Last checked: 18/05/2021

Selling online using third-party platforms

Affected by Brexit?

To set up your online business, you can also set up an online shop using third-party platforms, which is any software developed externally to you or your main website provider. Another alternative would be to list your products on well-known marketplaces. Keep in mind that some of your basic obligations in running a website still apply if you chose this option.

E-commerce third-party platforms

An e-commerce platform is a software programme or application that will allow your business to sell goods and services online by helping you manage your website and other operations such as marketing, sales, and logistics. Here are some of the things you should look at when choosing this type of solution:

Marketplace platforms

If using a third-party e-commerce platform is too much effort for you or you want to expand into an additional sales channel, consider selling through a marketplace. 


Marketplaces are another type of e-commerce sites that connect sellers with buyers and follow the offline model of traditional department stores. All transactions on a marketplace are managed by its operator and you can use this channel to reach customers who are interested in your products or services. 


Some of the advantages offered by online marketplaces are: 

Platform to Business Regulation (P2B)

The European Commission has introduced new regulations to increase transparency and fairness on online platforms. These rules address the obligations of online intermediation and search engine providers (including e-commerce, social media, online app distribution and collaborative marketplaces), who act as gateways to businesses' access to markets and consumers.

The new Platform to Business (P2B) Regulation provides solutions to problems encountered by businesses using platforms as part of their work, such as:

The Observatory on the Online Platform Economy was created to monitor the evolution of the online platform economy and the implementation of the P2B Regulation.

EU legislation

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Local business support

Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border , for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

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