With such an immense grow of e-commerce retail, investing in this industry is likely to become one of your best decisions. Every Year the e-commerce market is increasing by around 17% and now marketplaces account for nearly half of global online sales. The same as small shops are giving way to large malls, online customers tend to choose marketplace platforms over single-brand e-shops.
Why not jump at a chance then and create your own marketplace website? This way you will provide your buyers with the opportunity to find everything they need in one place instead of time-consuming surfing numerous websites.
In this article, SapientPro e-commerce team gathered what is important for you to know before building a marketplace website.
What is a marketplace?
Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, YouTube, eBay…what do all those names have in common except being familiar to every Internet user? – they are all marketplaces, or simply said, the e-commerce platforms created for the communication among their users with the purpose to buy/sell something.
The marketplaces may be divided into several groups, depending on the products they focus on:
- Products – these may or may not be restricted to one product category (electronics, clothes, food, accessories, etc.). (Etsy, eBay, AliExpress, Amazon);
- Services (TaskRabbit, Couchsurfing, Airbnb, Fiverr);
- Car and ride-sharing (Uber, BlaBlaCar);
- Media (YouTube, IMM, Medium);
- Crowdfunding (Indiegogo, Kickstarter);
- Others, including social networks.
B2C, B2B and p2p types of marketplace business models
Now you have to decide which type of business model you want to implement for the development of your e-commerce business. Depending on the participants of the marketplace website, there are different types of business models.
Do you want the users to be service/goods providers and buyers or play just one of those roles? The answer to that question will help you choose the right model for your platform.
In p2p or peer-to-peer marketplaces, the participants have equal rights and roles. This type of e-platforms is often called customer-to-customer (C2C). The target customers, engaged in such marketplaces, share similar interests, incomes, and are ready to exchange goods with others.
The reasons why people use the marketplace are saving money; communicating with people, having something in common; and switching roles from buyers to sellers and vice versa. A great example of such roles swapping may be Couchsurfing where people are hosting one day and become guests the other day. This service helps spend less money while traveling and make new acquaintances.
B2C marketplaces are focused on the cooperation between business and customer. People like these marketplaces thanks to the opportunity to choose among various manufacturers and distributors on one website. One of the biggest business-to-consumer eCommerce platforms is Amazon. Being its user you can save time and by comparing prices you can buy what you need where it is the cheapest.
The B2C platforms are closely connected to p2p marketplaces and have partially developed from the latter. Some customers realizing that by selling goods they receive decent profit decide to become entrepreneurs.
B2B platforms allow businesses to exchange services and goods. There are lots of niche business-to-business marketplaces available on the Internet. They offer comfortable opportunities for cooperation in all spheres of social life. Alibaba.com is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. It helps the manufacturers and eCommerce vendors to establish connections and lead working relationship within the platform.
Marketplace website development cost
The main factor that affects the cost of marketplace website development is the features you want to implement into the project. The more user-friendly and nice-looking you want the marketplace to be – the bigger amounts of money will be needed.
How much does it cost to build a marketplace website also depends on the way of creating it. are you willing to do everything on your own to save pennies, or hire a team of professionals suits your plans better? The choice is yours, but don’t forget that quality is not a thing you can economize on.