Launching a full-featured creator marketplace in under 4 months.

Social Native

Headless commerce, Rapid Delivery, Marketplace

We partnered up with a fast-growing startup and accepted the challenge of developing a custom web application for a marketplace platform based on a MACH approach; Micro-services based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless.

User scrolling through list of gigs on a tablet device.


Social Native's mission is to connect brands with creators to create authentic social content, enabling them to build communities of ambassadors and influencers to share their brand stories and grow their businesses. Branded Content is their startup idea to provide a marketplace platform to make discovery, communication and transactions between buyers and creators more efficient and frictionless.


  • 01

    Propose and design a suitable technical solution for developing an online marketplace in 3-4 months that allows content creators and brands to advertise, communicate and transact.

  • 02

    Build a fast custom front-end application that can handle high-volume traffic and transactions

  • 03

    Build a custom backend with commercetools to reduce time-to-market and project costs

Laptop screen showing product grid on branded content platform.


  • Building a marketplace poses some more challenges than a typical e-commerce, which in this case included payment integrations, collecting social media follower information, and an integrated chat system for buyers and creators.
  • Effectively leveraging and configuring the commercetools API and platform to meet Social Native's specific needs and requirements.
  • Orchestrating dynamic requirements and responding to quick changes in a startup environment, all while collaborating with an overseas client design team and maintaining an Agile workflow with a large in-house developer team.


Mobile device displaying gig creation form for branded content marketplace platform.

Easy profile and offer creation

The Branded Content platform streamlines brand collaborations for influencers and ambassadors. They can easily create profiles, manage their collabs and define packages with clear offer details, minimizing confusion for buyers. The creator dashboard allows users to review all relevant information, readily available for easy management of their content creation work.

User sitting while using laptop displaying buyer homepage for

A comprehensive buyer experience

A user-friendly interface for buyers allows users to search and browse by creators or by the type of content, channel, or industry they are interested in. This makes it easy for brands big and small to find suitable creators that match their budget and expectations. Additionally, the platform combines marketplace, communication, transactions, and content review and feedback in one place, making influencer management much easier for brand PR teams.

User holding coffee and phone displaying form with inputs from branded content platform.

Communication is the heart of the marketplace

A key functionality for a high performing marketplace is chat and communication services. We leveraged the power of TalkJS to craft a smooth and seamless chat experience, which facilitates communication but also ensures brands and influencers are engaged and well-informed throughout their cooperation. To enhance this further, we integrated email notifications via SendGrid at multiple stages of the collaboration process. By doing so, we guarantee that everyone stays connected and up to date on agreements, feedback and approvals.

Grid of screenshots showing dashboards, settings views and profiles for social native web platform.

MACH Approach: Microservices based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless

We proposed a custom front-end application integrated with Commercetool's, an API-first, cloud-based headless SaaS tool. The front-end was built using Vue.js and Nuxt, allowing us to develop a custom and highly responsive application for users. Key requirements included a fast loading speed and the potential to scale and accommodate up to millions of creators, while providing smooth collaboration and payment flow (PayPal). Through harnessing the adaptable and nimble nature of MACH architectures, we surpassed our client's expectations and successfully met the project deadline.

Laptop screen showing a logged-in landing page for the branded content platform.

Faster implementation with Commercetools

We advised on and chose Commercetools in our backend solution due to its robust and flexible SaaS platform, which provided numerous integration points to enable customization and integration with external services. We were able to create an API Gateway with FrameworkX, built on reactPHP, to simplify communication between the custom frontend and Commercetools, while also implementing several microservices to support customization and integration. The utilization of FrameworkX introduced asynchronicity and potential for higher performance into PHP applications, ultimately reducing the time to market and cost of the project. Overall, we enjoyed the challenge of leveraging Commercetools' capabilities to structure our architecture and tailor it to the unique requirements of this project.


  • 01

    The marketplace launched in January 2023, 4 months after our first kickoff call.

  • 02

    Unlike our typical work with pre-existing software packages, this project gave us the freedom to use Commercetools, an e-commerce-oriented SaaS technology, to easily build marketplace software thanks to its API-first approach.

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