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.