The Best Online Selling Platforms. 7 Examples of Marketplaces

Droptica
8 min readDec 18, 2023

The best online selling platforms enable companies and individual sellers to showcase, promote, and sell their products or services. They are characterized by easy access, wide coverage, and various tools to support commerce. In this article, we provide a subjective compilation of online marketplace examples by B2C, C2C, and B2B business models that can inspire building your own platform.

How do online selling marketplaces work?

An online marketplace is a place where many vendors present their offers. This is the main difference between this kind of ecommerce platform and a typical online store run by a single company.

Online selling platforms operate on an intermediary basis, connecting suppliers and customers. Common to all such websites is creating a virtual marketplace where different users can enter transactions.

Such platforms should provide a simple process for setting up an online store, allowing sellers to quickly list products and manage orders and payments. In addition, it’s good for them to guarantee data analysis tools to monitor store performance.

Marketplaces are distinguished by several features, including checkout with payment gateway, client reviews, product search engine, and attractive design. However, each selling website emphasizes a different element. Let’s look at various examples of such platforms.

Chairish — a design that catches the eye

Chairish is a marketplace in the B2C business model dedicated to home furnishings. The argument for sellers in its favor is the ability to quickly list an item for free. In the next step, the curatorial team analyzes the listing to ensure it meets market standards and edits the product’s photos. Once a sale is made, Chairish’s logistics department handles shipping.

The Chairish online selling platform is a prime example of:

  • great website’s design,
  • search engines with the ability to save a given search to receive notifications,
  • rich website menu,
  • and helpful tags directing to collections from the category.

Source: chairish.com

Another attractive feature is the Read section, where, in addition to blog posts full of inspiration, you can read equally interesting interviews with handicraft creators. Besides the attractive design and ease of finding interesting content, the Pinterest icon that appears when you hover over the article banner draws attention so that you can add the image to your collection on this inspirational website.

Walmart — personalized offer

Walmart is one of the best online selling platforms in the B2C sector and a crucial source of inspiration for anyone wanting to build a B2C marketplace. This web page has all the essentials needed for such a site, but we’d like to focus on elements that ingeniously meet the customer’s needs.

One of them is recipes, which are an excellent example of personalizing an offer. Below on the screen, you can see what a pleasure it can be to plan the preparation of a dish, taking into account the type of cuisine, the ingredients, the occasion (such as Christmas), or the number of people to whom the dish is to be served.

Source: walmart.com

The above idea increases the likelihood of conversion. A website visitor who prepares their purchases this way is unlikely to want to leave again (or is less likely to abandon the shopping cart) because they’ve spent considerable time doing so.

The second element worth noting on the website is the Gift Finder. Like the mechanism above, the section is based on filtering. It’s a valuable solution if a customer is looking for a gift for someone but doesn’t have a specific idea of what that gift could be.

Swappa — an intuitive online selling platform

Swappa is an example of a C2C platform offering primarily electronic accessories. This fact immediately requires the website developer to have a good search engine or product comparison capabilities. Swappa handles this task perfectly. It can inspire C2C startups that want to see how ecommerce functions should be presented to customers in an easy and clear way.

The Swappa selling platform is highly intuitive, and many elements are at our fingertips. When we browse a product, in addition to the option to buy, we see the opportunity to sell, as well as to acquire the product in settlement. We also see additional buttons that take us to a broader specification, offered prices and an alert setting for an analog listing.

The essential features of the merchandise are clearly listed, but — interestingly — when we click on an element, we go straight to the product listing for that very feature.

Source: swappa.com

If, on the other hand, we’d like to sell something, and we don’t know what price to list the item with, we can use the Price Trends option to see the lowest and the average bid. We can also create a forum thread about the item.

On the website, we also have the ability to see which model of an item is the most popular and/or what makes the biggest selling point. There are so many helpful features that a separate article could be devoted to the Swappa platform. We encourage you to check out the marketplace’s capabilities and implement some of the functionalities on your platform.

It’s also worth noting that Swappa focuses on quality — there’s a reason why the platform’s slogan is No Junk, No Jerks. They explain that the customer won’t find hardware soldered together here, and people verify every product added. This inspires trust and sets the platform apart from similar ones.

Etsy — a thoughtful layout of the online selling platform

Existing since 2005, Etsy is one of the best-known C2C platforms. And although it’s rich in content and graphics, it remains incredibly transparent. Noteworthy is the idea of including videos on the main page, which launches when we hover over the cursor. Once we enter the auction, there is more multimedia material, and the order of the page layout is still maintained.

On this online selling platform, all the necessary information about the offered item is “at hand.” Just scroll through the page to find out if the handicraft item can be personalized, as well as read reviews about the seller and go to their profile.

Etsy is an example (or even a model of sorts) of where to start when planning the layout of a C2C platform in such a way that it encourages user exploration of the website and conversion.

Source: etsy.com

The online selling platform is a popular destination for people looking for handmade goods, vintage items, or unique gifts. Etsy is also popular with buyers because it offers a wide range of products and a simple process for completing transactions. The website is easy to use and provides a built-in audience of millions of potential customers.

TradeWheel.com — saving time

TradeWheel.com is a United States-based B2B marketplace founded in 2003 that serves more than 39 industries and offers a platform for manufacturers and buyers to conduct sales operations. The website is distinguished by its ISM (Independent Sales Manager) solution, where customers are connected to a dedicated account manager who supports buyers and manufacturers.

After entering the list of categories, an extensive range of products appears to our eyes. After selecting one of them, we see the suppliers and products listed. In the description of the goods, in addition to the apparent specifications, there is also an option to order quotations of goods from other (multiple) suppliers, which can actually be very helpful for someone who is looking for the best deal and doesn’t want to spend too much time searching on their own.

In addition, we can correspond with contractors on the selling platform. This is also a noteworthy feature — everything is in one place rather than in a separate email inbox, where messages could get lost or forgotten.

Source: tradewheel.com

SeeBiz — presentation of vendors

A slightly more simplified web page layout is presented by sales platform SeeBiz. It’s also a B2B marketplace that allows manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers to exchange goods.

Let’s take a look at the Vendors section. We can select them from the category we’re interested in (manufacturers, distributors, etc.). Then, we can narrow down the results by a specific product to display the vendors, see their business cards, select a particular vendor, and go to their store on SeeBiz. Each listing owner has the option to showcase their items. Some also use the opportunity to upload a video for this purpose.

Source: seebiz.com

SeeBiz inspires business users of the marketplace platform on how to showcase them.

Medline — the example of how to use Magento 2

Medline distributes and manufactures medical supplies. It’s one of the more significant market players in its industry. The website is built on PHP and uses Magento 2.

The ecommerce platform operates on a B2B model, so it should come as no surprise that, in this case, there is no customary shopping cart. Instead, we add a given product to a wish list, and if we want to purchase it, we need to contact the seller directly.

Due to the nature of the business, products in the descriptions have technical data, PDF information brochures, and ordering information. However, all photos are on a white background to display product details well.

It’s worth noting that, as Medline is an international company, there are as many as 14 locations in the menu of this website based on Magento. After we select the destination we’re interested in, we switch to the corresponding language version.

Source: medline.eu

The best online selling platforms — summary

We hope that the examples cited of the best online selling platforms will prove to be an inspiration for creating your own marketplace. If you already have an idea for this kind of website, our experienced developers will help you build a service using Drupal Commerce. The most important thing is to plan your project well and know what direction you want to go.

Originally published at https://www.droptica.com.

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