At Mirakl, we get asked all the time: “what is the difference between dropship and marketplace?” Because the terms are often used interchangeably, there is an incredible amount of confusion about the important distinctions between dropship and marketplace. This post will clear up that confusion, succinctly outline the differences between the two models, and show how the models work together and why every retailer needs a marketplace (whether utilizing dropshipping or not).
If you’re looking to book accommodations on Airbnb, you’ll notice something a little different this week. Airbnb experiences are taking center stage with “above the fold” placement on Airbnb.com. Ever the innovators, Airbnb’s leadership team was not satisfied to solely disrupt the travel accommodation industry, they have a lot more of the $7.2 trillion dollar travel & tourism industry to conquer.
In January of this year, Gartner called out marketplace management as one of the hot topics in digital commerce for 2017. Marketplaces are a foundational element of any eCommerce strategy, underpinning and optimizing other projects such as omni-channel and personalization. Too often, though, retailers look at marketplace management as just another project, which is unfortunate when you consider the success other retailers have had with marketplaces:
Global B2B eCommerce sales are projected to reach $7 Trillion by 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan.
That’s $7,000,000,000,000 (and that’s a lot of zeros.)