How much does it cost to build an online marketplace?


If you are one of the people who see themselves as an entrepreneur then probably you would want to run an online marketplace, whether you want to sell something or want to manage an online marketplace for some other reason, in both cases it becomes quite important to figure out what kind of marketplace do you want. Because the cost of an online marketplace depends on it.

There are different types of marketplaces, different types of approaches, and being an entrepreneur it is up to you which you want to proceed with. This is important as the website building cost is directly proportional to the type of market.

So, before we move towards calculating the actual cost. Let us just talk about and shed light on how many types of marketplaces there are, what are some important front and backend things that are important for marketplaces.

Also, we will discuss the integration factors your online marketplace requires along with some crucial must-have features for your marketplace. Without having them you cannot go farther. So let us just start with the type of marketplaces.

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Types of Online Marketplaces

There are mainly three types of marketplaces; they are rather categorized into E-Market, which is Vertical, Horizontal, and Global marketplace. Let us further define the types. If you wondering what is online marketplace our expert has explained online marketplace.

Vertical Marketplace

Vertical Marketplaces are usually just focused on one particular niche or area. Goods are offered and sold by many different vendors, but all the goods are of the same type, which means they all target the same audience and the same niche is used.

Vertical Marketplaces abound with experts as people who deal in a vertical marketplace have a better depth of products or services. We can consider Zillow as a great vertical market example. In this niche, they all deal in selling or renting houses; however; hundreds of different agents might be involved in doing so.

Horizontal Marketplace

This type of marketplace is focused on more than one category; you could have many vendors with different categories of products to sell. However; one characteristic of all those services or products should be in common.

For example, you might want to consider DogVacy as a good example here; they have different types of services but only for the people who have pets. And that makes them fall into the horizontal marketplace category

Global Marketplace

Global Marketplace as we can see from the name, it covers a wide variety of products and categories. You can find almost anything in the Global marketplace type, as this type does not confine itself with any limitation, whether it is software, some electric gadget or anything else, you will find it.

The global marketplace also has a wide audience reach, it is quite popular as people find it flexible to go through multiple categories.

There is also a huge comparison is involved in such marketplaces, as sellers try to uplift their sales through several offers and comparative prices. Amazon is one of the biggest examples of Global Marketplace type, it does sell almost everything and we see a lot of vendors selling different products.

Options to Build Online Marketplaces

The cost to develop a marketplace depends on the option you choose. There are essentially two options for developing such a project.

Build from Existing Solutions

You can develop on a platform, that offers certain ready features. Using these platforms is the fastest and cheapest way to develop such a website. These solutions start from a few hundred dollars, and cost increases with more features.

Build from Scratch

Although this option demands more on time and money, a bespoke marketplace can be customized to meet your specific needs better than a platform. For functionality that is deeper and more robust, you may need to custom code a greater scope of features. This kind of online marketplace can be $20k or more.

In the process of building an online marketplace, there are many front end development activities are involved such as; Angular, JavaScript, Web Storm, etc. and you must have a very good developer who is good at these programming languages in order to get you through because there are many functionalities that are added through these front end languages.

So, if you cannot hire a developer who has experience in all these languages, then you might have to hire multiple developers too.


Just like we discussed Front end languages, Back-end is important too, you might want to hire developers for backend development that include, PHP, Node.js, EC2, Express 4, My SQL, etc.

These back-end and front-end languages are important to build a powerful online marketplace. Since later on we want to accumulate the cost, it is important to bring this to your attention. So, in short tech stack is a mandatory aspect for any robust online marketplace.


Just like tech stack; Payment gateway integration is also an important factor to consider, as without it your online marketplace loses its sole purpose of existence which is selling.

You cannot sell items if you do not have a flexible payment system. Some powerful payment integrations are PayPal, S3, Amazon SES, and Stripe.

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Must-have core functionalities of the online marketplace

Every marketplace must have some of the core functionalities in order to provide users with the best experience. And of course the deeper you go, the higher the cost gets.

This is why it is quite important for you to understand only important and most crucial functions that you want in your marketplace. Because if you want to add unnecessary features that your audience does not require, then you will just end up having a higher cost which will exceed your budget.

Let us discuss some of the most used features that impact cost for an online marketplace.


In any marketplace Registration form or signup form is very important unless you want your target audience to not signup on purpose. Taking their details is the first step to generate a lead, and that is why it is important.

In order to use full functionality, people need to sign up. Login details might be asked often, like first name, last name, email, etc. And also Signup through social channels is a very popular thing that can be very handy if you consider including it in your marketplace.

User Profile

Another important thing is a user profile; depending upon the type of your online marketplace you could have either seller or customer user profile, or maybe both.

So, you may have to get the user profile option so your users can update their information to their profile, such as; name, address, email, personal information, etc. this is important from a seller’s point of view too. If your marketplace is about E-commerce then it becomes more important.


The home page is of course mandatory for any website; it is the part of every website, you can make it even better with some extra UI/UX design features.

Make sure it looks best; this is the first thing any user sees on your website. I will not go deeper about this, you can enhance your homepage any way you like it according to your online marketplace, but make sure it is attractive.

Shopping Cart

This is another important thing that impacts the cost for online marketplace if you want to build an e-commerce store, we are discussing this feature as it might take a very good developer to build it, just a slight bug in the system will not do you any favor, and this is why you must hire a good developer, users just add their favorite items to cart, later on, they can come back for shopping or just check for price details.

This is a mandatory feature of the E-commerce marketplace and not having this feature totally waves off the purpose of your marketplace, provided that you do not have an E-commerce marketplace.


Listing is also important from the seller’s perspective. If you have a good listing feature in your website, only then sellers can list their product, add information about it, and add photos and tags. It is your job to feature the best listing system. If not your sellers might dislike it, and so will the buyers.

Listings can get quite complex later on. It is one of the parts in a website where things can get complex, always hire good a good developer to build the core functionalities, but this may also increase your total cost which we will discuss a little later on.

Account Type

How many times does it happen where we start contributing to some platforms rather than just using it? Of course, if the platform is offering you something in return, or giving you great value everyone would like to contribute it, and that is why you must offer the switch account option to your users.

If a user joins your marketplace as a buyer, you could always offer him a chance to become a seller anytime.

This does not necessarily have to work in an E-commerce environment, whichever type of your marketplace may be, you can always offer switch account type if you want your users to join you as a team or become a part of your fraternity. Some famous marketplace like Amazon charges their uses per month in order to have a seller account.

Vendor Dashboard

Probably the next important thing is a vendor dashboard. The vendors can access everything, all the product management, order management, and settings are handled through this dashboard.

Admin Panel

Probably the next important thing is an admin panel, under admin panel you can access everything, all the user management settings, product management and is handled through the admin panel.

Also, you decide which product to keep. Or if your marketplace is about something else still you make important decisions that have an impact on quality.

We have discussed some important features of the marketplace now let us shed light over the actual cost. We are not discussing every single feature as it totally depends upon your marketplace.

You can always add features to make your website robust and productive, this will raise cost but will make your website worth visiting. According to estimation. A fully developed website may cost you anywhere from $20,000 to as much as $100,000.

Also, you might want to consider website developers from different regions, as different regions have different prices.

Western Europe and Australian developers charge around $100 per hour, and Eastern Europe charges around $50/h, and USA regions might cost you $150/h. always choose the best developers but make sure to choose selective features that are not extra and mandatory for your online marketplace.

How much does it cost to create an online marketplace from scratch?

In light of all the factors we discussed that a good online marketplace should have, we will now discuss what is the actual cost of an online marketplace.

So, the usual cost, by and large, is about $20,000, and this accumulation is the result on the basis of a $20 per hour rate. Now there are many developers that might charge you way lesser than $20 per hour and that would lessen the final cost.

The result is also based on how many hours a developer requires to complete an entire online marketplace. And that means the more the number of hours, the higher the cost.



Ripul Chhabra

With over two decades of hands-on experience in the realm of Information Technology, I've been dedicated to crafting exceptional websites, web applications, and mobile apps for both industry giants and innovative startups alike. My professional journey has been enriched with a deep focus on cutting-edge technologies such as AI development, Online Marketplace & e-commerce solutions, NFT marketplace development, Learning Management Systems (LMS), MVP creation, robust API development, SaaS solutions, and a myriad of other tech-driven domains. As a passionate observer of the ever-evolving digital landscape, I am committed to staying at the forefront of industry trends and innovations. My goal is to share these insights with you, our valued readers. Join me on this exciting voyage through the blogosphere, where we'll embark on a journey of exploration, learning, and mutual growth.

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