Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Marketplace App

  • Mobile App Developement
marketplace app development in new york
John Parker
by John Parker Nov 23, 2022

The Pandemic helped several businesses halt-reflect-revamp their selling practices. Consumers were gradually moving from offline shopping to a more hybrid method. However, businesses were adamant and not ready to contemplate the move. Traditional businesses, specifically, were hesitant and lost much of their business. 

However, the onset of the Pandemic and the shift to online shopping led most businesses to consider having their website or shopping app. Marketplaces are a boon for small businesses that don't want to invest in marketing or don't know how to grow their businesses. 

They can grow with the marketplace, sell their products and gain recognition. B2C marketplaces are estimated to reach $3.5 trillion in sales by 2024 (Forbes). 47% of digital purchases worldwide happened via online marketplace platforms (Statista).

These numbers indicate the need for marketplace app development to help more businesses meet their customers. 

In this guide, we will look at how you can build an app like Letgo, the important steps, and the cost breakdown. 

How Does Letgo Work?

Letgo is a B2C marketplace application that allows you to sell second-hand goods. You can sell anything from cars to clothes and books. The sellers will need to list their business, add their products, write clear descriptions and mention the prices. 

  • The seller need not pay any commission to sell the products on the marketplace application. 
  • The seller needs to create a profile that is complete with the business type, products and other details
  • They should add the products, write descriptions and mention the detailed features that can entice the customers
  • Make sure to add image/s to ensure the customer understands how the product looks and feels
  • Once you have posted, the marketplace will mention the product whenever the user searches for relevant key phrases or words.

Need for Apps Like Letgo

There are several benefits associated with marketplace applications like Letgo. It is like a one-stop shop where buyers can purchase their favourite products. At the same time, the buyers don't need to invest in a separate website that lists the products. They may have to pay a one-time charge or commission to list themselves as a seller. 

1. You get excellent brand exposure when you sell on a marketplace. A place like Letgo has good branding and visibility. When you upload your products here, the existing customers will start noticing you. As a result, you don't need to invest in marketing or sales. 

2. It helps grow your brand organically without investing in the same. This means you get more customers and increase acquisitions organically.

3. For the buyers, it is a one-stop shop where they can compare and purchase from brands they believe are good for them. As a result, sellers get the opportunity to up their game and make it valuable for the buyers.

4. If businesses have a solid Internet presence and want to increase their sales by adding another channel, the marketplace is a good idea. It can become an additional channel to social media and websites. 

Step-By-Step Process to Develop an App Like Letgo

It is possible you are already interested in developing an app like Letgo. If you have come up with a brilliant idea that can act as a differentiator, it is time to know how to build the marketplace application.

steps for developing a marketplace app

Step#1: Devising the Concept

Letgo was devised as a marketplace to sell second-hand goods. Now the most important aspect of this application would be identifying if there are buyers for the product. The AI-based scanner determines if the product is popular and the average price set by the buyer and helps with the ad title and description. 

This sets the marketplace apart from others in the segment. You can create an application that determines if the goods are in perfect condition or what maintenance they require before enlisting the product for sale. 
Having an idea is just the start; you must build on the concept and validate it in the target market. This will give you a good idea if you should go ahead with marketplace application development.

Step#2: Determining the Monetization and Business Model

How do you plan to align the mobile application to your business strategies and goals? How will you earn money from a marketplace application like Letgo? 

Letgo's model is similar to Craiglist, where the sellers need to list their products in an ad. The app first shows the ad to the people near the vicinity before increasing the geography and moving beyond location barriers.

The monetization model includes

1. Favourite Lists, where the seller's ad is placed at the top to gain more views
2. Letgo Pro is a premium version of the app with additional features
3. Contextual advertising via Google that allows the application to earn money

When you build an app like Letgo, you should define the monetization model before proceeding with the development. Ensure you have defined how to increase the customers, transactions and revenue from the application. It should be a detailed document that you can help refer to when planning the marketplace app development.

Step#3: List the Features (Basic and Advanced)

The next natural step is to identify the features that should be part of the application you are developing for the business. It should be documented in two categories- basic and advanced. If you are planning a basic app, the following features might help.

Features Description
Sign In/Register The user (buyer and seller) should have an account on the marketplace. Fill out a form to get started.
Profile Both the buyer and seller should have their profile on the application. It should mention their details. In the case of the merchant, it should mention the business type, products and location.
Ads The buyer should be able to create new ads that can help list the products.
 In-app Chat The buyer and seller should be able to communicate with each other via chats.
In-app Payments Incorporate the payment gateways that can implement the most popular payment options.
Integration with Camera This would allow the sellers to take a picture of the product and share it with the buyers.
Multi-language support The seller should be able to reach the sellers across regions. As a result, it should offer multiple-language support.

A slightly more advanced application will include certain competitive features that can act as a differentiating factor.

Feature Description
Price Comparison When the user wants to buy a particular product, it is listed across brands and sellers. The price and feature comparison can help them take quick decisions.
Recommendations The AI-based algorithm allows the buyers to get complete recommendations on products they should purchase. It is based on their past purchases and behaviour on the application.

Depending on your concept, you can introduce the features and create a more defined and complex marketplace application. 

Step#4: UI/UX Strategy + Design

When building a marketplace application like Letgo, the user experience is the most critical aspect. It will determine the engagement and conversions for your business. The idea is to make the movement through the application easy and effortless. At the same time, the user should be able to search for and buy products more easily. 

Understanding the users, knowing their design curve and estimating the design strategy should be your first step. You should know how users handle their phones when using a marketplace app. What are the most natural steps they take to use the application?

The UI/UX strategy will completely show how the design should appear. Once the strategy is ready, you can convert them into screens and design experiences. 

Step#5: Create the MVP

You should create a minimum viable product before developing the application. There are several apps like Letgo, and yours should not become yet another one in the market. The MVP will help identify if your basic idea is relevant to the users.

You will get valuable feedback that can help improve the application. Send it out to more users in the network to know if they would love to receive this application. What would they look forward to when using the mobile application?

The MVP is key to understanding if the application will be engaging and gain the necessary traction. 

Step#6: Tech stack, Approach, Integrations and More

Before you develop an application like Letgo, you should plan the development approach you plan to take. A detailed study of the target users for your business will help determine if you want to go native-first or take the cross-platform app development approach. 

The ideal tech stack would be:

  • Web Development Platform: PHP, .Net, React.Js, Node.JS
  • Push notifications: Twilio.
  • OS for Mobile App: iOS Android.
  • Cloud Platforms: Google, AWS, Azure.
  • Phone/SMS/Voice Verification Methods: Twilio, Nexmo.
  • Big Data and Analytics: IBM, Spark, Cisco, BigData, Hadoop, Apache Flink.
  • Payment Gateways: Stripe, EWallets, Braintree & PayPal and others.

The tech stack will be determined according to the approach that best fits your requirement. At the same time, you need to plan for the APIs and features you aim to integrate with your mobile app. For example, choose the payment gateways you want to incorporate into the mobile application. 

This would depend on the markets you plan to operate in. The payment gateways used in European markets would differ from those used in American markets. 

Step#7: Development and Testing

It is important to start developing the application. During this phase, ensure your developers add proper comments and document the entire code for a well-defined program.

You need to have the right team backing your development requirements. It would be a good idea to have a project manager handling the communication. This would ensure seamless collaboration between you and the development team.

The quality assessment and functional assessments are critical before releasing the app. Before launching the app, you should conduct unit tests, performance tests, functionality tests, and load tests. 

How Much Does it Cost to Build an App Like Letgo?

There are several factors to consider when planning a mobile application like Letgo. The biggest contributor towards your decision would be the cost of developing the application. 

The average cost of developing a basic application like Letgo starts from $10000

You will get a basic application with simple functionality for $25000, depending on the features you want to add, the time taken to develop the app and the hourly rates of the developer.
If you want to develop a more sophisticated and highly feature-driven application, it will cost you $40000 approximately. 

There Are Several Factors That Impact the Cost of the Letgo-Like Application.

1. Features: The basic app will have features like push notifications, search engine, product ads and others. The time taken to develop each feature and the hourly cost of the developer will add to the cost of the basic application. When you increase the complexity, the developer efforts will increase, and the app development cost will go up. You need more developers to introduce AI-driven features, which will add to the cost.

2. Expertise and Rates: The developer's expertise will add to the development cost. If you hire a senior developer, the rates will be high, directly impacting the app development cost. 

3. Services: If you are taking a package with maintenance and upkeep of the application, you will need to pay more than when you just choose a development package.

Top Apps like Letgo

App Name Key Features Rating (Google Play Store)
Thread Up
  • List the articles
  • In-app payments
  • Add price drop alerts and personalized notifications from the wishlist
4.2 (64.6k reviews)
  • Social share buttons on the listings
  • Advanced search
  • Product ratings and reviews
  • Report an item
  • Add to favourites
4.2 (4.4 million reviews)
  • List favourite items
  • Create your store instantly
  • Click pictures with an in-app camera feature
4.7 (130k reviews)

How Can New York Mobile Tech Help?

Marketplaces are key drivers of growth in the modern economy controlled by the Internet and digitally-adept consumer. A marketplace application like Letgo can help enhance the business value, increase acquisitions and improve conversion rates. 

You should devise the concept, create an MVP and, based on the feedback, develop the mobile application to boost business outcomes. New York Mobile Tech offers the experience and expertise it takes to develop a marketplace application like Letgo. We can convert your business goals into reality with the right team, concept and MVP. 

Connect with our team for Letgo clone application development by filling out the contact us form.