In recent years we’ve seen the rise of online marketplaces. Everyone is already familiar with the biggest players like Amazon and eBay, but the increasing popularity of such solutions creates opportunities for smaller platforms as well. Right now, many retailers find themselves in a difficult position. They have to choose whether they want to sell their products on one of the well-known sites, or create their own. But in order to make a decision, it’s important to gather more information and consider all the options.

What is an online marketplace?

An online marketplace is similar to the traditional marketplace because it gives customers access to many different retailers and their products in one place. The difference is, of course, that in this case, everything happens online. So in short, what sets marketplaces apart from the typical ecommerce stores is the fact that you can visit one website to browse through products from various sources instead of going to their individual shops. For many shoppers, it’s a lot more convenient because they can easily compare different options and prices to find the ones they find the most interesting.

The competition is huge

Even though we most often hear about the biggest marketplaces, many smaller platforms deserve our attention as well. And while it may seem like the competition is the strongest at the very top, it’s not necessarily the case. Of course, attracting more visitors and seeing bigger profits will always be the main issue. But the well-established companies can feel quite secure in their position. However, if you’re just starting out and there are a lot of other websites offering similar services, you need to work really hard to stay one step ahead of the game.

You need to be trustworthy

If you want to open your own online marketplace, you’ll need to think about two things: the sellers and the customers. It’s actually a lot like the chicken and egg problem. You need visitors (and in other words – potential customers) in order to attract different retailers to use your website to sell their products. But you won’t get many visitors if the offer won’t be interesting. So the first steps will definitely be complicated, and you should prepare yourself for difficulties. You have to be patient and build your brand. If you make sure everyone involved knows your services are reliable, it’ll gradually get easier to attract more people to your business.

It’s all about attracting customers

It may work differently from a typical online shop, but at the end of the day, whether you succeed or not will depend on the number of goods you sell. So attracting more clients should be the most important thing for you. Create a long-term marketing campaign at the very beginning and set realistic goals. We know that there is a huge number of people who use social media every single day. You can use such knowledge and make your presence known on the most popular platforms. It’s an easy yet very effective way of reaching new people with your offer. Find out what your clients expect and try to meet their needs. It may be time-consuming, but it’s the only way to gain a stable position on the market.

What marketplaces are there?

By definition, online marketplaces serve as a connection between the clients and the people who have something to offer. And while we most often associate them with selling specific products, that’s not the only option. Airbnb is a marketplace that enables people to earn money by temporarily renting their flats, Uber works by connecting drivers with those who need a ride, and VNX Exchange is a marketplace where tokenized assets are traded to enable the liquidation of huge VC funds. As you can see, the possibilities are endless, so you just have to find your niche and turn your great idea into reality.