At Tashi, we're powering the next generation of experience marketplaces. We're the #1 marketplace platform for your Accommodation, Tours and Activities marketplace with everything you need to launch and grow.
When you're starting, it can be confusing to understand the different types of marketplaces.
It's essential to know your options and how each marketplace category works. Therefore, when you design your marketplace, you can choose the marketplace model that will suit you best.
There are three main categories of marketplaces:
- Curated marketplace;
- Open marketplaces; and
- Semi-curated marketplaces
Curated marketplaces are those where you, the marketplace administrator, decide what vendors and experiences are listed on your site.
- You may target specific vendors you want to list, or you'll review vendor applications and either accept or reject them.
- You may have specific criteria to vet vendors as part of this application process.
- You may also decide when specific listings go Live on your marketplace.
- Examples include Tashi marketplaces like UnearthedRetreats.com, Notonmap.com and Arabian Dubai Adventures.
Open marketplaces are those where a vendor or supplier can self-sign up for a marketplace and publish their listing or experience.
- They may not require any prior approval from the marketplace admins as long as they pass the minimum security standards and checks.
- Examples include Airbnb’s and Booking.com’s accommodation marketplace.
Semi-open marketplaces are a mix of both open and curated marketplaces.
- Any vendor can sign up to list, but their products are vetted or checked before they are put live to ensure a minimum listing quality.
- Examples include Viator's tour marketplace and Airbnb’s experiences marketplace.
What type of marketplace to have?
The type of marketplace to launch depends on several key items, namely:
- What industry are you focusing on
- What's the profile of your vendors (suppliers); and
- What's your value proposition or Unique Selling Point (USP) as a marketplace.
What's your Unique Selling Point (USP) as a marketplace?
As a marketplace and as a business, you need to have a Unique Selling Point (USP). Your USP represents the reason customers choose you over competitors.
For Tashi, our USP is that we're the best software platform for Accommodation, Tours and Activities marketplaces globally because you can go live in weeks and grow to millions in revenue and thousands of suppliers and guests on our scalable no-code platform.
For your marketplace, it's worth understanding your market and your competitors to learn how you can stand out. You can't be all things to all people and your positioning as a marketplace can determine your success.
For example, one of Booking.com's main USPs is that they have the largest selection of bookable accommodation globally. Their world-leading inventory of properties, hotels, hostels, vacation rentals etc., is one of the main reasons people visit their site.
If Booking.com were a curated marketplace, where they carefully selected all of the properties on their marketplace, they couldn't offer this huge inventory.
On the other side, UnearthedRetreats.com, a curated marketplace powered by Tashi, showcases the best retreat experiences in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). They're a curated marketplace in that they only list those retreats that exceed their high standards and reject applications from below standard retreat operators and those outside of ANZ.
If UnearthedRetreats.com were an open marketplace, they might get a lot more vendors (suppliers) signing up, but their listings' quality and USP could drop significantly. This drop in quality could impact their success long term.
With Tashi, you have the freedom to choose the marketplace model that's best for you. You can even change your model over time with our flexible platform that's fast to launch.
You could start with a curated marketplace to control quality before moving to an open marketplace model over time as you seek to scale your supplier acquisition. Learn more about our travel marketplace platform.
If you'd like to learn more about how Tashi can help you launch and grow your marketplace on our scalable platform, reach out via our chat box or Whatsapp on +61 455 400 773.