The Origins of the MarketPlace.
As sophisticated as eBay, Etsy and Amazon seem, they are all based on the principle of a thousand year old business model. The concept of the Marketplace originates from the middle east where local merchants would come together and offer their goods and services to customers. It was the most efficient way of conducting business. It was easy for the merchant, easy for the customer. Direct connection between merchants and customers has remained the most economic way of performing a transaction. Fast forward to 2011, e-commerce marketplaces based on this old tradition are hands down the best way to connect merchants with customers and have become the biggest and most successful internet companies in the world.
Why a Marketplace will always win.
Customers can quickly see a vast array of offerings and price compare them all in one place. Merchants can promote their products without having to build a platform or do any marketing, they can just focus on providing the best product/service at the best price. With a marketplace, both the consumer and the merchant win.
Why the floral Industry needs a marketplace.
Mass flower marketing websites like 1-800-flowers , FTD and telelfora have controlled the online flower industry since the beginning. They use stock images and gather orders from customers only to sell them to local florists. Although this was the least efficient way to do business, it was the only way for a long time. With the push of the internet, many local florists have attempted to create their own websites to sell their products. But the problem is that the independent websites are too fragmented and not many consumers like jumping around site to site to send flowers, so they opt back to the Wire-services (FTD, Teleflora). Naturally, the next step in getting the flower industry up to par with other thriving industries is a marketplace where local florists can come together in one site and sell their own unique floral designs. Easy for the customer, easy for the florists.