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What is the difference between an online store and an online marketplace?

Current topics • 21 March 2024

What is common between the marketplace and the virtual store is that both are ways of selling products and services via the internet. Similarly, both platforms offer flexibility when it comes to payments. Whether you’re a buyer or seller on an online store, you can use your virtual bank card to pay or get paid.  The similarities, however, end there. 

Here are exactly the main differences between an online store and an online marketplace

Online Marketplace/Online Store: Discrepancies 

An online marketplace is a website that acts as a platform for multiple sellers, where each can sell their products to potential buyers. Buyers can explore different product options, compare prices and sellers, and make purchases directly from the seller.  

You have examples of online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. In Cameroon, Durell market is also one of them, offering e-merchants the opportunity to offer their products and services.  

An online store, on the other hand, is a website run by a single company that sells its products directly to consumers. Customers can browse through the different product categories, add items to the shopping cart, and complete their order with the online store. Examples include Best Buy, Apple, or Sassayé in Cameroon

And more… 

The virtual store, built on an e-commerce platform, is a unique business model. A marketplace or online marketplace, on the other hand, functions like a shopping mall whose platform includes several virtual stores with different business models. 

Known as sellers, virtual stores that are part of a marketplace now have an already established SEO structure, making it easier for them to be found on the web. 

See, for example, a copy from momox fr, one of the most well-known sellers on the “Amazon” marketplace:  


Just like a brick-and-mortar store, a separate virtual store only receives the audience corresponding to its business niche, while a store within a marketplace can receive the public from other stores, as if it were in a shopping mall. 

To give you an idea, the submarine marketplace alone has more than 1 million visits per day, a quorum that a new and unique e-commerce site will hardly be able to achieve on its own. 

In addition to visibility, when a virtual store enters a market, it automatically incorporates the credibility of these big players, which adds more value to the brand. 

The market, however, is not free. The merchant pays a percentage of the sales, and in return, can enjoy the huge traffic, credibility, audience diversification, and other benefits. 

On the consumer side, the marketplace generates the advantage of offering different products in a single interface, which optimizes the shopping process and experience. 

To integrate the virtual store with a marketplace, it is necessary to register and have an e-commerce system that makes the process possible.  

If you want to create or integrate your virtual store with a marketplace, consider opting for a reliable and secure payment method. Have you ever thought about it? Otherwise, at PaySika we offer online payments by credit card. To do this, get your free XAF bank card and get started!  

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