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Digital platforms for traders help automate many processes, increase accuracy, and improve trading strategies. Custom trading platform development helps traders get modern solutions to fetch and analyze large amounts of data to get valuable insights.

Building a trading platform is a process that involves a lot of crucial stages. Feel free to follow the stock trading software development guide prepared by our team to create a top-tier application and succeed.

Trading app development guide

STEP 1: DEFINE GOALS AND VALIDATE IDEA

For starters, you need to analyze the problems a custom trading platform can help solve. It will help you define your goals. You need to clearly understand what result you strive to achieve by creating a custom solution from scratch.


For instance, here are some of the goals you may achieve by developing a trading platform:

  • Improved order placement speed
  • More significant amounts of data fetched and analyzed
  • Lowered trading fees
  • Use of custom trading algorithms
  • Better user experience
  • Helpful notifications
  • A larger number of payment gateways

By analyzing problems needed to solve, you can form a list of the core features that a new trading platform should have. Moreover, you need to consider if you want to build a brokerage app for trading stocks or cryptocurrency.


Also, conducting business analysis is advisable to validate your idea and research the market. Feel free to explore the advantages and disadvantages of your competitors.


According to the research conducted by BusinessofApps, the top five trading apps on the market by the number of users are:

  1. Robinhood: 16.3 million users
  2. Cash app: 4.8 million users
  3. eToro: 3 million users
  4. Webull: 2.7 million users
  5. Plus500: 2.2 million users


Competitor analysis will help you form a unique selling proposition (USP). It is a set of features that will help your trading platform stand out from the crowd and overcome your competitors. It should convince potential users to choose your platform over other solutions available on the market.

Need help in conducting a business analysis?

STEP 2: PREPARE INPUT ARTIFACTS

When you're ready to build your own trading platform, it's recommended to prepare input artifacts. They will help you avoid bottlenecks and unforeseen expences. 


To make the trading platform development seamless, prepare the following input artifacts.

Product Vision

Product vision is a document that defines the primary aims of developing a custom trading application. Moreover, it comprises long-term product development goals. The strategic vision of a product helps create a coherent development roadmap and onboard team members effectively.

Type of Trading App

There are three options available on how to build your own trading platform.

Trading app types

You can build a trading app for:

  • Mobile devices
  • Desktops
  • Web browsers

Let's check the pros and cons of these three types of trading software applications. 


Pros Cons

Web-based

  • Fast access via an URL
  • Simple upgrade of functionality
  • Work on most mobile and desktop devices
  • Reliable Internet connection is required
  • Need to be optimized for different browsers
  • Possible performance issues
Mobile
  • Easy to use on the go
  • Push notifications
  • Fast work and access to crucial data
  • Convenient user experience
  • Several platforms need to be considered (iOS, Android, iPadOS)
  • Applications needs to be approved by AppStore and Google Play for further listing
  • Lack of screen space
  • Apps need to be upgraded on the users' end
Desktop
  • Enhanced security
  • Great performance
  • Lowered hosting fees
  • Can be shared over the Internet
  • Several types should be developed for various platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS)
  • Need to be updated manually by users

Users Roles

Defining user roles is recommended before a stock trading app development begins. Mainly, there are two types of user roles in a trading platform. They are: 

  • Admin — Privileged users who can configure how an e-trading system works, update algorithms, install updates, manage other users, etc. 
  • Trader — The majority of users who use the functionality of an online trading platform to buy/sell shares of stocks or cryptocurrency. Users of this role can have different permissions and access to various features.

Stock Trading App Features

It's vital to consider the functionality before you begin developing a trading platform. The number of features isn't limited, so you can create any functionality to streamline online trading.

In case you don't have a solid understanding on how to create a trading platform, check out the list of crucial features to develop. 

Stock trading app features

Let's untangle the core features to understand how to create a trading platform. 

Feature Detailed description
Authentication and user profile Users need to sign up for an online trading platform quickly. Also, they need to be able to log in fast using biometrics like TouchID or FaceID. Traders need to have access to their profiles for updating data.
User onboarding Guides, suggestions, and useful tips should help new users quickly grasp how to use new software and its functionality.
Newsfeed A customizable list of news fetched from different sources. AI-powered news aggregation tools can supply traders with recent industry news.
Dashboard A homepage that displays the most crucial data. Users should be capable of configuring dashboards, according to their needs and traded stocks to access essential data fast. The information displayed on a dashboard needs to be updated in live time.
Secured payments Secured payment gateways should offer the opportunity for traders to top up their balances and withdraw money fast and stress-free.
Order placement Traders should have access to all the functionality that foresees the opportunity to place orders fast. Also, it's recommended to develop functionality to place orders in bulk for basket trading.
Watchlist A separate screen that displays shortlisted shares of stocks or cryptocurrencies. The watchlist allows tracking their price or other criteria in live time.
Portfolio It presents information about shares of stocks or cryptocurrencies a trader holds. Also, the portfolio offers a summary of trading success.
Notifications Instant alerts on news, price changes, or other events that a trader can set. Push notifications should overlay other apps and play sound that draws users' attention.
Analytics Detailed reports on trades and stock price forecasts help traders build data-baked strategies.
Algorithmic trading Ability to create custom algorithms that analyze data and place orders automatically for algorithmic trading.
Search and filtering Option to search for specific stocks of cryptocurrencies. Also, an online trading platform needs to offer the opportunity to filter search results by certain values.
Want to discuss your feature set with a trading software development expert?

Monetization Model

A custom trading app should have a certain monetization model to become profitable. 

The most popular monetization models for trading platforms are the following:

  • Subscription — Users pay a monthly subscription fee to access the tools offered by a custom trading platform.
  • Freemium — Basic features of an online trading platform are provided for free. However, access to advanced tools for traders is provided for an additional fee. 
  • Trade fees — Users pay commissions when they buy or sell shares of stocks or other assets. 
  • In-app ads — Advertisement is shown to custom trading platform users. 

Choosing a monetization model is vital to make your app attractive to users and overcome counterparts. 

Technical Requirements

Create a list of technical requirements, so developers understand how to create a trading platform that will meet your needs. 

Technical requirements may vary depending on the type of trading software you want to develop. Nevertheless, the main points that should be considered are: 

  • Required speed of work — The speed of placing orders is crucial for trading. Therefore, it's essential to specify the speed of an app's work.
  • Wireframes — A blueprint that helps developers understand how to build trading software by discovering the way traders will use an application.  
  • Load — The maximum expected number of users who will use a trading application simultaneously.
  • Supported devices — The selection of devices and operating systems that support an online trading platform. For instance, a mobile trading app should work on iOS, Android, and iPadOS devices. 
  • Regulatory compliance — Financial sector is highly regulated and meticulously monitored. Therefore, it's required to research and consider regulatory compliance requirements.

STEP 3: CREATE UI/UX DESIGN

The primary aim of UX design is to help achieve business goals. Therefore, it's required to analyze business requirements to create a mockup of your trading application. 


Also, designers should create a company's logo, pick the color scheme, and set design standards. It will help keep consistency when developing an online trading platform's UI/UX design.


In case you don't have a solid understanding on how to make an automated trading software design, feel free to create several different mockups and choose the best one.

STEP 4: CHOOSE TECH STACK AND API INTEGRATIONS

Developers must pick the right technologies to build a brokerage app that matches all the requirements. They need to analyze the top programming languages for finance and choose the best for your project.

Share all the input artifacts with software engineers, so they will offer the best solution to achieve the desired result.

Since trading platforms need to have a lot of helpful features and integrations with other services, selecting the required application programming interface (API) integrations is also recommended.

The most popular API integrations used for developing custom software are the following:

  1. Yahoo Finance API — It offers access to a large amount of financial data like charts, statistics, historical data, analysis, etc. 
  2. Alpha Vantage API — It helps explore one of the largest databases of historical data. Also, the API can help track real-time changes in stock and cryptocurrency prices. 
  3. Finage API — It is a comprehensive financial solution that offers the opportunity to track the latest prices and convert currencies.
  4. Twelve Data API — It helps traders track changes in a broad range of stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other assets. The API's core feature is live-time updates on growing and least popular stocks. 
  5. Alpaca Trading API — This commission-free API grants traders instant access to curial information about popular stocks and assets. Also, it has a convenient charting tool.  
  6. IG Trading API — It helps get real-time market prices and other solutions provided by the IG company. 
  7. Zirra API — It grants access to more than 100 signals for time series forecasting and cutting-edge insights created using machine learning (ML).


Develop a trading app for time series forecasting with CodeIT.


Also, software engineers need to choose a database solution and implement the best database security practices. They will help keep confidential and payment information safe from leaks. The top five databases used by developers when building trading platforms are: 

  1. MySQL
  2. PostgreSQL
  3. Microsoft SQL Server
  4. SQLite
  5. MongoDB


Project managers can estimate a project using all the gathered information about trading software and provide an approximate budget range and time frames. Also, they will be able to develop a thorough roadmap on how to build a stock trading app. 

Get your project estimates by our experts for free!

STEP 5: ONBOARD DEVELOPERS

When building a trading platform, you can gather in-house developers or hire a dedicated team of software engineers. 

In any case, it's required to onboard them to a project and share all the information. All details about your project will help developers clearly understand how to build a stock trading platform you need. 

The main activities at this stage are:

  • Product vision and technical requirements presentation
  • Configuration of task management and communication environments
  • Tasks backlog creation
  • Code quality standards setting

STEP 6: DEVELOP MVP

First, you need to plan the first release and compose a coherent plan to develop an MVP, the first version of your product. It should imply the minimum number of features to solve main business goals. 

When the Agile product development approach is applied, it's required to begin the trading platform development by creating a sprint backlog of tasks. Consequently, developers will have a set of tasks for a certain period. 

Agile is one of the most popular software development methodologies. It helps establish an iterative product development process. Iterations are called sprints and last from one to four weeks. At the end of every sprint, developers need to review their progress.

Want our experienced developers to build a trading platform? Check:

STEP 7: TEST TRADING APP

At this stage, a team of quality assurance (QA) engineers must meticulously check the developed MVP. They need to examine all the features to ensure they work as designed.

If an MVP doesn't pass the acceptance testing, QA engineers need to prepare reports and deliver them to software engineers so that they can fix all the issues discovered.

STEP 8: RELEASE MVP

When acceptance testing is passed, developers should set up a live server and release an MVP. You can make your trading app accessible to everyone or provide limited access to a selected group of users. 

The two most popular solutions used to host online trading platforms are:

  1. Google Cloud Engine
  2. Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Don't hesitate to survey users of your trading platform to collect feedback from real users. It will help you focus on developing the most requested features to satisfy users' needs and develop a top-tier platform. 

STEP 9: UPGRADE AND MAINTAIN TRADING APP

Maintain your trading app to ensure 100% uptime of your application. Also, create a prioritized list of new features to enhance the functionality of your online trading platform.

Looking for experts who know how to create a trading platform?

TRADING PLATFORM MARKET STATISTICS

According to Statista, the global online trading market is growing continuously and will reach the $10 billion mark in 2024. Below, you will find the online trading market growth forecast and fascinating facts.

Trading platform market statistics

CODEIT EXPERTISE IN TRADING PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT

Finding a reliable partner to delegate trading platform software development is the best solution. At CodeIT, we know how to make your own trading platform and succeed. 

We have a large team of skilled software engineers, tried-and-tested workflow, and many successful projects under our belt. 

Discover one of the solutions for traders developed by our experts below. 

Highly Responsive Dashboard For Traders

It is a feature-rich tool that facilitates trading operations and helps traders improve their performance. The dashboard helps fetch a lot of useful data from various sources in real-time to perform market analysis effectively. 

Highly responsive dashboard for traders

Problem

Our client reached CodeIT, requesting to develop a modern solution to get a competitive advantage over other traders. 

Solution

We have thoroughly analyzed the requirements shared by the client and offered the best solution. Our developers have proposed a tech stack and developed the requested solution. 

As a result, we have built a comprehensive dashboard that helps track equities, ETFs, and indices on 47 around the globe. The solution analyzes news portals and social media publications to get the latest industry updates. 

Also, our software engineers helped the client develop a trading app with prediction calculation algorithms to make data-baked decisions.

SUMMING UP

The trading industry adopts the latest technologies at a high pace. Digital solutions for traders help collect and analyze the required information fast. Moreover, custom-made solutions foresee the opportunity to place orders fast thanks to well-thought-out interfaces.

In case you strive to enhance your productivity but don't know how to create a trading platform, follow the steps below. 

  1. Define goals and validate idea
  2. Prepare input artifacts
  3. Create UX/UI design
  4. Choose a tech stack and APIs
  5. Onboard developers
  6. Develop an MVP
  7. Test your trading app
  8. Release an MVP
  9. Upgrade and maintain your trading app


Hiring a skilled expert in creating digital solutions for traders is advisable if you strive to develop a top-tier solution without stress.

Get your online trading platform developed by industry experts.
How do I build a trading platform?

In order to develop a trading app, you need to do the following:

  1. Define goals and validate idea
  2. Prepare input artifacts
  3. Create UX/UI design
  4. Choose a tech stack and APIs
  5. Onboard developers
  6. Develop an MVP
  7. Test your trading app
  8. Release an MVP
  9. Upgrade and maintain your trading app
How does a trading app work?

An average online trading platform fetches data about stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other assets from different sources using API integrations. It analyzes and arrange fetched data to present it conveniently and share valuable insights. 


Nevertheless, there is always space in the room for developing new features. For instance, you can build a trading platform that uses custom algorithms to buy and sell shares of stocks automatically.

How do trading platforms make money?

There are many ways for trading platforms to make money. However, the most popular monetization strategies are:

  • Subscription
  • Freemium
  • Trade fees
  • In-app ads
What are the core features that a custom trading platform should have?

Don't you know how to make a trading platform and succeed? Keep in your mind the features mentioned below to develop a top-tier solution. 

  • Authentication and user profile
  • User onboarding
  • Newsfeed
  • Dashboard
  • Secured payments
  • Order placement
  • Watchlist
  • Portfolio
  • Notifications
  • Analytics
  • Algorithmic trading
  • Search and filtering
What are the most popular trading apps?

The top trading apps by the number of users are:

  1. Robinhood
  2. Cash app
  3. eToro
  4. Webull
  5. Plus500


What are the top API integrations for traders?

The top-seven API integrations that can help develop an online platform for trading are:

  1. Yahoo Finance API
  2. Alpha Vantage API
  3. Zirra API
  4. Twelve Data API
  5. Alpaca Trading API
  6. IG Trading API
  7. Finage API

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