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What Are Marketplace Websites and Why do I Need One to Start My Entrepreneurial Business?

Want to build a website that is nature like Amazon?

You’ll need a marketplace website that converts.

Marketplaces, like Amazon, are some of the most highly visited websites in the world. 

Over the course of this Yclas blog series, ‘How to Build a Website Like Amazon,’ we are going to guide you through the steps to launch your own marketplace website.

We will start with what marketplace websites are (including their types and range of functionality and features), to idea creation, business models (revenue streams), monetization, and finally to going live.

First, we’ll go over some fundamentals. If you want to skip the basics, keep scrolling for more information and links to other blogs in the series.

What is an Online Marketplace or Classified Website?

Marketplace and classified websites work in similar ways.

They provide an easy-to-use website for users to buy and sell their items. Users are able to access services and products from virtually any device.

Amazon is a ‘prime’ example however there are many other smaller-scale ventures. They include real estate websites, online job boards, car dealership listings, etc.

What Types of Online Marketplaces Exist (Other Than Amazon)?

Marketplace websites allow you to build websites for:

• Business-to-business (B2B) sales.

• Business-to-consumer (B2C) sales.

• Peer-to-peer (P2P).

On P2P websites, you provide a marketplace platform for both buyers and sellers to use your services rather than focusing your efforts on directly selling to businesses or customers. 

They work on leveraging the “network effect” to grow their business.

For example, P2P sites (like Airbnb, Etsy, Amazon, and eBay) must offer features that ensure sellers can set up their inventory easily while also providing safe and efficient check-out systems for buyers.

What is the Easiest Way to Build a Marketplace Website? 

We will cover more ways to build marketplace websites later in the series. In a nutshell though, if you do not have experience in website building (HTML, Java, CSS, Python, etc.,), a marketplace website builder will save you:

• Time.

• Frustrations (that come with trying to work out what line of code is stopping your whole website from loading!)

Marketplace website builders do not require any previous website building, marketplace, or coding experience. 

Want to Start a Marketplace But Not Sure What to Offer?

If you don’t already have an idea, start here:

Let’s take a look at some of the original ideas behind some of the world’s biggest marketplaces? Read on to find out.

A ‘Prime’ Story – Online Bookstore to Online ‘Everything’ Store

The story of Amazon started back in 1994 when Jeff Bezos left his job to start an online bookstore from his garage.

Bezos did not know he wanted to sell books initially.

After he did some market research, he noticed a gap in the market and saw an opportunity to offer consumers alternatives to brick-and-mortar book shops.

In 1998, Amazon started selling CDs and VHS’. 1999 ushered in a suite of new product categories, and you might say, the rest is history.

Use Other Marketplace Websites for Inspiration When Generating Ideas

eBay started as an online marketplace for selling Pez dispensers.

Etsy was established to provide a way for creatives to sell their hand-made wares.

Upwork was the result of a merger of two freelance websites.

With a fresh marketing approach and updates to functionality and features, Upwork was able to attract both employers and freelancers from around the world.

TIP: Grab a copy of your local paper and check out the classifieds.

There you will find job listings, local real estate, services, accommodation, events, news, and more.

Airbnb Solved a Local Problem

Housemates and designers, Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia offered a couple of airbeds and a home-cooked breakfast to local visitors.

What prompted them to do this?

All the local hotels were booked solid due to an overwhelming amount of people attending the Industrial Design conference.

Before the lads knew it, their ‘AirBed and Breakfast’ was booked out. 

What’s Next?

In the next blog in this series, learn how to take your ideas to the next step.

• How to choose your online business model.

• Decide how you will generate income.

• Discover the unique features and functionality your website will need for success.

If you want to get started right away, head over to the Yclas website to get a free trial.

With a free trial, you have the opportunity to test out all of the marketplace website builders’ features and functionality for free for 14 days.

You can start building your website today and start adding products and services to your marketplace tomorrow. 

You will get a base website and the ability to create your own product pages and list pages. 

1. Hayes, A. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Service. Investopedia. 2021.
2. Hartmans, A. Jeff Bezos Originally Wanted to Name Amazon ‘Cadabra,’ and 14 Other Little-Known Facts About the Early Days of the E-Commerce Giant. Business Insider. 2021.
3. Sherman, E. 20 Years of Amazon’s Expansive Evolution. CBS.
4. Wells, S. The Beginnings of eBay. The Balance Small Business. 2019.
5. Majewski, T. A Brief History of Etsy on its 10th Anniversary. Built in NY. 2015.
6. Brier, E & Pearson, R. Upwork’s SVP of Marketing Explains What It Takes To Perfect An Offering That Relies On People. Tech Day. 2022.
7. Keycafe Team. The History of Airbnb. Medium. 2019.