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Marketplaces B2C : future of e-commerce ?

posted Oct 31, 2014, 1:36 AM by Julien Pillot

MARKETPLACES ARE PROGRESSIVELY EMERGING AS A DOMINANT DESIGN IN THE E-COMMERCE SECTOR

Platforms capitalizing on a win-win intermediation model, marketplaces have both attracted (and even converted) consumers and vendors. The former enjoys greater variety of products and extensive range of high level services, while the latter takes advantage of marketplaces ability to generate online traffic and to become unique commercial showcases. As for their owners, marketplaces have to be seen as an opportunity to generate important margins in monetizing the Internet audience, while pooling costs and risks traditionally beard by the sole retailers. For sure, the business-model has proven success. Still confidential just few years ago, marketplaces now represent a substantial part of the B2C e-commerce and become, naturally, very attractive for a growing number of undertakings from all walks (pure players, click & mortar, traditional catalogue-based mail-order retailers, etc.)

 

MARKETPLACES, NETWORK EFFECTS AND THE WINNER-TAKES-ALL PRINCIPLE

Despite the meteoric rise of the sector, no more than a handful of marketplaces will be successful, especially if they duplicate the business-model of Amazon.  Archetype of platforms likely to generate huge network effects, marketplaces are converge naturally towards market concentration, and disillusioned days to come for undertakings unable to quickly obtain a critical size, or to gain a strong position on a specific market segment. If marketplaces are unlikely to win the battle for audience, they have to win the one for relevance. Basically, to be successful in such a business, undertakings will have to be able to develop a true business expertise, to operate in a dynamic and complex ecosystem, to adopt a business-model suited to their own ambition, and to address the strategic challenges ahead.

 

THE CLASSIC BUSINESS MODEL IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY THE ONE BEST WAY

Some original business models emerge in addition to the classic one, and brings new opportunities to a growing number of companies. Freemium and dropshipping platforms now appears as viable alternatives to the pure performance related model for highly specialized marketplaces looking for relevance rather than audience. If not every retailer is intended to operate an audience-based marketplace, the very model of intermediation platform has a brilliant future in the e-commerce sector.


STUDY DETAILS
Series : Precepta (PTAX)
Code : 4DIS57
Paperback : 284 pages
Language : French
Publication date : October 2014
Price : € 2 400 [Commercial Link]

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