If you were presented with the challenge to build a marketplace app, how would you go about the process? From writing down the actual concept, high level overview of the structure/classes/interactions between objects, to actually starting to flesh out the code itself.
There will be two feeds: One for the Sellers and one for the Buyers. Each buyer and seller will have their own profile. The profiles will be identical except the sellers will be able to add on the services they are selling.
Now here is where it gets tricky: The buyer sends a request to the seller that they are interested in their services with the package, a date, and a time attached. The seller receives this as an in-app notification with the ability to accept or decline . If accepted then the money needs to be transferred from the buyers stripe account to the seller's stripe account.
It would be great to know how you would go about this. I'm most likely to request a call with whom gives a really useful answer as I'd like to discuss it further.
Generally when you're first testing out an idea, you want to build a first functional prototype cheaply and quickly. The easiest way to do this would be to use existing tools that facilitate what you want to do. For instance, you could make a web-based version (which you could embed in an app too if you want) using Marketify, as described here: http://goo.gl/2kSkUm.
If you want to skip straight to investing a lot of time and energy into testing the idea, then you'd want to find, or be, a developer for the platform of choice. Either iOS, Android, or React Native (both iOS and Android). Find someone that has experience in databases (would be needed for saving profiles, products, etc.), or, if possible, in marketplace type apps.
Whenever you assign them a task, break down the task into small chunks. Make the chunks as small as you can (within reason, and to the extent that your knowledge allows), and tell your devs that if any chunks seem large, that they should further break those chunks down into bite size pieces.
For instance, for the overall task of making a new webpage, _you_ might break it down as follows:
1) Set up a database
2) Make a form that takes user email, name, and phone number and adds them to database
3) Have our site send an email to everyone above the age of 50 each week
When your devs take a look at it, _they_ might further break down the third step into:
A) Set up an email service
B) Connect it to the client database
C) Figure out how to query the database for certain users
D) Have it send emails to users over 50
You can use something like Trello to assign tasks and keep track of progress. In Trello you'd set up 4 columns titled, "To Do", "Doing", "Ready for Review", "Approved" (or combine the last two into "Done"). Then pay them and track their progress.
1. Write down your business model. What will differ your marketplace from others, how you plan to monetize it.
2. Check your competitors. Write down what you like and dislike. Ask as many people you know what they think about competitors.
3. Prepare a list of features you'd like to see. Break them down into 3 groups: must have, good to have, can add later. Leave only features from the first group. Keeping costs low at early stages is a must for startups.
5. Think about the overall style your app should look like. Have several apps on your mind (can be not only marketplaces) you like.
6. Find reliable development company. How to find it is another topic, so I'm not covering it now. In a nutshell, make sure you are comfortable with their communication, pricing and approach, they should have enough references and proven track record of successfully finished projects, ready to give access to the source code and guarantee the app will be approved. Share with them the feature list you have prepared and information about desired look and feel of the app.
7. The first stage of the development process is to analyze your requirements. You should expect from your development partner: suggestions regarding the app concept, analysis of your user types, wireframes, specification. During the whole development process your collaboration is extremely important. At this stage the company of your choice usually is able to prepare more or less accurate estimate/timeframe and additional costs list (hosting, ssl certificate, etc).
8. The next step would be to prepare design. You should expect daily updates from your development partner and provide your feedback, iterating like that till design is fully up to your expectations. At this stage it's very important to know that changes in the concept won't cost much, but after the development is started making changes will mean increased cost, so it's strongly recommended to carefully plan everything before starting coding.
9. Your development partner will break down all the functionality into 1-2 week sprints and you should expect demo builds at the end of each sprint, transparency during the whole development process and regular updates.
10. You should prepare all the metadata, carefully check the final build on your device and invite a group of people for closed beta testing, this will help to see how the app will behave when there are real users. Make sure the app was properly tested for targeted amount of users (load testing).
11. Marketing is not less important than development, so I'd suggest on promoting your app at least through social media even before the final product is ready. Marketing is a huge topic, so I'm not covering it here.
At Applikey Solutions (applikeysolutions.com) we have developed numerous mobile marketplaces and I'd be glad to assist you, explaining our approach to such projects in details. Some random thoughts, related to your project:
-The app is client server so we need to carefully think about server side architecture
-We need to think about refund policy
-Probably users should be able to communicate with real time chat.
-Apple requires app owner to be able to block users, posting inappropriate content so we'll have to integrate this feature to be approved.
1. write down the whole process in-depth on both sides from sign-up to transaction
2. Find similar marketplace apps on the app store and pick one that is inline with what you are looking to build
3. Use UXpin to mock-up what you are looking to build using the other app as a guide
4. Then I'd hire and sit down with a designer and let them design it (cost $2K - $10K)
5. I'd go through a few revisions based on a) features that are missing b) user feedback (use Invisionapp for this)
6) Then I'd hire a iOS development to build the app.
Tip: spend a ton of time with the designer to build the app and make it as simple as possible; don't try to boil the ocean and/or skip steps. If you spend a lot of time in the beginning, the developer's job will be that much easier. Gigster seems to be a good place to find high quality designers and developers.
After you have the app built, the hardest part will be to actually get users and transactions. With marketplaces you need to seed/fake one side of the marketplace in the early days. If you focus on trying to attract supply AND demand from the start, you'll never be able to do one very well.