Which marketplace options choose to get a website?

options pour marketplace

First of all, a marketplace is a platform that puts suppliers and buyers in contact with each other (matchmaking site, collaborative platform, multi-boutique ecommerce, ad site, etc.). It must be composed of several modules to be complete. The main modules must allow you to:

  • Set up the characteristics of offers (products, services, etc.) such as categories, variants, attributes, etc.
  • Manage the offers: modification, deletion, highlighting…
  • Display offers with a navigation adapted to the search (filters by categories, specificities…)
  • Manage the different types of users: suppliers, applicants or users who can be both, an administrator or other types depending on the project
  • Manage the purchasing process where appropriate

Some of the solutions listed below only handle some of these elements.

There are several services who offer to get a marketplace in SAAS mode or by integrating modules via APIs. Among the best known and the first to have launched into this niche are Mirakl, Izberg, Wizaplace and Sharetribe. Each of these solutions does not target the same audience.

Shopify and BigCommerce marketplace to integrate with your existing site

The US online marketplace scene is booming, but choosing the right platform to build yours can be daunting. Here, we explore compelling options that can empower your US-based marketplace journey:

Built-in Powerhouses:

  • Shopify Marketplace: Leverage the vast existing user base and robust functionalities of Shopify. This all-in-one solution offers seamless integration for existing Shopify stores, making it ideal for businesses with an established online presence.
  • BigCommerce Marketplace: Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce offers a built-in marketplace solution. It’s known for its scalability and customization options, catering to both established businesses and those with ambitious growth plans.

Open-Source Champions:

  • WooCommerce Marketplace: An open-source plugin for WordPress websites, WooCommerce Marketplace offers unparalleled customization and flexibility. This is ideal for developers and businesses seeking complete control over the marketplace’s functionalities and design. However, it requires more technical expertise to set up and maintain compared to closed-source solutions.
  • CS-Cart Multi-Vendor: Another open-source option, CS-Cart Multi-Vendor boasts a user-friendly interface and comprehensive features for both buyers and sellers. It’s a cost-effective option that requires some technical knowledge for customization.

SAAS Solutions

Sharetribe in lean startup mode

For all the previous solutions, it usually takes a few months to build your marketplace. With Sharetribe you can set up your marketplace in less than a day. There are 4 offers with prices ranging from $79 to $239 per month if you pay for 6 months (otherwise from $99 to $299 per month with monthly payment). The offers vary according to the maximum number of users registered on the site (to buy or sell something for example). Note that on the first offer you cannot use your own domain name or email address to send transactional emails.

Sharetribe is a good solution to test the feasibility of your project, to launch an MVP for example, but in the long term it will be limited in terms of features and especially customization. Moreover, if you want a personalized homepage (in terms of design) you have to pay 99$ more per month…

Without technical resources one can be tempted by a SAAS solution of this type and we could have mentioned other solutions to get a marketplace in SAAS mode but the same problems often come up: the fact that all the functionalities of a marketplace are not always supported or the price is too high or the lack of customisation. Added to this is the fact that the marketplace does not ultimately belong to you. You can develop your marketplace yourself or have it developed by freelancers or a web agency, either from a CMS or customized.


All successful business marketplaces such as Airbnb, Craigslist, Amazon, Blablacar… are of course based on custom development. You can build a custom marketplace in-house with your own developers or you can hire an agency.

Get a team

You can hire developers in your team, but don’t forget about one person, be it a developer or someone else, who can specify and manage the whole project. The success of the design depends on more than just the ability to code well. Note that you will eventually need a designer, although to start with you can work with very good templates which will do the trick.

The main drawback here is that you will have to pay these people. If you don’t have the means at the beginning, you can certainly offer them to join you by giving them shares in your company, but there is another difficulty: finding the right partners. It is already not easy to hire the right people, but it is even more complicated to find the right partners.

A web agency with the right know-how

It can therefore be complicated to put together a competent team, which is why it is important to turn to an agency that can carry out the specification work, development, design, but also the launch and follow-up after the launch (maintenance, upgrades, etc.).

Medialem web agency specializing in marketplace design

marketplace solution

Our marketplace builder goal is to create marketplaces with a flexible architecture and a unique design that best meets the needs of each project. This will make it easier to evolve the platform over time, to work on the user experience, to optimize the conversion rate, to improve the referencing, to do A-B testing, to add new features… After the launch, in addition to maintenance and evolutions, we can accompany the client on more webmarketing and growth hacking aspects.

Some modules are similar from one project to another but each project is different in its entirety. We can reuse bricks and our experience to minimize costs. In terms of price we are looking at around €6000 – 7000€ for a custom made marketplace with no additional costs other than the hosting fees of course. If you have a Marketplace project please contact us to discuss it.

Choosing the Right option:

Consider these factors when selecting your ideal platform:

  • Technical Expertise: Assess your team’s technical capabilities. Open-source platforms offer more flexibility but require more technical knowledge.
  • Budget: Compare the pricing models of different solutions, considering upfront costs, ongoing subscription fees, and transaction fees.
  • Scalability: Choose a platform that scales seamlessly as your marketplace grows.
  • Industry Focus: Some platforms cater to specific industries. Consider if a specialized platform offers a better fit for your niche.
  • US-Specific Needs: Ensure the platform complies with US regulations and offers features tailored to the US market, such as localized payment options and customer support.


The best option depends on your needs, your requirements and your means. You can test an idea by launching with solutions like Sharetribe or decide to go directly to a more durable custom solution, especially if it is not too expensive.

The choice of the technical solution is important for the success of your project but don’t forget that the success of your project does not depend only on this choice, hence this last piece of advice: whatever solution you choose, never launch alone and try to build a team with complementary skills while respecting this fundamental triplet to succeed in your business: technical – marketing – commercial.

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