If you’re thinking of startup ideas for the year ahead, what’s trending when it comes to online marketplace ideas? Here are the top 10 online marketplace startup (business) ideas to work on this year. Here you would be able to find vertical, and horizontal marketplace startups.
Our last few articles have taken a look at several different startup ideas for the year ahead. They’re the perfect blogs to read if you want to start a new business in 2023 but aren’t sure what!
This article will take a look at some vertical and horizontal marketplace startup ideas to consider this year. More and more people are shopping online than ever before, with online marketplaces a terrific way to find lots of products and services from new businesses.
In this blog, we will look at what online marketplace ideas are, why shoppers like them so much, and our top 10 online marketplace ideas to give you inspiration in the year ahead. But don’t forget about the chicken and egg problem that you might face.
What is a marketplace?
A marketplace is a type of business model. It is a website or app that allows buyers to connect with sellers, and sellers to connect with buyers, in exchange for a fee or commission.
Think of a marketplace as the conduit between the people wanting to buy, and the businesses that have products and services to sell.
You may think that online marketplaces are a relatively recent development, but the truth is, they’ve been around a lot longer than you might think. The Boston Computer Exchange was launched in 1982 and was an online marketplace where people could buy and sell used computers.
Book Stacks Unlimited was followed in 1992, shortly followed by Amazon, which also specialized in books at the time.
What are some samples of vertical and horizontal marketplaces startups?
If you ask someone to name a vertical or horizontal marketplace startup, they are likely to say Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba. These are some of the largest marketplaces in the world, with a strong international presence.
Some B2B marketplaces are a lot more niche. For example, Etsy is a marketplace that sells handmade goods, while Airb2b lets people find places to stay. You may not think of it as a marketplace as such, but Just Eat puts hungry customers in touch with takeaway restaurants.
You can buy services as well as products through vertical and horizontal marketplaces startups too. For example, Uber is a marketplace for taxi drivers, while Fiverr is a marketplace for freelancers.
What makes marketplaces startup such an attractive option?
Why is creating a new marketplace such a good idea? Here are some reasons why this industry is such a great one to get into.
People buy a lot of products and services online
The good thing about launching a marketplace startup is that so many people buy products online. According to Adobe, 57% of shoppers buy products from marketplaces, while only 13% of people buy direct from retailer websites.
This means that if you have an excellent online marketplace startup idea, the odds of customers buying from you are high.
There are a lot of different niches to take advantage of
Marketplaces have a lot of scopes too – with vertical and horizontal marketplaces. Vertical marketplaces focus on one specific niche, while horizontal marketplaces sell a wide range of various products.
Your marketplace can also let businesses sell to other businesses (B2B) or customers (B2C). There is also vertical and horizontal marketplaces startup where customers can sell directly to other customers (C2C).
This gives you a lot of opportunities when it comes to deciding which type of marketplace to build. Think about where your strengths lie and carry out market research to see where there are gaps in the market.
We recommend using the lean startup technique to get your startup idea to market as quickly as possible.
Marketplaces scale really quickly and are simple to create
Marketplaces can grow as your plans and ambitions do.
Take Amazon for example. It initially was created to sell books, but rapidly expanded to the point that you can now buy anything you like, from food and drink to trainers and homewares. The business is now worth an incredible $315 billion!
Another advantage of marketplaces is that you don’t need to worry about shipping or stock. That’s the responsibility of the sellers that use your platform. This can make creating a marketplace an easy way to ensure startup success.
We’ve taken a look at what vertical and horizontal marketplace startups are, now let’s take a look at the different types of marketplace ideas that we think will trend in 2023.
As we mentioned before, one of the things we love the most about marketplace startups is that there is so much opportunity. As long as you do your market research, there’s a lot of potentials to be found when it comes to startup ideas.
So, what’s currently trending in the world of online marketplaces? Let’s take a look.
Here are the top 10 best online marketplace ideas to work on in 2023
- Ecommerce marketplaces;
- Clothing online marketplace business ideas;
- Budget marketplaces idea;
- Talent marketplaces ideas;
- Preloved and second-hand marketplaces;
- Rental marketplaces ideas;
- Travel online marketplace business ideas;
- Homecare marketplaces;
- Charity and volunteering marketplaces;
- B2B marketplaces;
- Extra idea.
Let’s dig deeper into each.
1. eCommerce marketplaces
We would like to start our Top 10 marketplace startup ideas to work on in the 2023 list from eCommerce marketplaces. About 63% of eCommerce sales are spent in marketplaces, making it a great place to begin your startup journey.
An eCommerce marketplace is the simplest type of marketplace, where sellers exchange products for money. Amazon, Alibaba, and Taobao are all examples of horizontal eCommerce marketplaces, alongside more niche vertical ones like Etsy, Wayfair, and Notonthehighstreet.
Something that we mentioned earlier in the article – the good thing about eCommerce marketplaces is that you don’t need to store stock yourself. You promote products on behalf of the seller, and they send the products out to the buyer. This gives eCommerce marketplaces a distinct advantage over standard eCommerce sites.
2. Clothing online marketplace business ideas
With people looking to get out and enjoy themselves after the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, 2022 is a great year to get into clothing marketplaces. Generalist marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay all sell clothes, alongside more specific marketplaces like ASOS, Farfetch, and Zalando.
Customers can even sell second-hand and vintage clothing online, which we will go into a little bit more detail about later.
3. Budget marketplace idea
Everybody loves a bargain, and low-cost marketplaces are currently on-trend.
The king of the budget website is currently Wish. This San Francisco marketplace is well known for obscure products at knockdown prices, with many people gently mocking the random social media adverts the marketplace serves to consumers.
There aren’t many vertical marketplaces in this niche, making it a potential opportunity for startup founders.
4. Talent marketplaces ideas
Online marketplace business ideas aren’t just about products – all of us use them to procure services too.
Freelancing is becoming more popular with people than ever before. It’s estimated that one in three workers are now freelance, and freelancers in the US generated over a trillion dollars in income last year.
Platforms like People Per Hour, Upwork, and Fiverr can be used to put customers in contact with people selling their services. For example, if you are looking to launch a new business, you can use these platforms to hire web developers, graphic designers, and content writers.
Most of the platforms are fairly generalist, meaning that creating a specific marketplace for freelancers and agencies may be a smart move.
5. Preloved and second-hand marketplaces
We’re all trying to become more environmentally friendly, and selling things we don’t need can be a wonderful way to help reduce our carbon footprint.
Swappa is a user-to-user online marketplace business idea that lets customers sell their old technology. There are strict guidelines in place to ensure products are high-quality and sellers do not pay fees.
Thrift+ is another example of a marketplace that helps people become more sustainable. Customers fill a bag with clothes and send it to Thrift+, which sells the products on its marketplace. Profits are then split between Thrift+, the seller, and the charity of the seller’s choice.
6. Rental marketplaces ideas
Since Airbnb launched in 2008, many people have said goodbye to hotels and have started using rental marketplaces to find affordable and fun places to stay.
While Airbnb has about 20% of the current market share, there are plenty of other marketplaces that specialize in this niche too. For example, HomeAway specializes in private (rather than shared) holiday homes, Outdoorsy focuses on motorhomes and campervans, while Kid and Coe specialize in kid-friendly accommodation.
With this marketplace, there are a lot of opportunities to either cater to a broad audience or focus on a more niche type of customer.
7. Travel online marketplace business ideas
Travel marketplaces make it easier than ever for customers to book every aspect of their holiday in one place, from the flights and hire cars to the accommodation.
TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Orbitz are currently the key players in this industry. Still, there is also plenty of space for niche marketplace providers too. For instance, Musement specializes in tickets to museums and other attractions worldwide while Get Your Guide has been created for people who are already enjoying their holiday.
8. Homecare marketplaces
We predict that homecare online marketplaces will be on-trend in the year ahead.
Homecare marketplaces can focus on anything from cleaning and cooking, to childminding and dog walking. There are already lots of dog-walking and pet-sitting marketplaces available, including Madpaws, Meowtel, Borrow my Doggy, and Trusted Housesitters.
Homecare marketplaces can help make life easier for people and give them peace of mind. If you can identify homeowners’ pain points, we think you will find a lot of success in this particular niche.
9. Charity and volunteering marketplaces
For those who want to make a difference and give back to the community, this is an excellent type of marketplace to get into.
As well as buying products from charities, customers can give directly to their charities of choice too. For example, Global Giving lets charities connect to donors, giving them a way to find new funding opportunities.
There was a drop in the number of people giving to charity in 2021, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now that things are improving, we predict that people will want to give their time and money to charitable causes once more.
10. B2B marketplace idea
And the last item in our top 10 online marketplace startup ideas to work on in 2023 is B2B marketplaces. Businesses are always keen to look for the best deals, which makes B2B marketplaces a great industry to get into in 202#. These vertical and horizontal marketplaces startups not only help buyers purchase the best things at the best prices but give sellers a great opportunity to promote their businesses too.
There is a lot of scope with B2B marketplaces, with both products and services up for offer. As well as commodities like office furniture and stationery, businesses can purchase marketing, IT services, insurance, and legal support.
It’s estimated that the B2B marketplace is currently worth $32 billion and is set to grow over the years – so be sure to get into this industry in the year ahead!
Read a full article about building a B2B marketplace.
11. Rental marketplace app idea [Extra]
What is it?
A rental marketplace is an online platform where businesses or individuals can rent different types of items from each other or through the platform itself.
Why invest in it?
The total value of the global sharing economy was $15 billion in 2014, and this number is expected to grow to $335 billion by 2025. The rental market is an important part of the sharing economy.
The dramatic increase in the value of the sharing economy is due to the invaluable benefits it brings to people, such as affordability.
In fact, about 70% of millennials and Gen Z prefer to rent rather than buy. On the other hand, people see renting out used items as a good opportunity to earn extra income.
For entrepreneurs and business owners, this means that getting into the rental business can be very lucrative in the long run. Some of the best rental business ideas you can think of are:
- Equipment Rental;
- Vehicle Rental;
- Furniture Rental;
- Storage Rental;
- Vacation Rental
Business and revenue models of the online rental marketplaces
- P2P (peer-to-peer) Marketplace Business Model;
- B2B (business-to-business) Business Model;
- B2C (business-to-customer) Business Model;
- Commission-Based Revenue Model;
- Subscription-Based Revenue Model;
- Listing Charges Model
Key Players in the Online Rental Market
- Lyft (Car Rental Platform)
- Click & Boat (Boat Rental Platform)
- and sure Airbnb (Vacation Rental Platform)
Interested in building an online car rental marketplace like Lyft?
With the car rental market expected to reach $139.65 billion by 2027, up from $92.02 billion in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate of over 7%, investing in the growth of the rental car market is a smart move for entrepreneurs. Lyft is a US-based ride-hailing company and a major player in the online car rental industry. Lyft car rentals work much like traditional car rentals. To help you build a Lyft-like platform that offers services like car rentals, here’s a comprehensive guide to Lyft’s business and revenue model. Try it out and see how it works and how it makes money.
Note, doesn’t matter what idea you would move with, make sure you are targeting a search of Product Market Fit.
In conclusion: what online marketplace business ideas will you have in the year ahead?
We hope our top 10 online marketplace business ideas list has given you lots of potential insight into some of the ideas for the year ahead.
B2C marketplaces are expected to reach $3.5 trillion in sales by 2024. So, whether you have plans to be the next Amazon or Alibaba, or want to create a marketplace that is a little more niche, the marketplace industry is a fascinating one to get into.
Need a little extra help with your startup idea? You are launched is here to help
Do you know what to do if you have a great marketplace idea for the year ahead but aren’t sure how to go about it? You are launched can help turn your dream into reality.
We’ve been working with vertical and horizontal marketplaces startups since 2014, helping them finetune their ideas, win funding and grants as well as get their products and services to market.
Don’t forget that we can help with any startup idea you have, even if it is not a marketplace
So, if you have a startup that you want to get moving on in 2023, contact us today and see how our team of experts can help.