admin, profiles, etc.) already handled and ready.
- Reuse customized templates and plugins.
After two months, we have created an online marketplace consisting of a user and an admin application. As already mentioned, we have implemented the main features and left a lot of ideas for version 2.0. The three main features were profiling, search, and specialist-client matching.
In Rozmova, psychotherapists go through a particular flow during registration. The first step is sending contact details. Next, therapists need to upload documents and recommendations. Rozmova does not publish them but checks the education and qualifications of all experts. The last, most crucial step is filling out a questionnaire about personality, values, experience, approach, venue, price, etc. This step allows us to determine the parameters by which the platform will recommend psychotherapists to customers. The number of such characteristics and algorithms for their selection are constantly being improved based on real user data.
Each psychotherapist's page includes a large amount of information:
- key information for the first impression;
- video message for closer acquaintance;
- topics a therapist can help with;
- experience, education, approach, and values to match the client's expectations with the therapist's capabilities;
- important information for making the final decision.
End users have two ways to find the best specialist on the platform:
- fill out a questionnaire and see a list of 5 recommended specialists who are likely to work out the client's request well,
- choose from all specialists using filters.
The questionnaire does not use the specific terminology therapists use when completing a profile. The platform “speaks” to users in a simple, friendly language.
As a result of filling in the questionnaire, the client gets five recommendations, complete information on specialists, and the opportunity to make an appointment.
Another approach to finding a psychotherapist is to search for a specialist on your own using certain filters: topics, experience, availability, language, gender, and rate.
We paid particular attention to search engine optimization so that anyone can easily find the right psychologist/psychotherapist, even without knowing about Rozmova, just through Google search.
We have also added volunteering functionality to help victims of military aggression.
Terms and costs
Typically, writing requirements, designing, and online marketplace app development take more than 5-6 months. Depending on the development company's location, technology stack, and tasks, the total marketplace app development cost is about $100,000.
The founders already knew how to create a marketplace app, so they had a draft of the software development requirements and design to start development. We jointly edited them and started developing the first working version of Rozmova. It took us two months and cost $10,000 - 10 times less than the traditional marketplace development approach.
It turned out that the best way to research is feedback from real users. We know what functionality is needed and how to create our marketplace better. We have a hypothesis testing tool. We accelerated the traction at least four times and decrease online marketplace app development costs.
There are over 100 specialists on the Rozmova platform with experience from 2 to 13 years. The number of psychotherapists is growing very fast, as is the number of requests. All specialists have higher psychological education and work in approaches recognized by an international community.
We use a no-code approach to support the product, change and iterate quickly. It usually takes a few iterations to find a working business model and product-market fit. We use continuous ongoing support to iterate and test new hypotheses fast.
Our approach to online marketplace app development allows us to improve existing functions and diversify them significantly. For example, in the plans of Rozmova:
- Development of an application with a personal psychotherapist's account for accessible communication with clients online.
- Support for writing and selling books and courses.
- Holding conferences and speeches, creating a community to develop the psychotherapist's brand.
Our experience can be used for various platforms, selecting cosmetologists, gifts, food, travel, films, and more for users. Knowing how to create a marketplace app, we can implement your great idea fast to prove the concept and get traction. Moreover, our no-code approach can significantly reduce marketplace app development costs. Start with No Code No Problem and get a fully-fledged partner available for you at all stages, from consultation to launching the project.