Typology of marketplaces: with 4 examples listed to help your understanding

Why do you need to know the typology of marketplaces? To be able to find a gap in the market. A new project will have to either fit into the existing categories or go beyond them. This article presents a vision of a current Internet market — it is a simple guide with examples.

The definition of a marketplace along with its main functions are already provided, and now let's structure the marketplaces on the Internet:

  • by the participant types (C2C, B2C, B2B)
  • by products being offered (goods, services, payments etc.)
  • by communication means (online commerce, O2O)
  • by monetizing tools (amount of traffic, leads, advertising, additional services etc.)

Let's take a look at each classification.

Who to whom: participants on the online platform

A marketplace is created to acquire and accommodate a huge amount of vendors and customers. Participants can interact as equals (when both sides are private individuals or business representatives) or develop a hierarchy “entrepreneur-client”. There are three basic models:

  • C2C (customer-to-customer) — Only private individuals offer and make orders, not entrepreneurs.
  • B2C (business-to-customer) — The  business sells to its clients.
  • B2B (business-to-business) — A business buys from a business.

Cases on each scheme are described here in detail. The examples of the companies are presented in the table below.

marketplaces types c2c b2b b2c

Thematic classification of marketplaces

Marketplaces can be divided into the following thematic categories:

  • Goods and products
  • Services
  • Information
  • Investment and crowdfunding
  • Social networking

This is an illustration with some lists containing examples:

marketplaces gaps

Marketplaces: balance of online and offline

Depending on where a client gets a service (online or offline), there can be two types of marketplaces:

  • O2O: online to offline

A marketplace attracts users online, but the clients get a service offline. For example, one chose a product on the Internet, but received at the shop. Another found someone online, who was willing to walk his dog, and the person in question came to his house.

  • Online commerce

Everything is happening online, only the product delivery is offline, however, sometimes no delivery is needed at all. For example, with online marketplaces that are selling tickets, a session can be finished online, and the electronic ticket is received afterwards in an email. Another example is GooglePlay and the AppStore: you buy an application online and use it on the Internet as well.

Monetizing tools for marketplaces

To gain revenue, a company should monetize its resource. There are different ways of doing this, and each of them, in their own way, can define a web marketplace. Monetization can be implemented via sale of:

  • traffic;
  • leads (requests);
  • actions;
  • goods and services;
  • advertising;
  • additional services.

Do you want to launch your own markeplace and need some help?