The OG online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist are still alive and well. Actually they are doing very well. They are never going to go away, at least not anytime soon. They have made their mark and collected enough market share that they can cruise along and continue to perform well.
But now there are new websites emerging and taking a little piece of the pie. There is a lot to go around, as e-commerce is booming, but it takes a great concept and industry for these specialty marketplaces to bloom and find success.
There are a few reasons why there seems to be a spike in the number of more category specific online marketplaces surfacing. I’m going to mention a few of them and explain why I think they are contributing to this trend.
Consumers Are Impatient – No Time to Search
Marketplaces like eBay have everything. You can buy anything you want, from a new car to a set of dishes. You could literally type anything into the search bar and there would be options.
This can be a problem though, especially for certain product categories. Consumers are not patient. They do not want to search through several pages. They want to be able to fine tune search, and the more category specific marketplaces give them that option.
If there is a way for them to save time, they are going to jump on it. Sites like eBay constantly make changes, and this upsets the sellers, which is another reason the smaller more focused marketplaces are growing – sellers are giving them a try to get away from the larger sites that have some unfavorable terms.
Access to Instant Buyers Creates More Players
A new marketplace can launch now and instantly put themselves in front of consumers that are possibly interested in what they offer. Facebook ads, Google ads, etc. – these options were not available back in the day when eBay started.
Now, a marketplace can launch that only sells sneakers and run Facebook ads targeting users that have liked a sneaker brand. It’s pretty amazing, actually. There is almost no runway needed. Launch and sell. Right away.
Look at the Aucto marketplace for example. They have quickly gained momentum, and what started as a simple platform has now turned into one of the fastest growing online marketplaces.
You can literally start a marketplace for anything with an audience and it’s a viable business with little to no time thanks to on-demand traffic via advertising.
Amazon is Paving the Way
Amazon is the leader and currently paving the way for other marketplaces. They are setting the standard. Love them or hate them, they are kicking some major butt!
If a marketplace wants to be competitive they need to follow the lead and focus on customer service. People go to Amazon for the best prices and the fastest delivery time.
If you can’t be the best in price and delivery in your niche, then you won’t survive. The opportunities are there, but a new marketplace will need to level up to Amazon-like standards to be successful.