While the most common type of marketplace is based on the B2C (Business to Customer) model, there are in fact other marketplace models including B2B (Business to Business) and C2C (Customer to Customer). The difference between B2B, B2C and C2C relates to the parties that interact on each of these platforms.
Let’s study the various online marketplace models in order to understand what services each of them provides and to whom. Once you are aware of the parties involved, the next step is to upgrade your marketplace to meet their specific needs.
Introducing the Different Types of Online Marketplaces: C2c, B2b & B2c
The B2C Marketplace
The parties involved in the B2C structure are business owners and customers. This type of marketplace brings together a wide range of entrepreneurs, customers and products under a single umbrella platform operated by the marketplace owner.
The B2C structure offers a wide range of benefits to all parties involved: The owner enjoys a regular revenue from each entrepreneur, the entrepreneur is exposed to a large number of existing customers and enjoys set services provided by the owner, and the customer is exposed to a “one-stop-shop” with a large variety of products and competitive prices.
The B2B Marketplace
The B2B marketplace paradigm involves businesses only. In this segment, one business sells products to another in a way that is beneficial to both parties. In this case, a large marketplace, such as Alibaba for example, will sell products in bulk to suppliers, who in turn will sell the items to their buyers. In keeping with the general marketplace concept, offerings may concentrate on limited merchandise in given sectors or provide a wide range of products or services in several industries.
This structure also offers benefits to various parties: The large marketplace is able to sell substantial volumes of products to regular bulk buyers, the supplier is saved the effort of searching for merchandise and acquires sizable inventory for competitive rates, and the end customer is offered a wide range of items at reasonable prices.
The C2C Marketplace
The C2C marketplace (also known as P2P – Peer-to-Peer) does not involve businesses but rather people with common interests. Their aim may be to save money, share services or promote shared goals. Ridesharing is a good example of a service shared through the C2C marketplace. A driver will provide a seat in his or her vehicle, while passengers will find a ride to their destination in exchange for the cost of fuel. However, the goal of this type of structure is not only to ensure monetary savings. Etsy, for example, encourages contact between people who share hobbies.
While lowering costs is a clear benefit, this structure also enhances community and personal relationships for all parties involved.
How to Scale Your Online Marketplace
While the C2C marketplace platform may not be based on branding, profits and sales, the B2C and B2B structures are. Scaling an online marketplace and ensuring profits are dependent on acquiring accurate online marketplace intelligence.
In today’s dynamic markets, you need to offer a wide range of highly attractive products at competitive rates. Your catalog must be updated constantly, and it should feature clear product grouping. Faced with hundreds of thousands of products (at the very least), your updating process can no longer be handled manually.
The Algopix AI-based marketing analysis platform offers state-of-the-art online marketplace architecture, enabling fully accurate product identification and product data enhancement. This translates into a well-structured catalog that makes searching, browsing and comparing products easy for your customers.
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