Such giants as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb, Uber and the company have showed us and the world the true value and importance of B2B, B2C and peer to peer marketplace concept. Have you ever bought, sold or requested any kind of service online? If you’re familiar with the big names above, then we bet, the answer will be ‘yes’. Here we’re going to shed some light on how to create your own React Native-based marketplace and what the beauties of working with this framework are.
The modern demand in developing marketplace business
(Small note before you read: the author of this post is really obsessed with statistics. But everyone needs a real up-to-date branch data representation, don’t they? :) )
Before you ask us ‘how to build a marketplace?’ we want to start with the part discussing the worldwide demand in marketplace development.
Modern statistics don’t lie and show us the following facts and numbers:
As we can see, marketplace business comes as the second most ‘populated’ place for buyers and sellers after the branded stores.
Let’s consider another case which is Facebook’s Marketplace (what is Facebook nowadays, anyway?), launched last year. Marketplace is a React Native marketplace and uses Facebook owned React Native framework to keep things neat there from the tech side. Quite a thriving place to trade things. Here, take a look:
In 2016, Feedvisor conducted the survey where 200 sellers were polled. Turned out that almost 63% of merchants sold via marketplaces only.
Don’t pass by the following stats and pay attention to the leading mobile app publishers in the United States as of May 2017, based on reach. Take a closer look at the marketplace companies:
What does this statistic tell us about? The answer is the marketplaces of different types (C2C, B2C, B2B) are a ‘mainstream-like’ phenomenon nowadays and have taken leading positions on the consumer’s market along with other giants in the tech industry.
Attention here: You might take into account Facebook stats too. We bet that the data represented here is not strictly social medium related but also includes the stats of other services Facebook provides (like that Marketplace we mentioned above).
Investment in the marketplace business. Venture capital investment trends
As Elian D. Alvarez states in his blog post on "Trends in Venture Capital Investment", VC investments into marketplaces increased from 2.5% to 10% in the last four years. The reason hides behind the success of Airbnb and Uber, the marketplaces which provide services and are based on C2C (community-to-community or peer-to-peer) model.
Uber shows us its next stats:
Uber fulfills 40 million rides monthly and has over 77% of US ride-hailing market (Source: Wiki)
Uber gross revenue 2016 – $20 billion (Source: BusinessInsider)
Uber net revenue 2016 – $6.5 billion (Source: BusinessInsider)
Venture capital raised – $11.5 billion (Source: Crunchbase)
Uber valuation in 2017 – $69 billion (Source: Bloomberg )
The service’s total valuation 2017 - 31$ billion
Total funding Airbnb has raised in 2017 - 3.4$ billion
Airbnb is active in 65k cities and 191 countries
Another reason why C2C marketplaces are in demand is the income opportunities you can get offering your services via these apps:
Trendy and profitable online peer-to-peer marketplace categories
As you’ve probably started to suspect, the flourishing peer to peer marketplace categories are:
Car sharing, renting (BlaBlaCar)
Housing and travel (Airbnb, Housetrip)
Work platforms (Uber, Lyft, Upwork, Freelancer.com)
Commerce (eBay, Etsy, OLX)
To expand your knowledge base. Check out the list of other +50 popular peer-to-peer marketplaces so that we could persuade you in fact that online marketplaces are the current and the next ‘big thing’ in the world of innovations.
Now, let’s smoothly get to the part on how to set up a marketplace. What features and tech to bear in mind.
Plan to create a personal C2C marketplace
Answering to how to build the marketplace which will conquer users’ attention, let’s see what popular marketplaces features you can think about
Real-time is a must nowadays
The reason why peer-to-peer marketplaces/C2C commerce have seized our hearts is their ability to see, track, monitor, order and know things in a real-time mode. Take a look at a couple of quick examples: your app allows users to track their order delivery in real-time and see where it’s now. Or using your app, user browses currently available rooms/places to stay for a night-over somewhere around their location. Isn’t it neat? Right, it is. What else not to forget about is the instant messaging option implementation. With this feature in your app, users are able to see who is texting them or sending some files at the moment or when the person they’d like to chat with was/is online.
As an idea, you can introduce bots, which would act like a voicemail:
‘Currently I’m offline, call me or drop you question here’.
Payment methods choices for the C2C marketplaces
Enable users to choose and switch between various payment methods. Credit/debit card, or popular online payment systems, these are obvious solutions to have in mind. Don’t forget about the gamification elements, like various collectable bonuses or rewards which allow users, for example, receive their delivery faster or get a higher class car ride. (Options may vary wildly. It’s just up to what kind of marketplace you’re planning to develop).
Security, insurance and guarantees
Reviews play one of the main roles in the peer-to-peer marketplaces habitat. Often, other users’ rates provide us with the most crucial information: security, reliability and quality. This aspect almost usually helps buyers choose and buy safely. Power up your app with the smooth commenting and reviewing functionality
Opportunity to get acquainted with the customer/seller in person if needed (their stable phone number and/or email displayed for contacting, in-app chat to start the conversation as possible solutions). This will help you to check better if a person you’re dealing with, is real by collecting all the available necessary info
Compensation options for sellers (take a look at this example: A customer had bought a product with the home delivery option but then didn’t show up to take away the bought thing. Pity and annoyance, right? To avoid such moments of disappointment, you can offer some pleasant compensations on behalf of your peer-to-peer marketplace. These could be financial compensations (‘we return you x money sum for a canceled deal’), or bonuses of different kinds (discounts for advertisements in your online marketplace, etc.)
If your idea is C2C commerce project, (like eBay, Amazon or OLX), include the home delivery option for which the customer should pay. To gain trust among the users, you can team up with the reliable delivery/shipping-specialized services in your country or internationally. The great plus-option is tracking the status and location of the ordered product. Enable the customers to take a ‘live’ look at the product before they buy it. This way, the buyer persona can decide whether to buy or to cancel the deal
Make sure your app has enough space and functionality to prove that you’re making a safe deal. For this, a seller /customer should be able to provide their phone number/ email and verify these, location details (integrate maps with your app) or write a message (think about an in-app chatbot development)
Confidentiality. To attract more users who trust you, secure their sensitive info, like credit card credentials and passwords. A specialized security department for your product sounds like a big idea. For instance, you can partner with the safe and certified payment services. With their help ensure that only the user has access to modify and browse their secured info and only your security department is responsible for checking that info and proving that the data is real and true. As the result, you’ll gain more users who aren’t afraid to buy and sell via your peer-to-peer marketplace
The option to filter deals according to the users’ locations is one of the ways to drive more people to your C2C marketplace product. After the person has chosen the country and has entered a specific need in the search tab of your app, return all the possible results of a user’s request. As an idea, you can show the search results along with their location on map (if available). If maps are implemented, make them flexible to use. Let your users build routes, mark what is necessary, or, as an option, set a map marker along with the reminder to notify you that you should be here or there at a certain time.
If your plan is to build React Native app, take a look at React Native maps component by Airbnb :
Quite well-customized map, isn’t it? This is not the only bright example of React Native-based development.
What tech to choose and use for marketplace development?
If you’ve started sketching a blueprint of your marketplace concept, first, determine how your product will be helpful and what category it should fit in. Then the very juice - development technology choice.
If you wonder what solutions lie behind Airbnb and Facebook, then we recommend checking React Native showcase. Apart from the big players mentioned above, the current technology has helped to power UberEats, Walmart and other worldwide brands’ apps.
The benefits of building a marketplace with React Native:
You can save more time and costs writing one code which suits both Android and iOS. (Why to spend more money on Android and iOS separate development?)
You can combine React Native smoothly with native code (Swift, Objective-C, Java) whenever you need a boosted functionality and a richer features set;
The technology is open- source and free to use and contribute
The knowledgebase and educational materials are quite comprehensive and there are a lot of them (React Native official documentation, React Native Express, hit the Google search and you’ll be impressed)
Your team saves more time with React Native’s features, like hot reloading and instant results return.
You might want to read this: What are the benefits using React Native and how to build a React Native app efficiently?
React Native marketplace development. Performance
Here are some useful tips from our team on what to look at in the performance stage when busy with marketplace building:
Before you start building your marketplace app, think about the implementation of a predictable state container, like Redux orMobX, to obtain consisted app’s code, simplify data flow organization and get the most from time-travel and live code-editing features.
For real-time functionality, you can use Firebase component
You can implement the use of Recompose, a utility belt which allows you to build and manage RN components, create custom props if you see that the default component structure doesn’t suit your app
Learn how by working with the 3 following things, ReactContext, NativeModules and ReactRootView, guys from Facebook have reduced the Facebook Marketplace app’s startup time by 25%.
As we can see, P2P, B2B, B2C marketplaces have proven their demand over the population by simplifying users’ lives and organizing events, bookings, night-outs quickly.
Has this marketplace tutorial helped you to understand marketplace business better? Then you’re free to share it or subscribe to our blog to get the latest news in tech trends. In the end, contact our React Native specialists anytime, if you‘ve got something to add or want to ask us the details on how to build a React Native app.