When online outlets discuss e-Commerce marketplaces, they’re usually using this as shorthand for a single vendor marketplace.
However, there’s another type of platform that some e-Commerce organizations fall into, and that’s a multi-vendor marketplace. While the number of such platforms doesn’t reach the heights of single-vendor venues, a recent survey highlighted by Statista showed that 12% of e-Commerce companies contemplated the leap to multi-vendor last year.
You might see that number and think that’s a relatively small number of companies making up the e-Commerce sphere. But it’s those companies’ size that shows the real impact of multi-vendor marketplaces in the overall commerce sphere. That’s because companies like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Etsy, etc. are all technically considered multi-vendor marketplaces.
So while the number of companies that can be categorized as multi-vendor marketplaces is small in comparison with single vendors, the size of these companies will often dwarf most single-vendor providers. It’s a bit like how a state can be made up of 100 counties and you mistakenly assume the state’s population is equally distributed among each. In reality, one or two of those counties will contain a bustling metropolis that houses the lion’s share of the state’s population.
It’s important, therefore, to pay attention to the outsized influence these multi-vendor marketplace platforms have. They’re the bustling metropolises of the internet. But organizations of all sizes are finding new revenue potential by embracing a newfound status as a multi-vendor marketplace.
In this article, we’ll explore what a multi-vendor marketplace platform is, its advantages, how it’s different from a single vendor platform, provide some examples of these marketplaces, highlight how the line between the two segments is increasingly blurred in today’s e-Commerce sphere, and even show how pending legal cases could change the dynamics in the coming years.