What are the different classifications of marketplaces?
The marketplace is an optimized online platform where products, services, or digital content from different vendors are presented. There are various electronic platforms, versatile for any business. Let's take a look at 4 criteria for classifying marketplaces with well-known examples for each.
Types of Participants
B2C: Business To Consumer
Online platforms for selling products directly to customers who use them for their purposes. There are 3 interacting elements here: the platform owner, the business representative (retailer), and direct consumers. Companies display goods or services on an online platform, and buyers choose from various offers in terms of price and other parameters. For example, AliExpress or Amazon contain all kinds of products, from clothing to musical instruments.
B2B: Business To Business
These are marketplaces where wholesale suppliers offer goods or services to other businesses. They are operated by a third party, do not require significant investments, and have many users and extended sales channels. These marketplaces include Alibaba, Global Sources, Rakuten.
С2С: Consumer To Consumer
Electronic platforms for the exchange of goods between ordinary consumers. Each user can become a manufacturer of products or offer to do some work. For example, Uber is a taxi service where drivers provide their services for a fee. eBay and Etsy are platforms for selling various categories of goods.
Components of the online platform
This type means online platforms created for the placement of goods of any kind. For example: Apple Store — applications for iPhones, OLX — from T-shirts to buying an apartment.
An online platform where users find relevant content such as entertainment and news programs. The most famous platform of this type is YouTube, with videos of various topics. The Spotify platform for searching and downloading music is also popular.
Websites or apps for ordering various services. It may be: calling a taxi in Uber or booking accommodation on Booking.com, or freelance platforms, where performers offer to create a project, write an article, or develop a website.
Investment and crowdfunding platforms
Online resources offer users investing in cryptocurrency, securities, games, creativity, and other projects with interesting ideas. You can invest on platforms such as Indiegogo, Planeta, or Kickstarter.
Method of interaction with the consumer
O2O: online to offline
The client enters the application or website of the online platform, places an order, and receives the product or service personally. The O2O method is used by taxi services such as Uber and online clothing stores that allow customers to try on a product.
A model when a product is selected, purchased, and used on the Internet. A good example is Google Play when a downloaded movie or application is immediately available on the device for viewing.
Directions of monetization
Sellers pay a percentage to the owners of marketplaces for each new client. An example of such an online platform would be any freelance service. Violation of this rule means the termination of cooperation.
Products and Services
The main income for online stores or web services is sales. Consumers make purchases, increasing revenue for the electronic platform.
Informational marketplaces most often make money from advertising. For example, YouTube provides users with a free viewing of content. The web service deals with companies that place their advertisements in videos.
Activity and posting of your product on online platforms is not free. When you attach an ad on an electronic platform or need the "in work" status of a task, the online platform will require payment.
A free basic package of services may not contain functions useful for the seller. For example, online message boards offer additional ways to display posts in a prominent place for a fee.
So what is a marketplace platform? It is a resource for information, marketing, and investment opportunities. Finding a platform suitable for a specific company is much easier if you deeply understand the differences between the types.