This post is part of a series about the types of apps you can build in Bubble.io.
As modern society heavily depends on digital tools and customer demands continue to evolve, online marketplaces have become increasingly popular business models.
A typical marketplace app is a unifier for both buyers and sellers. This could be sellers and buyers looking to trade services as is the case with platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Or, it could be a platform for trading physical or digital products, as is true of marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, Ebay or even Airbnb.
Whatever the style/type of marketplace you may have in mind, Bubble’s powerful and intuitive engine can help you build the marketplace of your dreams.
Marketplace App Features
A successful marketplace requires categorizations of products/services, individual listings and an integrated search feature with plenty of filters to help users locate what they’re interested in finding.
It also requires a payments system to enable users to book, order, or checkout the products or services they’re interested in. This is often a three-way system which allows the buyer to make a payment which is received by the seller, with a little fee going to the platform owner.
Of course, the features of an online marketplace could be extended even further. For instance, most marketplaces have a rating system to enable users to provide feedback on their purchases. There may also be an approval system for listings, a save feature for buyers, inventory management, etc.
In the end, the eventual features needed for your marketplace will depend on what you’re trying to achieve. Once you’ve decided on your ideal features, though, you can bring them all to life using Bubble.
For starters, its custom database structure ensures you can customize your functionality to your taste. Custom databases can be tuned to accommodate whatever data is collected by your website, and how each data point relates to another. They’re also optimized for a powerful, custom search functionality.
Bubble’s API Connector also makes it possible for you to use whichever payment processor you desire by simply plugging in the payment processor’s API. The entire payment process can also be customized as you please, with the logic behind your payment system only limited by your processor. With options like Stripe, its payment system is quite robust in terms of options..
For instance, you could set up payments to go directly to sellers, or decide to delay payments for a while for whatever reason. You may also choose to collect a fee from the buyer, the seller, or both.
Finally, in addition to its extensive customization and styling options, Bubble also offers loads of pre-built integrations for marketplace support, including email (Gmail, Mailchimp and Sendgrid) and analytics (Mixpanel), amongst others.
Examples of Online Marketplaces on Bubble
StringTheories is a great example of a marketplace built on the Bubble platform. The app is designed to match guitar students with tutors that fit their needs in Dublin; it allows students to filter instructors by lesson type and price.
Once they find an instructor that suits their learning interests, the student can send a message to the instructor for a lesson to be arranged. Following the agreement between the tutor and the student, payment can be made for the first lesson via the app.
Bubble trumps platforms like WordPress marketplace apps like these as a result of its incredible customization features. It is also easy to use, and allows you to evolve from the idea stage to full application within a short period of time.
Bubble has essentially provided you with the main building blocks to set up your online marketplace; all you need to do is set up your database as desired, create your dream templates using the drag and drop feature, and customize your app’s appearance to match your dreams.