E-commerce Marketplace Development: 9 Trends to Consider

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The world of e-commerce and online marketplaces is constantly evolving, with new technologies, ideas, and players entering the market.

As a developer or entrepreneur looking to create a marketplace website, it's important to keep up with the latest trends in marketplace development and understand how they can impact your business.

So, what are these trends? Keep on reading to find out. 

Trends in e-commerce marketplace development to consider

What turns prospective marketplace startups into market leaders? Dedication to their customers and constant desire to improve the provided services.

E-commerce-Marketplace Development_ 9 Trends to Consider

By following the recent e-commerce marketplace trends and implementing new technologies, you can take your business to a whole new level by offering your customers a more convenient experience.

Vertical marketplaces

One of the most notable online marketplace trends in recent years has been the rise of vertical marketplaces.

While horizontal marketplaces like Amazon or eBay still dominate the industry, there has been a growing demand for marketplaces that cater to specific industries or niches

For example, platforms for buying and selling handmade goods, vintage clothing, etc.

This shift towards vertical marketplaces is driven by a desire for more targeted, personalized experiences for consumers, as well as an opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. 

It's important to consider whether a vertical marketplace could be a viable option for your marketplace project.

By building a vertical marketplace, you can stand out from the crowd and increase user base more quickly thanks to lower competition. It will also become easier for you to position your brand as an expert one on a specific market. 

Fintech-enabled marketplaces

Another key trend in the marketplace industry are fintech-enabled marketplaces.

With the rise of mobile payments and digital wallets, there is a growing demand for marketplaces that can seamlessly integrate these technologies into their platforms.

Fintech (financial technology) is a set of technologies that allow businesses to improve their financial services

Traditional multi-step transactions require too much hassle and irritate users that want to make a purchase as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, fin-tech enabled marketplaces allow making the processes of buying and selling more seamless

By implementing fintech into your marketplace, you can make it more customer-oriented (by allowing customers to pay in currency they prefer, for example), open new revenue streams for your business, and make payments more transparent and simple.

You will also gain a competitive advantage, being able to offer a wider range of financial services than some of your competitors.

Mobile marketplace applications

It's also important to keep an eye on the broader marketplace ecosystem and how it changes over time

Mobile marketplace applications

For example, the rise of mobile marketplace applications has led to a marketplace transformation in how consumers shop and interact with marketplaces, with many users now preferring to shop on-the-go using their smartphones.

There are billions of smartphone users nowadays, and this number keeps growing each year. And, consequently, the number of people who prefer shopping online via their smartphones will grow as well.

Insider Intelligence assumes that mobile commerce will grow up to almost $620.97 billion by 2024. To compare, mobile commerce sales hit $415.93 billion in 2022.

So, when building your online marketplace, you have to make sure that it has responsive, mobile-friendly design. Customers should be able to make purchases via their smartphones as conveniently as they do that via desktop. 

Subscription-based and pay-per-use solutions

Marketplaces that adopt subscription-based and pay-per-use business models have been around for a while, and they continue to be a popular marketplace business model. 

Subscription-based marketplaces offer customers the opportunity to pay a monthly or yearly fee to access a range of products or services

This model provides a predictable revenue for businesses, while offering customers the convenience of a one-stop-shop for their needs.

Pay-per-use marketplaces, on the other hand, allow customers to pay only for the products or services they use, rather than committing to a monthly or yearly subscription.

This model provides more flexibility for customers who may not need the products or services regularly. However, the pay-per-use model makes it more difficult to predict revenue in comparison to the subscription-based model. 

The choice to adopt a subscription-based or pay-per-use model into your marketplace should depend on your business goals, products or services you offer, and the needs and preferences of your potential customers.

If you want to implement one of these models into your existing business, try to test it among a small group of customers first.

AI-powered personalization

Personalization allows offering an individual approach to each customer. Artificial intelligence analyzes user behavior, preferences, recent purchases, search queries, and other data to create personalized offers for each customer.

This allows making interaction between buyer and customer more favorable and reliable. McKinsey Global Institute predicts that at least one type of AI technology will be implemented by about 70% of companies by 2030.

Most well-known services we use have already implemented AI-powered personalization, and we don’t even notice it.

For example, Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, uses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to personalize recommendations for each user. 

By implementing smart AI algorithms into your marketplace, you will be able to offer the most suitable solution for each customer which will certainly increase their loyalty, satisfaction and engagement. 

You can also use AI to create more effective marketing campaigns by sending specific offers to specific users. 

Omnichannel selling

As e-commerce continues to grow, it becomes more important for businesses to be able to offer customers a seamless experience across all channels.

Omnichannel selling as one of trends in the marketplace development allows e-commerce marketplaces to engage customers across a range of touchpoints, including websites, mobile apps, social media, physical stores, and more

Such flexibility allows building stronger relationships with customers by giving them more opportunities. 

By implementing omnichannel selling into your marketplace, you can gain some significant advantages.

First of all you will be able to reach wider audiences via several channels simultaneously which will have a positive impact on revenue

Secondly, you will give your customers an opportunity to shop in the way they prefer (in-store, online, via social media, etc.). 

The decision whether to implement omnichannel selling should be based on such factors as the type of your marketplace, the channels you are able to use, and the resources you possess. 

Smart home assistants and voice commerce

Smart home technologies and voice assistants are great helpers in everyday routine. People use them to control ambient lighting, robotic cleaners, turn the music on/off, etc.

Smart home assistants and voice commerce

And, of course, the opportunity to make purchases online by voice seems like a tempting one as it certainly increases convenience and makes the process of online shopping faster.

As a result, it improves user engagement. It also should be noted that voice commerce as a marketplace technology is used as a means of inclusivity, allowing people with disabilities to be able to become marketplace customers as well. 

The implementation of voice commerce strategy into your marketplace can become a great advantage over your competitors. However, for sure, you need to have enough resources to add this feature.

Augmented reality and virtual reality

One of the most obvious disadvantages of online shopping is the fact that it doesn’t give an opportunity to “feel” the product that a customer wants to buy. Augmented reality and virtual reality offer solution to this problem.

They give a close-to-real experience for their customers, allowing them to virtually try on clothes, see how furniture they want to buy looks in their home spaces, etc

And all this in virtual reality. This contributes to increment of customer satisfaction and engagement. 

IKEA was the first company that implemented this feature, allowing the customers to see how furniture fits in their houses’ environment.

Since then, a number of marketplaces have added this feature as well. For example, Amazon launched an “AR View” feature that allows customers to see how furniture or home decor fits their spaces via their smartphone camera. 

AR and VR are quite specific features that are suitable for limited types of products (cosmetics, jewelry, clothes, furniture, etc.)

If you want to build a marketplace for selling musical instruments, for example, implementation of these features won’t make a lot of sense.

Reasonable consumption 

Nowadays, more and more people prefer eco-friendly products and a reasonable approach to consumption.

Reasonable consumption

And while feeling responsibility for the environmental situation of our planet, they expect the same from services they use and brands they are dedicated to. 

Reasonable consumption in the marketplaces industry involves biodegradable packaging materials, usage of smaller packages, reselling of returned goods, selling refurbished products, and more.

This also implies giving preference in promotion to eco-friendly products over usual ones. 

Consider adopting eco-friendly approaches (add special icons to products made of organic or recycled materials, add a special section for products made of eco-friendly materials, etc.) if you want your marketplace to succeed in upcoming years and become more competitive. 

How to build a successful marketplace?

So, how can you ensure that your marketplace idea will have more chances to become a successful one?

One of the key points is to focus on developing a solid technology base for the marketplace. This means creating a scalable, reliable and secure platform that can handle large volumes of traffic and transactions.

Another important consideration is carefully evaluating the market idea and business model to ensure it is viable, sustainable, and in line with market needs.

This includes market research, competitor analysis, and collecting feedback from potential customers.

You should also check how the trends you want to implement are aligned with your online marketplace concept

For example, if you sell various types of goods, you certainly don’t need to try to switch to a vertical marketplace just because it is trendy. 

You also need to consider the available resources: implementation of voice commerce or AR will cost you a lot of resources, and if you are struggling to provide them at the time, it may pose a negative effect on your business. 

In conclusion

As the marketplace industry continues to grow, there are more and more marketplace competitors entering the market, each with their own unique value propositions and technology offerings.

Ultimately, the key to success in the online marketplace industry is to stay agile and adaptable, always looking for opportunities to innovate and improve the user experience

Whether you are developing an e-commerce web app, marketplace website, marketplace software, or marketplace platform, staying on top of the latest marketplace development trends and being open to change will be essential for success in this fast-moving industry.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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