How to move from an e-commerce model to a marketplace using modularity?

27 July 2022

Business Insight

Selling more products and services in all sectors (industry, retail, banking, insurance) thanks to the B2C marketplace… The idea inevitably appeals to companies with an e-commerce site and regular customers. But how do you transform the trial and interweave the marketplace model with the e-commerce model? Is it technically easy? What if we told you, it’s a breeze with Lemonway and its modularity option! Let’s see how it works.


Why transform your e-commerce site into a marketplace?

There is not one good reason to switch from the e-commerce model to a marketplace, but several.

The first, and not the least, is that the marketplace allows us to increase the depth of the offer. “Every year in our surveys, our customers told us that they couldn’t find enough international brands, i.e., brands other than Decathlon, on our site. Bringing all the brands together under one roof seemed complicated; we had to be able to do this in a lively way and platform mode. The marketplace model met these challenges”, explains Nicolas Deltenre, Head of Digital Belgium for Decathlon, who led the launch of Decathlon’s Belgian marketplace in close collaboration with Lemonway. For the sporting goods giant, the transformation of its e-commerce site into a marketplace stemmed from a need to internationalise its products and broaden the range of items by moving towards well-being and fitness. By entrusting its transformation project to Lemonway, Decathlon Belgium duplicated its marketplace model in 10 other countries within a few months.

Other reasons are the need to build customer loyalty, improve the response rate to customer searches, or create traffic in the shop. This is the case for Maison 123, for example, which has combined a dual approach, online and in-store, by offering its marketplace customers the opportunity to pick up their purchases in the shop. Therefore, the real challenge for e-commerce sites is to provide an experience for consumers by transforming their sales space, where until now they have only sold their products, into a platform where they also sell products that are not their own.


Modularity, a technological asset to support e-commerce in its transformation into a marketplace

The layout of an e-commerce site and that of a marketplace are fundamentally different. While the marketplace has the building blocks of an online shopping site, it makes it more complex by :

  • Modifying specific settings such as legal information, orders, payment, email notifications, etc.
  • Adding bricks such as sellers, marketplace offer repositories, order logistics, and marketplace payment service providers.

To achieve this, it is recommended to partner with a PSP marketplace such as Lemonway, which will manage the Pay-outlet and the regulatory dimension (KYC of merchants, reconciliation of funds and transactions). The rest will simply be an evolution of the site’s information system and adding market tools thanks to an integrator.


The modularity offered by Lemonway

Lemonway proposes a modular offer adapted to e-commerce actors who wish to transform themselves into a marketplace. How does it work? In practice, Lemonway dissociates the Pay-in module (managing the acceptance of payments) existing on the e-commerce site from the Identify (KYC) and Payment Account Management regulatory offer as well as from the Pay-out.

How to move from an e-commerce model to a marketplace using modularity?


Modularity is a must-have feature for companies that already work with one or more PSPs on their e-commerce site. It allows a PSP such as Lemonway to integrate easily into the chain of stakeholders.

Finally, it is not uncommon for companies to want to offer specific payment methods. To take the example of Decathlon, which Lemonway advised and accompanied throughout its transformation, the marketplace had to accept payment by Decathlon cheque. By letting the sports brand manage the Pay-in part (acceptance and acquisition) from its Upstream Pay tool (PSP aggregator), Lemonway has established itself as the only player on the market capable of meeting its expectations without degrading the consumer’s shopping experience. Of course, Lemonway has kept its prerogatives on identifying merchants who register on the marketplace and regulation in its entirety.


Conditions to benefit from the Lemonway modularity offer

Suppose the modular offer only concerns the Pay-in part. In that case, you should know that KYC management, transaction monitoring, and database management are carried out by Lemonway’s technology and Compliance teams, which guarantee compliance with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) provisions. Among its missions, Lemonway ensures that the transactions are not fraudulent, that the KYB of the sellers is known, and that Lemonway indeed performs the Pay-out. In addition, the solution ensures the ability to protect against credit risk by asking marketplace operators to retain a portion of the turnover – a deposit, as it were – which the PSP can draw on in the event of financial risk. It also ensures that transactions are monitored by requiring marketplaces to report on the volume of transactions carried out daily.


Lemonway is a pan-European payment institution that offers a solution dedicated to marketplaces and e-commerce sites that wish to use a payment processing and collection system on behalf of third parties in a secure and regulated framework (KYC, anti-fraud). If you, too, wish to take the plunge by switching from the e-commerce model to that of the marketplace, trust the experts at Lemonway to offer you end-to-end support and a solution that is easily integrated into your existing information system. Contact us to discover our modular offer!