Marketplace University

What is Tangram & what can it do?

Our tool enables builders to provide clients/marketplace founders with an MVP for 100x cheaper and faster than traditional development.

Paris Mielke

March 31, 2023

March 31, 2023
~20 min

What is possible with Tangram?

Our tool enables builders to provide clients/marketplace founders with an MVP for 100x cheaper and faster than traditional development. 

With ~ 1-2  weeks of training it is possible to build a “true” custom multi-vendor marketplace (equipped with user accounts, automatic payment splitting with Stripe Connect, custom data fields/objects, a custom front-end design, etc.) in ~ 1 hr, on average. 

How does Tangram work?

  1. We utilize to quickly build custom front-end designs without coding. We can provide components and templates in Webflow that come pre-configured to work with Tangram.
  2. We send data from our Postgres databases via Javascript/HTML attributes to do text replacement on the Webflow pages. 
  3. The marketplace logic can be defined in the Tangram no-code tool (e.g. listing types, user roles, permissions, navigation, etc.) 
  4. Additional customization and integrations can be added on top of our webhooks system or API. Custom data objects or “structures” can also be created.

Why Tangram? E.g. over Sharetribe, Bubble, Softr, or custom development?

Unlike Sharetribe:

  • Tangram allows pages to be designed in Webflow
  • Tangram does not require a developer to make customizations
  • Tangram eliminates the need to spin up an application and tech-stack for every marketplace project without compromising on the ability to add custom coded functionality on top of it.
  • Tangram offers in-app chat 

Unlike Bubble: 

  • Tangram offers marketplace-specific functionality
  • This makes it faster to learn & implement marketplaces in Tangram
  • Otherwise the learning curve with bubble is very steep and is similar in difficulty to learning a programming language
  • Tangram allows pages to be designed in Webflow

Unlike Softr:

  • Tangram offers marketplace-specific functionality
  • Tangram allows pages to be designed in Webflow
  • Tangram provides a REST API and webhooks to easily interact with users, listings, transactions, reviews, and custom objects.

What are Tangram’s current limitations?

Strong authentication checks on Webflow-designed pages are not released yet. This feature will be released as “Tangram V3” sometime in April 2023. 

This release will allow for any default Tangram page (e.g. dashboards, profile edit pages, listing creation pages, transaction management pages, inboxes, etc.) to be redesigned in Webflow and will make Tangram marketplaces indistinguishable from custom-coded applications.

Tangram Training Sessions

Tangram training sessions can be provided for a fee on a case-by-case basis. All details of our software can be covered in ~10 hrs of video content and 1 hour of 1:1 training for someone with a working proficiency in Webflow and/or programming. 

What are the steps to build a Tangram x Webflow marketplace from scratch?

1) Complete a planning sheet after talking with your client. It should include the answers to the following questions:

  • What user roles should have an account? What are their permissions/actions they can take in the app?
  • What types of listings can be created and by what types of users? (e.g. products, services, jobs, rentals, etc.)
  • How do you plan to monetize your business?
  • What data fields do you need to collect from users when they sign up?
  • What data fields do you need to connect to listings? (e.g. description, photos, etc.)
  • What pages need to exist?
  • What data fields do you want users to be able to filter the search results by?
  • Do you have any brand design guidelines? (fonts, colors, etc.)

2) Build backend + generate test data

3) Connect to front-end pages

4) Add common additional functionality

5) Build on-top of Tangram with custom code


Structures: (view loom video)

Click here to open the ServiceX example marketplace read-only link in Webflow

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