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eCommerce Marketplaces Market Analysis: The Latest Industry Insights and Trends

Welcome to the world of eCommerce Marketplaces, where virtual shopping has become a phenomenon akin to the grandeur of malls. With Amazon, eBay, and Etsy drawing billions of visitors monthly, these platforms have revolutionized retail. Vertical markets have grown significantly over the last decade and B2B marketplaces are booming. Here’s your gateway to understanding the dynamic landscape of online marketplaces.

Industry overview

The world of eCommerce marketplaces is rapidly evolving, revolutionizing the way people shop and businesses sell their products. As of July 2022, Amazon stands as the most popular online marketplace in Europe, drawing over a billion visitors per month. Following closely behind, eBay ranked second with around 535 million visits, and Etsy secured the third spot with nearly 398 million visits. These numbers highlight the immense popularity and reach of these virtual marketplaces.

Third-party logistics

One of the key factors contributing to the success of eCommerce marketplaces is the integration of third-party logistics companies (3PLs). These 3PLs offer customers a seamless shipping experience, efficient warehouse management, and even handle subscription box packaging for various goods. With streamlined logistics, customers can manage their expenses effectively while ensuring that orders are accurate and delivered on time.

Vertical markets

A rising trend in eCommerce is the emergence of vertical markets. In vertical markets, the focus is narrowed down to specific niche markets with a targeted audience. An excellent example of this approach is Etsy’s eCommerce platform, which revolves around various categories but shares a common niche of promoting handcrafted and homemade products. This specialized focus allows businesses to cater to a more dedicated customer base, resulting in higher engagement and brand loyalty.

B2B marketplaces

B2B (business-to-business) marketplaces are experiencing rapid growth, offering the highest return on investment (ROI) for enterprises. By leveraging B2B marketplaces, businesses can expand their reach and sell more products without the burden of maintaining extensive inventory. This approach effectively removes barriers to expansion, making it an attractive option for B2B enterprises seeking to scale their operations efficiently.

Trends in vertical marketplaces

In a B2C market, the best business model to use is based on the gross merchandise value. But this does not work well with B2B because single transactions are too large to charge a percentage on. 

Sampling fees

Sampling fees have emerged as a notable trend in vertical marketplaces, introducing a fee-per-sample business model for manufacturers. This approach fosters a direct connection between buyers and sellers, enabling buyers to preview items before committing to a purchase. Manufacturers benefit from sampling as it generates leads and offers the convenience of outsourcing sample distribution to third-party entities. Particularly effective in industries such as chemicals, packaging, textiles, and design materials, this sampling strategy has become a favored method to enhance customer experience and drive growth in the dynamic world of vertical marketplaces.


Advertising has become a key driver of growth in vertical marketplaces, with marketplaces targeting eligible buyers through targeted email and direct mail campaigns to expand their customer bases. To gain a competitive edge, suppliers are increasingly investing in sponsored listings, elevating their visibility in search results, and leveraging paid ads. They also strategically include marketing materials within products shipped to customers, further promoting their brand and offerings. These advertising tactics have proven effective in capturing the attention of potential customers and driving sales, solidifying advertising as a powerful tool in the dynamic landscape of vertical marketplaces.

Data & analytics

Data and analytics have emerged as a transformative trend in the realm of vertical marketplaces, driving profitability and growth. Transactional knowledge has become a valuable asset for scalable marketplaces, enabling businesses to make informed decisions regarding distribution, marketing, budgeting, and product development. With data playing a pivotal role in these areas, access to comprehensive analysis allows for effective learning and understanding of their products. A data-driven approach is reshaping the landscape of vertical marketplaces, setting the stage for their continued expansion and influence in the eCommerce domain.


The subscription model has become a prominent trend within the B2C marketplace industry, offering a plethora of subscription-based products and services that enable customers to enjoy frequent access to high-quality goods. This success in the B2C arena has paved the way for B2B markets to embrace similar subscription-based services, presenting an opportunity for significantly higher revenues. This evolution in subscription-based services showcases the dynamic nature of vertical marketplaces, as they leverage innovative approaches to cater to diverse customer demands and fuel their growth in the ever-evolving eCommerce landscape.

Learn more about vertical marketplaces, operation of B2B marketplaces, marketplace technologies, and more by downloading our free industry report on eCommerce marketplaces.

In this report, you’ll get insights on how the playing field is shaping up, learn about different marketplace models, and the emerging technologies that you should watch for. You’ll also get access to a strategic marketplace guide.

Wrapping up

As eCommerce marketplaces continue to flourish, businesses must adapt to the changing landscape to remain competitive and meet the demands of modern consumers. The convenience, reach, and efficiency offered by these online platforms make them the new-age malls, shaping the future of retail and reshaping the way we shop.

Explore our extensive collection of eCommerce industry reports covering the latest trends and strategies across various industries. All reports are free to download!

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