The no-code movement empowers non-technical people like us to create, test, and launch myriad digital products without code. Such digital assets could include a website, marketplace, Web app, mobile app, or a productivity tool.
No-code software has come a long way since its emergence in the early 1980s. For instance, Microsoft Excel enabled its users to work with data in 1985—without the need for direct code.
At the start of the 1990s, people began creating standalone Web pages, followed by multi-page websites, with minimal HTML coding. Geocities and the likes first empowered people to build their own websites with visual programming tools. All this, without a line of code.
Released in 2003, WordPress (WP) took no-code technology to the next level. WP enabled people with no knowledge of coding to create professional websites.
By the decade's end, no-code development rationalized email marketing, data analytics, and more. Speed and ease of use won no-code a unique place on the global technology map. Its popularity peaked in 2006 (on Google Trends), which signals an exponential jump in popularity of the no-code movement.
Features of no-code platforms
Today, advanced no-code development software enables you to create, test and launch your own eBay- or Airbnb-like online marketplace in a jiffy. And you need no coding at all!
All no-code platforms aren’t the same. Yet, they offer several common core functions to build your online marketplace. Some of these are:
Visual user interface — Easy-and-quick visual or graphical user interfaces (GUI) to help you create your marketplace (or other digital assets) without the use of source code.
App frameworks — No-code platforms offer many powerful app frameworks for you to pick from.
Drag-and-drop assembly — Without the need for direct code access, you can rely on drag-and-drop capabilities and simple menus to add features for your marketplace site or app.
Simple, yet powerful integration capabilities — No-code tools make basic integrations with databases, web services or simple APIs super easy for you.
The possibilities ushered in by cutting-edge no-code platforms can significantly benefit your niche marketplace business. These include:
- BI (Business Intelligence) reporting and dashboards
- Migration of legacy apps
- Enhancement of operational efficiency
- Data management applications
- Business process (workflow) applications
Popularity of no-code marketplaces
Thanks to no-code development platforms, you can create an online marketplace like eBay or Amazon without coding skills or experience. You can build different types of online marketplaces — P2P (Peer to Peer), B2B (Business to Business), or B2C (Business to Customer) rapidly, without a line of code.
A few examples of top no-code marketplaces include:
- Unicorn Factory (Platform: Webflow), which claims to be New Zealand's largest freelancer marketplace
- Vinty (Platform: Sharetribe), a marketplace for the aficionados of legendary classic cars
- Fitworthy (Platform: Sharetribe), is an all-in-one marketplace to partner with fitness instructors, studios, and events.
Can your business rely on no-code?
There’s been a surge in single or multi-vendor online marketplaces over the last few years. For example, sellers on Walmart’s marketplace more than doubled over a year by July 2020. It added over 50,000 new sellers since July 2019.
Expert projections indicate that the global B2C marketplace sales will touch $3.5 Trillion by 2024. No wonder that the size of the global no-code development software market reached USD 12.17 Billion in 2020. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 24.2 percent until 2028.
No-code marketplaces are a great starting point for your fledgling business. It comes with a slew of benefits which include:
Easier, quicker launch: Even non-technical users can easily roll out marketplaces using pre-built, ready templates. Drag-and-drop functions and dropdown menus to add the exact features your marketplace needs. Visibly design your marketplace site or app with no code—not even CSS or HTML. Launch your marketplace in hours!
Flexibility: When your business takes off, scale up your marketplace as well. The flexibility of your no-code marketplace helps upgrade your product or service offerings. You can seamlessly add more advanced features.
Save cost and time: In most cases, all you need to pay is an easy monthly subscription fee. This translates to sizable development cost savings as opposed to building your marketplace from scratch. Needless to say, you also profit from manhour savings as well.
Apt customizations: With a no-code tool, you can create your dream niche marketplace with all necessary customizations. Add the features that suit your and your users’ needs from a collection of unique templates. Some of these core features include user and listing management, payment gateways, email marketing, and analytics.
Security: Your no-code marketplace is more secure than a standard-developed marketplace site or app. The first is due to strong application security processes followed by the most popular no-code platforms. Second is the lesser likelihood of security vulnerability creation by users due to lack of direct source code access.
5 leading no-code marketplace tools
Kreezalid is a leading no-code platform suitable for creating and launching your B2B, B2C, C2C product, service or rental marketplace. It is an easy, yet powerful drag-and-drop functionality that lets you build and customize your marketplace without a line of code—in less than an hour, as Kreezalid claims.
Built specifically for marketplaces, the marketplace solution has all essential functionalities. These features include a listing repository, calendar, shipping, reviews, etc. TLDR? You don’t need extra plugins.
Other highlights include:
- Buyers and sellers can set up accounts and profiles with a few clicks
- Use your design, and customize your marketplace to match your brand
- Mobile-friendly marketplace templates
- App store to boost marketing, sales, and social media strategy
Sharetribe helps you become a successful P2P marketplace entrepreneur fast and easy, without the code part. It helps creators turn countless ideas into meaningful marketplace realities. This cutting-edge marketplace tool can enable every stage of your business life cycle, and partner at every scale.
One of the oldest marketplace platforms, Sharetribe is a top choice because of its constant evolution. There are two Sharetribe tools — Go is no-code, while Flex is low-code.
Its traits include:
- Go is excellent for creating and launching an MVP in hours’ time
- Go is restrictive for customizations
- Flex offers a fully customizable marketplace template with fancy features
- Support team is super friendly and helpful
Webflow is a great tool to build your B2B or B2C marketplace. Although it’s not built solely for marketplaces, Webflow boasts a vast library of no-code plugins. These enable you to quickly add some advanced core features such as search and filtering.
CMS collections is a Webflow feature that lets you create really powerful marketplace sites. Webflow automatically creates a page for each collection. You can use the information from them or the related ones.
Its other characteristics are:
- No-code tools to power your marketplace require technical know-how
- HTML and CSS are necessary to design a creative, unique layout that is not restricted by templates
- Customizations require “affordable” Webflow experts
WooCommerce is a highly feature-rich WordPress plugin with essential multivendor marketplace functionalities. It offers all the features you need to build, run, and begin to sell products online in minutes—with absolutely no code.
Over 40 popular WooCommerce integrations with major WP plugins unlock unlimited possibilities to build your multivendor marketplace the way you want. It can help you adopt a business model like that of Etsy, Airbnb, or eBay. Alternatively, you can look at a hybrid model like Amazon’s.
Some of its highlights are:
- Frontend manages your marketplace easier than any admin panel
- Sell subscriptions, take bookings, or rent out space/object
- Free seller app offers sellers the power to manage their business on-the-go
- 100+ payment gateways
Bubble is another excellent no-code platform for building your B2C or B2B marketplace. Although not meant for marketplaces, the software offers stunning prebuilt marketplace templates.
The platform offers a smooth learning curve for those who need various customizations for their marketplace goals. Bubble allows easy addition of extra features such as payments and reviews via plugins, which saves time and effort.
Other highlights include:
- Build marketplaces from ideas to design to completion in weeks
- Helps businesses iterate faster, with the short development cycle
In case you are interested in a more comprehensive list of no-code development tools, here is one.
Your reliable, long-term investment
No-code solutions have come a long way in terms of what it offers. While seasoned programmers often view the no-code movement as one in its early stages, even these veterans can’t deny that it’s here to stay.
Traditional code-centric development will continue to hold its crucial role, especially in developing complex software. At the same time, we are sure to see more platforms and apps created using no code soon.
Tech pundits consider no-code and low-code as vital components of modern-day software development. These experts foresee significant innovations in no-code and low-code systems going forward. The right no-code platform can be a game changer for your marketplace’s long-term plans.