September 26, 2023
single vendor

Brands That Started As A Single Vendor Store But Became An Online Marketplace

Every aspiring entrepreneur will start their business as a single vendor store. While running their single vendor store they face many challenges that can only be confronted by the online marketplace. So to survive in the digital market one needs to transform their business into a perfect online marketplace platform.  Let us figure out what are the major issues that every single vendor store faces.

Challenges Faced by Single vendor Platforms

  • Customers cannot find best of breed products with a single vendor platform. So there are less chances of getting traffic for your single vendor website.
  • The single vendor needs to handle the complexity of the platform and also the business.
  • One cannot handle multiple products with a single vendor platform and you can be specific about products you display.
  • Customers cannot compare products with other sellers in your single vendor marketplace and this will make them avoid visiting the platform.

To face all challenges and succeed in the market, one needs to be more determined. Now let us find out the success stories of today’s leading eCommerce marketplace platforms who initially started as a single vendor store.


Flipkart is a dominant eCommerce platform that is ruling the digital market today. The company was started by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and has its headquarters in Bengaluru, India. Flipkart has power-packed marketing strategies that connect customers and sellers within the platform.

The initial business of Flipkart was selling books in 2007. It has molded its business operations and has started its operation as an online marketplace in the year 2013.

Currently, the company holds more than 80 million products on its platform and serves more than 80 categories of products. The company has integrated multiple sellers and buyer features and soon it has transformed from being a single vendor marketplace to an online marketplace platform.

The platform also adapts all social media channels that support the branding and promotion of Flipkart. This is a good example for the launch B2C eCommerce marketplace model. There is a great scope of expansion in the future and Flipkart is expected to reach a higher level in the coming days.

Big Basket

Bigbasket is India’s leading online grocery store that covers more than 18000 products that are handpicked and high-quality grocery items. The company was started in the year 1999 as they initially opened their physical retail grocery store in South India. Five friends named Hari Menon, VS Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhury, and VS Ramesh started the mission.

After finding the drawbacks of running a single vendor marketplace, they decided to launch their online marketplace platform. By December 2011, was launched with multiple products and multiple sellers for users to access. “Purchase-to-order” is the grocery business model that BigBasket follows.

Hyperlocal marketplace strategies are implemented and have integrated with more than 1800 grocery stores in India. This will help customers to get their ordered items in nearby grocery stores and will receive their delivery within an hour.

Bigbasket social media pages have massive fan followings with 4, 00,000 fans. The ‘Shop Now’ button is enabled in all social media platforms that will make easy signup for users.


Alibaba is the world’s Biggest and highly reputed e-commerce marketplace platform that has its origin from China. It has also been recorded in a recent survey that 80% of China’s online revenue is dominated by Alibaba. But initially, Alibaba that was founded by Jack Ma in 1999 has only 18 employees but now it holds more than 25000 employees.

Alibaba is a business-to-business platform that facilitates businesses to sell their products to wholesalers and distributors. Alibaba’s core function is divided and operated under three different sites.

Taobao for C2C business, Tmall for B2C business, and Alibaba for B2B. most of Amazons’ merchants purchase their products from the Alibaba marketplace.

Apart from three different eCommerce websites, Alibaba has its own payment gateway called Alipay which functions like Paypal. Customers can use this payment service provider for paying online and buying products from Alibaba.

This marketplace platform completely follows Chinese culture and one needs to understand the difference to make use of this platform.  

Build your own B2B Marketplace Website like Alibaba shake the China eCommerce market.


Another important online marketplace platform that initially started as a single vendor website is Etsy. This platform is purely dedicated to selling all vintage and handcrafted products.

The products sold under the vintage category should be 20 years old. It is a perfect online marketplace exclusively built for homemade and vintage products and connects more than 2.1 million sellers and holds 39.4 million buyers.

Etsy was launched in 2005 by the Iospace Company that is owned by Haim Schoppik, Chris Maguire, and Robert Kalin. Etsy has its headquarters in Brooklyn, Newyork. Any aspiring entrepreneur can start their online business with Etsy as the platform offers lower fees for sellers to join.

Etsy has remarkable growth in the future as everyday sellers and buyers count getting increased. All its unique features attract the target audience and this marketplace platform is known for its website traffic. This supports better conversion and assures greater revenue.


eBay is the world’s second-largest online marketplace with 1.7 billion visits per month. Amazon takes first place with 5.2 billion visits per month.

Though started as a single vendor eCommerce website, later it has faced tremendous growth and holds millions of sellers and buyers. eBay sells products through auction and buyers who bid the highest value will get to buy the product from sellers.

eBay was founded in 1995 and deals with both B2B and B2C marketplace business models. Being a reputed eCommerce marketplace, eBay has huge website traffic and so it is easy for any startup to join hands with eBay and sell their product easily without putting much effort into getting the audience to the platform.

eBay charges a meager amount on each product that is sold through the platform. The listing fee is comparatively low that facilitates sellers to sell their products with a better margin.

The platform empathizes with sellers and buyers and offers better commission and pricing for all user groups that have made it to be one of the top eCommerce platforms.

Wish to Start your Online eCommerce Marketplace? This is How you can Get Started!

There is a brighter scope for eCommerce marketplace as we have already seen many great examples who have converted their single vendor website to online marketplace platforms. This is the right time to go for a digital transformation.

If you are a startup then it is highly recommended for a readymade marketplace solution that will have all essential features to efficiently run your marketplace. The cost will also be affordable and you can instantly launch your platform without any delay.


Hope you have gained enough confidence to build your own multivendor marketplace platform. Have a perfect marketing strategy and clear competitor analysis before you start building your eCommerce marketplace.

Understand the market demands and come out with a perfect marketplace solution that will beat your competitors and let you survive successfully in the digital market.

Ramya Murugan

Ramya is a highly competent product marketer who has a strong foundation in the area of customer behavior analysis and his critical thinking skills.

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