NFT Marketplace Development: A Brief Guide for Entrepreneurs

Oleksii Stupakov
BLOCKCHAIN EXPERT
Alina Ampilogova
COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

As blockchain technology started gaining recognition among financial services, banking, and insurance industries, NFT marketplaces have followed suit, expanding beyond gaming and media. Expected to grow by 35% in 2026, NFT marketplaces continue attracting investors and advocating innovation, which makes them a worthy investment for any entrepreneur interested in benefiting from the NFT market size increasing by $146 billion.

However, even people familiar with NFT and blockchain technology get overwhelmed by the specifics and potential pitfalls of NFT marketplace development. In this NFT guide, we’ll cover the most common questions entrepreneurs face before and during the NFT marketplace development process—and elaborate on the components of a successful journey.

How does a blockchain NFT marketplace work?

As unique tokens, NFTs can’t be exchanged for a token of an equivalent value, which makes it impossible to trade them on traditional cryptocurrency platforms. Proper NFT trading required a platform developed specifically for displaying, storing, selling, buying, and exchanging NFTs—and this is precisely what an NFT marketplace is.

An NFT marketplace can be compared to a digital gallery, where artists put up their work for visitors to view and purchase immediately, gaining exclusive ownership rights over unique items.

NFT Marketplace

From the buyer/seller perspective, NFT marketplaces are almost intuitive to operate. A user needs only an account and a linked digital wallet to either submit their NFT to an auction or place a bid. NFT marketplace platforms are managed by smart contracts that oversee transactions, approving funds transfers only when all trade conditions are met. The lists of NFTs for sale are thoroughly moderated, with moderators reserving the right to remove works that violate the platform’s content guidelines.

Artists
  • Sign up
  • Link a digital wallet
  • Create an NFT
  • Select preferred payment tokens
  • Bid NFTs for an auction/offer for a fixed price
  • Set the minimal bid/price
NFT marketplaces
  • Moderate artists’ collection
  • Approve NFTs for an auction/sales list
  • Generate smart contracts
  • Notify buyers about top bids after auctions close
Buyers
  • Sign up
  • Link a digital wallet
  • View sales lists
  • Place bids
  • Purchase NFTs

Initially, NFT marketplace platforms were designed with art-oriented spaces in mind, providing digital artists with a place to promote their personal brand and profit from their art. However, today, NFT marketplaces exist in a greater variety, finding applications in industries other than art and media.

What are the benefits of an NFT marketplace?

The client-side benefits of an NFT marketplace are obvious. Artists and creators gain a secure way to sell their works, selling physical property becomes safer and more transparent…

…but what about the investor’s perspective?

The opinions about NFT marketplaces have been polarized so far. While some people firmly believe that the NFT market is rich with potential worth exploiting, skeptics claim the success of NFT to be short-lived and unreliable. This discourse left many potential investors wondering whether an NFT marketplace is the right innovation to put their money on.

When investing, it’s essential to look not at the myths or speculations but the reality of NFT marketplace development.

  • The popularization of NFT goes on
    Brands launching their own NFT collections is one of the most telling signs that NFTs are here to stay. With McLaren, Nike, and even Gucci getting involved with NFT, the number of unique brand NFT owners eager to bid their unique collectibles in auctions will only increase—along with the demand for NFT marketplace software & platform development.

  • NFT marketplaces remain resilient
    While NFT platforms have been affected by the potential recession, the competition remains heated, accelerating the evolution of opportunities and innovations to offer. By the end of 2022, the global value of OpenSea (one of the largest NFT marketplaces) reached $50.1 billion ($40.9 billion in 2021).

  • Remote and NFT marketplaces go hand-in-hand
    Businesses will continue adjusting to rapid digitization, which would require them to reinvent their approach to customer management and build a human-centric system. This is where NFTs provide a gold mine of opportunities, allowing businesses to inject gamification into their work and reward loyal partners and customers with unique NFTs that hold actual value. Similarly, NFTs can be used to boost employee recognition and create a motivation system of rewards and achievements.

According to these insights, the NFT journey has reached the stage where it attracts significant players. Such a development is a sign for investors still on the fence regarding investing in NFT marketplace software development and solutions—if they don’t act fast, their competition will.

How to start NFT marketplace development right?

Ensuring that the NFT marketplace delivers the expected results starts with knowing all the components of a successful NFT marketplace development journey.

1.  Outline the must-have features of an NFT marketplace

Ensuring that the NFT marketplace delivers the expected results starts with knowing all the components of a successful NFT marketplace development journey.

COLLECTION CREATION

Generally, an NFT collection is a number of tokens that share the same artistic style/theme, except for slightly different visuals or elements. The most illustrative example would be the famous ‘Bored ape’ NFT collection. Music albums, patches of virtual land, or digital trading cards can also be turned into NFT collections.

NFT collections are necessary for bridging NFTs with potential buyers. When creating a collection, a seller can add such identifiers as NFT name, format (image, video, other), size, tags, deal type (direct sale or auction), and description. Advanced NFT marketplaces also enable creating collections within collections, adding more variation to digital assets.

NFT AUCTION

The platform must enable users to submit their NFTs to bid. This is important because participating in auctions allows sellers to boost the value of their NFTs. Meanwhile, the platform profits from auctions due to charging fees that are usually 20% of the NFT value.

NFT auctions are overseen by smart contracts that match sellers with the highest bidders and oversee the exchange of unique collectibles for the bidders’ money.

UX APP DESIGN

Since NFT marketplace customers and visitors will mostly interact with the NFT marketplace app, this solution must be intuitive and provide a user-friendly dashboard. The users must be able to promptly familiarize themselves with the settings and options, instantly getting started with selling or buying NFTs.

WHAT CAN USERS DO AT A USER-FRIENDLY NFT MARKETPLACE?

  • Sign up
  • Link digital wallets
  • Create and customize their user cabinet
  • Recover or reset their password
  • Select their budget and interests
  • Use alternative payment methods (credit card)
  • Create NFT collections and listings
  • View and edit NFTs listed for sale/auction
  • Search for NFTs by tags, collection name, or creator name
  • View marketplace stats and price changes
  • Buy NFTs
  • Get upgraded from users to creators
  • Get upgraded from creators to VIP creators
  • Deactivate their profile
  • Blacklist other users or creators

These basics make a solid foundation for a functional and well-received NFT marketplace. However, developing an NFT trading platform that holds its own against competitors is a whole different story.

2.  Ensure competitiveness of your NFT marketplace

NFT marketplace platforms can be developed from scratch or with the help of ready-made templates. While the latter seem like an easy and cost-effective way out, choosing them limits businesses in the long run.

It’s not enough to develop a good NFT marketplace to make it work. A viable and resilient NFT marketplace should be memorable and easy-to-market. In the extremely competitive NFT market, making a difference is everything.

Therefore, a competition-ready NFT marketplace should be recognizable and offer exclusive features and benefits that can’t be found on other platforms— from lower fees to entertaining or useful side products.

READY-MADE NFT MARKETPLACE
CUSTOM NFT MARKETPLACE
  • Has limited functionality
  • Offers cookie-cutter design
  • Doesn’t offer brand recognition
  • Is harder to upgrade with new features
  • Offers expanded features
  • Enables personalized design
  • Boosts brand image
  • Can be equipped with new widgets and settings

What unique features can be added during custom NFT marketplace software development?

  • Multi-chain model
    Nowadays, it’s not sustainable for an NFT marketplace to operate only one blockchain. Since major platforms such as OpenSea and NFTEden work with multiple blockchains, users expect the same approach from other NFT marketplaces. Integration with different blockchain networks also enables engaging more sellers and buyers by letting them link their existing digital wallets.

  • DeFi
    DeFi and NFTs blend together rather smoothly, allowing NFT marketplace buyers and sellers to manage several processes within one platform. Additionally, since NFTs make it easy to authenticate ownership, NFT-backed loans are becoming an innovative direction in digital financial services and NFT physical property marketplaces.

  • Integrability with games
    DeFi and NFTs blend together rather smoothly, allowing NFT marketplace buyers and sellers to manage several processes within one platform. Additionally, since NFTs make it easy to authenticate ownership, NFT-backed loans are becoming an innovative direction in digital financial services and NFT physical property marketplaces.

  • Augmented reality
    Art galleries have been using AR to make visitors’ experience more immersive and rich with information—however, this technology can do much more for NFT token owners. NFT marketplaces that provide AR features allow buyers to display their NFT tokens in virtual galleries or the metaverse. Additionally, AR offers more opportunities for animation creators who want to present and promote their works.

  • Event calendars
    Among more user-friendly features, an event calendar is a nice-to-have addition that helps creators and buyers keep track of upcoming auctions and events, so they can optimize their time more efficiently and pinpoint just the right moment for putting an NFT collection to a bid or placing bids.

  • Video calls
    While everything blockchain-related is mainly associated with anonymous trading, NFT marketplaces allow injecting more human communication into creator/buyer relationships by letting them connect via video chats. This feature is particularly valuable for NFTs specialized in real estate or tickets selling since buyers may require extra consultation before making a purchase.

With custom NFT marketplace platform development, businesses can do more than jump on the NFT bandwagon—they can turn from followers into trailblazers, ideating innovative features by combining NFT and blockchain technology. Yet, they need the right insights and expertise to make it happen.

3.  Find an NFT marketplace development team

Inspired entrepreneurs often start with finding the right niche for their NFT platform, but from our experience, targeting becomes more productive after connecting with an NFT marketplace development team. The insights provided by professionals were crucial for singling out the most rewarding sectors and mapping out customer personas.

Additionally, finding the right NFT marketplace development team takes time. Due to NFT marketplaces being a relatively new instrument, product managers need to know what exactly they’re looking for when exploring potential candidates.

Who do you need in an NFT marketplace software development team?

Product manager
  • Helps with accurate decision-making by doing niche research, mapping out markets and personas for targeting
  • Builds the NFT marketplace development strategy from an idea to the final product
  • Communicates with the client throughout the development
Team lead
  • Is responsible for code review and refactoring
  • Develops the product’s architecture
  • Reports progress and communicates expectations to the project manager
  • Keeps the backlog of the entire workflow
Project manager
  • Assembles the team of developers based on tasks and complexity
  • Communicates with product manager to provide insights
  • Resolves communication issues and ensures dynamic development progress
  • Delegates tasks and responsibilities
Blockchain developer
  • Integrates the NFT marketplace platform with blockchain networks
  • Ensures interoperability and optimizes energy consumption
  • Writes smart contracts for NFT marketplace based on identified features
  • Analyses smart contract performance and writes unit tests to ensure algorithm accuracy
Designer
  • Creates a visual style for the entire NFT marketplace
  • Plans the layout for interfaces, color theme, and brand style
  • Visualizes how users will interact with the NFT marketplace app and identifies must-have UX components
  • Makes sure that the design of new features and side products aligns with the main design
Front-end developer
  • Develops a storefront based on designer’s blueprints
  • Works on the structure of the NFT marketplace app, integrates digital wallets
  • Develops UX features, ensures they’re easy-to-use
  • Connects smart contracts to the storefront, enabling an intuitive use of blockchain technology
Back-end developer
  • Builds an infrastructure of the NFT marketplace, connects it to blockchain providers
  • Writes code for service features: user dashboard, admin panel, and search filter
  • Develops databases for secure data storage
  • Ensures synergy between all NFT marketplace app features and keeps the app logic consistent
Testers
  • Analyze the specifications of the NFT marketplace software (code, objectives, and system requirements)
  • Design test plans based on the analysis, prepare use cases documentation
  • Execute tests (automated or manual) to check app’s functionality, identify and document bugs
  • Troubleshoot issues and continue testing software after deployment to keep it productive

So, what are the key indicators of NFT marketplace development professionals who can get the job done?

  • They have previously worked with blockchain
    Since NFT marketplace platforms are blockchain-based, product managers should look for developers with numerous blockchain projects under their belt. The richer their blockchain experience is, the better they identify and bypass top blockchain weaknesses.


  • They have experience with NFT marketplace development—and all things NFT
    In addition to advanced blockchain development skills, candidates should offer high-level NFT marketplace software development skills, tested at least by several NFT projects of varying scales. After all, even the simplest NFT marketplace development project takes a minimum of several months to complete—hiring professionals familiar with blockchain platform development but have never dealt with NFT marketplaces will unnecessarily extend this journey. An experienced team can provide a clear estimate and communicate future results to investors, letting them know what they can expect.


  • They are flexible and available for additional projects
    One of the key NFT market challenges is competition. It means it’s not enough to develop the perfect NFT marketplace to stay on top. Instead, entrepreneurs constantly search for ways to distinguish their projects from the rest—either by offering unique benefits, providing innovative features, or even side products.

So, the team should be able to develop NFT marketplace development solutions to keep the project competitive and attractive to the target audience. This requires exploring candidates that can think outside the box and implement that mentality in their approach to development.

Our personal recommendation is to build a synergy between the NFT marketplace software development and marketing teams. Both play a crucial role in enhancing the visibility of the NFT marketplace platform, so there should be a constant feedback loop and exchange of ideas.

What does the NFT marketplace development journey look like?

On average, the pace and stages of NFT marketplace development aren’t different from any other digital projects.

1.  Discovery phase

The client or client’s representative shares their NFT marketplace idea or shapes it together with the team lead. If necessary, the team conducts niche research, helping the client find the best area for targeting. In the end, the development journey is mapped out, complete with scale, deadlines, and key objectives.

2.  Assembling a team

Depending on the project’s complexity, two teams can be involved in the NFT marketplace development process. The project manager selects professionals needed for the project, assigns tasks, and maintains consistent communication with the client throughout the development process.

3.  Development

Depending on the project’s complexity, two teams can be involved in the NFT marketplace development process. The project manager selects professionals needed for the project, assigns tasks, and maintains consistent communication with the client throughout the development process.

4.  Testing and UAT

The NFT marketplace is tested by the QA team (and potentially test automation team) following their prepared documentation and use case scenarios. Together with back-end, blockchain, and front-end developers, they review platform’s performance and contracts, and identify areas for improvement. The client tests the final polished product.

5.  Post-launch monitoring

The NFT marketplace is tested by the QA team (and potentially test automation team) following their prepared documentation and use case scenarios. Together with back-end, blockchain, and front-end developers, they review platform’s performance and contracts, and identify areas for improvement. The client tests the final polished product.

The NFT marketplace development team stays for the long haul, monitoring the product and providing tech support. Developers also design and implement additional solutions, features, or side products to improve user satisfaction, increase seller engagement, and maintain a competitive edge.

It’s worth noting that NFT platform development is more complex than other blockchain-based products. Understanding the main goals of your potential NFT marketplace, its target niche and selecting professionals with relevant experience and insights eliminates most risks. And to ensure NFT project’s long-term success, a qualified NFT software development team must be present at all times, identifying areas for improvement and delivering features that meet changing user expectations.

If you’re currently on the lookout for a team like that, let’s chat! Our extensive achievement gallery features a wide range of successful NFT marketplaces and projects developed for different industries—from large competitive sectors to niche areas. We will turn your NFT marketplace idea into a fully polished product and use our knowledge and market-leading practices to ensure it stays one step ahead of the competition.

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