// Development

How to Build Marketplace App Like LetGo

Table of Contents

#1. Step 1: Idea and Concept
#2. Step 2: Business Model and Monetization
#3. Step 3: Basic and Advanced Functions
#4. Step 4: Attractive and convenient UX / UI design
#5. Step 5: Affordable and Secure Payment Gateways
#6. Step 6: Marketing Policy
#7. Step 7: MVP and testing
#8. Development cost

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LetGo is a free application that allows you to sell a variety of things with a couple of clicks. It is only necessary to photograph the goods, and then the system itself will determine that it will create an appropriate announcement and conduct a sales transaction. In the article you will find a description of the key features, functions and benefits of LetGo, as well as instructions on how to create a similar application yourself.

Step 1: Idea and Concept

LetGo’s idea is to connect people who want to sell second-hand things with those who want to buy them and help them make a peer-to-peer deal. At the same time, the main user value of the service, in comparison with competitors, is simplicity and convenience, which are achieved by automating some processes. Artificial Intelligence Responsible for Automation.

In practice, this means the following: when the seller photographs, for example, a TV, LetGo artificial intelligence:

  1. Scans the photo and determines what kind of TV it is.
  2. Creates a headline for the ad and a brief description of the product.
  3. Determines the price of the lot based on the history of similar transactions.
If desired, the seller can leave the ad as is or optimize it at its discretion.

Due to this automation, the actions of the seller can be reduced to two things: a photo and confirmation of the publication of an advertisement. That is, you no longer need to spend from 15 to 30 minutes writing a description and determining competitive value. This simplifies the life of sellers, thus increasing the number and variety of lots, which in turn leads to an increase in the number of buyers (network effect).

Step 2: Business Model and Monetization

Business Model and Monetization Build Marketplace App Like LetGo

In addition to traditional announcements, LetGo also has video listings

LetGo’s business and operating model is a marketplace focused on buying and selling used goods outside the platform, that is, the system acts just like a message board (like Craigslist), and not like an online store (like Amazon). To increase the likelihood of such transactions, the system first of all shows buyers the ads of sellers within a radius of 50 miles.

Ads on LetGo, unlike Craigslist, are free for all products and regions. The listings are sorted by relevance, distance from the user and based on the history of past searches and purchases. Another difference from Craigslist is that on LetGo you cannot sell or buy services, only goods.

As for monetization, LetGo makes money with:

  1. Favorite lists. A premium feature that places an ad at the top of the listing, that is, over the natural search results. LetGo claims that thanks to this, the selected lists receive twice as many views. No sales statistics for selected listings.
  2. LetGo Pro. Feature for professional car dealers. For subscribing, they will be able to automatically update the listing and receive calls from customers through the application. Prices: 99 dollars a month - 0 cars, 399 dollars - 70 cars, 599 dollars - 150 cars.
  3. Google Ads. Contextual advertising of products, services.
An important point! Since the content of advertising banners in LetGo is relevant to the search queries of users, this creates a conflict of interest: the application must sell the products of users, and contextual advertising - products of third-party suppliers. In order to avoid this conflict, contextual advertising should promote either services, or related products, or third-party web resources.

For example, if a user entered the query “iPhone”, advertising should promote websites and blogs, smartphone repair services or games, cases, headphones, chargers, and the like. True, related products can also be sold by LetGo users, therefore it is better that advertising only promotes services and third-party services.

Step 3: Basic and Advanced Functions

Copying existing LetGo functions is certainly a good way to create your own mobile application. However, in order to succeed, you will need to somehow stand out from the competition. Firstly, you can take into account their shortcomings and develop a more advanced service. Secondly, you can create a unique function that only your application will have.

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LetGo is unique in its artificial intelligence and image recognition system, which simplify and speed up the publication of announcements. In addition, the application boasts a convenient built-in chat (not on Craigslist) and video listing. All this must be in your application, as well as the following functions:

  1. Registration. Almost all modern marketplace applications have the function of registering via email, phone or social networks. This function allows you to save users time, because they will not need to provide their data each time (address, phone). In addition, without registration it is impossible to create a rating system and / or leave reviews.
  2. Create a profile. It is necessary to enter personal data, save the history of operations, communicate with other users, etc. If registration is through Facebook, most of this data should be automatically retrieved from the social network.
  3. Ads, listings. LetGo creates ads automatically thanks to artificial intelligence and an image recognition system. In addition, short videos can be used in this application. When developing an application similar to LetGo, you should create similar functions, and it is desirable that they work better than your competitor.
  4. In addition to determining the user’s location and interface language, LetGo’s GPS integration is used to increase the relevance of listings: the system prefers to bring together counterparties that are within a 50 mile radius of each other (similar to how Tinder does).
  5. Search engine. In addition to searching for products by keyword, category, location, date and cost, you need to add an option to expand or narrow the search range for some parameters, for example, seller rating, availability of reviews, preferred payment method, etc.
  6. Built-in chat. It would be extremely inconvenient to buy and sell goods online without the opportunity to discuss the details of the transaction. To reduce the cost and speed up the creation of a marketplace application like LetGo, you can integrate it with popular instant messengers: WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Skype or Facebook Messenger.
  7. Built-in camera. The ability to take photos in the application and immediately add them to the ad will greatly enhance the user experience. Also, users will be pleased to be able to edit photos, cut them, adjust the brightness and contrast.
  8. Comments and ratings. Allows you to create a reputation for each user to protect buyers from unreliable sellers, and vice versa. User rating should be displayed next to his nickname.
  9. Support multiple languages. Expands audience reach. Ideally, you need the support of your country's language and six major international languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, German) plus Chinese and Hindi.
In addition to the basic functions that are enough for the marketplace to work fully, it is also advisable to add several functions that will increase the user value of the service and distinguish you from competitors.

These functions include:

  1. Price and performance comparison. Helps users make more informed choices in favor of a product.
  2. Recommendations and hot offers. Contextual offers based on search queries and past user activity. If you make this list paid, it will increase your income.
  3. Image Recognition. Thanks to this feature, the application will be able to give recommendations on how to classify a product, how much it costs and how to create a description of it. In addition, with this function you can track the quality of photos and determine their authenticity (whether they were previously used). In reviews and on forums of trading web sites, people often complain about the quality of the photos or that they are fake. Some services solve this problem by requiring sellers to add at least one live photo of the product.
  4. Integration with delivery services. Concluding agreements with external delivery services and using their services inside the application will improve the user experience and save time on both sides of the transaction.

Step 4: Attractive and convenient UX / UI design

UX / UI design Build Marketplace App Like LetGo
The design of LetGo is simple, comfortable and attracts attention (due to the red color)
Now that you have decided on the idea, business model and functionality, you can think about what UI / UX design the application will have. At LetGo, the design is aimed at young people who prefer bright colors and do not like to waste time learning. That is why LetGo developers use a color scheme combining red and white (red attracts attention more than other colors), and the application interface is as simple and intuitive as possible.

When creating your application, you should use a similar scheme, because users want to see the familiar model. However, blindly copying the design is not worth it, because it is, firstly, illegal, and secondly, unreasonable: people do not like outright plagiarism. A professional design studio will help to maintain a balance between borrowing and creating a new one.

Step 5: Affordable and Secure Payment Gateways

Next, you need to think about which payment gateways your application will use for financial settlements between buyers and sellers (if your application will act as a financial intermediary in these transactions). PayPal, Stripe and Braintree are great options if you are creating a site for North America and Western Europe. If not, study the local market (competitors, legislation) and use popular payment methods in the desired region.

We wrote more about this in the article “How to Choose and Integrate a Payment Gateway”. There you will find a list of payment service providers and their comparison, as well as information on what criteria to pay attention to when selecting them.

Step 6: Marketing Policy

If no one knows about your site, you can assume that it does not exist. And if there is no site, then there will be no profit either. This is why the app needs an ad campaign. You need to start it before the product is launched, because only in this way can you ensure sufficient interest of users to the site at the start both from buyers and sellers.

Promote marketplace offerings using Google Adwords, social networks and ads embedded in other applications. Sometimes they also use advertising on television and radio, but it is expensive and risky (it is difficult to calculate the conversion), so it’s better to focus on advertising on the Internet.

Step 7: MVP and testing

MVP and testing Build Marketplace App Like LetGo

The difference between MVP and the finished product

The minimum viable product (MVP) makes it possible to test the concept, performance and relevance of the product for relatively little money and with minimal risk. When developing an MVP marketplace application following the example of LetGo, you need to create a product with enough functionality to create ads, search for products in the listing and conclude a deal.

If you, like LetGo, rely on automation, then you will also need artificial intelligence and an image recognition system. If the basis of your project is another function, then MVP should have it too.

To develop MVP applications you need:

 

Technological stack:

  1. Web: PHP, .Net, JS and others.
  2. Push notifications: Push.io, Twilio.
  3. Mobile platform: iOS Android.
  4. Cloud: Google, AWS, Azure.
  5. SMS, voice and phone verification: Twilio, Nexmo.
  6. Real-time analytics: IBM, Spark, Cisco, BigData, Hadoop, Apache Flink.
  7. Payments: Stripe, EWallets, Braintree & PayPal and others.
After creating the MVP, you need to give it to the testing specialists so that they check the product’s performance. Next, MVP is evaluated using focus groups. Feedback is needed to correct errors and search for possible improvements. The algorithm here is this:
  1. Created MVP.
  2. Tested MVP.
  3. Fixed bugs and improved MVP.
  4. Again tested the MVP.
  5. Fixed bugs again and improved MVP.
  6. And so, until the product is ready for release.

Development cost

Development cost Build Marketplace App Like LetGo

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