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Marketplace - FIWARE Forge Wiki

Marketplace

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Contents

Target usage

Internet based business networks require a marketplace and stores, where people can offer and deal with services like goods and finally combine them to value added services. On the marketplace you can quickly find and compare services, which enable you to attend an industry-ecosystem better than before. Services become tradable goods, which can be offered and acquired on internet based marketplaces. Beside automated internet services this also applies for services that are provided by individuals. Partner companies can combine existing services to new services whereby new business models will be incurred and the value added chain is extended.

Given the multitude of apps and services that will be available on the Future Internet, providing efficient and seamless capabilities to locate those services and their providers will become key to establish service and app stores. Besides well-known existing commercial application stores like Apple App Store, Google Android Market, and Nokia Ovi, there are first efforts to establish open service and app marketplaces, e.g. in the U.S. Government‘s Apps.Gov repository and Computer Associates‘ Cloud Commons Marketplace. While these marketplaces already contain a considerable number of services, they are currently, at a premature stage, offering little more than a directory service. FI-WARE will fill this gap by defining generic enablers for marketplaces and providing reference implementations for them.

User roles

  • Service provider will place offers on the marketplace or in a service/app store.
  • Consumer can search, browse and compare offers</span>
  • Repository will be used to get services descriptions
  • Registry will be used to register stores, providers, marketplaces, …
  • Service store will participate on a marketplace and publishes offerings.
  • Channel Maker will consumers give access to the marketplace

GE description

We differentiate the service marketplace from a service store in our architecture. While a store is owned by a store owner who has full control over the specific (limited) service portfolio, and offerings a marketplace is a platform for many stores to place their offerings to a broader audience and consumers to search and compare services and find the store, where to buy. The final business transaction (buying) is done at the store and the whole back office process is handled by the store. There are existing Internet sales platforms that actually have marketplace and store functionality combined. However, conceptually the distinction is useful in order to simplify the architecture and have a better separation of concerns.

Figure 1 Service Marketplace and Store to Consumer

Figure 46 depicts the interaction of the marketplace and store to bring their services to the consumer via different channels. The marketplace for instance can use a Web channel, which can be used with a standard Web browser, whereas the store is delivering services via a Android device using native applications. The marketplace generic enabler does not have a single user interface. It rather enables to offer marketplace functionality (services) through different channels.

Figure 47 shows the interaction of the marketplace with the repository, registry and store. There might be multiple instances of all components. A marketplace for instance can use multiple repositories and registries as a source and can have a large number of stores offering their services. Both, marketplace and store are using the repository and registry to retrieve and maintain service descriptions.

As a special value added tool for providers and aggregators, a pricing simulator can be offered at the marketplace. The pricing simulator is a decision support system for strategic pricing management. The aim is to support complex pricing decisions that take both inter-temporal and strategic dependencies into consideration by providing a comprehensive market model representation. A tool to tackle complex strategic pricing decisions has to be capable of taking into account the competitive landscape and its development over time. The cornerstone of such a tool is the realization of a stochastic multi-attribute utility model (probably into an agent-based simulation environment), where it can subsequently be fed by either the fitted part-worth of a conjoint study or the relative quality and price scores of a customer value analysis. The result of the tool provides a forecast how different initial price strategies may unfold in the market.

Figure 2 Marketplace and Store to Registry

The functionality listed here contains a number of mandatory features and also a number of nice-to-have features as well. While searching for services, comparing services, and managing connections and interactions with shops are absolutely necessary, the other features are nice-to-have for a marketplace. In the FI-WARE context, request for quotations, ratings, and strategic pricing support seem to offer added value.

Functionality

  • Search and browse offers from different service stores.
  • Compare offers from different stores.
  • Check availability of an offering in the store.
  • Request for quotation processing / negotiation for a certain need (optional).
  • Independent trustee and clearing house.
  • Auction, bidding (optional).
  • Advertisement, campaigns (optional).
  • Rating, feedback, recommendation of stores and offerings.
  • Pricing support, price monitoring, sales cycles in the market across different stores.
  • Manage connections and interactions with service shops.

Critical product attributes

  • Customizable for different application domains/sectors.
  • Multi-channel access (Web-based access, mobile, …).
  • Easy on-boarding for store owners and consumers

Existing products

There is a plethora of marketplaces for various domains. It is useless to give an extended list here. Prominent examples are ebay.com, craigslist, pricefalls and Amazon [1]. In the area of services there are markets for craftsman such as myhammer.de. There are also market places for regional players. Since there is no standard in respect to offerings as well as services and products and no common business or technical framework, it is quite difficult for shop owners to be present on multiple market places. In the area of software applications we find a number of so called App Stores (Apple, Google, and Amazon) that are somehow closed environments controlled by a single owner. The AGORA Service Marketplace was developed within the THESEUS/TEXO project.


[1] Amazon is actually a certain mix of a store and a marketplace. At the one hand Amazon sells products on its own but also lists product offers from external suppliers.

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