Marketspace—an information- and communication-based electronic exchange environment—is a relatively new concept in marketing. Since physical boundaries no longer interfere with buy/sell decisions, the world has grown into several industry specific marketspaces which are integration of marketplaces through sophisticated computer and telecommunication technologies. The term marketspace was introduced by Jeffrey Rayport and John Sviokla in 1994 in their article “Managing in the Marketspace” that appeared in Harvard Business Review. In the article the authors distinguished between electronic and conventional markets. In a marketspace, information and/or physical goods are exchanged, and transactions take place through computers and networks. These networks consist of blogs, forum threads, and micro-blogging services like Twitter. Businesses and their customers are enabled to create conversations and two-way communications about products and services. These conversations may also happen outside the sphere of control of a given business, when a marketing campaign or customer-service issue captures the attention of web-savvy consumers.
Marketspace vs Marketplace A Marketspace is an online space that facilitates bi-directional commerce. Here not only sellers can list their goods, but buyers can list their needs. The role of the Marketspace is to match buyers and sellers whose contexts have sufficient similarity – if the product being offered and being requested has a high degree of match and the buyer and seller can come to agreement on price, location and timing, then a successful match can be made that will culminate in a transaction. Examples of this is Pikaba.com.
Online Marketplaces like Etsy or eBay allows vendors to display and sell products taking advantage of the traffic to the site. The marketplace owner typically takes a commission on the sale.
Marketspace Pty. Ltd. was registered as an Australian Company (A.C.N. 068 231 158) on February 15, 1995. The company was a venture of the Shomega Group (Show-Ads) who had tight, long standing ties with the advertising and retail sectors in Australia. The service Marketspace provided was an online shopping mall through which customers could view and browse products offered by the retailers Shomega already dealt with. The service launched with several high-profile clients including Myer and Target. However, purchase of goods was not possible, and the service, arguably well ahead of its time, never gained traction.
In 1999, the book The Cluetrain Manifesto (The Cluetrain Manifesto) discussed the notions surrounding how the traditional marketplace (or bazaar) was adapting itself to the age of the web—where “markets were conversations”. By 2010, we see the emergence of numerous online marketplaces: Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and a number of other large online retailers—yet these were still largely inventories of supply that consumers would browse and purchase from. However, a new concept of a marketspace is emergent—a bi-directional medium which is able to inventory both supply and demand, allow both parties in a transaction to find each other, establish a temporary “buyer-seller” relationship, and then execute the transaction. PostShareSell (), Zaarly () and Ubokia () are three entrants into this space; they have all created a bi-directional medium that is akin to a joined up wanted/for sale classified advertising medium. Given the progress of both social media and ecommerce—from a technological advancement perspective and from a social acceptance perspective—the natural course of events is for consumers to become more active parties in how they purchase, leading to consumers placing a request into a marketplace and vendors bidding to fulfill it.
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