Online trading platforms are truly gaining momentum, expanding their reach and accessibility exponentially. According to a study by Fortune Business Insights, the expected CAGR of around 8% compared to its 2018 value (approximately $8 billion) will drive the growth of the online trading platform market to over $12 billion by 2023. One of the ways to enter the industry is by developing an online trading platform.

What does it mean? Simply put, “trading platform” is an umbrella term for a set of tools and techniques for tracking trading profiles and placing orders through third-party financial agents, supported by real-time analytics, high-end charting tools, and more. 

An online trading platform is software or a website that allows investors and traders to position trades, invest through financial intermediaries, and track accounts.

In addition to participating in trades, you can become an intermediary and provide others with easy access to the latest technology and stock trading software. Stay tuned to check out this guide and get started as a trading platform creator. 

Quick Facts:

  • It is forecast that the global online trading market will increase at a global compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent per year, increasing to an estimated 13.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2026. 
  • Over 130 million people used stock trading apps in 2021, a 49% increase from 2020 figures.
  • North America was the largest region in the online trading platform market in 2021. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the forecast period.
Trading app revenue statistics
Stock trading annual app revenues 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

In this article, we’re going to look at how to create a trading platform that works for you and your clients.

Web or Mobile? Which One You Should Choose to Build a Trading Platform

The fundamentals of mobile apps and websites for your business’s trading platform are pretty the same — from the authorization process to access to a user page and information about trading stocks.

However, the experiences they deliver will be quite distinctive:

  • A fully-fledged mobile app and a website cater to different operating platforms and devices. So you should understand your target audience’s preferences and what solutions they apply to access your trading system. Even if you consider a website with decent mobile responsiveness, the ability to implement some features, trade on the go, and others can be represented in the app to the full extent possible.
  • Although mobile apps might be considered inconvenient for traders because of their screen limitations and a bit slowlier trade execution process, their high-end personalization and optimization will solve the problem — via interactive charting, for example.
  • Deciding on the most functional and customer-oriented UX/UI parameters for your trading platform, you have to consider between iOS and Android networks. According to research, as of 2023, the market share of iOS, which is around 28%, has lost the leading position to Android with a global market dominance of about 72%. However, you should also consider the demographics of your audience. In the USA, for instance, the top position belongs to iOS, while the rival operating system has gained approximately 48% of the market.

In the best-case scenario, both a web version and a mobile app contribute to the quality and efficacy of a trading platform. If your budget is limited, as well as the timeframe to cope with this doubled scope of work, you can get started with the web solution. Since it is designed and put into action faster and without spending a fortune, you can gain the desired performance results sooner rather than later.

There are various types of online trading platforms available in the market. Here is a list of some commonly used online trading platforms:

✓ Stock Trading Platforms
✓ Forex Trading Platforms
✓ Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms
✓ Options & Futures Trading Platforms
✓ Commodities Trading Platforms
✓ Robo-Advisory Platforms.

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Core Features of a Successful Online Trading Platform

The number of end users and companies looking to enter this industry is also growing. However, without understanding what a trading platform is and what features it should have, your efforts are likely to be in vain. Here are the must-have features of a multi-functional and eye-catching trading system in the eyes of modern brokers and investors:

  • Login and registration. These are the simplest, but not to be overlooked basics when it comes to building a stock trading solution like a pro. You need to ensure the security, reliability, and credibility of your system for all members – no unauthorized access should be tolerated. To keep your audience’s interests in mind, you can create a simple and easy-to-fill-out registration form with the ability to complete the process in the profile settings. For the login process, you can opt for two-factor authentication or a more complex means of identity verification such as multi-factor authentication.
  • User profile. This is a home for each individual trader or investor, so it should be maximally productive for personal data and account management.
  • Real-time updates. You should build a system that doesn’t stop evolving and provides the latest data about the parties involved, including real-time portfolios of trading companies. From a technical point of view, cloud service management will be useful to speed up your development process, whether you are dealing with PaaS (mobile-backend-as-a-service) or MBaaS (platform-as-a-service) domains.
MS Trade – dashboard & charts
  • Trading functionality. Your system must provide instant access to different graphs and information about the market and trading companies, to mention a few.
  • Payment options. You should ensure that your system is compatible with different service providers, either by creating separate contracts or by working with certified and reputable payment gateway tools.
  • User onboarding. Think about your audience’s comfort level and prepare the features to let them know they are welcome. Your system shouldn’t just have an intuitive learning curve. At the same time, the introduction of the platform’s demo version, video tutorials and other guides with interactive elements (such as questionnaires and e-learning with rewards) will differentiate your trading solution from others.
  • Analytics & dashboard. Personal statistics and trading reports will help your clients get a deeper insight into the market and their performance in the field. Your system will be more advanced with tools to generate automated reports.
  • Portfolio management. The platform should provide robust portfolio management tools that enable users to effectively monitor and manage their investment portfolios. Users should be able to view their account balances, track performance metrics, analyze portfolio holdings, and generate detailed reports for better decision-making.
Read more about how we developed MSTrade – a modern online platform for crypto trading.
  • Watchlists and alerts. Users should be able to create personalized watchlists of their favorite securities and add specific stocks, indices, or other instruments to their watchlists for easy monitoring. In addition, the platform should offer customizable alerts and notifications to notify users of price movements, news updates, earnings announcements, or other important events. 
  • Sorting and filtering tools. These are good options to simplify navigation and analysis of trading charts and companies within your platform.

Define MVP Features

Instead of creating a full-featured application, you can create a so-called minimum viable product – a solution created with the least amount of resources for the project. It is a good idea for beginners, letting them test the reliability of their product and check the audience’s reaction.

Iterative approach to IT product development

With the help of an MVP, you solve the challenge and satisfy the purpose of a typical trading platform via an easy-to-use and minimalist interface. Taking into account these successful characteristics of an MVP, it is a perfect launch plan for startups and entrepreneurs who just make their first steps in the market:

  • MVPs enable businesses to test what core features gain great feedback from the audience. This can be a significant part of your market research to identify the Fintech design scope you require to compete with the leading rivals in your niche.
  • To be efficient for different teams, please ensure your product scalability potential is great.
  • It must include a few feedback mechanisms to gather end users’ thoughts about your product and their suggestions on its future evolution.

Web and mobile development is highly personalized when it comes to its pricing. You can save thousands of dollars on this plan while getting an opportunity to launch and test the product faster. 

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How to Make Money? Trading Platform Monetization Strategies

  1. The primary method of monetization is commission. In this case, you charge a certain fee for transactions made within the system. 
  2. In addition to small transaction fees, you can introduce an interest system if your platform profits from the surplus funds of users’ accounts.
  3. Premium subscriptions can be quite successful if you want to offer more content or access to advanced features to potential users of the system.
  4. The above strategies can be complemented with in-app purchases and advertising.

Your monetization strategy can include several methods or their combination to increase the ROI level of your investment in creating a stock trading platform:

Trading platform comissioning

Wrapping Up

By following the tips and considerations in this guide, beginners will gain a better understanding of how a stock trading platform works and what they need to create a functional and eye-catching system.

Whether you choose a desktop interface, a mobile application, or both, conducting market research must always be your first priority. Before you invest in this project, you must determine the scope of work, the type of product you are interested in, and the core and nice-to-have features.

Do you have a concept for an online trading platform and want to hire a team of developers? Contact us now and let’s discuss the details.

SmartTek Editorial team
Editorial The content-marketing team at our IT agency. We have a deep understanding of both people and technology.