The Rise of the Online Marketplace

Over the past several years, online marketplaces have grown significantly in both size and popularity. The World Wide Web is now a place where people can find almost any product and service they’re looking for, and online marketplaces provide a platform for businesses and customers to come together on the Internet.

Auction Websites

Before individual merchants and businesses started selling products and services online in large numbers, auction websites were a very popular platform for buying and selling goods online. Auction websites provide a well-designed platform and an easy-to-use system for both merchants and customers to exchange goods and services online.

An auction website allows a business to get the best price for a product, and many different people can compete and bid higher in order to win the product in the auction. Auction websites are beneficial for customers as well, and they can directly compete against other customers in the auction to get products they really want.

Selling Products and Services With a Website

As the World Wide Web continued to grow rapidly throughout the world, many merchants and businesses saw the incredible potential of selling products and services with their own websites. About a decade ago, many innovative businesses began designing their own websites that were specifically designed to sell certain products and services.

In its infancy, the Internet marketplace was much different than it is today. There were relatively few merchants that had their own websites, and those merchants had a massive share of potential customers online.

Increased Competition and Online Marketplaces

Over time, more and more businesses realized the unprecedented potential for profits by selling products and services online. As a result, competition increased and e-commerce websites were striving to offer the best deals and reach the largest number of customers.

In order to fill the need for a better place to advertise a website that offered products and services, online marketplaces came onto the e-commerce scene. With online marketplaces, a person could easily search for a certain product or service, and she could receive a huge list of websites that were selling exactly what she was looking for.

Along with the list of websites, a person would receive other information, such as the price that each website was offering for the product or service, any shipping information, the condition it is in and other important information.

Online Marketplaces Become More Popular

As customers were realizing how easy it was to find certain products and services at the best prices by using online marketplaces, businesses were quickly discovering that online marketplaces helped drive a huge flood of new customers to their websites. The customers who come from online marketplaces are highly targeted customers, and they have already done some type of search for the products or services the business is offering.

Online Marketplaces Grow and Expand

As they became more popular, many online marketplaces grew and expanded. Instead of just offering basic information about a product or service, they began to offer a wide range of details about each brand and each product.

As they expanded, the search function of online marketplaces became more comprehensive, and there were many features added by most online marketplaces.

The ability to display a wide variety of details was added, and having a large number of details about each product or service helped a customer make a better decision when buying.

For example, an energy website may advertise its products and services using an online marketplace. That website may also list all of the information and important details about switching service or the different suppliers. This helps educate a customer as well as bring traffic to sites such as http://www.energyproviderstexas.com/business-energy-providers.html.

Black Friday Violence

Well, I arrived at 12:30 am at a local Super Wal-Mart on Black Friday and didn’t expect anything different than any other year. I’m a Black Friday veteran, having done this for the last five years.

I normally camp out at Best Buy, but this year’s deals weren’t appealing to me. So I decided to go to Wal-Mart this year. And I picked a Super Wal-Mart near my house since they usually have more quantities of doorbusters than regular Wal-Mart’s. I had my tent ready, but guess what? Super Wal-Mart’s actually open at midnight instead of 5 am on Black Friday!

So my friends and I walked around the store not looking for anything or shopping. I just wanted the doorbusters. The Wal-Mart employees were actually still getting ready by bringing pallets of stuff wrapped in black plastic out in between the aisles. We read some magazines in the magazine aisle trying to pass the time. There were no lines at all except for some bunches of people around certain pallets. At about 2 am we decided we’d read enough magazines and decided to walk around again.

We went by the electronics and, behold, there was a line! So we lined up and waited. And waited. And waited. And did some more waiting. It’s really tough waiting in line inside the store because everyone was standing up. I wasn’t about to stand to stand for three hours so I bucked the trend and sat right on the floor. Honestly, I would’ve rather camped outside and been able to sleep in my cozy tent.

Well, 5 am hit and the black plastic began to be ripped off! It was chaos everywhere! Of course, I was stuck in the electronics line that wasn’t moving, but I could see all the action from where I was! People were scrambling to get everything and there was barely any room to breathe, much less move. All of a sudden, I could hear the screams of some women. Apparently, a fight broke out in the grocery section between two women! The guy in front of me said that he saw another fight in the toy section between two women with boxes and toys flying everywhere! He even said that one box hit him in the head! I had never seen such chaos in my life! Best Buy never got this crazy.

There was much worse violence in stores around the country, however. At a Toys ‘R Us in Palm Desert, California, two gunmen shot and killed each other after the women they were with started fighting. Apparently, it was not shopping-related violence. Two women fighting in a toy store on the busiest shopping day of the year wasn’t shopping-related? Yeah, right!

A Wal-Mart employee was also killed at a local Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, New York on Friday. He was trampled to death by a crazy mob trying to get in the store. It is just not worth it.

I am considering doing Black Friday completely online next year and skip out on the crazy mess and chaos. I will definitely not go to Wal-Mart on Black Friday again. It is just too disorganized and took way too long. I mean, they had just one register for the entire electronics line that wrapped around the store. We were probably number 50 in line and it still took most of the morning trying to get out of there. Insane.

Black Friday is Fast Approaching

Black Friday, the traditional kick-off to the Christmas shopping season, is fast approaching in a couple weeks. I go every year and camp out on Thanksgiving night after dinner. Some of the ads are already out at bfads.net. So far, I’m a little disappointed in the “deals”. But, some ads are not available yet so hopefully someone pulls something out.

Last year I camped out at Best Buy, but I’m not sure this year. I may just decide to stay home and do Black Friday online this year. It really depends on the deals. You would think that with the economy the way it is that retailers would pull out all the stops to get the shoppers out.

Black Friday Mania Starts!

blackfriday

Even though Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is still several weeks away, I’m already preparing for the biggest shopping day of the year! Many of the ads have already been leaked online (check out bfads.net and click on adscans on the top) and I’m already planning everything out. This has become a tradition for myself and my friends. We’ve been going for years now and this year is no different. It’s more about having fun with friends than it is about shopping for me.

For those of you who don’t know, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year and it got its name because it was generally the start of the holiday season when retailers would go from “being in the red” to “being in the black”. In other words, it was the day that marked profits for retailers. Stores open extra early at 5, 6, or 7 am and have many great deals. Many people line up on Thanksgiving day from 6 pm or earlier to be first in line to get the best deals.

This is a great day to get some great deals but don’t go crazy. Just because it’s Black Friday, doesn’t mean that everything is on sale. Even the things in the ads aren’t really at a great price. I always check online to make sure it’s really a good deal. I’ve seen some people on Black Friday with carts full of stuff and they just add anything into the cart that looks good. In fact, the stuff in the aisles next to the line is usually the high margin stuff that’s not even on sale and that they make the most money on.

Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail.