The e-commerce sector has seen an unbelievable boom over the last few years. Cooped up at home, customers had no other way of shopping other than online purchasing. According to Statista, over 2 billion people purchased goods or services online in 2020 accounting for over $4.2 trillion of e-retail sales worldwide. While the boom has subsided, e-commerce is still projected to make over $23 of total retail sales by 2025.
So it’s no wonder that business owners are looking to expand their reach to online marketplaces. In this post, you’ll discover the most popular marketplace development solutions in 2022. We’ll also see whether it’s worth developing a custom marketplace.
Out-of-the-box vs custom marketplace development solution
Today, marketplace development options are manifold, ranging from bespoke products to canned solutions. Custom-built platforms are unrivaled in terms of business fit, feature saturation, customization, and scalability. However, building a marketplace from scratch also translates into additional development effort and significant upfront investment.
Out-of-the-box platforms allow you to get off the ground quickly, easily, and for a fixed price. Ready-made patterns, templates, and drag-and-drop interfaces accelerate the development process and eliminate the need for programming expertise. On the other hand, vendor lock-in, generic designs, and limited functionality may adversely impact customers’ experience and put a limit on the growth of your business.
Therefore, custom marketplace development is more suitable for established or large-scale businesses. If you’re a self-starter with a fledgling e-commerce shop, ready-made marketplaces can back up your initiatives at an affordable price.
Five platforms for marketplace development
The following marketplace development solutions will help you take your store online in a few clicks. Keep in mind that these aren’t custom options and they still have limitations.
An online marketplace constructor, Sharetribe is a one-stop shop for all kinds of online businesses. The platform has integrated payment gateways and works with over 20 currencies in more than 190 countries. Powerful admin features, care-free infrastructure, and compliant data processing assist businesses in developing a feature-rich and secure online shop.
Pricing options vary, starting from $79 per month to $299 per month. Overall, Sharetribe is a viable marketplace development solution with straightforward flows and a guided launching process.
CS Cart Multi-Vendor
As the name implies, this marketplace development solution is geared towards multi-vendor platforms. The site constructor offers pre-made features for admin and vendor profile management along with order management, shipment tracking, and other go-to features.
The CS Cart Multi-Vendor allocates an individual backend panel and a digital forefront to every seller. With a powerful CMS, a fully customizable forefront, detailed reporting, and a mobile app, this constructor is a one-stop shop for multi-vendor marketplace development.
CS Cart’s demo is available for free, while a full version starts from $699 per year.
A highly configurable builder, Near Me allows business owners to set up a fully customizable digital marketplace on par with the industry leaders. Near Me helps create a user-friendly marketplace with a plethora of e-commerce tools, including advanced reporting, powerful dashboards, account management, and others. Just like other solutions, Near Me supports multiple languages, allowing you to expand your market reach.
The solution also allows for easy marketplace maintenance thanks to a myriad of management tools. Custom domain, payment gateways, and mobile optimization are among the flagship offerings of Near Me. The pricing starts at $500 to $1000 per month.
Tackle Cloud Marketplace platform
This universal platform helps business owners leverage the power of cloud computing for e-commerce. Thus, the platform allows retailers to generate revenue from AWS Marketplace, Azure Marketplace, and other cloud providers. Following a zero-engineering approach, the Tackle platform helps business owners list, market, and sell items quickly and with no management headaches.
The pricing varies greatly based on the cloud provider. On average, it will cost you around $25K for a 12-month annual contract.
Last but not least, Marketplacer offers an adaptable architecture that lets you shape any kind of e-commerce business. The main differentiator of Marketplacer is its ability to connect with your existing e-commerce infrastructure via pre-built connectors. Sellers can retain the existing interface and complement it with enhanced commerce architecture. The platform also provides automated inventory sync through its scalable connector.
Pricing is determined based on your business needs and is calculated individually for each seller.
The Final Word
Out-of-the-box e-commerce tools are indispensable to fledgling businesses thanks to the easy set-up and automated management. However, vendor lock-in and limited customization hold back business growth and limit business continuity. Custom marketplace development, on the contrary, addresses every unique need with rich features and innovative technologies. Therefore, long-term e-commerce initiatives click with custom development, while short-run seller needs can be addressed with canned builders.