Many companies turn to the marketplace after reaching a level of maturity with their e-commerce site. Although they may seem similar, e-commerce sites and marketplaces are based on two very different business models. But what is a marketplace?

Marketplaces offer a tripartite model, featuring the operator, the seller and the end customer. In this model, the operator does not only sell their own products, they also bring together third-party vendors with end customers. The operator is remunerated via commissions earned on sales by their sellers.   

Suppliers become sellers: on a marketplace, the status of supplier disappears. Unlike an e-commerce site, the seller decides on their pricing policy, the products they wish to sell and their delivery policy. Sellers then become as important as customers: they decide to sell on the marketplace and contribute directly to its success. On the other hand, the operator maintains their relationship with the supplier of their own products.  

The end customer benefits from a wider range of products, and can choose the offer best suited to their criteria (price, delivery time, etc.) from among the sellers present.   

Launching a marketplace raises the question of brand identity preservation. It is vital for any marketplace operator to remain true to their brand DNA.

The idea is to offer customers products that complement your own range via third-party sellers. You therefore need to define criteria for selecting your sellers: brands, location, customer reviews, number of references, etc., in line with your marketing positioning.

Read more in our article “How to recruit good vendors for your marketplace?“.

We have already created connections with over 160 partners using our Rest API.

Find out more about our partners here.

More than just an IT project, launching a marketplace represents a major challenge for any e-tailer. There are a number of steps to follow to ensure the success of your project:   

  1. Define your positioning  
  2. Draw up a business plan   
  3. Understand the challenges facing marketplace operators  
  4. Recruit and retain sellers   
  5. Anticipate the impact on your organisation and teams    

Here are the ten mistakes to avoid when launching a marketplace.

The average lifecycle of launching a marketplace project is 6 to 9 months, but can take up to 18 months.

This cycle covers all the steps required to successfully launch a marketplace: drawing up a business plan, selecting a marketplace solution and PSP, assortment strategy, recruiting sellers, adapting internal organisation, preparing a launch plan, technical integration, etc.

To integrate a marketplace you can connect your existing front-end solution, whatever it may be, using our APIs or our native connectors.

Octopia has developed full Rest APIs for all the components needed to manage a marketplace (products, offers, orders, discussions, sellers, finance, tracking, delivery, etc.).

We also provide access to specific, customised connectors for Adobe, Magento, Salesforce and Beez’up solutions to facilitate integration and accelerate time-to-market.

Discover our advice on the 5 keys for integrating a marketplace into a merchant website!