In recent years, we’ve defined the term marketplace to mean an online arena for commerce, a virtual meeting place for buyers and sellers to exchange goods and services.
But in an omnichannel world, where consumers don’t separate online and offline experiences and are starting to expect the best of both, marketplaces need to be thinking about more than their online offer.
If a key role of the marketplace is to provide the greatest choice and convenience to buyers, and to expand opportunity and distribution to sellers, then surely that marketplace is only truly effective if it supports both online and offline channels.
The ambition then, is an omnichannel marketplace, where consumers have greater choice over the products and services they buy and how they buy them. They’re offered a seamless shopping, buying and fulfilment experience - regardless of the product, brand, supplier, channel, payment type and delivery options they demand. And to succeed, it needs to be built entirely around customer behaviour and needs.