There are many different types of e-marketplace based on a range of business models. They can be broadly divided into categories based on the way in which they are operated.
An independent e-marketplace is usually a business-to-business online platform operated by a third party which is open to buyers or sellers in a particular industry. By registering on an independent e-marketplace, you can access classified ads or requests for quotations or bids in your industry sector. There will typically be some form of payment required to participate.
A buyer-oriented e-marketplace is normally run by a consortium of buyers in order to establish an efficient purchasing environment. If you are looking to purchase, participating in this sort of e-marketplace can help you lower your administrative costs and achieve the best price from suppliers. As a supplier you can use a buyer-oriented e-marketplace to advertise your catalogue to a pool of relevant customers who are looking to buy.
Also known as a supplier directory, this marketplace is set up and operated by a number of suppliers who are seeking to establish an efficient sales channel via the internet to a large number of buyers. They are usually searchable by the product or service being offered.
Supplier directories benefit buyers by providing information about suppliers for markets and regions they may not be familiar with. Sellers can use these types of marketplace to increase their visibility to potential buyers and to get leads.
Vertical and horizontal e-marketplaces
Vertical e-marketplaces provide online access to businesses vertically up and down every segment of a particular industry sector such as automotive, chemical, construction or textiles. Buying or selling using a vertical e-marketplace for your industry sector can increase your operating efficiency and help to decrease supply chain costs, inventories and procurement-cycle time.
A horizontal e-marketplace connects buyers and sellers across different industries or regions. You can use a horizontal e-marketplace to purchase indirect products such as office equipment or stationery.