Marketplaces are the future of eCommerce. Having Amazon at its top, this type of eCommerce site acquires new adepts around the world. According to SimilarWeb, the leading marketplaces in 2023 include:
Although these are the giants operating in the all-in-one (general) segment, we recommend starting a marketplace with niche-specific product categories or focusing on a particular kind of service. Our experience proves the following product niches trending the recent years:
- Online renting
- Food delivery
- Grocery products
- Travel booking
- Digital products
- Telehealth product and services
- Online learning
- Beauty industry product and services
But before we start with describing each niche marketplace features, let’s determine what two common types of marketplaces can be.
Marketplaces offer products and/or services to customers from multiple vendors. Customers get a wide choice of items they want at a rational price, and vendors benefit from the automated platform where they don’t worry about listing, shipping, payment, and marketing tools.
There are two marketplace types you should choose from from the very beginning:
The vertical type offers inventory of one and the same category. Take an example of TrueFacet. The websites deal with authentic watches and jewelry from famous brands, thus targeting the luxury item category. It’s just what we meant by offering you first focusing on one niche. Once you don’t spread your attention among multiple products, you can put all efforts on attracting a particular audience to your site refining the tools fitting your customers’ interests. Gradually evolving, you can further add new product categories or just keep on improving the existing capabilities of your eCommerce platform.
The horizontal type sells items of multiple categories with a common feature. For example, everything for artisans like Etsy. Horizontal marketplaces are convenient as they ensure a great variety of products/services, price diversification, high transaction rate and LTV. At the same time, they lack inventory depth, insurance and guarantees and customized features to please the picky audience. This is the choice of mass-market e-tailers.
Read more about types and benefits of different-kind marketplaces in our articles:
Online Rental Marketplace Platforms
Rental marketplace becomes popular day by day starting with a trend towards sharing economy. The model allows its mixing up with the regular sales of items. So, you can just add a new feature for your customers allowing them not only to buy but also to rent something. Forms of the rental-model marketplace are multiple. Consider these business ideas of a rental marketplace which are at the top of popularity now:
- Restaurant reservation
- Movie/airline ticket booking marketplace
- Real estate and leasing
Hopefully, you don’t need to build your reservation marketplace from scratch as recently CS-Cart released its Multi-Vendor Booking platform that you can customize with us tailoring it for the purposes of the rental model of your choice.
You can read more about features of a rental marketplace here:
- Things to Consider Building a Rental Marketplace
- Boosting Sales on eCommerce Hospitality Sites
- How to Create a Car Sharing Platform on Your Own
Online Travel Activity Booking Marketplace Platforms
A travel activity marketplace platform implies ‘selling’ guides and their tours on your platform. This model means you earn money on a commission paid by travelers who order the vendors’ tours. Ideas for tours are endless. They can be gastronomical, local nature, extreme, riding, cycling, walking, or camping tours. The travel activity model forces the marketplace owner to consider the following features for the platform refining:
- Find a tour option to search easily on your marketplace
- Contact the guide feature to connect travelers and guides
- Book and pay online capabilities to ease payment
- Easy-to understand management for your vendors who may not be too savvy in merchant issues.
We shared our insights about travel booking marketplace customization in our post:
Online Food Ordering and Delivery Marketplace Platforms
Food ordering and delivery is a part of a trend called FoodTech which is nothing but a fuse of technology with the food production, storing, shipping and delivery to end consumers. The main business of such marketplaces is to deliver meals from restaurants, stores, or farms. Choose vendors and offer your platform as the perfect spot to find consumers offering them to get food and meals nearbuy quickly delivered. The industry can be subdivided into categories you can select for your food delivery project:
- Delivery of meal kits like Blue Apron, Home Chef, or Sunbasket
- Delivery from local restaurants
- Delivery from food stores
- Ghost kitchens (delivery-only) like New York City Pizza, or CloudKitchens
- Farm-to-fork like What’s Good or Mercato to connect local farmers and the citizens.
You can read further on our work in the field of farm-to-fork marketplace customization in our case Choplocal or learn more about the trends in the online food delivery from our post:
If you want to move further and turn your food delivery marketplace into a fulfillment system, you will need to focus on refining all accounting, payment, and shipping options. We examine these issues in detail in our article:
Online Grocery Delivery Marketplace Platforms
Grocery marketplaces help people to order food remotely. The best grocery marketplaces examples include Instacart, Walmart Grocery, FrehDirect, Peapod and others. All of them have common features you will need to consider building your grocery marketplace. Here are they:
- Geolocation, stores near you and pick up from store
- GPS tracking
- Tax calculations
- Minimum order (to ensure prove that the cost of shipping the order)
- Grocery order delivery services
- Ability to sell (buy) product by weight
We examined these issues in detail in our grocery marketplace dedicated articles:
- Online Grocery Stores: How to Customize to Include the Best Practices?
- E-Grocery Trends 2021 Multi-Vendor Owners Should Not Ignore While Customizing
- FoodTech eCommerce Trends for 2023
Online Fitness Marketplace Platforms
The fitness industry is the ever-green trend of the late 20 years. You can sell fitness apparel, supplements, equipment or even fitness classes making fitness trainers the vendors on your site. Add a calendar to book or watch a class, connect YouTube videos, and promote your coaches. Or offer a virtual try-on feature to please the fitness fashion cloth lovers. Here you will need to focus on visually appealing means – images, video, and social media – to attract customers. Read further about sporting good promotion in our post:
Digital Product Marketplace Platforms
Selling digital products is the most economical way to run an online marketplace. Our experience proves the following products to be in demand with users:
- Design and templates,
- Licenses and membership
- Audio, video, photography
To run this type of marketplace you need to consider such features as:
- Right-Click disabling to secure your platform from the free download of your digital items
- Photo lock and watermarks to add safety to your vendors’ digital content
- Subscriptions and recurring billing
Find more ideas for products and weaks in our article:
Telehealth and Telemedicine Marketplace Platforms
The MedTech and telemedicine markets are actively developing now. The pandemic has led to a tremendous interest in this area. Both users and the authorities of different countries express their interest in this market. Accordingly, the investment attractiveness of MedTech and telemedicine startups has grown. But when launching a MedTech project, there are a number of considerations that a beginner startup needs to take into account. This post deals with the concept of starting a medical project, from generating a concept to choosing investors:
Online Learning Marketplace Platforms
The EdTech market is a very promising niche now amid pandemic.The unique value of a project in the field of EdTech can be:
- Ability to find a tutor and quality assurance
- Ability to monitor progress
- Option to choose between interactive content for self-study and individual training.
In the EdTech field, the first acquaintance with the product is usually free of charge with the majority of competitors. For example, Udemy offers two weekly trial options.
Your proposal must be clear and the result should be obvious. For example, you can offer a mini-product “Testing math knowledge for your child”. Parents will see its clear benefit: an assessment of gaps and a detailed training plan.
For example, for an EdTech project you may need:
- eCommerce platform to sell your educational product and process payments
- CRM system for communicating with clients and employees, and connecting telephony.
- Video conferencing software like Zoom.
Read more about e-learning platform peculiarities here:
Beauty Industry Marketplace
The Beauty and Personal Care industry is one of the rapidly expanding markets worldwide with Cosmetics and Skin Care segments being among its key drivers. After the pandemic broke out, online sales even increased. To enhance this unprecedented growth, online marketplaces developed further their shopping services by adding new solutions to retain customers. Major beauty brands already use artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies to sell online. There are several tweaks to be added to a beauty industry marketplace as of our experience:
- Online courses;
- YouTube lessons;
- Online calendar to book an appointment.
Find more in: Beauty Industry Trends And Customization Ideas
Online Furniture Marketplaces
The online furniture marketplace is the area where brick-and-mortar stores are still in demand among consumers. This fact led to an idea of applying the omnichannel approach to connect physical store advantages and the online marketplace flexibility and convenience. Globally, there are no large omnichannel players in the online furniture market. According to Forrester analyst Brandan Whitcher, the necessary technologies are already in use, but the optimization and support of these processes is not yet established. Nevertheless, it does not mean furniture e-tailers should not rely on global experience in order to build their omnichannel commerce. To add the omnichannel approach to your business, you will need to start with an online platform. A commercial off-the-shelf platform pays off faster as you need to add minimal tweaks to fit it to your project needs. While customizing a standard solution, keep in mind other channels you already have: social accounts, brick-and-mortar stores, CRM and accounting systems. We can easily build them on your platform to unite all the channels seamlessly.
When refining your furniture marketplace, pay attention to:
- Collecting customer information to analyze their behaviour and offer the best service
- Keeping the prices and the product range the same across channels
- Enabling reviews with photos to ease the customer choice
- Setting up logistics between stores and warehouses
- Bringing digital technology to retail outlets: add smart mirrors as in Superdry or AR system to project furniture in the interior as IKEA does
Find more furniture online marketplace ideas here:
Independently of the marketplace idea you opt for, we have all the experience and qualifications to turn your idea into reality. The only thing you need is to drop us a line describing your business idea. We’ll give you our recommendations and provide customization according to your needs.