Online Marketplace | Top Online Marketplaces Of 2019
Selling online can be quite challenging especially if you don’t have the right marketplace to display your merchandise or that is fitting to your spec. as an online seller, getting the online marketplace that caters to your specific needs and offers the right audience and buyer community is very important.
I’m going to be discussing some of the top online marketplaces of 2019 in this article. So come with me as I take you through them.
What is an Online Marketplace?
This is an e-commerce place where products and services are given by third parties, while transactions are processed by the marketplace operator.
This means that the online marketplace operator does not own or offer any product or service for sale. They instead present other people’s products and services for customers and facilitate a transaction.
Small and medium business owners who have found an already established e-commerce site with high brand equity that allows them to expand their business without the cost of additional infrastructure. These businesses are the most to benefit from online marketplaces.
Types of Online Marketplace
There are basically 3 types of an online marketplace, namely; vertical, horizontal and global online market place.
- Vertical online marketplace: this type of marketplace sells only one type of product.
- Horizontal online marketplace: this online marketplace sells different products that share the same characteristics.
- Global online marketplace: global online marketplaces sell different products of many kinds. Basically, they sell everything.
- Hybrid online marketplace: this allows sellers to list their products alongside that of the website. It is essentially a combination of the aforementioned marketplaces. This can be seen in Amazon and Walmart.
You can also create your own online store through the various e-commerce platforms that are designed specifically for this purpose. Like Shopify’s, Woocommerce, etc.
Top Online Marketplaces of 2019
The top online marketplaces of 2019 are going to be mentioned here with some pros and cons.
Amazon deserves first mention as it’s the biggest online marketplace in the world right now. It generated a total of $178 billion in revenue in 2017.
Its size with over 350 million active users gives sellers an edge, as you have a large audience to market your product to. It’s also easy to use and customer experience is valued.
Unfortunately, the above scenario is a case of strength being a weakness. The number of active users makes Amazon a crowded marketplace and sellers have to compete with counterfeiters.
Amazon offers an easy seller experience. It has infrastructures like credit card processing to inventory tracking figured, so sellers don’t have to figure out how to take care of these processes themselves.
The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service is one of the best things to come from Amazon. This service enables sellers to ship their products to Amazon and Amazon takes care of the sales, fulfillment, returns and customer service. The seller gets to relax and take care of other businesses.
Known for being easy to use, it boasts a global network of more than 200 million active users. This makes users able to sell and buy anything. And it offers auction-style sale.
eBay offers international shipping. Simply ship to a U.S based ‘hub’ and the rest will be taken care of. PayPal being the most preferred method of payment of many sites and buyers, eBay uses PayPal.
However, its fees are quite steep and it tends to place buyers at an advantage than sellers.
With a well-known name but lesser online traffic, Walmart has redesigned its site to make it look more modern and appealing to millennials with more local and personalized elements and specialty shopping.
With its partnership with FedEx, it offers the FedEx Advantage program that gives users a 37% discount when they ship Walmart orders through FedEx.
It also employs a strict approval process that can take up to six weeks to get approval if sellers apply without an official Walmart marketplace integrator.
Previously known as Buy.com, Rakuten offers a wide range of products. It is based in Japan.
This marketplace falls under the hybrid online marketplace category because it allows sellers to design their own online store and get their own personal account manager; E-Commerce Consultant (ECC).
It charges $33 per month, commission and a $0.99 per item fee.
This is for home renovation products and services. A vertical online marketplace, it’s a great means of brand exposure and marketing for businesses that fall under this category.
With an active community, it offers curated customer experiences and charges low seller fees.