Over the past several decades, we have seen a major shift in how transactions are completed. While the types of transactions remain the same (i.e. Business to business, business to consumer, consumer to business, etc.), the platforms where these transactions take place have begun to rely heavily on e-commerce. Couple the rise of new technology and the ever-changing markets with the Covid-19 pandemic and it is easy to see how important e-commerce has become. From simple marketplaces to personalized website builders, there are many types of e-commerce platforms for different kinds of exchanges.
The continued increase in traffic to various social media sites have allowed for some to expand their functionality to include e-commerce marketplaces. Two of the social media giants, Facebook and Instagram, both now have their own sections on their sites dedicated to marketplaces for users to exchange goods. Another good example of simple e-commerce is Craigslist. Craigslist, like social media marketplaces, is considered by many as an online “garage sale” and is a place for any goods or services to be sold.
Etsy is an intermediate marketplace where you can post your own products. It is mostly meant for handmade or vintage gifts or crafts and allows people to set up their own pages to display their products. Another example of an intermediate marketplace is Poshmark. It is a similar site to Etsy but is geared more toward reselling new or used clothing items. Additionally, large retailers like Walmart are possible options for businesses to sell their products online. These stores are increasingly moving towards an e-commerce business model and with their brand and customers already established, selling through a major retailer could benefit a company looking to diversify their market.
Both starting in 1995, eBay and Amazon are now two of the giants of e-commerce. eBay began as an auction-based site, but has since transitioned to an online marketplace selling a diverse collection of products. The steps to become a seller on eBay are more in-depth than that of the basic marketplaces like Facebook and Craigslist. Starting out as just an online bookstore, Amazon shares a similar story and has become the king of the e-commerce hill. While they have expanded into other functionalities, like video and music streaming, the marketplace is still the core of the business.
Aside from the sites that are already established and give sellers a place to put their products on display, there are e-commerce platforms that you can use to build your own website and online store. These sites have many different functions and resources for marketing, search engine optimization, etc. A comparison of 10 of the biggest of these platforms can be found here (https://www.ecommerceceo.com/ecommerce-platforms/).