The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected most businesses, forcing millions of people to stay home to stop the spread of the virus. Streets and shops that were once crowded are now deserted as governments struggle to contain the spread. This has caused consumers around the world to purchase everyday items, such as food online. Between January and March 2020, retail platforms saw a 6% increase in global traffic. And, in March 2020, the eCommerce industry registered 14.34 billion visits worldwide, up from 12.81 billion in January 2020, according to Statista.


The increase in online shopping has made entrepreneurs and business owners with brick and mortar stores consider creating their online marketplace: an online business where the owner does not store inventory, but only presents other people’s inventory to a user and enables a transaction. And while many people are unemployed or on reduced salaries these days, marketplaces offer numerous advantages and online shopping is still booming during the pandemic.

That’s why online selling is, now more than ever, one of the business ideas people think about the most. Every day new online stores and digital businesses emerge, of which only a very small part ends up being successful.

In this article, we will focus on online marketplaces that, although they are not the giants of this sector, are great examples that can inspire you to create your marketplace.

We present you 7 cases of marketplaces that have been able to find their niche, transform the shopping experience in specific countries, and change our perception of the buying and selling processes of various goods or services in the marketplace industry.

The 7 Most Interesting and Innovative Marketplaces in the Market

1. Blocket


A leading marketplace in Sweden that focuses on three main elements of life for almost everyone: getting a job, getting a house and getting a car. Furthermore, Blocket also brings together travel and university offers.

The most interesting part of Blocket’s homepage is the map that allows the user to quickly choose which region they are in, making sure that the ads shown are adapted to the customer’s location. When it comes to offering services such as apartments or cars, this type of map widget can be especially useful for a marketplace.

2. Swappa


An interesting niche-focused marketplace, designed to connect people who want to sell and buy small technology devices, from smartphones and tablets to voice assistants and automatic vacuum cleaners. In 2018 alone, products with a total value of around 92 million dollars were exchanged through this website.

Swappa guarantees its users only well-maintained devices and payment protection, plus no commission from the seller, as many marketplaces often add a fee to the price the buyer then pays.

3. Folksy



Folksy, a British marketplace for craft products, is a good alternative to the giant Etsy. This marketplace connects sellers with buyers and offers a wide variety of vintage items, handmade objects, arts and crafts.

With over 250,000 sellers every month, Folksy allows each seller to create a customized online store with all the features of eCommerce on a platform that consumers already understand and trust, regardless of the plan they choose. This allows them to reduce their expenses, save the time they would need to invest if they chose other selling channels, and facilitate interaction with customers nationwide.

4. Goat


Another great example of how to turn your hobby into a marketplace idea. GOAT is a marketplace for sneaker enthusiasts (or sneakerheads, as they are often called). Sellers can list their limited editions and other unique footwear on the website, sometimes selling them for more than twice the original retail price.

When it comes to exclusive sneakers and other high-value items, it is important to always make sure that the product you are buying is authentic, and not a cheap imitation. GOAT takes great care with this aspect of its business: after the customer buys the product, it must first be sent to one of the company’s plants where experts make sure that the shoes are indeed authentic. Then, the product is finally sent to the customer.

Although for some time GOAT focused only on the United States, they recently opened a new facility in Hong Kong, allowing them to operate more easily in the Asia-Pacific market

Docplanner is the best marketplace in the healthcare industry. The company operates under different aliases in approximately 20 countries, including the United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Argentina and others.

Docplanner’s goal is to facilitate contact between medical professionals and patients for both parts. This healthcare marketplace allows users to find a doctor with only a few clicks and then quickly arrange an appointment. Doctors can also promote their services and get recognition by answering questions that patients regularly ask through the website’s question and answer system.

Among the many technology solutions Docplanner uses are Angular.JS, Node.Js, and nginx.

6. 3D Hubs


This marketplace represents another great use of a trend and market niche that is currently of great importance. 3D Hubs is a network of 3D printing companies around the world. The online platform allows these companies to connect with customers looking to print their pieces in 3D.

The network currently serves manufacturers in the EU, the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. Nevertheless, considering the growing need for 3D printed components, the prosperous growth of 3D printing centres seems to be guaranteed.

A booming British start-up, which is currently expanding into the markets of Australia and Singapore. Tagvenue is focused on providing its customers with an increasing number of diverse venues available for short-term rental (e.g., for birthdays, conferences, events).

Unlike other platforms, Tagvenue does not charge any subscription fee and allows all interested venues to join its catalogue in a few clicks. The source of income for this start-up is the 10% commission it charges for each rental, once the event has taken place.


Finding a great idea is a critical step in creating a marketplace. You must make sure that with this idea you are solving a real problem for both customers and suppliers of your business. To do so, it is especially important to focus on a specific niche.

The 8 previous examples show that every successful marketplace is born from a great business idea and a digital solution that allows you to carry out that idea. The Truust API is what you need to design and customize the payment flows that best suit your marketplace quickly, easily and with a single integration. If you want to find out more about setting up your marketplace payment system, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Find your business motivation!

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