How do you build a successful marketplace?
Strategic infrastructure (selecting the right platform and hosting infrastructure) ranks as the single most important criterion in successfully building a global marketplace platform. It’s not as simple as allowing others to display products on the company’s website or offering to ship products internationally. There are language and cultural barriers, tax codes and compliance issues, possible price wars on marketplace platforms among vendors and other issues.
What is the best online marketplace?
There are a lot of big and successful marketplaces. Alibaba.com, eBay.com, Amazon.com, goAfrica.com, Etsy.com, Craigslist.com are just a few of the most popular. There are very few platforms that can scale to what’s needed for an implementation like those. Clarity eCommerce is used for goAfrica.com, and we have clients with well over 1 million SKUs in their marketplace. Many of the ones listed above aren’t a “purchased platform” but a custom-built, in-house platform that costed them well over $10 Million to build. They’ve even written books about how they architected and built their platforms. Clarity has launched marketplaces for their clients for $50k to $500k, so much cheaper than building your own marketplace.
What is marketplace business model?
Marketplace business model is often referred to as C2C or consumer to consumer. eBay was mostly C2C, but then many businesses started selling on eBay as well, so it’s now both B2C, as well as C2C. Craigslist and Etsy are really the only mainly C2C marketplaces left, while businesses have all jumped into the marketplaces now. The model allows Sellers to upload and sell their own products to consumers through the marketplace. This allows them to get their products in front of many potential consumers, and usually means giving up a % of each transaction for the privilege of both exposure and using their marketplace platform.