Benefits of a Services Marketplace in a Traditional Distribution Model

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Sep 08, 2022
Benefits of a Services Marketplace in a Traditional Distribution Model

A traditional product marketplace is something that has been around since almost the beginning of e-commerce. Amazon revolutionized how customers purchase online. The Amazon marketplace allows buyers to search and find almost any product imaginable from sellers who are willing to offer their products for sale. It created a business model and an experience that has proliferated.

To date, product marketplaces have primarily been driven by B2C transactions. But over the past few years, B2B marketplaces have begun springing up. In 2015, Amazon launched their own marketplace targeting B2B, Amazon Business, which is expected to generate over $50B in revenue this year. But more industry specific B2B marketplaces have launched from traditional e-commerce companies like Digi-Key Electronics, Home Depot Pro and (a subsidiary of Grainger).

Another type of marketplace is a services driven marketplace. A services marketplace is a website where private individuals, professionals, or companies can offer their services to people in need of such services. A good example is Upwork. Upwork allows designers, developers, content writers and others to offer their services to those looking to find those types of resources. In a services marketplace, no physical product exchanges hands.

How would a services marketplace benefit my distribution business?

Today, business customers are buying online more than ever. As a distributor, it is critical to find ways to differentiate your company to create loyalty and stickiness. A services marketplace provides you the ability to create a true end-to-end solution.

In a traditional e-commerce distribution model, a customer comes to your site to find the products they are looking for. They search your site by product number or product name. Once they find the product they need, they add it to their cart, check out, and the product is shipped to them.

In many cases, these customers might be buying off a BOM (bill of materials). The end goal is to build a finished product. In this scenario, these customers may take these products to a systems or product integrator, a contractor or other service type provider to help reach their end goal after purchasing from your website. By adding a services marketplace a distributor can build a network of these types of service providers who can offer these services to their customers before they check out from your website. This helps ensure a closed loop buying cycle for your customer and enables you to track the end to end customer journey without the risk of losing them once they have left your site.

Service Marketplace Model

Setting up a Services Marketplace

Product marketplaces and service marketplaces are similar in that they are simply a middle person offering some type of value from a seller providing a value to a buyer needing that value. But there are also some key differences to keep in mind.

  1. Because the goal of a services marketplace is to maintain the end-to-end customer journey. It is important to have the platform to ensure the customer relationship is maintained well beyond the final purchase. It is critical to ensure that any communication between your customer and a service provider can be monitored by you. Since you own that customer relationship, you will ultimately be the one the customer looks to. And that is a good thing. It is another way you can maintain that relationship for the long term.

  2. Identifying the right companies to provide services on your marketplace is also important. As mentioned above, since you are and should be considered as the main point of contact for your customer, making sure your marketplace only includes companies you have confidence can deliver is key. Setting the right KPI’s with your service providers to ensure they are delivering what they promise will ensure your customers stay happy.

  3. Build a fast turnaround quotation process. In some cases, it might be possible for a service provider to offer pricing immediately at the check out. But for more complex integrations, you will need the ability for your service provider to provide a quote based on the requirements. The platform needs to ensure the back and forth with the customer is seamless and a fast quote can be delivered quickly and efficiently.

  4. The need to offer payments based on hitting certain goals. With many service engagements, it is common that a customer will pay based on the service provider hitting certain milestones. The platform you choose will need to be able to track these milestones and provide ways for the customer to make payments once they are achieved.

At MarketPush, we support a number of different marketplace models. Do you want to learn more about how a services marketplace can benefit your company? Reach out to MarketPush at or visit our website at