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Top 5 Online Marketplace Ideas for 2021- The Ultimate Guide

Kruthika Vadhera 12th January 2021
Online Marketplace ideas

The last decade has been one of the most progressive and significant decades in over a century. The breakthroughs and achievements irrespective of major financial setbacks and tragic lows have been nothing short of a miracle. While every industry has striven for the best in the past year, the online marketplace industry has been more prominent than ever. The proliferation of the internet and the evolution of Artificial Intelligence has definitely led a very constructive path for building an online marketplace

Yes, running your own marketplace is as easy as it has appeared in the past one year, but only if you choose the right platform, conduct in-depth research and most importantly, streamline your business requirements. 

In this post, we will cover several aspects of running an online marketplace platform, right from its evolution to some of the most trending marketplace ideas, along with some of the key players in the industry. The ultimate guide could be what you’re looking for in the new year. 

Evolution of Online Marketplace Platforms – From the ’90s to present 

The proliferation of the internet and the widespread use of computers and technology have presented to us a world full of possibilities. But what exactly paved the way for the modern marketplace industry that we see today is what we’ll discuss next in this post. 

It is clear that the online marketplace industry is growing at a phenomenal rate today. While this success rate is attributed to several factors, most of it goes back to the ‘90s when Amazon became one of the first e-commerce sites to start its own online bookstore. Gradually, over the years, it expanded to offer more products to the shoppers and eventually became a safe haven for both sellers and consumers. 

The largest online retailer in the world now has everything to offer, right from music, videos, downloads, electronics, furniture, apparel, food, toys to anything or everything that comes to your mind. The e-commerce giant was quick to capture consumers’ interest and still does with some of the best AI applications, fast-delivery options and endless products/services to choose from. 

Another e-commerce marketplace that prospered in the same year was e-Bay which is an online auction site. Etsy which debuted in the year 2005 also scaled dizzy heights in a few years. While it’s true that such leading online marketplaces have gained a strong foothold in the global markets ever since their inception, they have also invigorated the sector by setting a stepping stone for several industries that administered on the idea of building their own online marketplace. 

The recent years have been nothing short of a renaissance in this regard. The ease of exploring different brands from the comfort of your homes has been on a whole new level ever since the pandemic. The inevitable shift in consumer behavior resulted in more and more opportunities for sellers to widen their digital presence. So, before we give you some insights on how you can build a marketplace for your business, listing a few online marketplace ideas and some of the latest trends and platforms for the rising entrepreneurs. 

Top Online Marketplace Platforms for 2021

1. Online Marketplace Platforms for e-commerce 

The product-based marketplace or e-commerce marketplace has gained huge traction in recent times. With both buyers and sellers operating from home, shopping online has become the new normal. The topmost brands and companies are moving their businesses online, and the only way to reach millions of shoppers is through an online marketplace. While the tough competition is one of the many challenges, shoppers love the idea of surfing through different brands to strike the best. 

A study conducted by the NRF (National Retail Federation) reveals that the global e-commerce sales are expected to reach great heights in the years to follow and are expected to account for $4.5 trillion by 2021. This means that stepping into the e-commerce business could be very profitable in the long run. Some of the top e-commerce marketplace platforms to draw inspiration from are Amazon, Flipcart, Walmart, eBay. 

We understand that the success stories of these e-commerce giants might make you want to jump right into it. However, it’s really important to choose the right platform to build your own and highly customized multi-vendor  marketplace platform. Also, if you’re looking for something really quick, easy and efficient, go for Yelo

2. Online Marketplace Platforms for Grocery Delivery 

The online grocery marketplace platforms have witnessed a significant rise in its popularity in recent years, and especially during the pandemic in adherence to the strict social distancing norms. The chaos and the pandemic induced panic buying subsided soon after the grocery stores moved their services online. People now have the privilege to order essentials from the comfort of their homes. In fact, some studies even suggest that by this decade is going to be revolutionary for online grocery delivery business and is projected to be one of the fastest emerging online marketplace reaching $84460 by the end of 2025. The prominent players in the industry are Walmart, Target and Kroger. 

Challenges and Way Forward

However, the rising demand for online groceries comes with its own challenges, and the industry needs to keep up with some of the uncertainties, such as high operational cost, complicated delivery procedures. Therefore, implementing an efficient business model and smart management strategies is of prime importance once you’ve decided to build your own online marketplace platform for groceries. 

Businesses must go for platforms that offer effective inventory management features, smart management strategies and rapid delivery or dispatch solutions. Constant communication is the key to satisfactory deliveries, hence, businesses must factor in all these requirements before taking their pick. 

3. Online Marketplace Platforms for Health and Fitness 

Well, the pandemic did challenge the health and fitness industry in major ways. With the abrupt shutting down of all gyms and fitness centres and some stringent social distancing protocols in place, the health and fitness industry like every other industry sought digital presence. 

While it is true that the massive growth of this sector can be attributed to the deadly outbreak, the online fitness clubs have enabled flexibility and comfort on all fronts. The work from home culture has been another stimulating factor, making technology smash all physical barriers and create possibilities in a world that would otherwise be too laid-back and inactive to perform.  As per some recent studies, the global online health and fitness marketplace is projected to grow at a CAGR of 21.1% in another five years, that was previously projected between 2019-26. 

Key players in the online fitness marketplace 

Some of the prominent fitness marketplace platforms that rule the industry are Gymnut, TrainHeroic, SugarWOD and Cult. However, with an ever-increasing demand for online fitness, new players are entering the field. While some started with free sessions initially, they eventually figured into our pockets with monthly or yearly subscriptions. An online fitness service named Obe streams 14 live classes per day for $27 monthly or $199 annually. The cult has been one of the most preferred platforms for a fitness regime. 

Challenges and Way Forward

With a sudden shift in the industry model, the fitness studios, small or big, were severely affected. The operations came to an abrupt halt due to the pandemic, and the biggest challenge for the fitness studios was to stop customers from cancelling their membership. In order to maintain their customer base, they had to make a switch from tradition to online/virtual fitness sessions with an interactive home fitness platform. 

4. Online Marketplace Platforms for Telehealth and Telemedicine  

According to the Quantum Metric, there has been a substantial growth of 52% in the sales of online health products. Undoubtedly, the online marketplace for healthcare services has been in the limelight ever since the outbreak. A massive surge in the no. of COVID-19 cases not only increased the demand for online healthcare products but also encouraged healthcare professionals to adopt telemedicine, which was hardly ever the case before 2020. 

The online marketplace for telehealth and telemedicine therefore played a crucial role in connecting people with health professionals from different parts of the country or even the world. According to ATA, the telemedicine market is expected to exceed USD 60.44 billion by 2024. 

Top Players in Telehealth and Telemedicine Market 

Telemedicine has now become a crucial part of the healthcare industry. Some of the key players in the industry are Teladoc Health, Nutrimedy, MDLIVE, InTouch Technologies, Doctor on Demand, MeMD etc. 

Challenges and Way Forward

While telemedicine reduces the risk of transmission of the virus, it has some limitations too, such as inefficient communication or no physical checkups. This can be resolved with a platform that enables hassle-free communication, both audio and video. Building an efficient online healthcare marketplace platform comes into play in this scenario. 

5. Online Marketplace Platforms for service bookings 

An online service marketplace facilitates buying and selling of services between service seekers and providers. Service marketplace platforms cater to different niches such as professional writing and designing, salon services, on-demand laundry, plumbing, carpentry services etc. 

Key Players in the online service marketplace sector

Some of the popular on-demand service marketplace platforms are Fiverr, Freelancer, Urban Clap, Consultants 500 etc. Fiverr, a platform for freelancers clocks more than a million transactions in a month. The pandemic and the consequent booming on-demand economy has encouraged people to build their own freelance platform. 

Ready to build your own marketplace platform? 

It’s true that the new normal has changed the way we work, live, travel, shop or avail services. The shift towards online service and marketplace platforms has been really progressive. However, building an online marketplace from scratch does require some good decisions, the first and foremost being the right software to base your business on. 

The pandemic has exposed customers to thousands of platforms designed for a particular service, but only a few are good enough. A select few make us forego our conventional plans for new ones. For this to happen, one must hire the right marketplace building platform such as Yelo that can get your business up and running in less than a day. 

Need a full-blown marketplace in less than 24 hours? Go for Yelo! 

The right software will offer the right features for your business, which only results in more business and better customer engagement. Right from store management, chat and notifications, convenient payment options, automated operations to an efficient refund or exchange system, the platform must be equipped to offer everything. The best online marketplace platform is that factors in all three parties’ requirements- the customers, providers, and business owners. 
So before you plan on building a super engaging multi-vendor marketplace platform, do read some of the features of an ideal online marketplace platform. And yes, if you’re still unable to decide, you always have a backup plan to sign up for a free 14 day Yelo trial. Don’t wait up, get in touch with the team right now and start this new year with a new business plan!

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