Note: We've updated this article in March 2023!
In today's digital age, online marketplaces have become an essential part of the global economy, facilitating the buying and selling of goods and services on a massive scale. And with the global ecommerce market projected to reach $6 trillion by 2024, the growth potential for online marketplaces is still great.
From B2C and B2B marketplaces to niche, digital, and industry-specific platforms, the landscape of online marketplaces is vast and diverse. In this blog post, we'll explore a few dozen popular online marketplaces across a number of categories and niches.
We organized the list of marketplaces into these 5 big categories:
- Top B2C marketplaces
- Top B2B and wholesale marketplaces
- Niche and industry-specific marketplaces
- Digital and software marketplaces
- Service marketplaces
You can click each heading to jump to the corresponding section or join us in exploring each of them.
Top B2C marketplaces
B2C marketplaces have revolutionized the way we shop by providing a vast selection of products and services from multiple sellers in one convenient location. These platforms have become a one-stop-shop for consumers worldwide, offering everything from clothing to electronics, groceries, and beyond. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Year founded: 1994
Founded in 1994, Amazon has grown into one of the most popular B2C marketplaces. According to Insider Intelligence, Amazon’s retail ecommerce sales worldwide are forecasted to reach $746.22 billion in 2023.
Amazon offers a wide range of products and services to consumers all over the world, and its powerful shipping and fulfillment features and its consistent shopping experience have made it a top choice for many consumers.
Year founded: 1995
Founded a year after Amazon, eBay has become another popular B2C marketplace, with its Q4 2022 revenue of $2.5 billion. While it was initially focused on auctions, bidding, and used items, nowadays it operates more like a traditional marketplace.
Year founded: 2010
AliExpress is an e-commerce platform based in China that is owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and allows small businesses in China and other locations, such as Singapore, to sell products to international customers.
Year founded: 2007
Founded as a hardware store in 2007 in India, Flipkart has gradually expanded to become a dominant force in the global consumer electronics market, with a revenue of 433 billion Indian rupees in 2021. Nowadays it offers a wide range of products including smartphones, large appliances, fashion, decor, and others.
Year founded: 1997
Rakuten is a Japanese e-commerce company founded in 1997. It offers not just a wide range of products, but also services like internet services, fintech, mobile, and others, and has reported a consolidated revenue of 1.68 trillion yen in 2021.
Top B2B and wholesale marketplaces
In a similar manner to B2C, B2B and wholesale marketplaces transformed the way businesses connect with suppliers, source and procure goods and services, and get the best deals. These marketplaces offer a streamlined approach to buying and selling in bulk, providing access to thousands of products from multiple suppliers in one centralized location. Here are some of the most popular B2B marketplaces and wholesale platforms.
Year founded: 1999
In addition to being a massive Chinese multinational technology company, it’s also a global wholesale trade platform that serves millions of buyers and suppliers from around the world.
The platform offers a wide range of products, with over 40 major categories, including consumer electronics, machinery, and apparel, to buyers from over 190 countries and regions.
Year founded: 2012
Amazon Business is a B2B marketplace owned by Amazon that allows companies to become Amazon Business Sellers with a special Amazon Business Account through Seller Central. This account allows businesses to sell in bulk with bulk pricing, offer discounts and tax exemption to other businesses, and benefit from other exclusive features tailored to their needs.
Year founded: 2010 (Thomas Register in 1898)
ThomasNet is a procurement platform that helps professionals in industrial, manufacturing, commercial, and institutional businesses find trusted suppliers for MRO, OEM, and other products and services.
Year founded: 2014
Tundra is a zero-commission wholesale marketplace that aims to make it easy for business owners to find a wide variety of high-quality products from thousands of unique brands at real wholesale prices, with no markups or commissions.
The platform offers over 2 million products that are ready to ship, with an average lead-time of five days, and has over 10,000 brands with new ones added every day, as well as a community of over 30,000 verified retailers and over 40,000 reviews from verified buyers.
Year founded: 2017
Faire is an online wholesale marketplace that connects retailers with independent brands around the world and empowers small businesses to compete on a more level playing field with larger retailers.
Founded in 2017, the platform has over 600,000 retailers and over 85,000 brands selling products, and has introduced over 5 million connections to date.
Niche and industry-specific marketplaces
While general marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay offer a wide range of products and services, niche and industry-specific marketplaces have emerged as a popular alternative for both buyers and sellers. These marketplaces cater to specific industries, providing a targeted approach to buying and selling within a particular market.
Handmade, crafts, art, and vintage (see our blog post for more handmade marketplaces):
- Etsy is an online marketplace that specializes in handmade, vintage, and unique items, connecting buyers with independent sellers.
- Amazon Handmade is a marketplace within Amazon that offers a curated selection of handcrafted products from artisans and small businesses.
- Bonanza is a platform that offers a wide range of unique items, including handmade, vintage, and one-of-a-kind products.
Luxury, fashion, and second-hand (see our blog post for more luxury and fashion marketplaces):
- Poshmark is a fashion marketplace where users can buy and sell new or gently-used clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- Depop is a marketplace platform focused on unique, trendy, and vintage clothing.
- Vinted is an online marketplace that specializes in secondhand fashion.
Sneakers and streetwear:
- GOAT is an online marketplace for authentic sneakers from top brands, as well as rare and hard-to-find styles.
- Kixify is a two-sided platform for sneakerheads to connect, discover, buy and sell authentic sneakers online.
- StockX is a streetwear marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of sneakers, streetwear, watches and handbags.
Print-on-demand and merchandize platforms:
- CafePress is an on-demand printing marketplace for custom clothing, stickers, posters, and other merchandize.
- Redbubble a marketplace platform that connects artists and designers with fans by offering on-demand merch.
- Society6 is a merchandise marketplace for independent artists to showcase their unique designs on a range of products.
- Zillow is an online real estate marketplace that provides information and tools to help buyers, sellers, and renters make informed decisions about various properties.
- Redfin is a real estate brokerage and online marketplace that offers a full-service home buying and selling experience.
- Trulia is a marketplace platform focused on real estate that also offers neighborhood recommendations and insights.
Digital and software marketplaces
In addition to marketplaces for physical goods, digital marketplaces have also emerged as a hub for creators and businesses looking to buy and sell digital products and services, such as software, stock photography, games, music, and others. As more businesses and individuals rely on digital solutions to power their operations and creative endeavors, these platforms have become an essential resource for finding the right tools to get the job done.
Code and graphics:
- ThemeForest is an online marketplace for website templates, themes, plugins, and other digital assets.
- Creative Market is a platform for creators to sell creative resources like fonts, graphics, and templates to businesses and individuals.
- CodeCanyon is a digital marketplace that offers a wide range of software and application source code, plugins, and scripts.
Stock photography and imagery:
- Shutterstock is a global provider of licensed stock photos, videos, music, and editorial content.
- Adobe Stock is an online stock media marketplace for creative professionals operated by Adobe.
- Unsplash is a platform offering high-quality, free-to-use images for personal and commercial projects.
Mobile apps and software stores:
- Google Play is an official digital distribution platform for Android apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books, and magazines.
- The App Store is Apple's official platform for distributing iPhone, iPad, or iPod apps.
- Microsoft Store is a Microsoft's distribution platform for various types of software, including Windows apps, games, and digital content for Microsoft products like Xbox and Microsoft Office.
- Steam is a digital distribution platform for video games developed by Valve Corporation.
- Epic Games Store is a marketplace for Windows and macOS video games operated by Epic Games.
- Humble Bundle is a digital storefront for video games, ebooks, software, and other digital content, with a focus on charity fundraising.
- Spotify is a music streaming service that offers access to millions of songs, podcasts, and videos from artists around the world.
- Apple Music is Apple's music and video streaming service.
- Bandcamp is a music marketplace and community that connects independent musicians and labels with their fans.
- Udemy is an online learning marketplace offering a wide range of courses taught by expert instructors.
- Coursera is a learning platform that offers courses and educational content from top universities and organizations.
- Skillshare is an online community with thousands of creative and entrepreneurial classes taught by industry experts.
Finally, there are service marketplace platforms. These marketplaces offer a convenient way to connect with service providers for everything from food delivery and ride-sharing to freelance services and home repairs. Here are some of the most popular ones out there.
- DoorDash is an American on-demand food delivery service that allows customers to order food from local restaurants.
- Grubhub is an online and mobile food delivery marketplace that connects diners with restaurants.
- Uber Eats is an online food ordering platform by Uber.
- Uber is a global ride-hailing and transportation services platform.
- Lyft is an American ride-hailing company
- Bolt (formerly Taxify) is an Estonian transportation network company offering ride-hailing services.
Task and job services:
- TaskRabbit is an online and mobile marketplace that connects consumers with local freelancers for tasks such as cleaning, handyman work, moving, and personal assistant services.
- Thumbtack is a service marketplace that connects customers with local professionals for various services.
- Rated People is a UK-based online marketplace connecting homeowners with local tradespeople for home improvement and repair services.
- Upwork is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely.
- Fiverr is an freelance marketplace that connects businesses with a global network of freelancers offering digital services in over 300 categories.
- Freelancer is a crowdsourcing marketplace that connects businesses and employers with freelancers who specialize in fields such as writing, graphic design, programming, and others.
Marketplace platforms have revolutionized the way we shop, sell, and access services. From the early days of eBay and Amazon to the explosion of niche and industry-specific marketplaces, the options available to us are endless. The future of e-commerce will undoubtedly continue to be shaped by these powerful and innovative platforms.
If you're looking for more information about creating your own marketplace platform, check out our Guide to Building an Online Marketplace Business.