The top online marketplaces for your ecommerce business

The Top Online Marketplaces for Your eCommerce Business

An online marketplace is a website that connects buyers to third-party sellers. In contrast to an ecommerce platform where the operator of the site is the exclusive seller of products on that site, an online marketplace lets independent sellers display products and connect with buyers.

There are a variety of different categories of online marketplaces. Some are general-purpose sites catering to buyers and sellers of all types while others focus on specific niches or verticals, such as the gaming industry or handmade products. Some cater to particular geographic regions while others operate worldwide. Some online marketplaces also provide their sellers with services such as fulfillment operations, but others are limited strictly to matching buyers with sellers.

Online marketplaces account for a very significant share of the world's overall ecommerce market. They represented 57% of total online sales in 2019. In the same year, the top 100 online marketplaces generated about $1.97 trillion in revenue.

Benefits of using online marketplaces

The previously cited stats reflect the benefits that draw sellers to participate in online marketplaces. Key advantages of using one of these platforms include:

While there are hundreds of online marketplaces, the ecosystem is dominated by a group of globally recognized marketplaces, including:

Disadvantages of online marketplaces

Although online marketplaces offer a range of advantages for sellers, it's important to consider their downsides before integrating online marketplaces into your ecommerce strategy. The major disadvantages of online marketplaces include:

Tips for choosing the best marketplace for your business

Online marketplaces can be a great asset for an ecommerce business, provided you think strategically about which type of online marketplace is best for your needs.

Major factors to consider when selecting an online marketplace include:

Alternatives to online marketplaces

If you determine an online marketplace is not the best way to achieve your ecommerce goals, the main alternative is to build your own online store. Again, operating your own store provides you with greater flexibility to design it in whichever ways best fit your goals. It also improves your profit margins by allowing you to avoid paying commissions or fees. And it means you will not face any restrictions regarding which types of items you can sell or how they are presented on your site.

Another potential alternative to online marketplaces is to participate in a physical marketplace. If you sell homemade food products, a farmer's market will allow you to reach buyers in a way similar to an online marketplace. Likewise, selling items at a crafts fair could be an alternative to using a site like Etsy. There are, of course, major limitations to these alternatives. Your exposure to buyers when operating in a physical location will be much smaller than it would be on the internet, you need to manage a physical storefront, and you can't take full advantage of digital marketing and sales tools.

Using Adobe Marketplace to enhance your online marketplace strategy

Online marketplaces offer a range of benefits, but they're not the best fit for every type of ecommerce strategy.

Whether it’s an online marketplace alongside a standalone online store or relying solely on a singular ecommerce site, Adobe Commerce can help you manage your presence across today’s biggest digital marketplaces. With Adobe Commerce, you can accelerate the creation and launch of a customized online store. And using integrated marketing, sales, and inventory management tools, you can manage online retail operations through your site and third-party channels as well.

To learn more about how Adobe Commerce can transform your approach to ecommerce with or without an online marketplace component, schedule a personalized demo.