What is a Marketplace?
The literal definition of a business marketplace is “the arena of commcerial dealings”. In other words, it’s where a product or service is bought and/or sold. The traditional meaning would be akin to a market selling goods in a town or city. Marketplaces have been around since humans started to trade and have stuck around ever since. They are essential to most communities to ensure they are able to live and make a living.
A crowdsourcing platform is where individual freelancers or workers (known as the crowd) are offered small tasks. This is known as crowdsourcing. Of course, clickworker.com is a very good example of this kind of marketplace. Microtasks are offered to workers and payment is made per task. Workers are able to sign up easily, add relevant information and payment details and get started quickly.
Here you get more information about the solutions offered by clickworker!
The Internet marketplace is the base for a group of geographically separated persons working on a mutual project together. Mobile crowdsourcing, a special form of crowdsourcing, has developed as a result of the increasing number of smartphones. Likewise, many companies use these options for operational issues. Environmental organizations also use crowdsourcing to explore flora and fauna. The traffic app Waze encourages drivers to report issues voluntarily to inform other users on the go. Places like UpWork don’t offer tasks directly but allow freelancers to add profiles. Companies can therefore look for freelancers with specific skills to work on projects for them.
Types of Retail Marketplace
Usually online a vertical marketplace is where many vendors are selling very similar items or items in a similar category. One of the largest examples of this type is Etsy. This is because it is focused on handmade and vintage goods (although some argue it drifts from this on occasion). Subsequently, vendors set up their own stores within the platform and buyers will often visit knowing what kind of wares will be available.
Again, this is most commonly online and offers different types of products but they will share a strong characteristic. The Dote app is a good example of this. The products sold are targeted to women. This includes clothing, shoes, makeup, handbags etc. However, they’re all from different brands and companies. This saves shoppers from having to download the apps for over 100 stores.
These are online spaces where all products are sold by all kinds of different vendors and companies. Some of the most popular platforms are Amazon, eBay and AliExpress. These stores are easy to use, efficient and people have confidence in them.
Who Uses Them?
As above, we can see that businesses, large brands, sole traders and individuals use these arenas. However, it’s not always just a business selling to a customer.
Business to Business (B2B)
These marketplaces connect different businesses with one another. This is usually in the format of a retailer buying from a wholesaler or a manufacturer selling to a company etc. These venues often don’t just buy and sell but lay out grounds for any contracts and agreements involved. These are required due to dealings sometimes being in the millions of dollars.
Business to Consumer (B2C)
These include the stores we mentioned above but also include various other types of sites. This popular model also means anyone can set up and sell when they feel the need or desire to. Booking.com connects hotel owners to customers all over the world. For example, table booking services where customers can book a table at their favourite restaurant without having to visit or call in advance.
This kind of marketplace is growing in popularity. It allows individuals to use platforms to offer goods and services to other individuals. An example of this is TaskRabbit. This site lists freelancers offering to do small home DIY projects who can be hired by the public.
Crowdworkers comprise of all kinds of different people from across the globe. Crowdsourcing platforms are becoming more popular with companies who want to outsource certain projects to a large number of people. This is because it saves them time and money and gets quality results in a quick and efficient manner.
This lesser known platform is also used by individuals. Sitting outside of the opensource category it started off as a way for people to share things with others. This could have been a bed or sofa to sleep on, carpooling, car parking spaces and more. However, as the gig ecomony has grown many turned these ideas into for-profit profit companies such as Uber.