Nowadays, technology is developing rapidly. More brick-and-mortar stores are switching to online format. With the development of the online environment, a new type of business has become available—marketplaces.
In this article, we will talk about the types of marketplace business, detaily focus on B2C marketplace business, and consider a plan for creating such an online B2C marketplace.
What is a B2C online marketplace?
B2C is one of the subspecies of marketplaces. As any eCommerce store, it is designed to provide goods and services but specifically for individuals. The complete explanation will be in the next block.
B2C model in the system
There are several different types of platforms they differ according to the type of participants in the business relationships.
- B2B—in this type of relationship, transactions are carried out between two legal persons. This means that one business sells goods and services to another business.
- B2C—this type of business seems to be the most familiar to us. Deals are made between businesses and individuals. Within the non-digital world, a good example is an ordinary supermarket where people come to buy goods. If we are talking about marketplaces, then a good example is AliExpress or Amazon.
- C2C—in terms of this type business relations take place between two individuals. marketplaces of this business type usually provide craft, hand-made or used items.
What are examples of C2C, B2B and B2C marketplace platforms?
The most famous ones are Alibaba and Amazon Business. These businesses are big and they went through many stages before they became so. Let’s turn to more living and developing ones. Qatyar is a B2B marketplace which provides connections between two businesses. This company provides automotive products and items in Saudi Arabia.It is a part of Advanced Warehouse Company LLC.
The brightest templates of this type are eBay, Aliexpress, and Amazon for individuals. Down Your High Street is a British online B2C marketplace. This platform brings together many offline stores with completely different products: clothes, perfumes, electronics, etc. There are more than 700 sellers on this platform who provide goods to individuals.
A primary case is Etsy - a marketplace of hand-made products. The less famous but nice example is Lavky. This is a store that operates worldwide and is based in Ukraine. In Ukrainian, the word Lavky means “small shops”. This is a marketplace for retro and handmade goods.
See more examples in the portfolio.
|Feature||B2B model||B2C model||C2C model|
|How fast customers ready to buy a product||Several months or years||A couple of hours or days||A couple of hours or days|
|Customers flow||Low flow||Large flow||Large flow|
|How many people take a decision||A team||One or two people||Team and solely decision-making are possible|
|The importance of a seller in a purchase process||Important, as a consultant (company's representative) is an expert||Not important, automation of customers flow is preferable||Important, as seller (individual) is an expert|
|The main purpose of a marketplace in such relationships||Contact seller and buyer||Automation||Contact seller and buyer|
B2B is mostly aimed to take on several but big projects, they usually require a lot of effort to perform, long-term planning and covering several purposes. However, only sell-buy relationships without complex and long work are also possible in this type. In comparison with B2B B2C marketplace is aimed at mass consumption and makes deals with many customers in parallel. C2C marketplace is a mixture of B2B and B2C marketplace models as it consists of features of both of them.
How do I make a B2C marketplace?
In general terms, creating a B2C marketplace is no different from creating any other marketplace. There are several steps to successfully launching a marketplace.
First of all, you need to choose an idea with which you will work. Take into account several factors in determining the business concept:
- The market in this sphere should not be consolidated or monopolized
- It must be a growing market
- A factor that many young entrepreneurs are afraid of or do not take into account at the start is the presence of competitors
To take into account these three main factors, you need to analyze the market. There are some handy tools to analyze competitors:
When a niche is chosen and a theoretical base is formed, it is worth thinking about MVP testing. MVP stands for the minimum viable product. The main requirements for MVP are:
- Fast launch
- Minimal investment
- The least effort
MVP helps to create what people really need and reduce possible risks and expenses.
This means that you need to create a marketplace with minimal features and options, but they should be enough to make a purchase for buyers or display products for sellers.
At the testing stage, a no-code platform is sufficient. With such a platform you can quickly create an attractive interface for users, but orders to process manually. After the creation of a prototype of your future successful marketplace, connections with the first suppliers and placing goods, you can start advertising.
Types of suitable advertising for your niche should be identified at the first stage, as well as forming hypotheses that can be confirmed or refuted during working on this stage. These hypotheses will become the new strength of your business.
At this stage, the survival of the business is very small, but do not worry, this is a common development. If the idea is not successful, then you can test another. If you fail, you will still gain invaluable experience.
The third stage includes optimization and scaling. First, you need to choose reliable contractors. No-code platforms are good and attractive for their price and simplicity, however, for a business aimed towards rapid development, a no-code platform may not be enough. For B2B and B2C marketplace software should be advanced. You need to choose a software, team and software platform that you trust. Study reviews, tariff plans, development opportunities provided by a particular company. We recommend paying attention to CS-Cart Multi-Vendor since there are all the opportunities for development. This is an on-premise solution with a one-time payment for any type of growing business. You can try a free demo on the website.
When a company is chosen it is important to maintain a high level of user services. All processes that were previously performed manually should be gradually transferred to automation. There are different integration systems such as CMS, ERP, CRM, etc. which can help to improve user experience, avoid errors and speed up business processes. It is also necessary to introduce the right marketing policy: introduce loyalty programs, provide discounts, and run advertising campaigns.
Mobile or desktop version for a marketplace
According to our observations the later a marketplace opens, the less is the gap between creating desktop and mobile versions. Today this gap is only 1-3 years.
There is a research which shows that 58% of purchases are made via mobile phones.
Do not miss the benefits that mobile versions and applications can provide. Today, mobile applications can be made much cheaper and faster than 10 years ago. For example, in the CS-Cart Multi-Vendor package of any type except Basic, it is possible to create a mobile application for iOS and Android at once.
For a marketplace B2C mobile is an excellent way to:
- attract new customers—you can run an ad for your application which opens up new possibilities in the marketing sphere.
- improve user experience—as statistics shows for most people it is much easier to order via mobile phone. It is reasonable since mobile phones are always with us in any place and time. Moreover, they can place an order in a couple of clicks.
- implement loyalty and marketing programs—different push notifications, sales which are not available in desktop versions can boost sales.
What is a B2C website?
B2C is a type of business when businesses sell products and services to individuals. B2C website or it may be a marketplace is an online version of brick-and-mortar store.
What is an example of a B2C model?
It is eBay, Aliexpress, and Amazon for individuals. You can find more examples here, feel free to filter the examples according to the required features.
What type of business is a marketplace?
Marketplace is an eCommerce business. Marketplaces itself can be divided according to different categories as well. Marketplaces can have B2B, B2C, and C2C models or according to products and services horizontal, vertical, and global. Read more about marketplace types.
What is a good B2C marketplace software?
For MVP testing any no-code platform is suitable. Yet, for growing business we recommend CS-Cart Multi-Vendor, since there are no limits for developing. Try a free demo version here.
In conclusion, there are a lot of growth possibilities for growing in eCommerce. B2C online marketplaces are one of the most prospective ways of development. For sure, it requires a great effort to start but these risks are worth it.
CS-Cart Multi-Vendor provides a reliable B2B and B2C marketplace software for growing small-, middle-, and big-sized businesses. Feel free to ask any questions on our website.