Essentials Report

Research Overview: Online Marketplaces

A Guide To Buying, Selling, And Creating Market Leverage Via Everyone's Favorite Digital Platform Business Model

August 17th, 2020
Allen Bonde, null
Allen Bonde
Caleb Ewald, null
Caleb Ewald
With contributors:
Stephen Powers , Sucharita Kodali , Joe Cicman , Lily Varon , Xiaofeng Wang , Fiona Swerdlow , Jacob Morgan , Jay McBain , Emma Huff , Madison Bakalar


Online marketplaces aren't a new idea. Yet over the past few years, they have (re)emerged as a preferred channel for consumers, small businesses, and a growing number of enterprise buyers. For brands and other sellers, they offer a low-cost way to reach online customers or enter new markets but also less control over a company's brand and the user experience. For operators, orchestrating an ecosystem of buyers, sellers, and technology partners requires mastery of eCommerce, brand building, and demand gen — but also offers unique economic benefits of running a digital platform business. This report summarizes our research on consumer and business marketplaces and explains how to understand buyer preferences and succeed as a seller or operator.

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