What is a marketplace? Do you know how to make the most of them? What are the main pros and cons of online selling applications? The marketplace is one of the most popular forms of selling on the Internet. The online marketplace facilitates the process of selling and is a great resolution both for the beginning sellers and for those who already have their Internet sites. How to benefit from an online marketplace? Read the article to find out more.

What is a marketplace? – table of contents:

  1. What is a marketplace?
  2. Advantages and disadvantages of the marketplace
  3. The most popular marketplaces in the world

What is a marketplace?

The marketplace is an Internet store, that gathers together many sellers, who offer their products. Clients eagerly visit such platforms, because they can compare offers. Those platforms function in a different way than comparison tools. The owner of the marketplace is not an owner of the assortment offered but he sets his accounts with other sellers and charges a sales commission.

Advantages and disadvantages of the marketplace

Advantages of the marketplace for the sellers:

  • They may benefit from brand awareness in the marketplace.
  • May sell both physical products, digital products, and services.
  • Have access to an extensive database of clients.
  • Platforms offer professional support and guides.
  • The maintenance of the store is intuitive and allows easy control over the number of orders profits.
  • Products offered more visible in the browsers.
  • Costs related to the platform maintenance, order processing, and marketing are not included.

Advantages for buyers:

  • They have access to many sellers and offers from one place.
  • Clients can expect prices lower than in online and stationary stores.
  • Clients don’t have to deal with personal data protection.
  • Clients can compare several offers and choose the best of them.
  • Reviews of products and sellers, published by other clients, are easily available

Disadvantages for sellers:

  • Still growing and strong competition.
  • The necessity to follow regulations set by the platform.
  • Difficulties with standing out among competitors.
  • Fees for posting and items and charges from sales.
  • Clients’ details stay in the database of the platform, not the seller, which means that they are direct clients of the platform.
  • The seller doesn’t own a store.

Disadvantage for buyers:

  • The cost of delivery has to be paid for every parcel separately (if products are bought from different sellers).

The most popular marketplaces in the world


The most popular marketplace platform in the world is Amazon, which generates more than 5 billion visits monthly. Anybody may open a store in the shop, regardless of the location, hence the competition is very high.

The platform was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, initially, its functioning was restricted to the Internet bookstore, but with time, the store’s assortment has increased.

The statistics show the popularity of the store, it is worth taking a look at them:

  • 45% – the shares of Amazon on the American e-commerce market,
  • 469,82 billion dollars – net income of Amazon in 2021,
  • in each second Amazon record the sales amounted to 4722 dollars – which gives the amount of 283 dollars per minute and 17 million dollars per hour,
  • the most popular categories are: Home & Kitchen, Personal Care, and Toys & Games.
What is a marketplace - Amazon


The next global marketplace platform is eBay. This marketplace has a broad assortment, that includes both new and used items. The platform functions globally as ebay.com, but it has local domains, thanks to which charges related to store operation differ in given countries.

eBay is the next American platform, that succeeded as an Internet auction service. It was founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995. Let’s take a look at the most important statistics:

  • in 2020 the platform has generated 10,2 billion dollars of income,
  • each month eBay is visited by 109 million users,
  • the most popular categories in the service are: electronics, clothing, shoes, accessories, and automotive.
What is a marketplace - eBay


A bit different marketplace from others is Etsy, which gathers together the community of sellers that offer handicraft and DIY sets, and vintage items. It is an ideal selling platform for artists and craftsmen.

This international service was first made public in 2005. Etsy is a young platform, but its dynamics of development are reflected in the statistics:

  • in 2020 the service generated 1,72 billion dollars of income,
  • platform gathers more than 4,3 million active sellers and more than 81 million active buyers,
  • the most popular categories on Etsy are: materials and handicraft tools, jewelry, home, and lifestyle.
What is a marketplace - Etsy


Marketplace offers great opportunities for sellers that wish to run their selling activities on the Internet, or for those sellers, who wish to expand their shop and offer additional sales channels. Before deciding to use this solution it is worth finding out more about all advantages and disadvantages of marketplaces, and marketplaces available on the internet.

What is a marketplace? Now that you know the answer to this question, you can find out which option is best for you: marketplace or your own e-commerce.

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What is a marketplace? 12 great reasons to use it martin sparks avatar 1background

Author: Martin Sparks

E-commerce enthusiasts which constantly digs around the internet in order to make sure he hasn’t missed any important information on the topic of starting and scaling profitable online stores.