Understanding marketplaces

Marketplaces specifically connects sellers and buyers, either it is to meet a good need or a service one. Although defining a service can become a challenge, we came up with several definitions and a deep dive into the differences between a marketplace selling goods and a marketplace offering services.

If you wonder why service marketplaces are often created from scratch, it’s simply because traditional e-commerce solution do not meet their needs. Indeed, service marketplaces have very different needs (quantity, time, geography, etc.) and challenges than product marketplaces. Furthermore, to complete the sale of a good, you only need the good to be shipped whereas when it comes to a service, the sale will only be complete when this service is executed. And here, we deal with a constraint of availability that depends on a human interaction.

With digitalization happening in all industries, it has become critical to companies and brands to provide the best customer experience. Nowadays, services are not only perceived as additional revenues, they seem to be THE way to sell goods

What you will find in this whitepaper:


  • Main definitions about marketplaces
  • Specificities of selling goods vs selling services
  • A guiding book to classify marketplaces
  • An analysis of the a16z Marketplace 100 index