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What is Marketplace? The Best Online Marketplaces in 2021

Posted On June 2, 2023

The marketplace is a buzzword for quite some time and some of the most successful companies worldwide operate using this model. But do you know what is Marketplace? What is an Online Marketplace? And how does it work?

Let’s start with a simple definition: A marketplace is a virtual shopping center that facilitates shopping from different sources.

The marketplace may seem like a complicated concept due to their multi-vendor platform environment. But in reality, Online Marketplace is surprisingly scalable for startups as well as an established business. Because they offer real convenience to the customers. It’s a place where thousands of customers go because they will find a variety of things in one place. On the other hand, marketplaces are also n interesting place for sellers because lots of customers are visiting them every day.

Let’s find out the 3 trending online marketplace platforms and how do they work:

1. Vertical Marketplace

A vertical marketplace sells products of the same type from multiple sources. Here, there isn’t a wide array of products to choose from. It focuses on a single niche and has a targeted audience. If you want to master a specific category in eCommerce, you should opt for a vertical marketplace for your business.

Some of the well-known vertical marketplaces are Uber, Airbnb, and Udemy.

2. Horizontal Marketplace

A horizontal marketplace sells products of many types but they share the same characteristic. It is a blend of the vertical and global marketplace because it offers different categories like a global marketplace but still shares a common characteristic like a vertical marketplace.

Etsy is an example of a horizontal marketplace. It offers a variety of products followed by a common characteristic - it sells only handmade items.

3. Global Marketplace

This is the most popular marketplace type (also the most complicated one). A global marketplace sells anything and everything and they usually ship to anywhere in the world.

Amazon and eBay are the perfect examples of a global marketplace. With millions of products and customers, such marketplaces offer high-quality items at a fair price.

Nowadays, businesses are becoming more concerned about choosing the best marketplace for selling their products online. Similarly, it also has a huge impact on customers as it has changed the way they make purchases. One of the major advantages it offers is that online shopping of anything, at any time, from anywhere. Customers can find products and services that might not be available in the physical market where they live. However, it does have some downsides and the sellers need to overcome such hurdles.

Now, let’s discuss some of the leading Online Marketplaces of India as well as few global marketplaces that will rule the e-commerce industry in 2021 :

1. eBay

eBay is one of the oldest online marketplaces in the world. It has successfully marked its presence at the top in recent years. It allows customers to buy as well as sell everything. eBay started as an auction platform and now 80% of their business is selling new products. It is a well-known name around the globe, marking its presence in 190 countries.

Sellers can even start an eBay store to get more benefits like discounted fees, free listings, and some additional tools to manage and promote the business. If you want to start selling quickly, eBay is for you. Because eBay receives 100 million+ unique visitors every month.

2. Amazon

Amazon is everyone’s most favorite online store. The majority of internet searches to make a purchase online are for Amazon. The biggest benefit to selling on Amazon is it has 100 million prime members.

If you’re a medium to a large level seller who wants to reach millions of customers and are equipped to handle the massive amount of traffic - you should definitely choose to sell on Amazon.

3. Walmart

Walmart is the largest retailer in the world. Just like Amazon, Walmart is ideal for medium to large sellers. Selling on Walmart expands your customer reach immediately. Unlike other platforms, Walmart does not charge monthly fees. Instead, sellers can expect to pay referral fees. Sellers also have the access to Walmart’s two-day delivery program. Sellers will have access to 440 million+ customers.

4. Alibaba

One of the most noticeable changes in online marketplaces is the B2B marketplace. B2B marketplace brings B2B sellers and buyers together. And Alibaba is a leading name in this category. Moreover, it is well-known for on-time delivery as well as high-quality products. They offer a wide range of payment modes that make it even more trustworthy and comfortable.

Alibaba’s business model is quite different from other famous B2B marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. It serves 3 different kinds of markets: business-to-business market, the mass consumer market, and upscale consumer market.

5. Etsy

The name and fame of Etsy is increasing as a leading global marketplace. Quite well-known for selling hand-made items, Etsy also sells antique items. Things like home appliances, toys, accessories, books, home decor, etc. can be found on this website.

Etsy’s innovative platform connects over 50 million customers globally. The company makes money when the Etsy sellers make money. They are creating a new economy called Etsy economy to find a meaningful workspace for creative entrepreneurs and local marketers to sell their goods.

The future is Online Marketplaces

With the increasing popularity and demand of e-commerce, online marketplaces are going to drastically change the way people shop. With the help of marketplaces, sellers can establish their business faster and even start selling early. Moreover, such marketplaces offer various programs for the sellers which helps them to reach the right customer, at just the right time. Most of the marketplaces have millions of visitors and registered customers. So the sellers get a large customer base, too.

Online Marketplace is surely an option to consider, even it may sound daunting at first. Do you have a business you want to take online? Let us know your thoughts on online marketplaces in the comment section below.