What Is An Internet Marketplace?

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Luke Wakefield
24 August 2018

There’s been a lot of buzz around online marketplaces recently but what exactly is an internet marketplace and how do they work? Although you may not be familiar with the term, there’s a good chance you’ll have visited a marketplace website before. In fact, some of the most popular e-commerce sites are marketplaces, so you may make purchases from them on a regular basis!

Unlike standard e-commerce sites, marketplaces don’t just sell goods from one vendor. Instead, users can choose from various vendors when they make a purchase, without leaving the site. Rather than having to visit multiple different sites, users can browse products and services from multiple vendors.

Why Are Marketplaces So Popular?

Internet marketplaces are good for vendors, users and site owners. From a user’s point of view, they have access to a wider array of goods and services, and it’s easier to compare pricing, quality, features and delivery services when you’re using just one site. Furthermore, many online marketplaces provide users with an additional layer of security, particularly if you want to make purchases from a smaller, less well-known vendor.

For vendors, marketplaces can be an easy way to build your online presence. Rather than having to own and maintain your own site, obtaining placement on a marketplace ensures your goods and services are in front of potential purchasers with minimal hassle. With some marketplaces also offering fulfilment and shipping services, vendors can reduce their outgoings, reach an increased number of users and outsource key parts of their business.

Of course, site owners can benefit from marketplaces too. Some site owners use their marketplace to trade, acting as a vendor as well as a site operator, but some site owners may simply make their profit from running the site. With millions of users signed up to marketplaces, they can be extremely valuable. If site owners charge vendors a sign-up fee or take commission from each sale, it’s easy to create a revenue stream simply by facilitating a sale between a vendor and a user.

Giving Users The Information The Need

For users, one of the biggest advantages of using a marketplace is the ability to access feedback. As well as obtaining feedback from other users regarding products and services, each vendor can receive feedback too. This means prospective buyers can access impartial feedback from previous purchasers before they choose to buy a particular product or service, or before they select which vendor to use.

Similarly, many marketplaces also allow their buyers to be ranked or to receive feedback. For smaller vendors, where cash-flow may be an issue, this type of information can be vital. By restricting sales to buyers with a certain level of feedback, vendors can be sure the sale will go ahead without any problems, thus avoiding potential disruption in their cash-flow. In addition to this, vendors who pride themselves on their customer service are able to advertise this via the feedback they receive and use this feedback to generate new customers and more repeat purchases.

Creating An Internet Marketplace

When you’re building an internet marketplace, it’s important to think about the type of product, service or industry your site will be focused on. By identifying the needs of users and vendors, you can begin to identify the features you need and the development process can get underway.

With more and more marketplaces popping up, however, you’ll want to have an original design and unique functionality. Our experience in creating bespoke marketplace websites enables us to create the site you’ve envisaged, along with all the security measures and marketing tools you’ll need to make your site a success.

Find out more about developing an internet marketplace with Siteglide.

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