Create a marketplace

Create a customised marketplace or matchmaking platform!


create a marketplaceBooming in recent years, creating a market place is THE project of the future for many entrepreneurs. By 2024, it is estimated that e-commerce on smartphones and tablets will account for 60% of online sales worldwide, with a volume of around 2.6 billion euros (source: Statista). And that’s not counting the many customers who will visit and compare on mobile before making a purchase on their computer.
In the USA, studies show that 78% of American consumers consider a sustainable lifestyle to be important to them. This is expressed through their purchasing habits: 60% of buyers would pay more for a product with sustainable packaging, and 42% buy eco-friendly products “very often” or “always”. If you’re looking to set up a general marketplace or a marketplace focusing on a specific niche (sector, field, target, particular product types, etc.), we’ll explain here how to make your project a reality at the best possible price.

How to create a marketplace: 7 key points

create a marketplaceNew technological, marketing and logistical innovations are emerging, and each has the potential to radically change the way we buy online and in the e-commerce of tomorrow. So, before creating a marketplace (B2B, B2C or C2C), it’s important to think through your idea and clearly define your objectives in terms of target market, products or services offered and key functionalities.

Once you’ve clarified this initial idea (which may evolve over time), here are the steps you need to follow to create a marketplace:

1) Study your target

The study of the target must be done continuously, both before and after the creation of your marketplace. The objective here is to know your target both on the buyer’s side and the seller’s side. What are their needs and interests? How do sellers propose their offers (which channels they use, how they promote their offers…)? How do buyers search for these offers (keywords on search engines, social networks used, ecommerce sites or marketplaces used…)?

  • Identify the characteristics of your audience: determine the gender, age, geographical location, interests, buying behaviour and other characteristics of your target audience.
  • Define your audience by creating “personas” that represent your target users and help you better understand their needs and interests. Sellers and buyers have different needs and interests, so it will be necessary to create separate personas for each user group.
  • Talk to your target audience: conduct qualitative interviews with people who fit your target audience to gather as much information as possible. Once your marketplace is launched, talk to your users to get feedback on what already exists and suggestions on what they want.
  • Stay in touch with your audience: use tracking and measurement tools to monitor your audience’s engagement and to collect data on their behaviours and interests.
  • Use keyword research tools to understand the terms and phrases users are searching for in your industry.

It is important to stay in touch with your audience to understand their needs and to be able to adapt your value proposition accordingly. Ultimately, this may even help create your own community that will benefit your marketplace.

2) Study your competition

The study of your target market coupled with the analysis of the main players in your sector of activity (competitors, alternatives, etc.) should enable you to determine whether your marketplace idea has the potential to succeed. Here are some things to consider when researching the market for your future marketplace:

  • Study the competition in your industry and analyse their value proposition, business model, target market and marketing strategy.
  • Evaluate the size of your market to confirm that the potential revenue you can generate seems sufficiently interesting: if you are on a subscription business model, is the number of potential subscribers large enough? If you are on a commission basis, is the potential volume of business generated large enough? In any case, are there other possible sources of income in relation to the business model you are considering (see step 5)?
  • Analyse the opportunities that could be exploited by your marketplace and identify the threats that could impact your project. Also monitor trends in your sector to understand future developments and potential opportunities.

Gather as much information as possible to get a complete picture of your market. You can use different sources for this, such as specialised websites, market research, physical exhibitions, industry data, case studies, blogs, online forums, discussion groups on various social networks (identify which social networks your target audience uses most)…

3) Set a budget for your Marketplace

create a marketplaceIt is difficult to set a precise budget for creating a marketplace without determining the details of your project. However, here are some things to consider when setting a rough budget:

  • Platform and feature development: this may include the cost of developing the website, mobile app, integrations with third party systems, costs of developing features such as online payments, messaging systems, search filters, etc.
  • Design: this includes the costs of designing the graphic charter, any mock-ups, icons, etc.
    Maintenance and support: these are the costs of maintaining the site, fixing bugs, adding new features, etc.
  • Marketing and advertising: costs related to promoting your marketplace, such as online advertising campaigns, collaborations with influencers, events, etc.
  • Overheads: costs related to hosting the site, purchasing domain names, purchasing SSL certificates, etc.

It is important to note that these costs can vary greatly depending on the complexity of your project, the functionality required and the quality of the developers and designers you hire. There are several players that offer solutions for creating a marketplace, such as Mirakl, Izberg, Wizaplace, Sharetribe and Medialem. Each of them has different offerings, with varying costs and functionality. For example, Wizaplace and Mirakl offer standard packages at over €100,000 plus monthly fees, while Sharetribe offers packages between $79 and $299 per month, but with limited functionality. Izberg does not disclose its prices, but you have to count the integration fees, a monthly user licence and the costs related to the development of the front-end which is left to the client. At Medialem, we offer rates with an optimal quality/price ratio (a good order of magnitude for a very complete MVP is between 9.500€ and 15.000€). If you want to know more about our rates, you can check our price examples.

4) Define your value proposition

The value proposition is a key element of any project that aims to create a marketplace, as it defines what makes your business unique and what differentiates it from the competition. To define your marketplace’s value proposition:

  • Identify the needs of your target audience and think about how your marketplace can meet them in a unique and innovative way.
  • Analyse the potential advantages and disadvantages of your marketplace compared to the competition. Build on your strengths to stand out.
  • Formulate a short, punchy sentence that summarises your value proposition, so that you can communicate it easily.
  • Use your value proposition as a guideline for your marketing strategy, to ensure that you communicate consistently with your target audience.

Your value proposition may evolve over time and it is advisable to re-evaluate it regularly to ensure that it still meets the needs of your target audience.

5) Choose a business model for your marketplace

Decide on the most suitable business model for your marketplace, taking into account the different options available and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The choice of business model is a key element in setting up a marketplace, as it determines how you will generate value and how you will be paid. There are several possible business models for a marketplace, such as commission, subscription, advertising…. Here are some things to consider when deciding on your marketplace business model:

  • Analyse the needs of your audience and think about how your offering can best meet their needs.
  • Study the business models of your competitors and think about how you can differentiate yourself.
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each business model
  • Test different business models

Keep in mind that the choice of business model can have an important impact on the strategy of your marketplace, for more details on this aspect, see our article on the business model to choose for your marketplace.

6) Develop a first version of the Marketplace site and launch it

create a marketplace

It is important to develop an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to start your marketplace, as this will allow you to test your market and gauge user interest in your marketplace before you spend a lot of money on development. It is also important to keep improving your marketplace over time based on feedback from your users.

The MVP approach allows you to test the waters with minimal investment. By focusing on core functionalities that deliver genuine value to early adopters, you can get your marketplace in front of real users at a fraction of the cost of a fully loaded platform. This real-world user feedback becomes the cornerstone of your development process, guiding you as you iterate and refine your marketplace based on user needs.

Their feedback becomes invaluable for further development, and their positive experiences can cultivate a strong community around your marketplace from the very beginning. This loyal user base then transforms into your biggest advocate as your marketplace scales and flourishes.

There are several ways to develop your marketplace, but if you don’t have the technical skills in-house, you can use a development agency that specialises in creating marketplaces like Medialem. We use a modular architecture to manage all possible workflows on all types of marketplaces, so the possibilities are very varied. It can be a multi-boutique e-commerce site, an online reservation site, a directory of adverts sites with subscriptions or to create platforms with advanced matching processes (matching algorithm, specific processes)… It can also be a mixture of several elements and each marketplace can have very specific functionalities.

7) Implement actions to attract supply and demand

In 2024, marketing is an integral part of business communication strategies. Therefore, develop a marketing strategy to attract sellers and buyers to your marketplace (or more generally, offerers and seekers if it’s not about buying/selling).

Here are some actions you can take to attract buyers and sellers to your marketplace:

  • Promote your marketplace project on social networks, focusing on those used by your target
  • Implement a content strategy by publishing quality articles that interest your target audience.
  • Use online advertising platforms, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads. The latter handles advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Promote your value proposition to your target audience and use it as an argument to attract both offerers and seekers.
  • Offer special deals for early adopters of your marketplace, such as discounts to encourage them to sign up and use your marketplace.
  • Promote your competitive advantages, such as low fees, quality products, selected sellers, etc., to distinguish you from your competitors.

Acquiring suppliers and requesters is an ongoing process. The aim is to create a virtuous circle so that supply attracts demand and demand attracts supply.


To sum up, here are the 7 essential steps to creating a successful marketplace:

  • Step 1: Study your target market
  • Step 2: Study your competition
  • Step 3: Establish a budget to manage and create your marketplace
  • Step 4: Be innovative and define a value proposition
  • Step 5: Choose the business model(s) best suited to your marketplace
  • Step 6: Develop and launch a first version of your marketplace
  • Step 7: Implement a marketing strategy to attract the most users to your platform.


Good to know

The creation of a marketplace also implies the establishment of an appropriate legal framework in order to guarantee the protection of the users and creators of the marketplace. To do this, a few key elements must be taken into account:

  • Clarify the responsibilities of each stakeholder when drafting the marketplace’s General Terms and Conditions (GTC). Be clear, transparent and fair. This will protect you in case of problems or disputes.
  • Establish clear terms and conditions for fees, commissions, account termination and dispute resolution.
  • Establish intellectual property protection policies to avoid copyright, patent and trademark infringement.
  • Protect data and ensure the privacy and security of its users’ personal data.
  • Comply with local and international tax laws regarding the collection and reporting of sales and withholding taxes.

Do not hesitate to contact a legal specialist or lawyer for further information.

Custom marketplace development

At Medialem, we offer custom marketplace development to meet the unique needs of each project. Our flexible and scalable platform allows us to support the particularities of each project, whether it be the business model, the matching process, the categorisation of ads or profiles, the specificity of the products or any other element on the site even if it is not a specific feature of a marketplace.

By opting for our custom development solution, you benefit from a fully customised platform that perfectly meets your needs. In addition, you have ownership of the source code, so you are not dependent on an external solution.


Opt for a high-performance marketplace based on our experience and implemented according to your needs.


Benefit from our experience and get an already proven platform. Start your project with a reliable and maintainable site ready to support your success.


Free yourself from the customization limits of CMS such as WordPress, Prestashop. A plugin specializing in the creation of a marketplace will also present limits, especially in terms of developments or during updates.


Your linking platform may need to evolve for various reasons: meet user needs, add features, adapt to external requirements (legal or technical)...


Our platform adapts to all your projects (multi-vendor e-commerce, ad site, carpooling site, etc.). We manage marketplaces for services or the sale of physical products, but also any type of linking site.


A basic matchmaking platform starts at around 7,500€. You do not pay any additional costs (no SAAS, no subscription). Consult our article dedicated to this subject to get an idea of ​​our prices.

Créer une marketplace

More than development

Our service is not limited to development but also includes support throughout the project. Every good project starts with a good specification. We make sure to have understood all the needs of our customers before establishing the technical specifications of the project. We bring our expertise on marketplaces and networking platforms, webmarketing and the world of the web in general to guide and be proactive at each stage of the project. In particular, we support our clients after the launch of the project on services such as growth hacking and webmarketing.




Web marketing


Growth hacking


Tools integration


Marketplace creation quote

Do you want to create a marketplace like Leboncoin, Craigslist or the future Amazon? We can organize a point to discuss your project in order to clearly identify your needs. This will be an opportunity to give you a demonstration of how our marketplace platform works.

“Really satisfied with this service which required a tailor-made development on complex functionalities. We continue to work with Medialem for our developments”
“Great job at the dev level but also on webmarketing support (SEO, Adwords, Facebook... etc). I recommend!”
K. Noureddine
“Medialem is a team that listened to our needs, they were able to transform our ideas into a concrete project”.
G. Boundzit
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