Get Started Building an Online Marketplace

Online marketplaces work for many industries, and are a fantastic way for consumers to browse, discover new brands, and return to their favourite ones. Being a member of a marketplace means you can have someone else bring awareness and business to your company, paying a commission on every order. It can be a win-win for participating businesses, as they are only charged by the marketplace when it actually works for them. This can be particularly useful for smaller businesses. Many businesses may not have a large or loyal customer base yet and being part of a marketplace can be useful in acquiring a variety of customers who may not have otherwise come across their product. Larger businesses, however, may want to run their own digital ordering service, as they can rely on their customer base coming directly to them, but many still participate in online marketplaces so they don’t miss out on the traffic of customers passing through there.

Becoming a marketplace owner can be a fantastic way of bringing exposure to local businesses and giving them a better deal than national competitors do. Or maybe you want to create a national marketplace so consumers can compare and browse products nationwide; florists, autoparts, independent clothes shops, whatever it is you can provide a marketplace for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for and receive it via your integrated delivery service.

Who can create one?

Anybody can be a marketplace owner, you just need to find the opportunity in the market where your marketplace can operate, invest in building the marketplace, recruit member businesses, have a marketing strategy, and get your members’ products moving! The formula is pretty simple, it then comes down to how well you can sign up businesses to participate, and get customers to use your marketplace.

How lucrative is it?

The revenue you generate as a marketplace can differ depending on what level of commission you charge. You may want to offer a very competitive rate to your participants, in hopes of having a lot of members join thanks to your fair offer. You may, instead, want to charge a slightly higher commission rate and use this greater level of revenue to put more money into marketing, therefore bringing more orders to your members. Whatever your structure is, it must be reasonable enough to attract businesses while still being sustainable. The ideal percentage you charge per order will differ for each industry. Finding the right numbers will take a little bit of research.


Building and managing a digital marketplace can be very simple with the technology available today. No coding, website designing or tech skills are needed to create your own marketplace – if you use the right platform. Our Redbox platform, for example, provides a user friendly method of building and managing your marketplace. Upload your logos, images, and content, set up your integrated service accounts (delivery and payment), and add your member businesses as they join. Voila, your marketplace is ready to go. It’s then down to you to get it out into the world, and build a community of customers.

  • Anyone can create one
  • Works across various industries
  • Localised or National
  • Simple formula for success

If you would like to find out more drop us an email to or give us a call on +44 (0)1134660024


Aaron Haase
Head of New Business