How to Create Low-Cost & Amazing Marketplace Apps with No Code

Table of Contents

Marketplace Apps Are the New Shopping Malls

According to the online product sourcing and store management app Oberlo, as of 2023, 33% of humanity are online shoppers – that’s a staggering 2.64 billion human beings.

Even more impressive is that this figure is an 80 million increase from 2022.

We guess they must have seen the Jackie Chan Shopee ad?  

shopee marketplace app ads featuring jackie chan
Were we the only ones who first thought it was Naruto practicing the Kage Bunshin?

While we’re sure the kung fu star helped, the reality is that shopping, like much of our lives, has become increasingly digital.

So, if you’re the entrepreneurial sort, building a marketplace app of your own is a great idea.

It’s just that building any kind of app can be associated with high development costs.

Either that or go no code and choose between steep learning curves or crude Stone Age interfaces.   

That might be true, but it’s not at all the case with online marketplaces.

Thanks to their popularity, great no-code marketplace apps can be built both quickly and cost-effectively.

In this post, we’ll show how you can build a perfectly functional marketplace app in just a few days. 

First, let’s dive a bit deeper into the features and mechanics of marketplace apps. 

Types and Examples of Marketplace Apps

You could spend all day listing out increasingly specific niches, but marketplace apps typically come in three broad categories:

Physical & Digital Product Marketplace App

The most common type of marketplace app is the marketplace app that sells physical and digital products. For example, look at Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and our personal favourite, Steam.

marketplace apps that sell physical and digital products
Where all our weekly allowance ended up.

Defining features include:

  • Stock management
  • Multi-vendor support, and
  • Shipping and returns

Services Marketplace App

Services marketplace app is also super common – think Fiverr and Uber, and of course, the dozens of clones they have spawned. 

Defining features include:

  • Location-based features, and
  • Built-in invoicing for B2B transactions

Rental Marketplace App

The last type is the rental marketplace app, which allows users to book something temporarily – typically high-value items.

And yes, we’re all thinking of Airbnb here.

rental marketplace apps that allow users to book or rent something temporarily
Nothing like thrashing a home that isn’t yours.

Defining features:

  • Again, location-based features
  • Photo/video identification (to avoid incidents pictured above), and
  • Clearly stated terms

General Features of Marketplace Apps

On top of the specific features mentioned above, pretty much all marketplace apps will need the following features to deliver a satisfactory experience, meaning it’s the bare minimum it has to deliver to not be considered lacking:

  • Login and authentication
  • User profiles
  • SKU Listings
  • Search bars
  • Filters
  • Checkout
  • Secure online payment gateways
  • On-platform communication 
  • Reviews

And for the backend, these are the features that make the marketplace apps usable for those running it:

  • Admin capabilities
  • App analytics, and
  • Reliable SEO tools

If we had to describe this list using famous song lyrics, it would be a-lo-lo-lo-lo-long. 

We’re not 100% certain, but we think the original song was talking about app development anyway.

Point is: it’s a long list of to-dos.

If you hired a developer or built one yourself with a conventional no-code app builder, it would either take a lot of money or time.

A quick Google search and you’ll see sources quoting $30,000 – $150,000.

Ha, bet you just threw up a little in your mouth, didn’t you?

If you were working with competent developers, we don’t think that’s an unrealistic range.

Thing is, unless you need a truly unique marketplace app (in which case we’re pretty competent app developers ourselves, so come say hi) there’s zero reason to spend thousands on developing a marketplace app.

Instead, you should go for a no-code marketplace builder.

What the Heck is a No-Code Marketplace App Builder?

A no-code marketplace app builder is a no-code app builder that’s specialized to help non-tech founders rapidly create a very specific type of app.

If you have to ask what kind of app, you might still be thinking of the girl from the song.

what is a no code marketplace app builder
Can’t blame you, so are we.

No-code marketplace apps work just like conventional no-code app builders.

They provide a visual interface with drag-and-drop functionality, enabling users to design and customize mobile and web apps with pre-built components and templates.

Benefits of a No Code Marketplace App Builder

The main difference and advantage are that a no-code marketplace app builder provides components and templates uniquely suited for marketplace apps.

  1. Marketplace-specific components provided by no-code marketplace app builders are:
    • product listing templates
    • user profile templates
    • advanced search and filtering
    • comprehensive product review systems
  2. Marketplace-focused workflows provided by no-code marketplace app builders include:
    • handling user registrations
    • managing listings
    • facilitating transactions
    • Buyer-seller messaging support
  3. Marketplace-specific integration capabilities provided by no-code marketplace app builders:
    • payment gateways, and
    • shipping providers

All this is to say they provide users with a more comprehensive marketplace app template compared to more general app builders.

Best No Code Builder to Create a Marketplace App

After taking a look at various options, we’ve come to a pretty comfortable decision: For now, the best no-code marketplace app builder for most non-tech founders is Sharetribe.

sharetribe no code app marketplace builder pricing plans
Sharetribe pricing plans.

Sharetribe has four pricing tiers that cater to almost any marketplace use case – check their user showcase and founder stories to see the huge variety of apps they cater to.

For practical purposes, most founders will want their Launch and Extend plans.


For new founders ready to test out an idea in a live environment, Launch allows you to rapidly customize an existing template that comes with all the necessary features of a marketplace including:

  • payment gateway
  • analytics,
  • listings,
  • authentication,
  • SEO
  • optional hosting
  • and more

You get a market-ready MVP after a few days of work and for a reasonable price of $199 per month. 


Say your marketplace is a success. 

First off, congratulations.

Now you want to really build it beyond the capabilities of a template.

On most no-code app builders, you’d hire a developer and they start rebuilding your app from scratch.

With Sharetribe, you still have to hire a developer, but you can seamlessly transition into Sharetribe’s Extend tier, which provides a headless backend designed for marketplaces.

Their specialized template covers the essentials, and a developer can modify, add, or remove features depending on your needs.

The idea is that you can now get your developer to build you a custom frontend with all the features and integrations you want and easily connect it to Sharetribe’s backend.

Yes, Sharetribe Extend costs $299/month, but if it makes you a lot more, it will have been a worthwhile business expense.

You get no sympathy from us – shut up and enjoy your $29,700.

Conclusion: Build Marketplace App MVP with Sharetribe Launch

Marketplace app or not, all SaaS projects begin life as MVPs.

The whole point of an MVP is to move fast, as cheaply as possible, and either validate an idea and continue development or discard it and move on.

There’s no question that no code marketplace app builders are the way forward when it comes to this.

Specifically, Sharetribe offers the following benefits:

  • Marketplace-focused features that allow for rapid MVP launch
  • Native hosting to keep things simple
  • Extremely attractive price point compared to the value offered
  • Long-term growth and scale into custom development with Sharetribe Extend
  • Even Sharetribe Extend is attractively priced!

Really, what more could you want from a marketplace app builder?

Heck, we’re developers, and we’d probably use Sharetribe Launch to create a Marketplace MVP ourselves!

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Marketplace apps are so popular that MVPs can be built and launched in just days and for cheap.

  • Unless you need an extremely unusual type of marketplace, a no code marketplace app builder is the best solution.

  • No code marketplace app builders are just like normal no code app builders in that they come with visual interfaces and drag and drop functions.

  • No code marketplace app builders come with built-in integrations and workflows specific to marketplace apps.

  • In our opinion, the best no code marketplace app builder on the market (pun intended) right now is Sharetribe.

  • You can launch a fully functional marketplace MVP on Sharetribe for just $119 a month!

  • As you grow and scale, Sharetribe offers space for you to build you own custom store and conenct it to their marketplace backend for just $299 per month once you reach $30,000 in monthly transaction value.

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