The Global Language of Business

Making niche marketplaces part of your e-commerce plan

Jun 18, 2020, by Austin Gleeson - Category: Retail Marketplaces


In the delivery economy era, the key to success in e-commerce is to cater to a broad range of niche customers.

More shoppers are buying from more producers. This becomes more apparent in the last number of weeks with the massive growth in SME food and drinks businesses starting to trade online. While many businesses have added stores to their websites, a lot of this online sales growth has been supported by the increase in numbers of Irish e-commerce portals and niche marketplaces.

Marketplace giants such as Amazon, eBay or Alibaba owe their success to their massive selection of goods. However, these giants’ one-size-fits-all offer and generic customer experience can be a challenge for artisan & SMB producers. Particularly for those in the food and drinks industry.

The short time to market and the quick flow of products within a company is what sets the food and beverage industry apart. Goods with a short-shelf life have a higher risk of arriving to an e-commerce customer close to or past their expiration date. Poor experiences like these are not how strong customer relationships are built.

After a careful start, e-commerce is taking off in the food and beverage industry. As customers demand faster delivery Amazon and Google are beginning to offer same-day delivery, helping to meet a specific requirement for the food and drink sector. While these delivery initiatives may not be available to all Irish food producers, it is worth noting the scale at which these tech giants expand their offerings.

With Amazon creating dedicated Irish transport and distribution infrastructure, faster e-commerce delivery options are now becoming a reality in Ireland.


Regardless of the pros and cons of the distribution offerings of these marketplace giants, their one-size-fits-all approach has left the door open for the growth of niche marketplaces. From international niche marketplaces like Etsy and Houzz to Irish marketplaces such as BeerCloud, Caboose, WildOrchard & ShopLocalOnline, this e-commerce category is growing rapidly.

By meeting the needs of specific niches, they can intensely focus on selected products or services. They then become a go-to destination and trusted source of information for buyers.

Listing products across multiple niche marketplaces allows businesses to target their most likely customers at scale.

Industry leaders like Amazon have the data and logistics capabilities to create step-changes in food and beverage e-commerce as seen with Amazon Fresh. While this know-how and technology is outside the reach of most small marketplaces, Amazon has a history at making their enabling technologies available commercially. This is most notable in the case of AWS which powers much of our cloud-based economy.

The circular economy and sustainable consumption were growing niches but until recently this was primarily amongst millennial shoppers. The last few months have seen shopping habits change dramatically, with many more consumers now interested in the provenance of their food and drink. 

With e-commerce offerings becoming more advanced and shopping online becoming more prevalent, technology is quickly catching up with shoppers’ increasing demand for niche food & beverages.

Artisan, craft and SMB producers are poised to take a significant stake in the food and beverage market through the growing reach of specialised marketplaces.


Taking advantage of this opportunity requires a broad reach with product listings across multiple marketplaces. The challenge is in maintaining information accuracy in every stage of the supply chain – something that is difficult when having to deal with information overload.

Our partners in TrueCommerce can help to reduce the complexity surrounding trading via an online marketplace, particularly as the number of orders and marketplaces increase.

Find out more about how they are making access to marketplaces across the globe as simple as one connection.

TrueCommerce Blog: Why all businesses should consider online marketplaces

Tags: marketplaces, e-commerce, TrueCommerce, amazon,