Say the words “online platform,” and most people in the payments and commerce business will instantly rattle off a few marquee names: Amazon. Airbnb. Alibaba. The online marketplace model that brings multiple buyers and sellers together is nothing new. But it’s been gaining steam as the pandemic has shifted consumers online to get what they need.

And as Christophe Bourbier, CEO and co-founder of eCommerce payment aggregator Limonetik, told Karen Webster in a recent conversation, the online marketplace has become an especially urgent consideration for smaller firms across the globe that have yet to build out their eCommerce presence as robustly as they’d like. Marketplaces are a platform for growth and scale, it’s true — but using them to expand across borders and currencies carries risks and challenges.

Bourbier said marketplaces such as Amazon, Airbnb and eBay are “just the tip of the iceberg.” Moving forward, he said, business-to-consumer (B2C) firms, business-to-business (B2B) enterprises and even franchises will launch their own online markets, as that model “will be the best and most effective way to add new products and services.”

The days of typing in search terms via Google to find who sells what you’re looking for are gone, he maintained — and now, the habit is simply to log onto platforms (Amazon is a go-to choice) to see the lowest prices and fastest delivery windows. It’s a de-facto expectation that what one needs, one can get with a few clicks — and it will carry over onto these burgeoning (and yet to be created) marketplaces.

In general, he contended, the platform is successful “not because Amazon is buying every product there is,” but because it is providing a forum for anyone selling their own products and services to list what’s on offer. And as platforms evolve, they’re able to accommodate commerce across all conduits — eCommerce, online/in-store or even curbside pickup.

Say the words “online platform,” and most people in the payments and commerce business will instantly rattle off a few marquee names: Amazon. Airbnb. Alibaba. The online marketplace model that brings multiple buyers and sellers together is nothing new. But it’s been gaining steam as the pandemic has shifted consumers online to get what they need.

And as Christophe Bourbier, CEO and co-founder of eCommerce payment aggregator Limonetik, told Karen Webster in a recent conversation, the online marketplace has become an especially urgent consideration for smaller firms across the globe that have yet to build out their eCommerce presence as robustly as they’d like. Marketplaces are a platform for growth and scale, it’s true — but using them to expand across borders and currencies carries risks and challenges.

Bourbier said marketplaces such as Amazon, Airbnb and eBay are “just the tip of the iceberg.” Moving forward, he said, business-to-consumer (B2C) firms, business-to-business (B2B) enterprises and even franchises will launch their own online markets, as that model “will be the best and most effective way to add new products and services.”

The days of typing in search terms via Google to find who sells what you’re looking for are gone, he maintained — and now, the habit is simply to log onto platforms (Amazon is a go-to choice) to see the lowest prices and fastest delivery windows. It’s a de-facto expectation that what one needs, one can get with a few clicks — and it will carry over onto these burgeoning (and yet to be created) marketplaces.

In general, he contended, the platform is successful “not because Amazon is buying every product there is,” but because it is providing a forum for anyone selling their own products and services to list what’s on offer. And as platforms evolve, they’re able to accommodate commerce across all conduits — eCommerce, online/in-store or even curbside pickup.


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