11.05.21

TOP 10 Ideas For Niche Marketplaces

Ninety five percent of all purchases will be made on the Internet by 2040 according to Nasdaq experts. These predictions make the e-commerce industry one of the most promising areas for business. But is there a chance for companies if they are not an eBay or an Amazon? How is it possible to compete with global e-commerce giants? Create your own marketplace! By choosing the right business model, you don't have to compete with well-known global platforms. You will open up a new market segment! And here are some ideas on how to do it.
Marketplace Aggregator
This is a platform that performs the function of searching for products from different suppliers, available in different online stores.

A prime example of such a marketplace is Yahoo Shopping. It brings together hundreds of online stores in one place, including Amazon, Walmart, Groupon, Kohl's, UNIQLO, Clinique, Michael Kors, NBA Store. The uniqueness of the platform is in the absence of a buy button: in order to purchase a product, you need to go to the corresponding store using the link. In addition, the buyer can compare the seller's services regarding the availability of the goods, as well as delivery options of the order directly through the store.
Farm Products Marketplace
Buying organic products from the comfort of your home is interesting for everyone who works in a home office and does not want to waste time visiting food markets. The buyer can order organic products (meat, milk, fish, vegetables, fruits, bread) with one click. Moreover, these products are of guaranteed quality, for which the owners of the farms are responsible.

For suppliers, their presence on the farm e-commerce platform is a chance to open new distribution channels, expand the sales market, and optimize business processes — from warehousing to delivery of goods to the final consumer. An example is Farmers To You (USA). It consists of household goods which are distributed by pick-up and home delivery.

You can support local farmers by implementing such a model and also help promote agricultural innovation and sustainable production practices, which will positively affect the profitability of the platform.
Rental Marketplace
Most of the world's marketplaces are sales-oriented (eBay, Etsy, Stubhub, GrubHub, Craigslist, Doordash), but there is an alternative. And these are platforms that offer favorable rental conditions. There is hardly anyone who has not heard of Airbnb, a handy tool for finding and booking real estate in Europe. This also includes the mega-popular travel sites Booking and Hotels.com. There are also similar services - Homeaway (more recently Vrbo) and Wimdu.

Renting a workspace for a few hours is an equally interesting area. This opportunity is provided by the Breather service (USA) to everyone who is interested in holding events outside the office.

Movable property marketplaces are gaining popularity, too. For example, RVShare is the world's largest peer-to-peer RV rental platform with the option of delivering them to their destination.

The rental market is increasingly attracting the attention of millennials and representatives of generation Z. At the same time, it is not necessary to book apartments or cars - you can create a platform for renting clothes, accessories, equipment, furniture etc.
Grocery Marketplace
Groceries at Amazon and Walmart are represented by a variety of food products, including those produced by local farmers.

ReportLinker analysts predict that the global e-Grocery market will be among the fastest-growing by 2025. The target audience is mainly young people and residents of big cities who are interested in saving time for shopping. You don't need to visit supermarkets and stand in lines when there are sites in the palm of your hand where you can order any food right to your door?

Developing a marketplace that brings together grocers of all sizes can be a winning idea. Especially if you add a perk like day-to-day delivery as Coupang in South Korea did.
Marketplace Of Events
Services for organizing events - from children's parties to large-scale concerts - will always be in demand. Even during quarantines, the demand for them changed for a while, but did not subside. Proposals have emerged for organizing online parties, vertical concerts, and other creative formats.

You can create a platform where customers of such services (as well as designers, musicians, photographers) and organizers will interact with each other. A similar marketplace business model is used by Event Peppers and GigStart. And the British startup Tagvenue has focused on a narrower niche - short-term lease of premises for events.
Health and Fitness Marketplace
A few years ago, the field of fitness was developing purely offline. However, due to the spread of the pandemic, many sports clubs and fitness studios have moved online, making the industry more flexible.

The high demand for these services is evidenced by the number of downloads of the online applications like Asana Rebel or Nike Training Club. The Train Heroic marketplace (USA) is distinguished by key market players. It brings together coaches and those who strive to be in shape, even without the opportunity to visit the gym.

The fitness marketplace will help sports centers and personal trainers return customers and compensate for financial losses.
B2B Marketplace
Platforms that let a business sell to another business tend to specialize in bulk buying. An example is Amazon Business, the largest B2B marketplace that brings together wholesalers, suppliers, and manufacturers.

B2C has been in the spotlight for years, and earlier the business community didn't value the real prospects of the B2B segment. Though the B2B e-commerce market is worth $23.9 trillion, six times that of B2C e-commerce according to the US International Trade Commission.
Marketplace For Fundamental Purchases
Blocket is one of the largest marketplaces in Sweden. The platform focuses on three main elements of life: work, buying a house, and a car. In addition, Blocket brings together travel offers and university admissions.

The Blocket home page is a map. The user chooses his own region, and thereby customize offers that are relevant to him.
Cross-border Marketplace
Cross-border trade is fundamentally difficult. Companies face language barriers, complex logistics across regions, currency exchange, and potential licensing and regulatory requirements from both countries. Buying internationally is considered riskier than buying and selling within one's domestic market.

Therefore, it is important to create e-commerce platforms that will help companies minimize or completely overcome these trade barriers and difficulties. This is especially important for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs that may not have the necessary knowledge and experience.
Mono Marketplace
This is a great example of how to turn a hobby into a business idea. The GOAT marketplace (USA) was created especially for sneaker fans. Brands can market their limited editions and other unique shoes on the platform. Sometimes they sell these products for more than double their original retail price.

The platform is very attentive to the authenticity and exclusivity of sneakers: after a buyer buys a product, it must first be sent to one of the platform's factories, where specialists will check the authenticity of the shoes. And the goods are sent to the buyer only after that.
Платформа очень внимательно относится к подлинности и эксклюзивности кроссовок: после того, как покупатель купит товар, его сначала нужно отправить на один из заводов компании, где специалисты проверят подлинность обуви. И только после этого товар отправляется покупателю.
Launching a marketplace is an interesting idea for startups. The paths can be different: unite fans of the same product on one platform, cooperate with farmers or retail grocery stores, create your own marketplace for events, rentals, or fitness.

The Scallium team will help you at any phase of launching an e-commerce business: from consulting to developing a marketplace platform.