The eCommerce marketplace is an online site or a marketing hub where several brands as well as varieties of products from different vendors, are displayed for sale. It plays host to various brands of products from multiple vendors, shops, or persons all displayed on the same platform. The owner of the marketplace takes the initiative of attracting customers as well as the processed transactions. Third-party vendors on the other hand sort out the manufacturing and shipping.
The mode of operation here is that the eCommerce marketplace streamlines the production process via one simple portal, where manufacturers of products display their wares for sale directly to the customers.
How Ecommerce Marketplace Works
Flipkart (India), Amazon, and eBay are some of the companies that operate using this model. This model, known as the OmniChannel has over the years proven to be the most profitable business in web eCommerce. Here, the entire marketplace is programmed to run on one software infrastructure, which enables all the vendors to sell their goods under the umbrella of one website. These companies, in exchange for these services, take a percentage of the sales on any product sold across the platforms.
Types of Ecommerce Marketplace Based on Different Business Models/Method of Operation
Below are some of the types of eCommerce Marketplace based on different business models.
Vertical and Horizontal e-marketplaces
This type of marketplace offers online access to business vertically across every segment of a particular industry sector. These are industry sectors like automotive, chemical, construction, or textile. Buying or selling here increases the operating efficiency while at the same time decreasing the supply chain and inventories cost as well as procurement time.
On the other hand, a horizontal e-marketplace connects buyers and sellers across different industries or regions. It enables buyers to purchase indirect products like office equipment or stationery.
This is a marketplace that is operated by a body of buyers to lower their administrative costs to get the best prices from suppliers. Here, suppliers can also use the buyer-oriented e-marketplace, to advertise their product to the set of relevant customers.
This is mostly a business-to-business online platform, operated by a third party. It is open to buyers and sellers from a particular industry. Here, you can register, and get access to classified ads. You can also request for quotations as well as place bids on several products from your industry sector.
This e-marketplace is operated by a large group of suppliers for establishing an efficient sales channel and increases their visibility and get leads from a large number of potential buyers. This type is also known as the supplier directory and it is usually searchable by the product or services offered. Here, the buyers can also access information about the suppliers, products, or the region they are not familiar with.
How to Choose an Ecommerce Marketplace that is Right for You
Start by defining what you want and how you want it. This will help pick from the arrays of eCommerce marketplace out there decked with unique features aimed at different seller sizes and niches.
You can use more than one marketplace as long as it gives you exposure and meets the needs you want.