The "Marketplace", a successful business model

Cyril Blondel
Posted on 28 September 2020 by Cyril Blondel
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Already in existence for several years now, the marketplace model continues to enjoy the same success. Major retailers combining online and in-store sales are regularly launching new marketplace projects. They are counting on the power of this distribution model that is particularly boosted by the dynamics of e-commerce.

The marketplace enables third-party vendors to offer their services and products thus, simply and quickly, facilitating the broadening of the offerings and their attractiveness to consumers.

Although the concept is now more popular, the reality of a marketplace project remains complex when it comes to its implementation. Indeed, it is necessary to create and encourage the interaction of an entire ecosystem in which payment is a central element, both from a technological and regulatory point of view.

The rise of new consumer habits further reinforces the need for the sophistication retailers seeking to create their marketplace must meet.

We invite you to explore the various marketplace models, their development challenges, and the design requirements that must be met in order to fully understand the power of their ecosystem.

The most widely adopted model: the online marketplace

In most cases, this is an e-commerce site that extends its own offer to the distribution of products or services from third party merchants. These products and services are generally complementary to the brand's own range. For consumers, they can access all of these products on a single site, with the possibility of ordering everything at once. The shopping experience is thus optimised, enabling the brand to increase customer loyalty.

This marketplace model, the oldest and most widespread, is a veritable success in both general and sectoral retailing, for instance in the household appliances and decoration sectors.

This same model is becoming increasingly prevalent in the B2B world. Customers are modelling their B2C experiences on their professional purchases.

The emerging model of the collaborative marketplace

This marketplace format is a C2C model, in other words, a person-to-person sales model. Based on the barter of services or on a product resale model, these networking platforms operate inherently on the basis of a very large volume of sellers and buyers.

Two examples perfectly illustrate the emergence of the collaborative marketplace model. The prize pools for common giveaways or gifts, and the second-hand fashion market that is of increasing interest to large retailers concerned with their ecological impact.

This marketplace model is entirely online at the moment. It continues to operate on the same financial management mechanisms between buyers and sellers.

A model for managing franchise networks

Within a franchise network, implementing a third-party collection facility enables centralising the collections of all franchise shops through a single sales platform. Franchisees thus benefit from the visibility of the brand's e-commerce or marketplace site. At the same time, they also avoid having to develop their own sales site. For the retailer who manages the franchise network, the advantage is to gain an overall view of the activity of both their own shops and those of the franchisees.

The innovative in-store marketplace model

Retailers who launched a marketplace in addition to their e-commerce site and who also operate a physical sales network find an opportunity with this model to create omnichannel sales routes. Indeed, using this innovative model, products from the marketplace, particularly from third party vendors, broaden the in-store offer. The consumer can then take advantage of omnichannel options such as store-to-web (in-store ordering of the online marketplace range) or web-to-store with click & collect (marketplace order picked up in-store). This model enables offering consumers a more extensive choice, providing a fully omnichannel experience.

The marketplace models are already abundant and take many forms. However, in the end, they are merely a reflection of the changes in consumption patterns and their mirror image in terms of distribution. These models are therefore evolving as fast as commerce!

Payment technology is key to facilitating these new experiences as they are constantly being enriched. Then whether you have a start-up project or want to expand your platform, contact us! and visit

To learn more about marketplaces, also have a look at the article: Must-have and new trends in marketplaces to meet consumer expectations.

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