Do you know who the richest man in the world is? Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon Online Marketplace. Why don’t you start your own online marketplace site today? Maybe you will become his main competitor!

Every day, more and more online marketplace sites are popping up. Not all of them grow to be big, but building a quality marketplace website is not easy and you need to know how to build a marketplace website.

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Today, our web development agency will show you all the pitfalls of building a marketplace, show you how to start your own online marketplace website, and help you get started with your own online marketplace website.

What is an online marketplace?

eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Alibaba, Airbnb, Houzz, Fiverr, ZocDoc, SoFi, Rover, Caviar, Uber, Blablacar, etc. are all marketplaces.

A marketplace is a platform where various vendors sell their products and pay a commission to the marketplace owner after each successful sale. The goods sold on the marketplace are not the property of the marketplace site owner, they just act as an intermediary. A marketplace and an online store are completely different things.

What is an online marketplace?

Marketplace vs. Online Store

A marketplace is simply a place where third-party vendors sell their goods or services and pay a commission to the marketplace owner – for example, Amazon, eBay, Blablacar.
An online store is a place where you can buy products from the same brand. The store owner sells his/her own products – for example, the sites Zara, Apple, Adidas.

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How do online marketplace sites make money?

To give you a better understanding of how a marketplace site works, we will go step by step.

A potential buyer enters a marketplace site and decides to buy a product they like from a completely different supplier. For example, they might buy Adidas sneakers and Zara pants.
The potential buyer buys the products and stays happy.
The owners of Adidas and Zara sell their products.
The owners of the marketplace get a percentage of the proceeds and stay happy.
This is how online marketplaces make money.

How do you start your own marketplace website?

In short, you need to get help from a professional Drupal web development company.

To answer this question in more detail, there are a few mandatory steps to finally build a successful marketplace website.

6 steps to launch an online marketplace website

Step 1. Choose a niche for your future marketplace

First, think about what niche you want to occupy and what you want to sell. For example, it could be selling cosmetics, furniture, travel services or logistics services, to name a few.

Step two. Choose a vertical or horizontal market

You need to choose a vertical or horizontal type of platform. If you want to sell unique products in a specific area, you should choose a vertical marketplace. In this case, you focus on a smaller group of customers.

If you want to sell multiple categories of services and goods, you should choose a horizontal marketplace. In this case, you focus on a wide customer base.

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Step Three. Develop a unique value proposition

In other words, give sellers and buyers clear reasons why they should choose you over other competitors. Figure out the benefits for both parties so they use your platform to sell and buy

Step Four. Choose a monetization strategy
This is about how you earn money.


You can earn commissions on sales, which is what most marketplace sites do.

Speculative value

You can buy goods from suppliers and store them in your own warehouse and resell them. You will earn money for the speculative value.

Listing Fee

Sellers will pay a fixed amount for listing an ad to sell their product or service.

Subscription Fee

In this case, the buyer pays you a fixed amount to get the item for a certain period of time – for example, a subscription to Netflix.

Various types of advertising

In addition, you can earn money by placing ads on your marketplace website.

We’ve just covered the main options for monetization strategies, but there are many more. As you can see, there are many options – the main question is what you desire to do.

Step 5. Promote your online marketplace site
Next, you need to attract as many buyers and sellers to your site as possible. To do this, you need to.

Analyze your competitors
Create a list of keywords

Step 6. Create an MVP

The most important thing is that your idea doesn’t fade away as often as it happens. There is no reason to wait long to create a perfect platform. Start by creating a minimum viable product. A team of web developers will put your idea into action as soon as possible.


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