What Is a Cloud Marketplace?

Daniel Threlfall
October 6, 2021

The cloud marketplace and SaaS marketplace are a necessity in the digital world. But what is a cloud marketplace and how does it work?

What Is a Cloud Marketplace?

A cloud marketplace is an online marketplace where users can find and purchase apps.

Cloud marketplaces work quite simply. A user wants an app. They go to the cloud marketplace, find the SaaS or app that they need, and begin the process of purchasing that app.

Why Is It Called a "Cloud Marketplace?"

The term "cloud marketplace" simply refers to the marketplace's method of delivery. A brick-and-mortar storefront would allow you to purchase products from off the shelf. In a cloud marketplace, the products are stored online — in the cloud.

Across the web there are hundreds of thousands of cloud marketplaces, app marketplaces, and SaaS marketplaces offering an endless variety of apps, tools, resources, and other online products.  

One of the best-known examples of a cloud marketplace is the AWS Marketplace — software that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The AWS marketplace has over 2,700 listed offerings from independent software vendors (ISPs), and they contain over 10,000 product listings in dozens of categories.

Other well-known cloud marketplaces include:
- Oracle Marketplace
- Microsoft Windows Azure Marketplace
- Salesforce App Exchange
- Google Cloud Marketplace
- Huawei AppGallery

Although these enormous cloud marketplaces seem to dominate the cloud marketplace landscape, there are countless smaller yet essential cloud marketplaces serving specialized market segments.

On the consumer side, for example, there is cloud marketplace for Parsec, a cloud gaming service. In this cloud marketplace, gamers can find and purchase games to play online.

What Are Some Types of Cloud Marketplaces?

The term cloud marketplace encompasses a broad range of cloud-based solutions.

For example, a SaaS marketplace is one type cloud marketplace, and is by far the most common. SaaS, or "software as a service," are the software applications typically downloaded through cloud marketplaces.

Although SaaS is the main product category sold through cloud marketplaces, there are several other important categories or products that are featured on some cloud marketplaces:
     1. SaaS - Software as a Service, just mentioned. Example: Salesforce
     2. PaaS - Platform as a Service provides software creation or development platforms. Example: Google App Engine
     3. IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service allows customers to access a powerful suite of network tools, often including servers, operating systems and cloud storage. Example: Rackspace

Building Your Own Cloud Marketplace

Although building a cloud marketplace sounds like an enormous and daunting task, even for a small army of developers and engineers, Builtfirst makes it an absolute cinch. No coding required.

Since Builtfirst has already built the cloud marketplace platform, all you have to do is add your apps, products, or services, and you're done. Instantly, you've created a cloud marketplace.

Cloud marketplaces have come to dominate any community marketplace experience. For example, startup incubators offering perks to their members will use a cloud marketplace to offer their community exactly what their members need. Because the process of building the marketplace is seamless, VCs and managers can focus on other tasks, while startup founders benefit from the array of discounted options.

Want to build your own community marketplace or are you a founder looking to save on software purchases? Sign up now.

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