Types of Marketplace Websites

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Popular Online Marketplaces

An online marketplace is a website where products of many different vendors are sold to customers. There are various marketplace sites, and you can categorize these according to different criteria. Here, we will look at marketplaces categorized by focus and management approach.

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Marketplace Websites by Focus

Vertical Marketplaces

These websites focus on one particular niche or area. For an uninitiated, the word ‘niche’ refers to things that attract a small part of the population. Rather than selling all the things to everyone, these websites offer a much narrow selection of goods and services. Having a site devoted to a particular niche enables a business to stand out from its rivals, offer quality services and products, and boost personalization. Etsy is an example of such a marketplace store online, which focuses on handmade goods, vintage products, and craft supplies.

Horizontal Marketplaces

On the other hand, a horizontal online marketplace offers services and products in a wide range of industries to people in different regions. This form of the marketplace is regarded as a shopping destination, which fulfills various customer requirements in a single place. The experience of browsing through the collection here is comparable to walking into a shopping mall with a lot of stores. Most popular online marketplaces like Amazon and AliExpress are horizontal websites and provide various products.

Marketplace Websites by Way of Management


These websites tend to be peer-to-peer marketplaces, where customers go through reviews and star ratings when thinking about a purchase. Those who own such a website do not put resources in quality assurance, feedback analysis or quality assurance. Generally, the less it manages on its own, the less will be the amount it charges in the form of transaction fees. Here, trust comes from ratings and customer reviews, and it charges the lowest fees per transaction.

Lightly Managed

These websites invest to some extent in background verifications and quality control. For some marketplaces, such investments are not just for customer service but for user verification as well.

Fully Managed

These marketplace websites cover the entire process of sales for those who sell products there. Those sellers only have to confirm the potential buyer’s proposal to purchase from them. The fee tends to be higher with this marketplace, but the customer experience and service quality are better as well.

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