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a 3d rendering of a front store marketplace

No-Code Marketplace — Building a Marketplace without Code

by
Maja Nowak
Maja Nowak
,
January 19, 2023

Learn how a no-code platform facilitates the development of a marketplace business.

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No-code tools speed up the development of digital products to a point where you can have a fully operational marketplace app in a matter of days. And while no-code lowers the barrier to entry for non-technical founders to launch their products, the approach comes with a set of pros and cons that have to be factored in early on — in-depth analysis at the start will help you decide how exactly a no-code platform should facilitate the development of a marketplace business.

Benefits of Building an Online Mobile App Marketplace Using No-Code Tools

While the biggest benefit of using no-code to build your shopping platform is simply quickly turning your marketplace idea into a workable product, there are several other benefits to building online marketplace apps using no-code tools:

Reduced development costs

No-code tools can significantly reduce the costs associated with building and launching a marketplace. They decrease the need for custom development, allowing you to build and launch your marketplace at a fraction of the cost.

Faster time-to-market

A marketplace website builder for no-code development allows you to build and launch your marketplace much faster than traditional coding methods. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a short-term focus or need to get your product to market quickly.

a screen of a mobile app built using no-code blocks
By using blocks, you can build the application faster.

Low learning curve

No-code builders have a low learning curve, making them accessible to non-technical founders and individuals. This can be particularly appealing for those who are new to building digital products or have limited technical skills.

User-friendly

No-code development platforms are designed to be user-friendly, with a range of templates, custom elements, and integrations to help you build a functional and professional marketplace.

Drawbacks When Building a Product Using a No-Code Platform

While the no-code approach to online marketplaces offers many benefits, there are also a few drawbacks to consider. Knowing the limitations of no-code marketplace software builders should be a big chunk of your decision whether to build with little code or opt for custom development.

Scalability

While no-code tools can be a great option for building an MVP or small-scale marketplace, they may not be as scalable as traditional coding methods. This can be a problem if you have ambitious growth plans or need to build a highly complex and customized marketplace. Consider a scenario where your audience matures to a point where they are loyal to your application but to keep them appropriately engaged, you have to develop new marketplace features or introduce new integrations that the no-code builder doesn’t yet offer.

Vendor lock-in

One potential drawback is vendor lock-in. When you build a product using a no-code platform, you are reliant on that platform for updates, maintenance, and support. This can be problematic if the platform decides to change its pricing model, discontinue support for your product, or experience technical issues.

Customization

While no-code tools do offer some level of customization, they may not offer the same level of flexibility and control as traditional coding methods. This can be a problem if you have specific business requirements or need to create a completely customized marketplace.

a marketplace application for shopping

Marketplace App Metrics to Track for Sustained Growth

by
Paulina Nowicka
Paulina Nowicka
,
December 28, 2022

Here’s a rundown of the most valuable metrics to track in a marketplace app.

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It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of wanting to track every metric possible of your marketplace app. But aside from filling your head with plenty of numbers, tracking everything won’t give you the insight you need to make better product decisions. Here’s a rundown of the most valuable metrics to track in a marketplace app.

What Are the Key Metrics of a Marketplace?

The key metrics of a marketplace have to give you a whole picture of your app’s performance — both from the financial perspective and product development side.

Measuring marketplaces for goods vs. services

There may be some differences in the metrics for a marketplace app for services versus goods.

For example, a marketplace app for online courses may place more emphasis on metrics such as course enrollment and completion rates. A marketplace app for goods may pay more attention to metrics like the number of transactions and average order value.

What are the 4 types of metrics?

You can split the marketplace metrics into four buckets to keep analytics organized and draw better business insights and learn to recognize patterns.

  • Usage
  • Transactions
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Business

Now let’s go over the four buckets and point out the most important metrics that will help you build a well-performing marketplace.

Usage Metrics

Usage metrics tell you what users do in your application. Mobile analytics help you track the visited screens, the used features, and the amount of time users spend on each screen. These metrics will help you understand how users are using the product.

Usage metrics include:

Active users

This measures the number of unique users who have used the app within a given time, e.g., daily or monthly active users.

Session duration

The average amount of time that users spend using the app during a single session. This metric is especially useful when you combine it with other metrics such as screen views, transactions, or interactions in the app.

Screen views

You can track the number of times a specific screen is viewed by users. This can help you understand which screens are the most popular and which ones may not be receiving as much attention. This way you can introduce changes in the screens (or even eliminate them to streamline the user experience).

Session frequency

This measures the average number of times that a user opens the app over a specific period.

Drop off rate

Drop off rate within a specific step in the funnel can help you eliminate the friction points that decrease conversion rates.

a screen for a custom funnel tracker in UXCam
A screen of a custom funnel tracker in UXCam helps marketplace app owners fix friction points. UXCam
two people using flutter for web development

Create True Cross-Platform Products with Flutter Web Development

by
Maja Nowak
Maja Nowak
,
December 2, 2022

Flutter is an effective way to manage one team that works on a single code base of a product that runs on many devices and platforms.

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Flutter is an effective way to manage one team that works on a single code base of a product that runs on many devices and platforms. Flutter for web development is a great choice for projects where users want to access the product conveniently, via a mobile or desktop app.

Flutter for Web Development in 2022

Stability and maturity

Flutter for web development might not be as mature as Flutter for mobile, it’s good for web development and stable commercially. Flutter web support reached a stable level in March 2021.

Performance

During first app use, there can be some lagging because the app has to be cached. After that, the application loads from the cache and works fast. Final app performance depends on code quality and the size of the application.

What Web Products Can You Build with Flutter

Progressive web apps (PWAs)

PWAs are similar to desktop and native applications. They are lightweight, responsive, and they also behave like ordinary websites. PWAs also work offline and can be installed independently of mobile app aggregators such as Play Store or App Store.

Single page apps (SPAs)

SPAs are a type of a web application that loads one web document that is dynamically updated — websites normally load new pages as the user navigates through them. Because of fast data rendering times, SPAs work well for content-driven products.

a big digital mobile phone with a person standing in front

No-Code Startups — Successful Companies That Started without Coding

by
Łukasz Kincel
Łukasz Kincel
,
November 15, 2022

No-code tools help validate ideas and launch products quickly. Here’s an overview of no-code startups and companies that started without code.

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No-code tools have helped entrepreneurs without programming resources test their ideas and launch products quickly. Wanting to validate solutions fast, companies can use no-code platforms to ease their product into the market for feedback. Here’s an overview of no-code startups and companies that started without code.

No-Code Startups and Companies Built with No-Code Tools

Comet — The “OG” no-code success story 

Launched in 2016 by three roommates, Comet is probably the most successful no-code startup out there. Comet is a freelancing marketplace that attributes its early success to no-code platforms.

comet screenshot of the website
Comet’s homepage. Source: Comet

Being a non-technical founder, Charles Thomas built and launched the core platform quickly. Built entirely in Bubble.io, Comet scaled fast, helping freelancers deliver 300+ projects and register an average MRR of $800k. 

Comet's early success is attributed to the founder’s manually vetting every freelancer profile.

The platform attracted venture capital upward of €14 million within three years of inception. Investors like Kima and Otium Ventures gave seed capital. Over the last five years, Comet helped 1000+ companies hire tech talent. 

  • Founders: Charles Thomas, Joseph, and Valentin 
  • Website: comet.co 
  • Tool used: Bubble
  • Prominent clients: Renault, LVMH, Société Générale, BNP, Payfit, and Allianz
  • Funds raised: €14 million raised in Series A in 2018

Teal — Job search made easy 

Founded by David Fano, Teal helps people get better outcomes from a job search. The platform lets people organize their job hunt activities and find better jobs. 

Teal's founder admits that no-code was in their DNA from the beginning. They used Bubble to launch the platform.

Choosing a no-code platform gave Teal better control over design and helped it iterate faster. Teal started with Bubble for the main product, then used Typeform for surveys and Airtable for database management — connecting everything using Zapier. Webflow was used for the website.

The founder says that traditional mockups are a great solution, but they don't help validate if there’s demand for a product. A no-code MVP lets companies speed up development, test rapidly, and iterate quickly to find a product-market fit. 

Teal has raised over $11 million from investors and continues to improve the platform with a small team. No-code helped the company refine the product and focus on better helping people achieve the most out of their career journey. 

  • Founder: David Fano 
  • Website: tealhq.com
  • Tool used: Bubble.io, Webflow, Airtable, Zapier, HubSpot. 
  • Funds raised: $11 million from City Light Capital, Flybridge Capital, Oceans, Human Ventures, and many more.

Scribly.io — A no-code content service

Good content can drive demand galore to a business. Scribly helps companies with content needs through a service facilitated by a no-code website.

example screenshot of Scribly websi
Scribly’s landing page was built using Webflow. Source: Scribly

Started by Dani Bell, a British freelancer, Scribly was built entirely using no-code tools. Interestingly, Scribly started out because of her need to productize her content marketing services.

Scribly was built in 6-8 weeks and registered an MRR of $30K within a year.

When asked about her journey, the founder stated that she was amazed at how quickly and affordably one can build something using no-code technologies. She also revealed that she didn't want a no-code business but was looking to patch some solutions to improve her productivity.

Scribly's success with no-code stems from the founder's understanding of the market's pain points. A clear goal is essential to building a useful solution. Indeed, no-code startups that are successful first focus on the problem and then try to solve it with technology.

Dani Bell used Webflow for the website, Airtable for database management, and Zapier to connect different systems. The workflow is pretty simple but highly effective.

  • Founder: Dani Bell 
  • Website: scribly.io
  • Tool used: Webflow, Airtable, Zapier 
  • Notable achievements: Functional product in 6-8 weeks and $30K MRR within a year.

Qoins — A financial app for getting out of debt 

Qoins help people pay their debt faster. The company provides financial coaching, tips, and round-off payments for automating debt repayment using a mobile app.

Qoins app was built in Bubble. According to the founders, Bubble let them build a seamless product quickly that would otherwise need a big team to launch and maintain.

a screenshot of Qoins a mobile app built without a single line of code
Version 1 built in Bubble. Source: Qoins

Over the last four years, Qoins has helped people pay over $30 million in debt. They also won the Fintech Innovation Award Challenge — the biggest award for fintech companies in the United States. The company has raised a total of $2.3 million since it started.

  • Founders: Nate Washington Jr. and Christian Zimmerman
  • Website: qoins.com/ 
  • Tool used: Bubble.io 
  • Funds Raised: Raised $2.3m funding in total to date
  • Notable achievements: Won Fintech Innovation Award Challenge

Flexiple — A freelance hiring platform

Flexiple is a popular Toptal alternative that helps companies hire pre-vetted freelancers. Flexiple generates $3 million in revenue, and the company is built using a no-code stack that costs them just $60 per month.

In a theoretically competitive space of freelance hiring platforms, the key to success was a simple business model, core focus on organic growth, and frugal innovation.

It took Flexiple four years to reach $1 million in annual revenue, during which they tested various models. Since then, Flexiple’s been growing at 25% month-on-month.

Flexiple’s no-code tech stack is Unicorn Platform, Airtable, Bubble, and Webflow. According to the blog on one of Flexiple’s side projects, Buildd, the company:

  • Built 100+ subpages on Unicorn Platform
  • Launched side projects like Scale and Founder Origin Stories on Webflow
  • Manage dynamic flows using Zapier or Integromat
  • Built internal tools for business management using Bubble, which helps them save 160 hours every month

Flexiple's founder, Karthik Sridharan, regularly shares nuggets about the power of no-code in building a startup on his Twitter.

Bloom Institute of Technology — Accessible education for everyone 

Bloom Institute of Technology, formerly known as Lambda School, fixes broken education systems.

The platform lets students attend college-level programs, learn a new skill, and land a job without paying any upfront tuition fee. Bloom relies on the Income Share Agreement model, where a student can pay back tuition after securing a job.

The ingenious model helped the company raise $4 million in seed funding (and $122 million overall), all for a solution built using a no-code platform. Bloom used Typeform, Airtable, Retool, and Webflow to develop and launch an MVP for 3,000 users.

No-code helped it launch a functional platform without writing code or programming skills. The team at Bloom introduced automation, got their idea off the ground, and caught the attention of investors and students.

  • Founders: Austen Allred and Ben Nelson
  • Website: bloomtech.com 
  • No-code tools used: Webflow, Typeform, Airtable, and Zapier 
  • Funds raised: $122 million

Dividend Finance — A renewable energy and home improvement financing platform

Dividend Finance is another no-code success story that has transformed an entire industry. Dividend Finance helps homeowners secure financing for home improvements and add renewable energy solutions to their homes.

Dividend screenshot, one of the many success stories for no-code programming
Dividend Finance homepage. Source: DividendFinance

Dividend Finance provides a simple onboarding experience for loan applications that removes obstacles and red-tapism, especially for individual customers.

The platform used Bubble to launch the no-code MVP and managed to process more than $1 billion in sales over the years. Dividend Finance attracted investments of over $384 million from Credit Suisse and LL funds, and also the company won several awards in the fintech industry.

LetterHunt — A newsletter directory 

If you are looking to build a directory app using no-code, LetterHunt can be a great inspiration. LetterHunt helps marketers, readers, and founders discover niche newsletters. Built using Softr, LetterHunt hosts information about 10,000+ newsletters across 20+ categories.

a screenshot of letterhunt app
LetterHunt newsletter directory with multiple categories. Source: Softr

LetterHunt received a great response from the online community and became the #1 Product of the Day and Week on ProductHunt.

  • Founders: Akhil BVS and Madan Rawtani 
  • Website: letterhunt.co
  • Tool used: Softr
  • Revenue: $4,000 in just 2 months
  • Notable achievements: #1 Product of the Week on ProductHunt

Princeton Concession — A stadium food delivery app 

Princeton Concession is a limited-area food delivery app lets users order refreshments and snacks at Princeton Stadium, New Jersey. The app, built using Glide, helps avoid long wait times and queues at food stalls in the stadium.

Princeton Concession delivery app. Source: Glide Apps

Crowd management is a serious issue at concerts and sporting events. A food delivery app built on a simple no-code architecture for a limited geographical area is a great solution to modernize the food ordering experience.

  • Made for: Princeton Stadium, New Jersey
  • No-code platform used: Glide Apps
  • App link: Princeton Concession

Chara — An on-demand healthcare app 

Chara is a holistic health and wellness company that helps achieve a balance between mind, body, and soul. The Chara app that lets you book sessions with expert therapists, health coaches, and alternative health specialists.

Built by Dylan Terrill using Adalo, the app connects you to top-rated practitioners for sleep, skin, gut health, mental health, nutrition, and general health issues. You can use the app to book a physical session or video chat with an expert.

screenshot of the mobile app Chara
Chara mobile app interface. Source: Adalo

The user-friendly interface and minimalist design crafted using a no-code app builder help users find answers to their healthcare issues faster. 

  • Maker: Dylan Terrill 
  • Website: charahealth.com
  • Tool used: Adalo
  • Available on: iOS and Android

Aqarat — A real-estate listing app

Aqarat is a real-estate listing app designed for the Middle East and African markets. Available in English and Arabic, the mobile app was built using Adalo.

The app helps users find residential and commercial properties for sale or rent in a region. With features like location filter, search, and customizable listing, the mobile app is great for people looking for a property to buy, sell, or rent.

According to the maker, no-code eased the development process and helped quickly launch the MVP.

  • Founder: Mohamed Mudathir
  • Tool used: Adalo
a 3d laptop with wheels and cogs

How to Validate Ideas Faster with No-Code MVP

by
Maja Nowak
Maja Nowak
,
November 2, 2022

Launching an MVP is an efficient way to ease a product into the market to gauge feedback. You can build a no-code MVP in days instead of weeks.

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A minimum viable product (MVP) is a cost-efficient approach that lets you validate ideas quickly. By using no-code and low-code you can build an MVP in a matter of days. No-code tools help you check if a product solves user problems and learn how to refine your solution.

What Is a No-Code MVP?

A minimum viable product can have many forms. The key of every approach is to start providing value for the user as soon as possible.

That said, in the world of mobile app development, a no-code MVP is one of the swiftest methods to validate ideas using technology, at a low cost.

Building a no-code MVP means using a platform that lets you put together a mobile application without having to write code. Because the learning curve is significantly lower compared to custom development, a no-code MVP can be released within two weeks.

In Bravo, one of many no-code platforms out there, you use designs from Figma that are then turned into mobile app screens. In that way, Bravo simplifies the frontend development of your mobile product — you still need logic (the backend). You can use many integrations available inside the tool (e.g., Airtable) to configure the backend that does the thinking behind the screens.

“No-code platforms let businesses build native apps for iOS and Android. After familiarizing yourself with tutorials and documentation, you can build the app, sign it, and publish it all on your own without ever needing developers. If I was to estimate, it should take two to three days of learning to start building a product in Bravo,” says Adam Zawiślak, Product Manager at Nomtek.

What Can I Build with a No-Code Tool?

The possibilities of no code platforms have developed incredibly in recent years. 

Just two years ago, it was common for no-code tools to have scalability limitations, forcing companies who chose them to move to custom development after initial validation to accommodate the need for feature extensions. That said, currently there are many successful products that were built entirely using no-code tools — and they’re operating as complete businesses.

Here are some examples of apps you can build using no-code tools:

  • Photo editing (including AI touchups)
  • Gradebooks
  • Booking
  • News feeds
  • Translators
  • Loyalty card management
  • Finance management

The list is incomplete and the pool of apps you can build using no-code tools is constantly expanding, along with the sophistication of no-code tools. But even though you can create an increasing number of app types with low-code tools, there are still some limitations to keep in mind if you plan a long-term support cycle for your app or simply want to introduce more features.

pieces of a mobile app in the making

Hire Flutter Developers for a Successful Product Release

by
Maja Nowak
Maja Nowak
,
October 13, 2022

Flutter is one of the most popular cross-platform frameworks, but there’s a limited pool of experienced developers. Learn how to hire the right developers.

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Find out where to find seasoned Flutter developers and how to include them in your next mobile app project.

What to Consider When Hiring Flutter Developers?

Native mobile development experience

Developers without native mobile app development might have gaps in knowledge that can lead to lengthened problem-solving. This can generate more costs and uncertainty if a solution picked by the developer is actually the most effective one. Developers with 3+ years of experience in native app development have a greater understanding of mobile environments and best practices. This helps them find the most optimal solution faster.

Cross-platform experience

For small projects that require only one developer, it’s great to find someone experienced in developing for two platforms: iOS and Android. This way, you’ll be able to release your product for two platforms and have certainty that the developer is familiar with the differences and requirements present on both platforms.

Drive to learn

Flutter is a dynamic technology that’s constantly evolving — you have to follow the news and upgrades to know which solutions work best for specific use cases. That’s why when talking to developers about your project gauge their eagerness and interest in the technology. Flutter is relatively young: not every use case has been explored. Also, while Flutter can be used for web development, there aren't that many libraries available for out-of-the-box integrations.

Why Do You Need an Experienced Flutter App Developer?

It seems like a no-brainer, but experience in native development is hugely important when considering Flutter developers. The development is rarely straightforward — there are always problems of varying complexity bound to crop up. Different issues can surface when inexperienced Flutter developers work on the project.

Here are just some of the possible scenarios:

  • New product launch
  • Additional maintenance
  • Rebuilding the existing software
  • Native app into a cross-platform
  • Web into mobile (or mobile into web)

All these scenarios have edge cases that require experience to implement well. For example, during a new product launch, it might be wiser to hire a team that consists of a designer, developer, and product manager to validate an idea (by using no-code discovery) before jumping straight into development. That way, you can minimize the risk of spending money on a solution that doesn’t have a problem among your target audience.