What are the different types of marketplaces?

There are different types of trading platforms, varying from platforms that started as a web shop and later opened up for other sellers, to platforms that have been initiated to bundle the forces of local players in the online market. Besides comparison sites, search engines and social media platform like Pinterest and Facebook increasingly offer the possibility to instantly buy products. These websites can be considered as marketplaces.


Different trading platforms that are listed below are :


  • Comparison websites (with buy button): Examples are Kelkoo (France), Kieskeurig.nl (Netherlands) and Allegro (Poland).
  • Search engines with buy option: Google shopping or Bing shopping are examples of this.
  • Opened platforms: These are platforms that used to be web shops, but nowadays also offer third party sellers to offer their products on their web shop. Examples of this are Bol.com, Zalando or Amazon.
  • Local platforms: There are more and more platforms that let a local neighborhood form their own online community. The 'Nine streets ‘in Amsterdam is an example of this, where visitors can virtually shop on the platform. Also, smaller players like boutiques, that would be too small to open their own webshop, can bundle their forces this way. An example of this is Locals United and Miinto.
  • Marketplaces: Some examples of this are eBay or AliExpress.
  • Auctions: Usually these are websites that often change their assortment, depending on remaining parties of vendors. Think of iBook or Groupon as examples.
  • Theme Portals: More and more consumers and small businesses open sites offering product reviews (e.g. clothes), where the consumer is forwarded to a vendors' web shop. Fashionchick or Asos are prime examples of this type of marketplace.
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