How to Build a Successful Marketplace on IOS for Gamers

Digital marketplaces and e-commerce shopping apps for gamers – that handy and highly entertaining mobile products that allow us to purchase desired and top-ranked games online with no-fuss. User experience, in this case, is just pure joy and pleasure.

Even social media networks have their own games we love to try from time to time. Not to mention, a custom marketplace is a really, really great business idea that offers the ability to capture a whole market niche and fit every taste. And the most tempting thing about marketplace’s profit for a startup?

You don’t need to have your own products to run such shopping app – you just provide a platform for other manufacturers and give the users an ability to purchase their products. You sell, they buy.

How to build a successful marketplace? Aim high

Niche marketplaces are successful business models which were proven by such giants like App Store and Google Play market, Airbnb and Etsy, Uber etc. And why do they achieved their high rank? Well, my guess, because they offer a strictly focused user experience by satisfying target audience requirements.

In addition, they keep this audience engaged and returning constantly. And you know what? The idea to build a mobile app for buying and selling games is bothering me for awhile already, like truly bothering.

I want to engage with other gamers and provide them with high-quality content, build for them such store where they would like to hang out every so often. Yes, the competition is ruthless, there are companies and brands that already succeeded in shopping app development sphere, but... What is life without the risk and adventure?

Requirements and targets

So, are you as passionate as me?

Fine, what should we do to create an online shopping application with the potential to become a hit on the market?

Online marketplaces are hot as never, but we want to make a difference, right? Your inestimable privilege is that right now all the technology to build a mobile app is finally mature enough, part-free and constantly developing further more. You can get any necessary tool without the need to develop it yourself and there are tons of educational information for the most demanding developer.

On the other hand, building successful marketplaces won’t be an easy task, there are no shortcuts and simple steps. To launch a marketplace and succeed you have to mastermind a well-thought marketing strategy and choose the best tools you can afford. Prepare to work hard to grow your audience and make them stay with you through a rough time.

Before you start, you should learn some crucial tips on how to develop a shopping app. And the first questions you must ask yourself are why, what and how. Why do you want to develop an e-commerce mobile app? What do you plan to sell, what market niche you like to win over? And how are you going to make your app profitable? Your whole strategy will depend on answers to these questions. So... we already talked about games, yes? I’m suggesting we dive in a little deeper. 

Here are your answers to the questions above:

  1. You want to create a product for the wide and dedicated target customers – for gamers.
  2. You’re aiming for marketplace niche that provides the best games that exist out there.  
  3. You’re gonna monetize your app in a couple of ways to satisfy all three parties – you, your sellers and users.

The first brick in the fundament was put in, but building a marketplace for game industry requires a really dedicated person who’s ready to fight through next stages of the development process.

So, how to create an attractive mobile marketplace for iOS games?

Why iOS so suddenly when you can build it for both iOS and Android devices? Well, let’s see. Any statistics will show you just how much people love an iOS games compare to Android sector. iOS platform provides a wide landscape for a variety of super cool mobile games in every genre by giving the developers high-quality graphics, responsive touch screens, and the high capacity of Apple's gadgets. Check the App Store and you’ll see that enormous amount of games already presented there.

There are latest hits in most common genres that can fit every taste of every player. Some of that fantastic games are free, some are not. Anyway, the niche is profitable from every perspective. It’s your turn to get a piece of it.  

Now, you have to figure out how you want to build your marketplace platform. Are you a developer and know every? If not, will you hire some developers for your team? How big is your budget and is it your first startup? Do you have co-founders and investors or are you completely alone? While answering these, you should consider both your strengths and weaknesses to see how these aspects will influence the development process.

You want to save yourself as much money and effort as possible, so, we would recommend gathering a really strong team to start your business in marketplace app making.

About building the platform again, what we can tell you for sure is that you must make it convenient, safe, and reliable for every user.

There are two ways: you may use the already made solutions to build a marketplace for gamers (APIs, SDKs and stuff like Sharetribe that built with the Ruby on Rails framework) or you can hire super qualified developers to create it from scratch. Either way, it’s going to be challenging and your top priority will be engaging your users throughout almost every stage of your app making process.

Here is the list of actions you’re going to do in order to make a shopping mobile app for gamers:

  1. After choosing a product you want to sell, validate your idea (define the right metrics for your app such as retention rate, user engagement, lifetime value and revenue level) and decide how you will obtain this product.
  2. You should get a clear understanding of the marketplace concept, at least, based on the examples of the App Store and Google Play Store. Research the market to learn about your competitors. See, if there is a real need for your app or are you risking too much by chasing this wild idea? What unique features will you provide to attract a whole bunch of users? And study your target customers – learn what they want and expect from the marketplace app.
  3. Develop a business plan and a marketing strategy – name your app, create an icon, and study the SEO subject to effectively promote your app. Check out the information on how to promote the product with the help of social networks and e-mails (read more in "How To Start Mobile App Marketing Campaign").  
  4. Calculate a project for your investors to ensure them that they will become rich by entrusting their money to your goal. Carefully sort out the content you’re going to sell – it should be highly interesting, entertaining and properly designed games. The content is everything.
  5. Start with a well-designed architecture of the marketplace platform (network marketplace community, infrastructure, and data layers). Prepare a list of major features, functions and services you gonna need in the app and pass your idea to a mobile app development company.
  6. Hire your own team of passionate and open-minded developers. Describe to them a UI/UX design that will suit your purpose – it’s supposed to be user-friendly and easy-to-use. And consider using the back-end connection for your platform.  
  7. Don’t forget to implement analytic tools into your app to track users’ behavior and see if the app is making progress on a wide scale. About the best free and available analytic tools you can read in our article named “7 Mobile Marketing Metrics. What to choose?Devices for gamers
  8. Develop an MVP (minimum viable product) of the app – it’s absolutely crucial point that will help you to reduce the cost of the app and save time and effort on unnecessary changes and improvements. You don’t need the product with features that no one wants or interested in. Choose the most significant features that suit the purpose of the app and prototype them to see how your audience will accept them. Also, in this way, you’ll be able to hit the market as soon as possible. Test the app to see what you can do to fix the bugs. Pay attention to the first feedbacks and consider the complaints that were left by the first users. Then you’ll be able to develop your marketplace further. Find out more here: why do you must launch an MVP first.
  9. After the final version of the marketplace is done, get it reviewed by the third party once more to check all the possible mistakes you could’ve made. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for advice.
  10. Think through your pre-launching, launching and post-launching strategy. Just creating a good e-commerce app isn’t enough as much as getting it to the market. You’ll need to promote it through all the way and then keep up with a technical support and upgrade schedule (read more in our article "How To Start Mobile App Marketing Campaign").
  11. Engage your users. The last but not the least. Your interaction with your audience is like.. 40% of your success. As soon as you start working on your project start attracting people, engage them in the making process, ask their opinion and advice. Listen to them to make really important changes in your marketplace on the early stages of the development process – that way you’re going to save time and budget and avoid the unpleasant pitfalls. Keep in mind that you started your company not only to solve your own problems but to provide a product for a wider array of users. Truly successful startups always make sure to interact with their users at every point in order to solve big problems and to remove every roadblock that they meet along the way. Yes, such approach takes a lot of time, the functional platform is just a part of the mobile product, it’s your users and their level of engagement that really gives your a chance to fly to the top.

Read also: Cost to Develop a Dating App Like OkCupid

Creating a shopping mobile app for gamers isn’t easy, as you see. One needs high professional and programming skills and the understanding of at least one e-commerce platform. And even in this case, it's better to choose an easy mobile app solution (partly available on the Internet) rather than design complex apps. From the list above you can learn that the development process will demand from you a full attention to even slightest details.  

To dive in this and not to sink as a broken ship we advise you to learn from the best popular e-commerce platforms like:  

  • Magento Marketplace Mobile App
  • Magento 2 Marketplace Mobile App
  • Opencart Marketplace Mobile App
  • CS-Cart Multivendor Mobikul Mobile App
  • PrestaShop Marketplace Mobile App

And a couple examples of the marketplaces for gamers:

  • G2G – Gamer2Gamer Marketplace
  • Gainkit
  • GameMaker
  • Xbox Games Store
  • G2A – Global Digital Gaming Marketplace
  • YoYo Games

iOs marketplace content

Also, about the point 4. – the content of your iOS marketplace. Do you know what types of games you want to sell? Will it be just one genre or the whole bunch of them? Who’s going to be your games’ designers? If the concept is new for you, below is the list of the most common and appreciated game genres among the players across the world.

  1. Action
  2. First person shooter / Third person shooter / gore shooter / tactical shooter
  3. Fighting Beat ’em up
  4. Hack and slash
  5. Arcade
  6. Simulation / Business simulation / game dating simulation / Government simulation game
  7. Sport game
  8. Strategy / Real-time strategy / Turn-based strategy / Map strategy
  9. Wargame
  10. God game
  11. Adventure
  12. Interactive Fiction
  13. Rhythm game
  14. Quest
  15. Action-adventure
  16. Role playing game
  17. Traditional & Board

As for stylistic, there are next types of games: western, cyberpunk, space-based, post-apocalyptic, steampunk, modern and fantasy games.

Mobile Game Types

According to MMOS the highest Rated iOS Games are:

  • Lords Mobile (5.00 / 5)
  • EvilBane: Rise of Ravens (4.75 / 5)
  • Sword of Chaos (4.60 / 5)
  • Otogi: Spirit Agents (4.50 / 5)
  • Order and Chaos 2 (4.00 / 5)
  • Fate/Grand Order (4.00 / 5)
  • Monster Super League (4.00 / 5)
  • Asphalt Xtreme (4.00 / 5)
  • Dungeon Crash (4.00 / 5)
  • Iruna Online (4.00 / 5)

Basic knowledge of ios marketplace

Okay, now you have a  basic knowledge of marketplace business. Time to move on and see what makes those marketplaces top-ranked. The answer is pretty simple – the app features...  

Must-have features of online marketplace app

You can create your own list of features that will increase the app performance and make it successful and profitable. But here is a quick guide to help you with this essential task to connect buyers and sellers easily than ever.  And also, keep in mind that your app supposes to be fun and interesting for the users. Use the customer-centered approach, analyze users behavior and design the marketplace based on their preferences.

Features of the successful marketplace for gamers:

  1. User Profiles & Authorization – An authorized user should be able to update his/her personal details and manage the account data or listings.
  2. Multi-lingual support – for the foreign customers around the globe.
  3. Security management – any marketplace must put their users’ interests before their own and protect the personal data and payment transactions.  Your customers trust you with keeping the personal details (name, gender, birth date, email, language, credentials and phone number) safe.
  4. Social Media Integration & Sharing – the ability to sign up with an email account or via a social network (Facebook, Twitter, Google+). Read more: Social Networks App Development ​​​​​
  5. Categories of users: visitor, authorized user, customer (an authorized user who buys some product), publisher (an authorized user who sells product / a seller).
  6. Colorful, but simple and memorable user interface design (UI), as simple as possible. Including UX scenarios, the option of choosing a color scheme, style guide, interactive themes. A recognizable logo and layered comfy navigation
  7. A synchronized connection between the web store and the app, if the web store is present.
  8. Product discovery – content is key to success. If your customer doesn’t like what he/she see than there won’t be any sellings. Present your product in the most eye-catching way to impress your users.  
  9. Accessible and informative catalogs & Product description & Price comparison – these are really essential features that are going to make the customer stay if done properly.
  10. Search option & Essential filters to find a product based on preferences.
  11. Easy-to-use browsing content – the app’s main page, Contact Us, About Us, Terms of Use, etc.
  12. Payment system for buyers & Payout option for sellers – credit cards or worldwide used payment systems (in case of iOS platform, it’s Apple Pay). There should be various payment gateways for your users to choose from (PayPal, Stripe, Check & Money Order, Bank Transfer, COD).
  13. Shopping Cart or Checkout – it’s, without a doubt, the must-have for any marketplace.
  14. Loyalty programs & Bonus point etc. – other option that will help you to make user stay and be loyal to your app.
  15. Reviews & Ratings – not only your customers should be able to write a comment or to read one. It’s in your best interest to see which games are popular and desirable and which aren’t satisfying the gamers and should be removed from your shop.
  16. Push notifications – a great way to inform loyal users about the new products, sales or some valuable events.
  17. Monetization function – for example, a registration fee, subscriptions, merchants, data monetization.

Monetization function

See? A lot... And, at first glance, seems like the Chinese language... For that very reason, we will discuss the next question.

How much does it cost to develop a Marketplace on IOS?

One more time – get yourself an experienced team of qualified mobile app developers. Yes, it’s going to cost you, but in the end, you’ll have a strong competitive product with all the right features and full functionality.

The price, in this case, will depend, first of all, on the number of working hours of every developer in your team (and the hourly rate depend on a particular development company and the country where it resides). You can check the approximate hourly rates of developers around the world.

Secondly, the more complex set of features and the more sophisticated UI/UX frames you require the higher will be the final cost. But marketplace app development industry can provide you with any suitable solution while the price can be still negotiated.

According to our research, the fully functional marketplace on iOS for gamers, based on a usual set of features and average hourly rate of developers, will take like 800-2000 hours to build, at least. And therefore, will cost you around $28.000 – $70,000

Final Thought

Mobile marketplaces are the hot and booming marketing tool that drives the revenue up. All the more it shows with the constantly growing usage of smartphones and other mobile gadgets. Regarding the mobile game development sphere, it’s the real chance to make money and become a successful business.

And if you’re ready to make your dreams come true and looking for developers to create your own unique marketplace for gamers, we are happy to oblige. Having the knowledge of all the available tools and technologies we will help you to design and develop such app. We’re professionals and our team is experienced and determined to do everything we do one hundred percent perfect.


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