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09 September 2020

Carousell clone app - How to build an app like Carousell

Carousell is a mobile app for posting ads for buying, selling and exchanging new or used goods. The platform is very popular in Southeast Asia due to its simplicity and convenience. In this article, you will learn how to create a mobile application like Carousell by cloning its functionality and partially design.

Carousell’s business model

Essentially, Carousell's business model is standard for such client-to-client applications: it is a marketplace where anyone can buy and offer goods and services. Registration and publication of ads are free. The peculiarity of this application is that it is local (focused on Southeast Asia) and easy to use: on Carousell, selling is as easy as photographing, and buying is as easy as chatting.

At the same time, the company's management does not want to become an international giant like AliExpress or Alibaba. Instead, the company relies on local markets, giving its users the ability to sell each other unwanted goods or exchange them through regular barter.

The monetization strategy in Carousell and similar applications is as follows:

Main functions of the application

Mandatory Buy and Sell App functions by user roles

When developing a Carousell clone app, you don't have to reinvent the wheel by thinking up original functionality for your trading platform. It just needs to be copied and sometimes updated slightly to suit the needs of the niche and location. This approach saves time and money.

And since the functions in Carousell are standard, making a clone will be quite simple. The only thing that can cause difficulties is the ability to reserve funds, and only because this function is relatively rarely implemented on such platforms. But for blockchain platforms, this is almost standard functionality that is implemented using smart contracts.

So, if you want to create an application like Carousell, look for a technical partner who is familiar with these technologies. How to find such a partner is described in detail in the article «Smart Contract Development: How to Choose a Company and Platform»

Additional app functions

If you want to create a clone of Carousell to launch a trading platform in a low-competition market, the standard function set is enough. However, if you are planning to enter a highly competitive market, it is necessary for your application to somehow stand out from the competitors. This can be achieved through the implementation of several additional functions:

Attractive and comfortable design

Carousell's design is simple but quite bright thanks to the combination of red and white. Source

There are quite a few effective solutions in Carousell's design: a combination of red and white, a simple user path, intuitivity, and more. Therefore, by cloning this application, you do not need to develop UX / UI design from scratch. You can just copy it, making small changes.

To avoid ruining your original design, follow three rules:

Built-in payment service

Comparison of the most popular e-Commerce payment gateways

Most online boards like Carousell do not provide any financial settlements for their users. People use the chat to decide how to transfer goods and make payments. This is user-friendly and can reduce development costs, but sometimes this approach creates problems.

Thus, in the case of Carousell, this has led to an increase in the number of fraud. And although the percentage of fraudulent transactions in relation to all transactions was small (0.1%), this still became a significant problem for the company due to large reputation losses and claims of users against the service.

To solve this problem, the service added the Carousell Protection function: the platform keeps the buyer's money until the goods are delivered. In case of problems with the purchase, the buyer can apply to arbitration and get his money back.

After the introduction of Carousell Protection, the number of frauds immediately decreased by 40% and continued to fall as more people began to use the new opportunity.

This example shows how useful the in-app payment option can be, especially if there is a fund reservation. And such a function is useful both for users (protection against fraud) and for the application (the ability to charge a commission on each transaction).
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