Dating back millennia to the Greek agora, the marketplace model facilitates the exchange of money for goods, labor, and shared resources. The first wave of marketplace digitization disrupted marketplaces through ease of transaction. The next wave will disaggregate previous incarnations, offering specialized markets that know their customers better, fix broken supply chains, and promote consumers as creators.
Niche markets that were once confined by geography have moved online. However, the “everything marketplaces” that they were once a part of are being unbundled into dozens of online communities that gather around hubs designed with their specific needs and consumers passions in mind.
Faced with a myriad of disruptive forces, the industry is aggressively embracing technology for data-driven decision-making, more agile supply-chain management, better overall visibility, and differentiating customer experiences in order to thrive.
Large marketplaces have agitated niche communities through blunt platform-wide regulations and ever increasing fees. Vertical players are unlocking more value from their buyer and seller communities by providing better customer experiences, fostering active participation, and forming partnerships with sellers.
Vertical marketplaces are now serving entire industries by creating communities of skilled professionals for hire. By offering tailored services and productized expertise, these platforms better serve both sides of the labor economy than their horizontal counterparts.