A Spotlight on Online Marketplaces: Adoption Rates, Driving Factors, and Dynamics

Lenore Staats

Marketplace structures have long inspired businesses. But the digital migration paired with the web-based marketplace options available for merchants and shoppers are encouraging marketplace dynamics. Correspondingly, micro and mid-sized firms are restructuring their services with new innovative storefronts and strategies. One collaborative study dabbed Marketplaces as Retail’s Front Door by VISA & […]

Marketplace structures have long inspired businesses. But the digital migration paired with the web-based marketplace options available for merchants and shoppers are encouraging marketplace dynamics. Correspondingly, micro and mid-sized firms are restructuring their services with new innovative storefronts and strategies.

One collaborative study dabbed Marketplaces as Retail’s Front Door by VISA & PYMNTs interviewed around 1,100 personal and business marketplace users all over the United States to analyze the adoption of marketplaces, the most common products as well as the sending and collection of payments.

The findings revealed a mixed web of players, minor and major, doing business, and completing transactions inspired by online marketplace capabilities. According to researchers, 3.5% of Main Street firms and an encouraging 16% of all US small businesses say they use digital marketplaces.

Nevertheless, payments remain a problem as different methods still lag in terms of marketplace user adoption.

According to the new report, “Digital marketplaces are an invaluable yet underrated tool for businesses and persons selling items through the internet.”

It acknowledges digital marketplaces as “a cost-effective alternative” to starting from scratch, as they help merchants prepare product listings and payment collection in a few steps.

Faster Payouts is a Driving Factor

Marketplace preferences now tether around the speed of payments.

The report highlights that 60% of the interviewed businesses are “somehow” to “extremely” keen on shifting to marketplaces that provide real-time payouts.

 

Because small & mid-sized firms have limited reservoirs and funding options to rely on, they consider faster settlements a priority service from web markets. This ensures they have enough cash on hand, eliminating any cash flow snags.

A-third of the interviewed firms said they were ready to shift to web marketplaces just to enjoy faster settlements.

Diverse Uses for Marketplaces

Marketplaces are proving useful in many ways. The study shows 62 percent of businesses that rely on marketplaces use the platforms to reach out to a larger audience. And 78 percent of individuals use marketplaces for similar purposes.

Apart from access to a wider customer base, 21 percent of the studied business cited ease of use, and 12 percent mentioned hassle-free payouts as the primary motivation to marketplaces.

Still, there’s a significant variation in the extent of adoption of these marketplaces. According to the survey, 65 percent of businesses use marketplaces to supplement their brick-and-mortar stores. Only 27 percent rely on marketplaces as their sole storefront.

 

Author Bio: Michael Hollis is a Detroit native who has helped hundreds of merchants get business funding. He’s experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, accounting But his favorite is the one he’s now doing — providing business funding for hard-working business owners across the country.

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