Marketplace eCommerce

10 Considerations When Starting a B2C Marketplace Platform

Updated   |  10 min read
Key Takeaways
  • A B2C marketplace is an online platform that facilitates the sale of products and services from businesses to consumers (B2C).
  • These marketplaces allow customers to find reliable suppliers, compare prices, negotiate terms, and make purchases quickly and securely.
  • Anyone can start a B2C marketplace, but careful planning must be done to ensure the endeavor will be profitable.
  • Problems that marketplace owners have when launching an online marketplace platform include: failing to research whether there is a need for a particular industry, not putting enough effort into drawing reputable and professional sellers, choosing the wrong model, not choosing the right software development partner, and not putting enough effort into building an attractive marketplace website.
B2C marketplaces attract customers to an online business.

Are you considering becoming one of the growing number of marketplace owners in the B2C space who are looking to start a marketplace eCommerce platform? If so, it's important to take some key considerations into account before launching.

It can be difficult to know where to start when setting up such an ambitious venture, but with the right strategy and planning, you can ensure your new platform will get off the ground running.

In this blog post, we'll discuss ten core considerations a marketplace owner should keep in mind while planning a new B2C market platform. By understanding these key points ahead of time, you will be well-equipped for success when finally going live with your new channel!

Marketing campaigns on social media platforms help to retain customers.

B2C Online Marketplace Platform: A Definition

Business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce marketplaces refer to a business model where companies sell their products directly to consumers via an intermediary that takes a commission or final value fee. The rise of B2C marketplaces such as Amazon Marketplace, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace has revolutionized the way people shop, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Online shopping is currently dominated by the business-to-consumer B2C model. Recent studies predict that the B2C eCommerce market is expected to grow to $8.8 trillion by 2026, as consumers continue to prefer the convenience and security offered by these online platforms.

People shopping online also benefit from advanced technologies such as machine learning, which personalizes their online shopping experience and recommends products based on their individual needs and online shopping history.

It's clear that the B2C eCommerce market is thriving and will continue to grow in the coming years. So, how can you take advantage of B2C online business opportunities?

A B2C marketplace is a growing model in business that makes trillions of dollars.

Why Are You Starting a Marketplace?

Why are you interested in starting an online marketplace platform? And why choose a B2C route instead of a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) option? It's an important question to ask before you invest in marketplace software and the marketing necessary to bring both buyers and sellers to your website.

There are quite a few advantages to starting a marketplace instead of an alternative like a traditional eCommerce business. Which of these is the reason you're so interested in online marketplaces?

There's No Inventory to Deal With

The primary advantage of running online marketplaces is that you don't have to keep inventory. Because other businesses are selling their wares, you don't get stuck with unsold merchandise, you don't have to pay for warehouse rental, there's no need for the marketplace owner to have shipping staff, and you don't have to deal with returns.

A B2C marketplace platform owner doesn't have to keep inventory, instead allowing other vendors to sell.

Safe Profit Margins

Because you aren't the one selling products, your vendors are the ones taking on the risks of selling online. You don't have to worry about profit margins on items because your commissions become your profit margins.

Investment in Users Pays Off

Because you won't have your money tied up in inventory, you can spend that money on your primary task of running your marketplace.

At first, that means drawing customers—both buyers and sellers—to the website (more on that in a bit.) That will continue throughout the life of the marketplace, since you want as many users as possible. It's important to know your target audience of both online shoppers and sellers.

It's also important to invest in the platform itself. As users give you feedback and you analyze the vast amounts of data with built-in artificial intelligence in eCommerce (AI), you'll gain valuable insights regarding how your platform needs upgrades to make it even better.

A marketplace website should enable users to self serve as much as possible.

ECommerce Marketplaces Scale Easily

Online marketplaces are attractive to entrepreneurs and investors because they can scale easily. With a marketplace, companies can build their product by leveraging existing platforms, such as the internet or mobile devices.

This means that the company doesn't have to invest in its own infrastructure to reach users and increase demand.

The Network Effect

Marketplaces also benefit from network effects: As more businesses join the platform, more customers become available, leading to even more businesses joining, which in turn leads to even more customers.

This self-perpetuating cycle leads to exponential growth for eCommerce marketplaces that are well-run and have an effective marketing strategy in place. Your target market will bring in your target market.

Data Can Guide You

Understanding customer data is invaluable for maintaining a competitive edge. With AI and machine learning, you can leverage your marketplace platform's hard-earned intel to customize solutions that will take it beyond the rest.

By anonymizing personal details whilst charging sellers nominal fees, these insights help drive successful sales performances without compromising privacy.

Your marketplace should address the needs of both buyers and sellers.

What Underserved Market Will You Address?

Serving a niche and addressing a target market are extremely important for professional sellers when creating a B2C marketplace. To be blunt, trying to compete with other B2C marketplaces serving large industries is nearly impossible. Finding underserved niche markets is an endeavor worth pursuing.

By focusing on a specific niche, businesses can stand out from the competition by offering specialized products and services for that particular market. Instead of creating a highly-competed-against marketplace that sells every kind of new and used boat, you could dominate the pontoon boat market and become the go-to website that shows up at the top of search results. Instead of offering every kind of jewelry, be the destination for people looking for lockets.

To identify a niche market, you need to start by researching and analyzing online market data, global retail sales, and even trends for brick-and-mortar stores. Look for gaps in the market that are not being adequately served and identify areas where you can differentiate your platform and offer unique value.

Marketplace founders need to offer high-quality product photos.

Attracting Buyers and Sellers

You need to secure sellers for your B2B marketplace platform before your first customer comes to your website looking for your niche products. If buyers stop by and find only a few vendors selling a handful of items, they're going to get the impression that your platform just isn't taking off...and they might never come back.

You're probably excited to launch and sell online as soon as possible, but don't even consider it before your sellers are in place and have their products available. How do you attract sellers for your eCommerce marketplace? Join chat boards that relate to your niche and ask sellers to join up.

Look at competitor sites and see who's advertising there. This doesn't take a lot of extra time, as you can do it as part of the market research we talked about earlier.

For sellers, offering their products isn't an either/or option. They can sell the same items on both sites, so it's likely you can draw many in that are looking for another sales outlet. No matter the outlet, it's vital that they provide high-quality product photos.

A marketplace should have a strong supply of sellers before courting buyers.

Which Online Shopping Model to Make Money?

How will your B2C online marketplace make money? In most instances, it's via commission, where you'll take a cut of any transactions between buyers and sellers. But commission isn't the only way an eCommerce marketplace can be lucrative (and you don't have to choose just one!).

  1. Commission Model: A model where the company receives a commission for each successful transaction completed on its platform. This is usually tied to a final value fee.
  2. Listing Model: This type of marketplace model charges users to list their items or services on the site, with the expectation that the listing will lead to a successful sale.
  3. Featured Listings Model: Businesses are able to pay extra money to have their listings featured in prominent positions on the marketplace’s website. This can increase visibility and provide additional exposure, which can lead to higher sales figures.
  4. Subscription/Membership Model: With this type of model, companies pay regular fees either to list items or even use certain features such as analytics and additional promotional opportunities.
  5. Freemium Model: Users are provided access to basic services for free but may optionally choose to upgrade for premium benefits such as extra features or support options which generate additional revenue for the business.
  6. Lead Fee Model: Similar to a commissions-based model, businesses can receive payment when potential buyers respond positively to a particular marketing initiative or advertisement on their platform (i.e., providing contact information).
A marketplace can make money is many different ways.

Get to Market with an MVP

A minimum viable product (MVP) is a concept used in product development and software development. It is the earliest version of a product that has enough features to be usable by customers and can be used to gauge customer reaction.

The purpose of an MVP is to test out product ideas—like your B2B multivendor marketplace—quickly and cheaply while gaining valuable user insights. It's a great way to find out what users think of the site and give you feedback on how it can improve. It also gives you room for improvement; you don't want to spend your whole budget on a feature that nobody uses.

What are some of the MVP features of online marketplaces? You'll need a registration form, account pages for both buyers and sellers, contact options (chat or messaging), product listings, a shopping cart, a payment hub, and shipping APIs for your vendors.

Address a customer's pain point after you launch the MVP.

What Online Platform Will You Choose?

There are many online platforms that specialize in eCommerce and meet the needs of target audiences, but not all of them can handle marketplaces. And some of the ones that specialize in marketplaces may not have all of the features you need.

Marketplace eCommerce Platforms

Electronic online commerce platforms are popular choices for developing a B2C marketplace. These platforms are easy to use, with a wide range of templates and themes to choose from. They also offer multiple payment gateways and integrations with other tools, making them a versatile solution for developing a B2C marketplace.

Let's talk about two of the most common options for online stores.

The are different software options to launch your B2C marketplace platform.

Marketplace Platforms

Marketplace platforms offer a range of features including a payment gateway, user management, and customizable templates. Additionally, they are often more flexible and scalable than e-commerce platforms.

One potential drawback of eCommerce platforms is the limited customization options. For those looking for a more customized solution for selling online, other options may be more suitable.

Also, it is important to note that marketplace platforms can be more expensive than regular commerce platforms and may require more technical expertise to set up and use.

Custom-Developed Solutions

For those looking for a completely customized solution, developing a B2C eCommerce marketplace from scratch using custom code can be a viable option. This allows for complete flexibility and control over the design, features, and functionality of the platform.

However, this option can be more expensive and time-consuming and requires a high level of technical expertise.

Choose the platform of marketplace that will provide users with the best experience.

Mobile Optimization and Custom Apps

Your eCommerce marketplace website must have mobile-friendly design, that's a given. If your site doesn't work well on mobile phones, buyers will get frustrated and give up on the sale.

But there's something even better. The best way to provide users with the experience you want them to is to create your own marketplace mobile app. In fact, you might even take a mobile-first approach depending on your industry.

Consumers have grown accustomed to accessing their favorite products and services on their smartphones, and having dedicated progressive web apps provides them with an unparalleled level of convenience.

A custom-built mobile app can be an excellent addition to your B2C marketplace.

A custom-built app for mobile devices offers users a more personalized experience, making it easier for them to browse and shop in the marketplace. Apps also provide brands with better insights into customer preferences and behavior that can be used to tailor marketing efforts and increase sales.

An app gives businesses an edge over competitors who do not have their own mobile applications. Companies can gain a competitive advantage by providing users with features such as customer loyalty programs and reward points through the use of in-app purchases or push notifications.

Mobile-friendly design is an absolute must when you take a mobile-first approach.

Marketing Your Online Marketplace

After you've paid for B2C eCommerce development and launched, it's time to grow. To grow your marketplace, it's essential to continuously invent creative ways to attract more sellers and buyers to your platform. Here are some of the most efficient promotion strategies that can help you increase your online presence and acquire new customers.

Utilizing Social Networks

Social networks play a vital role in promoting your B2C eCommerce platform. Brands can actively use platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to interact with their target audience and drive engagement. By publishing product promotions, holding contests, and announcing the launch of new goods or services, businesses can build a community of loyal customers.

You can also encourage your sellers to advertise on social media, which draws more people to the platform.

Social networks can be an excellent place to target buyers and sellers.

Leveraging Email Marketing

Email marketing is a simple, efficient, and cost-effective way to attract more users to your platform. However, before diving into email marketing, it's crucial to grow your email list. One way to do this is by offering users valuable resources and lets people know just why your marketplace is the best for their particular needs.

Optimizing for Search Engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential aspect of promoting your online B2C marketplace. All content, including product descriptions, titles, and images, should be optimized to increase your platform's visibility in search results.

By doing so, you'll increase your chances of being spotted by real customers and increase your platform's traffic. Creating specific fields for sellers to fill in can help with SEO considerably.

SEO and social media are excellent ways to advertise your B2C marketplace platform.

Improve Your Marketplace

Once you start gaining momentum after the launch of your MVP, it's time to improve. You should have a plan (Clarity can help with that) in place for ways that you can improve your site, then add to it once your customers tell you what they want.

Why are you doing this? You want to constantly show users on the site that you're growing and offering more, because the more options they have, the more likely they are to return.

Here are a few of the upgrades you can make to your site to flesh it out and deliver the features customer shave become accustomed to.

Wish List – Let customers save items for later. The more they see an item, the more they are likely to just go ahead and order it.

Finder – Let buyers create a list of keywords, then send them listings (via text or email) that match those keywords.

Compare – Let customers compare two separate items side-by-side. Requiring sellers to fill out standardized fields can really help with this.

Advanced Image Features – It's likely your MVP will have images, but advanced features may let sellers add more pictures, zoom in on them, or open them in a larger window.

Advanced Filters – You might improve your search function or expand the category trees.

Geo-Targeting – Some customers might only be interested in larger items they're close to. An advanced search feature could help them find listings that are 50, 100, or 200 miles away, depending on their input.

Improve Chat – Your MVP may only allow users to contact each other via email, but an advanced online marketplace platform could include an app within the website. It could even transfer files and images.

Ratings – If this isn't in your MVP, it should be one of the first features you ad after launch. People want to know that they're dealing with respected and trustworthy sellers, and one of the best ways to do that is with a rating system.

A notification system is a great way to let buyers know of items that are in high demand.

Potential Challenges of a B2C Marketplace

Despite its popularity and success, there are a few disadvantages associated with the online commerce that must be considered.

Limited Control Over Transactions

One of the primary disadvantages of the marketplace model is the limited control a company has over its operations. Since online marketplaces are built on the exchange of goods and services between multiple parties, the company is not in full control of the products or services offered, pricing, delivery, or customer service.

This lack of control with B2C marketplaces can lead to inconsistencies in the quality of goods and services offered and can result in negative customer experiences, affecting the company's reputation.

Dependence on Third-Party Sellers

Another disadvantage a B2C eCommerce marketplace is the dependence on third-party sellers. The success of online marketplaces depends on the quality of goods and services offered by these sellers. If the sellers do not maintain high standards, the marketplace will suffer, affecting the overall customer experience.

In addition, the company must also constantly monitor the activities of these sellers to ensure they comply with the company's policies and regulations, adding to the company's workload.

The Risk of Fraud with B2C Marketplaces

The marketplace business model also comes with the risk of fraud. With multiple parties involved, it can be difficult to identify and prevent fraudulent activities, such as the sale of counterfeit goods. The company must constantly monitor the activities of the sellers and implement strict measures to prevent fraud, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Potential challenges to the B2C marketplace model are few, but they still need to be addressed.

Online Marketplaces Made Easy

With its numerous benefits for both businesses and consumers, it is clear that the B2C eCommerce market will continue to grow and thrive in the coming years, especially as whilte-label marketplace options become more prevelant.

If you have an idea for a B2C marketplace that you'd like to explore, we'd like to hear about your interest in becoming a marketplace owner. Clarity Ventures offers a free discovery session, a no-hassle meeting where we'll help you plan for your online marketplace and which platform is best for you. You can use this plan with us or take it to a different developer; we just want to see you succeed.

Get in touch to find out just how amazing your online B2B marketplace software platform can be!

Marketplace B2C development.



A B2C marketplace is a web platform that facilitates the sale of products and services from businesses to consumers (B2C). These online marketplaces allow customers to find reliable suppliers, compare prices, negotiate terms, and make purchases quickly and securely.

B2C marketplaces have revolutionized the way businesses reach potential buyers and enabled them to expand their reach beyond geographical boundaries. Consumers also benefit from these platforms as they can access a wide range of products at competitive prices with convenience. The most common examples are Amazon Marketplace and Facebook Marketplace.


A marketplace can be either B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer). B2B marketplaces are used for online retail—selling products and services between businesses—while B2C marketplaces facilitate the sale of goods and services from businesses to consumers. Common examples include Facebook Marketplace and Amazon Marketplace.


Online marketplace platforms offer numerous advantages for both buyers and sellers. They provide a vast reach and accessibility to a target audience, allowing businesses to tap into a global customer base to sell online without the need for a physical presence in multiple locations. This expands market potential and increases sales opportunities.

For sellers, these platforms often offer a user-friendly interface and tools for easy listing, managing inventory, and processing transactions. They also provide access to a built-in customer base, saving time and resources on marketing efforts. Online marketplaces handle payment processing and may offer secure escrow services, reducing the risk of fraud.

Buyers benefit from a wide range of products or services available in one place, enabling them to compare prices, read reviews, and make informed decisions. They also enjoy the convenience of online shopping from anywhere with an internet connection, at any time of day.

Online marketplaces also foster healthy competition, which can lead to better prices and quality for consumers. They often have robust customer support and dispute resolution systems, enhancing overall trust and satisfaction.


Facebook Marketplace primarily operates as a C2C (consumer-to-consumer) platform. It facilitates transactions between individual users looking to buy or sell goods directly to one another.

However, it also supports some B2C (business-to-consumer) activity, as businesses can create listings and sell products to consumers. While B2B (business-to-business) transactions are not the primary focus of Facebook Marketplace, occasional cases may arise where businesses engage in transactions with other businesses, although this is less common compared to C2C and B2C interactions. With Facebook being such a recognizable brand, it's inevitable that it will attract every type of business model.

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Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.