How Much Does It Cost to Build a Buying and Selling Platform Like Haraj?

Sudeep Srivastava April 17, 2024
Cost to Develop an App Like Haraj
Table of Content

In today’s digital age, the demand for buy-and-sell platforms is skyrocketing across regions, fueled by the convenience and efficiency they offer to both buyers and sellers. As consumers increasingly turn to online solutions for their shopping needs, entrepreneurs and businesses are recognizing the immense potential of developing apps similar to Haraj, a leading marketplace in Saudi Arabia.

Now, developing an app like Haraj is not just about creating a digital space, but involves understanding the dynamics of online trading. Such platforms not only bridge the gap between diverse buyer and seller communities but also foster a dynamic economic ecosystem. 

If you are a business looking to delve into a similar venture, the foremost question that comes into your mind would be regarding the overall cost to develop an app like Haraj. To give you a brief idea, the cost to develop a buy and sell platform like Haraj can vary from $30,000 to $300,000.

The development cost is influenced by various factors including the choice of technology, feature-set, scope of the project and much more. This blog will delve into the intricacies of determining the development cost, outlining the key elements that contribute to the financial investment required for such a venture. 

However, before diving into the costing details, let’s quickly look into Haraj’s success story, unveiling why businesses are looking to invest in a similar app.  

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Unveiling Haraj’s Success Story

Haraj is a leading online marketplace based in Saudi Arabia, renowned for its extensive platform where users can buy and sell a wide range of products, from household items to cars. The platform acts as a vibrant online community that connects sellers and buyers in a closed environment, facilitating safe and convenient transactions. 

Haraj has become a major buy-and-sell platform in Saudi Arabia, showing businesses everywhere the power of tapping into the growing e-commerce market. According to the reports, the recent strategic partnership between HUAWEI AppGallery and Haraj, coupled with full integration with Huawei Mobile Services, has been a game-changer for the leading Saudi online marketplace. The online marketplace witnessed an increase of over 100,000 new users in 2022 alone. 

With an yearly revenue of $10million to $15 million, Haraj’s financial success is a testament to the growing demand for buy and sell apps in the Saudi Arabian market. Additionally, the global e-commerce platform market is also on an upward trajectory and is expected to grow from $7.1 billion in 2023 to $13.5 billion by 2028, witnessing a CAGR of 18.8% in the forecast period. All these statistics clearly underscores the potential profitability of launching a platform akin to Haraj. 

Global e-Commerce platform market size

Factors Influencing the Cost to Build a Buying and Selling Platform Like Haraj

As revealed earlier, the overall cost of building a buying and selling platform like Haraj can vary from $30,000 to $300,000. There are multiple factors that can significantly impact the final investment required. Let us look at them in detail below:

Factors Impacting the Cost of Marketplace App development Like Haraj

Platform Complexity

The overall complexity of a platform like Haraj significantly impacts the buying and selling app development cost. A platform that boasts a wealth of features and extensive customization leads to higher development costs, while a simpler, less complex version is more budget-friendly. The addition of essential security features also contributes to the complexity, affecting the development costs. It’s important to strike a balance between offering a user-friendly experience and ensuring robust security, both of which are crucial for the success of the platform.

Design Customization

The degree of design customization plays a significant role in the cost of building a buying and selling platform like Haraj. Choosing a highly customized and unique UI/UX design tends to increase the overall investment, whereas opting for a more standard, less customized design can help reduce costs. Achieving a balance between creating an appealing aesthetic and maintaining functional simplicity is essential for attracting and retaining users, all while keeping the cost to build a marketplace app like Haraj in check.

Third-party Integrations

The incorporation of third-party integrations plays a crucial role in determining the overall cost of developing a platform akin to Haraj. Integrating advanced services like payment gateways, social media connectivity, and real-time analytics can significantly increase the complexity and, thus, the cost. However, these integrations are pivotal for enhancing the platform’s functionality, offering a seamless experience to users, and ensuring competitive edge. Selecting the right mix of third-party services is key to optimizing both performance and cost.

Data Security and Compliance

Adhering to stringent data security measures and regulatory compliance significantly impacts the cost to build a buying and selling platform like Haraj. Incorporating state-of-the-art security protocols and ensuring compliance with legal standards not only adds to the development complexity but also the overall expenses. It is crucial to integrate these aspects diligently to protect user information and comply with laws, which are imperative for earning user trust and the platform’s long-term success. 

Location of the Development Team

The geographical location of the team working on your project can greatly influence the buying and selling app development cost. Typically, development costs vary significantly across different regions due to disparities in operational expenses. 

In order to optimize costs effectively, outsourcing app development is the best approach businesses can undertake. It allows them to have their project fully managed by a team of experts within their budget. With the growth of offshoring, outsourcing partners can bring their knowledge, resources, and technology to efficiently transform business ideas into a profitable project, all while meeting international and local compliances. Furthermore, the outsourced team can also tackle unique development challenges and cut overall project costs by eliminating the need for hiring, training, and other expenses related to in-house teams.

Here are the estimated hourly development rates as per various regions:

RegionHourly Rates of Development
UAE$60 to $65 
US$95 to $100
Western Europe$80 to $90
Australia$70 to $90
Eastern Europe$50 to $55 
Asia$25 to $40

As discussed above, the cost to build a platform like Haraj depends on these critical elements. Based on the above factors the cost can range from $30,000 to $300,000 or more, depending on complexity and features.

Core Features of a Buying and Selling Platform Like Haraj

To create an app like Haraj, understanding its essential features is crucial. The intricate features of an app act like a backbone, allowing users to understand the app functionalities with ease. It’s essential for the app features to enhance the overall user experience, making it smooth and intuitive. Let us look at some of the Haraj app features in detail below. 

Multiple Features of a Buy and Sell Platform Like Haraj

User Registration and Profiles

User registration and profile management are critical for a platform’s functionality, enabling buyers and sellers to interact, track transactions, and personalize their experience. These features must be intuitive and secure, offering ease of use while protecting user data. Advanced options like social media integration for registration and multi-tiered user profiles can enhance the user experience but also add complexity to development. 

The cost of building a marketplace app like Haraj will reflect the intricacy of these features, including the security protocols implemented to safeguard user information and the overall system’s efficiency. Optimizing these aspects is crucial for user retention and platform credibility.

Product Listings with High-Quality Images and Descriptions

For a successful buying and selling platform, the ability for users to create detailed product listings with high-quality images and comprehensive descriptions is key. This feature not only aids in showcasing products effectively but also boosts buyer confidence. Ensuring that the platform supports high-resolution images without affecting load times requires sophisticated backend solutions. 

Implementing user-friendly tools for sellers to easily upload and manage their listings enhances the overall usability. The cost of developing a buying and selling app significantly depends on the complexity of these features. including the integration of image processing technologies and the design of an intuitive UI for listing creation and management. 

Advanced Search Functionality with Filters

An advanced search functionality equipped with various filters is crucial for enhancing user experience on a marketplace app. It enables users to swiftly navigate through vast inventories to find the products they seek based on specific criteria like price, category, and ratings. The development of such a sophisticated search system, incorporating AI for personalized search results, can be complex. 

This feature’s implementation plays a significant role in the cost of building a marketplace app like Haraj, as it requires the integration of complex algorithms and a user-friendly interface. Ensuring that this functionality is both efficient and accurate is vital for user satisfaction and platform success.

advanced search functionality in a marketplace app

Secure Messaging System between Buyers and Sellers

A secure messaging system is essential for facilitating direct communication between buyers and sellers, ensuring privacy and security for all parties involved. This feature allows for the negotiation of prices, clarification of product details, and coordination of transactions without leaving the platform. Developing a robust messaging system with end-to-end encryption and spam protection is crucial but adds to the cost to build a buying and selling platform like Haraj. 

Balancing security with usability is key, as it must be intuitive for users while protecting their information. The investment in this security feature is vital for trust and reliability in the marketplace.

User Ratings and Reviews

Incorporating a user ratings and reviews system is crucial for building trust and transparency within a marketplace. It allows buyers to make informed decisions based on previous customers’ experiences and sellers to build a reputable profile based on customer satisfaction. This feature requires a sophisticated moderation system to prevent abuse and ensure the authenticity of reviews. 

Implementing and maintaining such a system can significantly affect the cost to develop an app like Haraj. A well-designed ratings and reviews feature not only enhances user engagement but also contributes to the overall credibility and success of the platform.

Shopping Cart and Wishlist Features

The shopping cart and wishlist are essential Haraj app features, enabling users to save their preferred items for future purchase and streamline the buying process. These functionalities enhance user experience by allowing for easy management of desired products and facilitating quick checkouts. Developing these features requires attention to user interface design and backend integration to ensure smooth operation and data synchronization across devices. 

While integral to the platform’s usability, incorporating these advanced features can influence the overall development budget. Optimizing these components for efficiency and user-friendliness is crucial for maintaining competitive edge and user satisfaction in the marketplace.

Also read:- Cost to Develop an eCommerce App Like 6th Street

shopping cart in a marketplace app

Localization and Multilingual Support

Integrating localization and multilingual support is crucial for a platform’s accessibility and user engagement, especially for a diverse user base. This feature allows the platform to cater to users from various geographic locations by providing content in their native languages, thereby enhancing the user experience. The complexity of adding such support depends on the number of languages offered and the extent of localization required for each market. 

This aspect of mobile app development for Haraj significantly impacts the overall project cost. This is because it involves extensive translation and adaptation of content, along with technical adjustments to support different languages and cultural nuances effectively. Prioritizing this feature can broaden the platform’s reach and appeal to a global audience.

Payment Gateway Integration for Secure Transactions

Integrating a reliable payment gateway is paramount for conducting secure transactions on any buying and selling platform. This feature ensures that users can make payments safely and efficiently, using various payment methods. The integration process involves establishing a secure connection between the platform and the payment service providers, adhering to financial regulations and data protection standards. 

The cost to develop an app like Haraj increases with the addition of multiple payment options and the implementation of advanced security measures, such as encryption and fraud detection systems. A well-integrated payment system is essential for building trust with users and facilitating smooth transactions.

Order Tracking and Logistics Management

For a seamless buying and selling experience in an eCommerce app, incorporating order tracking and logistics management capabilities is critical. This function provides users with real-time updates on their order status and delivery, fostering trust and transparency. Developing such a system entails the integration of sophisticated tracking technologies and logistics partnerships, enhancing the platform’s operational efficiency. 

The requirement for robust back-end infrastructure and secure data handling also adds to the complexity and build a buying and selling platform cost. Efficiently managing this aspect is vital for ensuring customer satisfaction and streamlining the delivery process, making it a cornerstone feature for platforms aiming to excel in the competitive online marketplace.

[Also Read: Building a Logistics Management System: The Why’s and How’s]

Mobile Responsiveness and App Availability

Ensuring mobile responsiveness and app availability is key to reaching a wider audience in today’s smartphone-dominated market. A platform that performs flawlessly across various devices and screen sizes offers a seamless user experience, encouraging engagement and retention. Developing a responsive website alongside a native app requires a deep understanding of mobile user behavior and advanced technical skills.

The decision to create an app like Haraj encompasses not just the creation of mobile applications but also the optimization of web platforms for mobile use. This approach enhances accessibility and convenience, factors that are crucial for the success of a modern buying and selling platform.

Chatbots for Customer Service and Support

Incorporating chatbots for customer service and support is becoming a standard for businesses aiming to develop an app like Haraj. These AI-driven assistants provide instant, round-the-clock support, handling inquiries, guiding users through the platform, and resolving common issues without human intervention. By streamlining customer service, chatbots enhance user satisfaction and operational efficiency. 

However, designing, programming, and training chatbots to understand and respond to user needs accurately adds to the development cost. Despite this, the investment in chatbots can significantly reduce long-term support costs and improve the user experience. Thus making it a wise addition to any buying and selling platform.

chatbot for enhanced customer experience

Social Media Integration and Sharing Capabilities

Integrating social media functionalities is crucial for creating an app like Haraj, as it significantly enhances user engagement and platform visibility. This feature allows users to share products on their social media profiles, invite friends, and even log in using their social media accounts, offering a seamless user experience. While integrating these capabilities can increase user acquisition and retention, it requires careful planning and implementation to ensure data privacy and security. 

The inclusion of social media tools necessitates additional development work, potentially raising the overall project cost. However, the benefits of such integration in terms of user growth and engagement can outweigh the initial investment.

The features of an eCommerce app like Haraj are fundamental to its success, paving the way for a user-friendly and efficient marketplace. These functionalities are crucial for attracting and retaining users but at the same time, they are bound to directly influence the development costs. 

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Build a Marketplace App Like Etsy

Advanced Technologies for Enhancing the Capabilities of Your Buy and Sell Platform Like Haraj

Exploring cutting-edge technologies can significantly elevate the functionality and appeal of your buy and sell platform. Let us look at some of the advancements that can not only enhance user satisfaction but also impact the market positioning of your app.

Integration of Augmented Reality (AR) for Enhanced Product Visualization

Incorporating Augmented Reality (AR) into a platform can revolutionize the shopping experience by enabling enhanced product visualization. This innovative feature allows users to see products in a real-world context, greatly aiding in their purchasing decision. Developing AR functionality involves complex programming and the integration of sophisticated AR software, which can significantly increase the cost to develop an app like Haraj. 

Such an investment, however, can differentiate a platform from competitors, and attract a tech-savvy audience. It also helps increase user engagement by providing an immersive shopping experience. Prioritizing AR integration is a forward-thinking strategy that aligns with evolving consumer expectations.

Augmented Reality (AR) for Enhanced Product Visualization

Blockchain for Secure and Transparent Transactions

Implementing blockchain technology ensures secure and transparent transactions within a buying and selling platform, building trust among users. This decentralized ledger records all transactions, making them tamper-proof and easily verifiable. Integrating blockchain not only enhances security but also streamlines the payment process by reducing fraud and eliminating intermediaries. 

However, the use of blockchain technology significantly influences the buying and selling app development cost. Despite the initial investment, blockchain integration offers long-term benefits by reducing transaction costs, ensuring data integrity, and improving user confidence, thereby setting a new standard for secure online marketplaces.

Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Personalized Recommendations

Integrating Artificial Intelligence for personalized recommendations significantly enhances user engagement by tailoring product suggestions to individual preferences. This technology analyzes user behavior, search history, and purchase patterns to deliver highly relevant recommendations. Creating an app like Haraj involves sophisticated AI algorithms and machine learning models, which can escalate the cost of developing a mobile app like Haraj. 

Despite the investment, AI-driven personalization is a powerful tool for improving the shopping experience, increasing sales, and fostering customer loyalty. It represents a strategic investment in the platform’s long-term competitiveness and user satisfaction.

how we develop an eCommerce app 6th street

How to Optimize Buying and Selling App Development Costs?

Reducing expenses is crucial when planning to launch a digital marketplace. Efficient budgeting ensures project feasibility. Here are the strategies to cut costs while aiming to develop a buying and selling platform.

Choosing the Right Development Approach

Selecting the right development approach significantly impacts the overall cost to develop an app like Haraj. Agile methodologies promote flexibility, allowing for adjustments based on feedback and budget. Starting with a minimal viable product (MVP) can dramatically reduce initial costs. This strategy focuses on launching with essential features and minimizing expenditure on unproven functionalities. 

Iterative development, a key aspect of Agile, enables the gradual enhancement of the platform. This approach ensures resources are allocated efficiently, preventing unnecessary spending. Adapting the development process to prioritize core functionalities and user feedback ensures a cost-effective build. Thus setting a strong foundation for future expansions.

Prioritizing Core Features for MVP

Focusing on essential features for a minimum viable product (MVP) is cost-effective and leads to streamlined development. This strategy allows for testing the market with minimal investment, plus it also accelerates the launch timeline. Feedback on the MVP can guide further development. This approach not only optimizes the cost to build a marketplace app like Haraj but also aligns product development with real user demands.

Outsourcing vs. In-house Development

Choosing between outsourcing and in-house development impacts project costs significantly. Outsourcing can offer cost optimization while allowing access to a global talent pool without the overhead of full-time employees. However, managing remote teams presents challenges in communication and quality control. In-house development ensures tighter control over the project and better alignment with company culture, but often at a higher cost. 

This approach benefits from direct oversight and easier collaboration. Deciding between the two options depends on budget constraints, project complexity, and available expertise. 

Thoughtful planning and strategic choices can significantly optimize the development costs. This approach enables entrepreneurs to effectively develop a platform like Haraj without compromising on quality or functionality.

Marketplace App Development Process: How to Build a Buy and Sell Platform Like Haraj

The process of building a buying and selling platform, especially one similar to the Haraj platform, encompasses a series of crucial steps. From the initial conception to the final launch, each stage of the Haraj app development process is designed to ensure the creation of a robust marketplace app. Let us look at the development phases in detail below:

Multiple Phases of Haraj-Like Marketplace App Development

Conceptualization and Market Research

This initial step involves identifying a unique value proposition and understanding the target market’s needs. Research focuses on competitor analysis, identifying gaps in the current market, and understanding user expectations. It’s crucial for defining the scope and objectives of the platform, ensuring it meets the specific demands of the intended users and stands out in a competitive landscape.

Design and Prototyping

In this phase of Haraj app development process, designers create wireframes and prototypes to establish the app’s look and feel. This process involves user interface (UI) design, focusing on creating an intuitive and engaging user experience (UX). Prototyping allows stakeholders to get a tangible sense of the app’s functionality and flow, facilitating early feedback that can be incorporated into the final design, ensuring the platform is both attractive and functional.

Development and Coding

Here, the actual building of the app takes place. Developers translate designs into a working app using appropriate programming languages and frameworks for both the front end (user-facing) and back end (server-side). This phase includes the integration of databases, implementation of security measures, and coding of the core functionalities that enable users to buy, sell, and interact on the platform efficiently.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Testing is critical to ensure the app is free from bugs, performs well under various scenarios, and delivers a seamless user experience. This stage involves multiple types of tests, including functionality testing, performance testing, security testing, and user acceptance testing (UAT). Quality assurance helps identify and resolve any issues before the app goes live, guaranteeing reliability and user satisfaction.

Launch and Ongoing Support

The final step is to launch the app to the public. This involves deployment to app stores, marketing activities to attract users, and the collection of initial feedback. After launch, ongoing support and maintenance are vital for addressing any arising issues, updating the app with new features, and continuously improving the platform based on user feedback. This ensures the app remains relevant, competitive, and in line with user expectations.

From initial research to post-launch support, careful planning and execution are key. It is vital for the mobile app development company in Saudi Arabia to have a comprehensive approach to app development and aim for a high-quality, user-friendly platform that meets market demands.

collaborate with us to develop a platform like Haraj

Why Appinventiv is the Ideal Partner for Building a Buying and Selling Platform Like Haraj

At Appinventiv, we pride ourselves on being the go-to partner for businesses eager to make an app like Haraj. Our unparalleled expertise in the digital marketplace arena positions us uniquely to transform your visionary ideas into reality. 

Our dedicated team, comprising seasoned developers and creative designers, deeply understands the nuances of marketplace dynamics, user engagement strategies, and cutting-edge technologies. This blend of expertise and innovation ensures that your project transcends mere functionality to set new industry standards.

Understanding the cost to develop an app like Haraj involves a detailed analysis of your specific needs, feature complexity, and desired technological stack. As a dedicated eCommerce app development company, we ensure that each project receives a customized approach, tailoring our development process to align perfectly with your business objectives and market demands.  

Our commitment to excellence and value delivery has made us a preferred choice for those looking to create impactful, scalable, and user-centric buying and selling platforms. Let us be your ally in navigating the exciting journey of digital marketplace development, where your success is our ultimate mission.


Q: How to build a buy and selling platform like Haraj? 

A: Building a buy and sell platform like Haraj requires expertise in marketplace development, scalable architecture design, and creating a seamless user experience. It involves leveraging the latest technologies and methodologies to develop feature-rich, secure, and user-friendly platforms customized to specific requirements.

Q: How much does it cost to develop a Haraj-like marketplace app? 

A: The cost to build a marketplace app like Haraj can vary depending on factors such as features, complexity, integration needs, and the development approach chosen. In general, the overall cost to develop an app like Haraj can vary from $30,000 to $300,000.  A transparent pricing structure is typically offered based on the specific project needs after assessing the client’s vision and requirements.

Q: How long does it take to develop an app like Haraj? 

A: The timeline for developing an app similar to Haraj is not fixed and can vary from 6 to 12+ months, based on the project scope, complexity, and requirements. However, following agile processes and having an experienced development team helps in delivering high-quality solutions efficiently. Clear communication and collaboration between the client and developers throughout ensures timely completion without compromising quality.

Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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