A marketplace is an eCommerce platform where multiple vendors can sell their products and services to customers. It is where buyers and sellers can conduct an exchange of goods online.
Unlike a single store, a marketplace does not have one brand that has a monopoly on the goods. A marketplace also does not have an inventory of the products sold on its platform, which means that its vendors are left to handle the operations of the business, such as stock acquisition and management. However, marketplaces handle marketing that encourages traffic to their website and drives sales. They also ensure that vendors adhere to marketplace policies and quality regulations.
Types of Online Marketplaces
There are different types of online marketplaces often divided according to focus. These are the following:
- Vertical marketplaces. Products on this type of marketplace come from different brands but they are of the same kind. Vertical marketplaces focus on a particular niche, catering to customers with specific needs. They stand out from the competition with a dedicated website that can assure authenticity and quality.
- Horizontal marketplaces. Marketplaces of this kind offer products and services in various areas to different types of customers. With a horizontal marketplace, you can cater to a broad customer base with a wide range of needs. Shoppers can find everything they need in different categories on a single platform.
Advantages of Online Marketplace
Many benefits come with putting your products and services up for purchase on an online marketplace. Some of the benefits over brick and mortar and online stores are the following:
- Driving traffic is faster. Some marketplaces have a strong marketing plan that covers SEO and content marketing. These platforms can quickly capture online traffic. Once shoppers find their way to a marketplace, product discovery becomes easy. When products are listed on a marketplace, a shopper can simply take advantage of the search engine to find your brand or product.
- Marketplaces already have an audience, regardless of niche. Many platforms have already established themselves as popular one-stop shops with thousands of visitors every day. As a brand, what’s left to do is to grab attention with high-quality images and rich product detail.
- Comparing products from different brands is easier. Customers do not have to go from one store to another to compare prices, sizes, styles, and more.
- Listings are easy to customize. You can quickly update your digital following a marketplace’s accepted format.