Omnichannel eCommerce, CRM, On-demand Services and Marketplaces have opened up many new ways for businesses and individuals to transact goods and services.

Digital global commerce platforms and businesses have opened many new opportunities for markets to be more efficient, solve problems, and serve the needs of businesses, consumers, and communities alike.


Glomodus has designed and implemented many types of e-commerce platforms and marketplaces for startups and corporates. Taking a strategic view first of how to give access, engage, and customise every experience and transaction, while ensuring customer motivation and behaviours are understood and challenges are addressed.

Our approach ensures the full possibility of collaborating, co-creation and strong connections are explored and included in your strategy and roadmaps. Creating effective CRM and marketing campaigns is also essential, based on channel effectiveness and content. This requires a powerful Agile metrics modeling framework, using a blend of metrics to understand what works and where to keep improving.

There are many e-commerce business models. Some are more transactional, while others are more complex and customer-led sales processes.

B2B: Wholesalers and businesses interact with each other offering specialist services or products in bulk. The key value they provide is the ability to automate simple and complex sales processes such as RFI and RFQ while improving transparency and transaction safety.

B2C: Customers can find, compare, and purchase directly from businesses online. Features and methods support a wide variety of simple or complex products and services. Collaborative: Not everyone is a customer immediately. The public or an end-user provides a product or service to companies and organisations.

P2P/C2C/Hybrids: Peer to peer also known sometimes as Consumer to Consumer. They provide a means of exchanging products and services with others, relying heavily on reviews to establish credibility.

Hybrid: Platforms have combined all the above though it creates new challenges. A good example is Amazon with a successful B2C platform but also caters for B2B with Amazon Business. EBay is similar starting as a P2P/C2C platform and emerging as a B2C with diverse sellers.

The following table provides more specific business model examples:

TypeBusiness ModelsExamples
Business to Business (B2B)Commission based
Directory listing fee
Lead Generation fee
Due-diligence based
Amazon Business
Google (adWords)
Business to Consumer (B2C)eCommerce products
eCommerce services
Price comparison
Booking systems
Crowdfunding fees
Google (Shopping)
Consumer to Business (C2B)Advertising model
Paid Promotions
Feedback Reviews
Pay per project/hour
Rewards based
Donation based
Uber (drivers)
Peer to Peer or
Consumer to Consumer (P2P/C2C)
Advertising model
Commission based
Rewards based
Rate yields
Etsy, EBay
Funding Circle

Marketplaces: Vertical or Horizontal

A vertical marketplace specialises in one sector. For example, OpenDoors provides a high-quality real estate purchasing experience, with features totally focused on simplifying the real estate market. In contrast a horizontal. Often, marketplaces start off vertically and then move progressively horizontally once their brands develop awareness and credibility. For example, Uber now provides a food delivery service, as well as its original car-sharing service. A lot depends on the chosen brand, for example, OpenDoor may struggle to move into other sectors other than real estate.

Marketplace Challenges

A successful marketplace opens new economic and community benefits, but it faces multiple quite unique challenges, which it must overcome to survive.

Doesn’t solve a real problemA common problem for many startups, it’s particularly challenging for marketplaces. A great idea may not gain traction in practice or generate other unforeseen problems for participants.
The focus is too broad (initially)Attempting to care for all possible products and services that your sellers or buyers are interested in, risks diluting your expertise and ability to scale. It’s counter-intuitive but a narrow focus initially is often more effective to create liquidity.
Strong competitionExpect competition to rise and attempt to knock your platform’s chances of growing, either through traditional broker-type business or simpler use of technology. A clear strategy is needed to capture multiple customer segments.
Lack of trust & brand awarenessEstablishing first-choice interest and trust to turn your TAM into real customers is a top priority of every marketplace. The problem is how to develop this from a zero base. Networks effects, partnering and relevant marketing around intent and topics (e.g. SEO, Social, Content, Features) can be competitive.
Chicken and egg growthFocusing on just one side of the market is not enough. You need to attend to both buyers and sellers, and potentially more participants in your marketplace. The question arises, how do you attract either side of the market when one is absent?
Disintermediation leaksBy bringing buyers and sellers together on one platform, the risk arises they will continue to trade outside of your platform. The incentives and benefits need to remain high enough to discourage such actions.
Development plansThe ability to reach critical mass and then scale fast requires careful consideration of technology choices. Open-source tech, custom development, SaaS, and serverless are all available options, but plenty of room to make the wrong choice.
Lack of actionable insightsThe diverse customer segments, multiple customer service touchpoints, and the multiple channels and different goals for the supply and demand side, can make tracking data and analytics about users very difficult.

All of these problems will compound fundamentally the user experience, retention rates, growth, revenue and profits. For strategies and plans on how to overcome these challenges, please contact us. We’d like to discuss your ideas and initiatives and invest in understanding your vision and goals before we suggest ways we can collaborate.

Find out more

Our team will set up an introduction session to discuss your goals and needs.

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