An online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a type of e-commerce site where product or service information is provided by multiple third parties, whereas transactions are processed by the marketplace operator. Online marketplaces are the primary type of multichannel ecommerce and can be a way to streamline the production process.
In an online marketplace, consumer transactions are processed by the marketplace operator and then delivered and fulfilled by the participating retailers or wholesalers (often called drop shipping). Other capabilities might include auctioning (forward or reverse), catalogs, ordering, wanted advertisement, trading exchange functionality and capabilities like RFQ, RFI or RFP. These type of sites allow users to register and sell single items to many items for a "post-selling" fee.
Since 2014, online marketplaces are abundant since organized marketplaces are sought after. Some have a wide variety of general interest products that cater to almost all the needs of the consumers, however, some are consumer specific and cater to a particular segment only. Not only is the platform for selling online, but the user interface and user experience matters. People tend to log on to online marketplaces that are organized and products are much more accessible to them.
For services and outsourcing
The sharing economy
Many sharing economy platforms are in fact peer to peer marketplaces. Also called "switch" marketplaces, sharing economy platforms' users will characteristically switch between buying and selling services or goods, such as on AirBNB.
As the sharing economy inspires itself largely from the open source philosophy, we unsurprisingly find several open source projects dedicated to launching a peer to peer marketplace (Cocorico & Sharetribe).
Online marketing intermediaries
Online intermediaries allow customers and online sellers to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, online intermediaries sometimes provide support for online social networks, which create a social community for suppliers and customers and directly connect them. Because of the dramatically increasing trend of e-commerce development, online sites allow suppliers and customers to do business in a digital environment.
Another criticism is that the laws and regulations surrounding online marketplaces are quite underdeveloped. As of consequence, there is a discrepancy between the responsibility, accountability and liability of the marketplace and third parties. Online marketplaces and platforms have faced much criticism in recent years for their lack of consumer protections.
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- ☑ Cocorico is an open source marketplace solution for peer-to-peer marketplaces.: Cocolabs-SAS/cocorico, Cocolabs SAS, 2019-05-31, retrieved 2019-05-31
- Sharetribe Go is an open source marketplace platform, also available with SaaS model. See also Sharetribe Flex, a headless marketplace solution. https://www.sharetribe.com : sharetribe/sharetribe, Sharetribe, 2019-05-31, retrieved 2019-05-31 External link in
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