When you think online marketplaces, what comes to mind? Probably one of the quintessential marketplace examples like Amazon, eBay or Tmall where you can shop almost anything you can think of.
Marketplaces aren’t just about being everything to all customers though. They also present a great opportunity to position yourself as an expert in a particular vertical or niche. Almost any vertical can sustain a marketplace. With customers going to marketplaces for their shopping needs more and more, those who start a marketplace now may be better equipped for the future.
To offer a wide variety of options
Beauty and skincare is one vertical that lends itself well to marketplaces. The likes of Feelunique and Cult Beauty are well-known destinations for beauty lovers. With more and more brands entering the beauty market, many of them digital-first, customers want to be able to stay ahead of trends, but without having to put in the effort of hunting down each one individually.
The beauty retail sector also proves that there is space for more than one marketplace if you focus on helping customers find what they’re looking for. NakedPoppy is a marketplace for clean beauty products. This means sustainable, ethical and chemical-free. Flora does a similar thing but for indie brands. Both these marketplaces serve the needs of their customers by bringing together a wide variety of options in one place.
To combine forces
Etsy is a marketplace that unites independent and small creative businesses. Rather than trying to compete with their far larger rivals to gain traffic, these small entrepreneurs can gain greater exposure by combining their forces. As a result, Etsy has become one of the must visit websites for those looking to shop a little smaller, or for more unique products.
Not On The High Street operates in a similar way. Customers visit it because it brings together different sellers whose products aren’t available in your average high street store (hence the name). Personalisation is a big factor across many of the products its sellers create and sell, which gives it another edge over competitor gift sites.