4 Best Ways to Build a Scalable Online Ecommerce Marketplace Platform
11 Dec

4 Best Ways to Build a Scalable Online Ecommerce Marketplace Platform

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There are different ways to build an online marketplace platform, each of them has its benefits and also drawbacks. This article will help you to make the right choice of your specific situation. 

So, you've decided to start a marketplace business. Congratulations! Once you've come up with a marketplace idea, the very next step is to decide how to turn it into reality. How you build your marketplace platform is one of the most important decisions you ever make. It's also one of the toughest decisions. If you make the wrong choice, it could end up losing huge money and delay in delivering your online marketplace platform.  

There are 4 ways to build the best online marketplace platform 

  • Have to develop it from scratch 
  • Have to pay for the developer or organization to code it from scratch. 
  • Build it on top of your existing marketplace platform 
  • Build and Develop using a SaaS marketplace platform. 

Above mentioned ways have its own advantages and disadvantages. let have a look at them below. 

1.Have to Develop it From Scratch 

With the help of the B2C Marketplace platform, develop your own Multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace platform from scratch by using advanced technologies and framework.  

Building a digital marketplace platform from scratch renders you the lots of benefits which means the ecommerce website is designed in a way that keeps the visitor's attention and loading speed faster. It also requires strong knowledge in UI/UX Design tools and technologies like HTML, CSS, PHP, JS or JavaScript framework like Angular, Node.js, Reacts and also a basic understanding of SEO. Therefore, it is highly recommended to hire professional web development companies to fulfill your requirements. 


  • Develop your multi-vendor ecommerce platform from scratch which allows you to build and develop as per your idea which is on your mind. If you're an expert, then you can do it yourself option is also there. 
  • You can have full access to your source code 
  • You won't dependent on other's software 
  • There are no license issues and subscription costs. 


  • It will take a lot of time to develop your multivendor marketplace software from scratch. 
  • You have to spend dozens of hours developing new features only to notice at the end isn’t very useful or have the impact you planned. 
  • This is also much cheaper than paying someone to build your multi-vendor ecommerce platform, but here time is money. 
  • It is not only about getting the ecommerce software development - but you can also need to maintain it, which is the main thing. 

enterprise eCommerce platform

2. Have to Pay for the Developer or Organization to Code it From Scratch 

Hiring an ecommerce developer or ecommerce development company to build a custom ecommerce marketplace website.  

Before hiring a team for marketplace development, we should know about the marketplace ecommerce software platform. A marketplace is a two-sided platform where customers can buy products and goods from different retailers.  

Our multi-vendor ecommerce platform is an intermediate medium between customers and vendors. So, why vendors are so popular among customers? because they offer an unlimited product for customers with different payment methods. Vendors place products and good in one place commonly there is no need to spend marketing budgets on ads to sell their products because two-sided multi-seller ecommerce platforms already have their customers.  

We can divide the marketplace platform into:

  • Products and goods (Etsy, eBay, Amazon) 
  • Services (Uber) 
  • Media 
  • Crowdfunding (Kickstarter) 
  • Social Networks (Facebook) 


  • If you have a big budget then you can go for this option to build a custom multi-vendor ecommerce platform by hiring an ecommerce development firm.  
  • No need to spend time comparing ecommerce software solutions. 
  • You're not limited by their restrictions 
  • No need to pay for a monthly or yearly subscription fee or license fee because you own your ecommerce platform 
  • If a development firm is taking care of ecommerce platform development, you can focus on your marketing side of your marketplace business, which is the highlight of this option. 


  • Most expensive option to develop your multi-vendor ecommerce platform. Typically, pricing and quality of code vary a lot when compared with freelancer developers. The most cost-effective choice may set you worth of $50,000 this just to get the first version of your best multi-vendor ecommerce platform launched.  
  • Once the ecommerce platform is live, you will need to continue technical feature updating work to improve your ecommerce platform quality based on feedback, have to pay monthly or yearly hosting bills and maintain your platform. 
  • Secondly, the time period to launch your first version of your ecommerce marketplace platform will take at least 3 months. As a result, you don't really know how well your idea to develop your ecommerce platform work until you've spent money and time to develop it. Features are expensive to develop it might be useless to your first users.  
  • Finally, a very simple find ecommerce expert that you're comfortable working with and who can able to deliver high-quality software can be a challenge and easily it will take a lot more time when compared with the software development firms. 

ecommerce marketplace platform like amazon

3. Build it on Top of Your Existing Marketplace Platform 

It possible for you to build an ecommerce platform on the top of existing marketplace software either by yourself or with the help of outsourcing the developers. 

In many circumstances, using existing online marketplace software is the fastest, easiest and most cost-efficient way to launch your ecommerce business. There are dozens of options that are there in an ecommerce industry, every month a new brand is launched. How to choose the right one? 

Hiring an ecommerce developer or ecommerce software development company is a bit hard. Reasonably you won't start hiring a full-time developer right away but will get to it finally as your business grows. 

The best thing about employees - they also part of your team and provide flexibility, which is particularly for customer support roles and operation.  

While choosing a software development company to be carefully and analyze most of the company present in the market. After all, they will be going to offer the technology that rules your entire business. With the help of 5 key things, you can find the best marketplace software  

  1. Focus 
  2. Expendability  
  3. The company’s business model 
  4. Services included in the software 
  5. The company’s references 


  • This option is faster and cheaper than building your ecommerce marketplace platform from scratch.  
  • Every marketplace provider has some basic functionality requirements, such as creating a listing, communication between users and handling booking and transactions. Existing marketplace software will already have the most features, if not all, we can include.  
  • If you have technical knowledge for it, you can develop additional features on top of the existing feature set. Least, customize the look and feel of the marketplace exactly to your business requirements.  
  • From the financial aspects, if the ecommerce software is not an open-source platform, it will require a one-time fee, which is apparently a lot more affordable than paying someone to develop it from scratch. 


  • It requires a huge upfront investment and costly process. 
  • The setup and maintenance costs of the marketplace require technical knowledge.  
  • Even though the software has a onetime fee for the license, hosting occurs monthly or yearly cost. 
  • If it is not open source ecommerce software, then the license needs to be renewed regularly or else you may face some risk by losing access to support and technical help. 

4. Build and Develop With the Help of a SaaS-based Ecommerce Platform

SaaS-based ecommerce platform will fulfill different business solution. Building an ecommerce marketplace platform using SAAS (Software as a Service solution) where hosting is included. It's a software licensing and delivery model in which ecommerce software is licensed to a user and accessed via the internet. SaaS platform is a cloud-based system that is accessible on any web browser. 

The biggest advantages of SaaS platforms aren't installed on-premise or maintained by the user instead of the ecommerce system runs on SaaS provider's hosted servers. SaaS platform provider will be responsible for the security, performance, maintenance of the platform on their server.  

Generally, the SaaS ecommerce platform is licensed on a subscription basis. User has to pay a monthly fee on the level of service and also for their number of users. This business model is usually a cost-effective way for vendors to access their ecommerce store when and where they want to over internet connection.  


  • This method is the fastest way to launch an online marketplace platform, which is to help you to validate how your business idea works in real-time and which features are important for your targeted users. This is a lot more reasonable price for startups when compared with other methods.  
  • SaaS software is like the testing battle where the company behind continuous tests, improve and update their feature on their product & also it is included in the subscription cost. 


  • As these marketplace software providers attempt to serve as many customers as possible, but they have certain limitations.  
  • You may not launch your platform with all the features that you had in mind.  
  • However, it is more important to launch your ecommerce marketplace as early as possible than it makes it look perfect.  
  • There are so many unknowns' mistakes when you start an ecommerce business, which will help you to test your idea at the earliest stage and move in the right direction on your business journey and which will prevent you from making costly mistakes. 

Deciding How to Build your Online Marketplace Platform 

We've discussed the different methods of building a multivendor ecommerce marketplace platform and its benefits and drawbacks. This information should give you a good idea of what approach best fits your business situation. 

What is the right approach for you?

We can’t assist strongly enough the importance of building your online marketplace platform as soon as possible. From this aspect, by using the existing marketplace, the SaaS platform is always the best method to start an online business and also the fastest way to start learning marketplace business ideas and business models.  

The right methods for you to start your ecommerce business depends on your answer to these three questions:  

  1. How much money you will spend on the platform?  
  2. Do you have any technical skills?  
  3. The time you have for launching your ecommerce marketplace platform?  

How much money you will spend on the platform?  

When you have a low budget, let us assume to be of $5, it is difficult to outsource someone or whole platform. So, it is better to either go for a SaaS-based ecommerce solution or to code it yourself from scratch if you’re an expert in technical skills.  

If you have some considerable amount between $10k to $50k spend on development, then you can hire a developer from various platforms or a freelancer who have extreme knowledge in ecommerce development.  

Here, you will get only the software solution so it’s your responsibility to take care of maintenance and hosting. Here you also need to save your budget for making changes that you may need after launch.  

When you have a high budget of around $60k or above, you can find a company that offers you a high-quality ecommerce marketplace platform along with marketing services.  

Even you can go for a customized marketplace and quick launch options when you left with a high budget.  

Do you have any technical skills?  

If you have no technical knowledge, then don’t even think about coding the entire marketplace from scratch. I won’t say it is impossible, but it needs you to invest a long time in the learning process. In this period some may take your place in the ecommerce market.  

So, it better to go with a SaaS solution or hire a developer or approach the company to develop your marketplace.  

When you know something about a code that is having the average technical knowledge, you can go for an open-source platform like a SaaS solution then edit as per your wise. Or else you can go for the open-source platform to test your coding skills to build your marketplace.  

As a well-experienced developer, if you want to start your ecommerce marketplace then you can build from scratch. You can get the source code or some readymade platform and focus on developing features that are specific to your marketplace.  

The time you have for launching your ecommerce marketplace platform?  

When you are in a hurry and want to launch your online marketplace within one month, then go for SaaS solution which as all essential features and you only need to take care of visual customization. But the fact you need to changes the thing like payment or shipment or even themes continuously once you launched in short period. Because it needs some time to figure out which will suit you.  

Even if you have a moderate time of 3 months is not enough to build a marketplace from scratch. You might find a company to build it for you, but it wouldn’t have many unique features. You can go for the SaaS solution and modify a per your needs. But you will have enough time to set your hosting and marketing services as you like.  

If you think to have a high quality and fully customized ecommerce marketplace, then you need to take more than 3 months to build it from scratch. If you have enough time the then quality of your marketplace will be high as you expected.  

Here we have discussed the budgets, technical skills and time required for building the entire platform. This may help you in deciding the best fit for your marketplace development. You need to be careful while choosing the right platform which has a tremendous impact on your growth.  

multivendor ecommerce marketplace platform

Below are additional bonus tips that help you in setting your ecommerce marketplace in the right way without any stress. 

10 Things to do Early to Build a Scalable Ecommerce Marketplace Platform 

 You need to have a building scalable ecommerce platform that makes you sustains for long. But there are steps you need to do early which is able to manage high sales volume in the coming days. Here are 10 things you need to get before building a scalable ecommerce marketplace platform

1. Choose the right ecommerce marketplace platform 

Developing an ecommerce marketplace platform from scratch requires a lot of time this will slow down your business growth. The SaaS-based platform is offering a platform for an affordable price which is more importantly scalable packages that can grow with you as your online business takes off. 

2. Dropshipping, if possible 

Dropshipping is the most scalable ecommerce arrangement, as the vendor is never bothered with physical inventory. Once an order is placed with the store, it's referred out to a dropshipping partner who can handles order processing, fulfillment, shipping, and returns. 

It has its own pros and cons which isn't fit for every product type. If you want to try dropshipping, look for partners who integrate with your chosen ecommerce platform. 

3. Look for a manufacturing partner with scalable capacity 

If drop shipping isn't a good choice for your ecommerce business then you've decided to go the custom manufacturing, focus on the scalability of any companies you partner with. 

4. Identify fulfillment and distribution partners 

A middle ground between dropshipping and order management, fulfillment and distribution partners can increase your scalability by warehousing your products and handling logistics, once orders are placed.  

Yes, this will lose your profit again. But in exchange, you won't have to rent warehouse space yourself, negotiating shipping rates with carriers or building a team to handle order processing. 

5. Use an inventory management system 

Inventory management is the supervision of non-capitalized assets and stock items. This will supervise the flow of goods from manufacturers to a warehouse and from these facilities to point of sale. A key function of inventory management is to keep a detailed record of the new or returned product as it enters or leaves a warehouse or Point of Sale. 

Items that are regularly out of stock on your ecommerce store will frustrate your website visitors this will leads them not to come back. 

6. Start building an email list 

Building an email list from the very first day will help you to develop the relationships needed to drive long term revenue. There are various tools are available in the market will make it easy to build email opt-in forms into your website. 

7. Set up automated email marketing workflows 

Growing your email list is one part of the equation and sending an email or messaging those subscribers is the other. 

The best ecommerce email marketers don't write every message or manually send their announcements. Alternatively, they develop email marketing workflows that will automatically send messages following with unique actions or triggers. 

For example, using an email marketing tool you can 

  1. Send your referral program information to your new customers once they completed their first purchase. 
  2. Suggest related items to purchase this will help customers to get to know more value about the items they've already bought. 
  3. Send coupon code or discount code to reengage with your old subscribers who have stopped to read your emails or buying your brand. 

multivendor marketplace platform ebook free downlaod

8. Automate your Facebook ad campaigns 

We can also automate similarly paid Facebook ads 

For example, you can 

  1. Automatically retarget your user who visited your website and prompts them to "like" your brand's page. 
  2. Offer free lead magnets to the target segment to encourage them to email opt-ins. 
  3. Advertise coupon codes to website visitors who've added items to a shopping cart but didn't complete their purchases. 

9. Use chatbots to render scalable customer support 

Whenever your ecommerce store's customer support demands you're able to handle on your own, then the solution may not be hire staff. It might be integrated into a chatbot into your store to answer common questions.  

By using a chatbot that can answer the common question about items, shipping, and return policies, this will help you to get the free time where you can use high priority work in your enhancing business. 

10. Build teams without hiring 

As your ecommerce business grows, the requirements will also grow as well. More customers to your ecommerce website mean more customer support inquiries, greater marketing demands, and more requests for new features on your ecommerce platform. 

These all requirements need to be solved without direct hiring, thanks to hiring developer systems like Upwork &, etc., These platforms will help you to connect with talent candidates worldwide where you can also sign on a contract basis. 


You may now know about the different methods of building your marketplace platform along with their own benefits and drawbacks to those methods. 

Purchase commerce will be the perfect partner for developing your marketplace website. Purchase Commerce gets your marketplace with all the features that are needed for running smoothly and efficiently.  

It makes you flexible to work with during development and get you to want either in the short term or in a long-tern within your budget.