Marketplaces used to take a horizontal approach to transactions. It was all about quantity and servicing as many people as possible — regardless of demographic or industry. Craigslist is the epitome of a horizontal marketplace. The same can be said for Amazon. Both titans provide goods so diverse and expansive that they’re able to meet the needs of almost anyone.
But therein lies the problem. With such diversity in goods, it can become difficult to find what you’re looking for. And when you do, you’re not quite sure whether you’re getting those goods for a fair price — not to mention all those uncertainties involving quality and dependability. In other words, horizontal marketplaces lack the depth necessary for a quality purchasing experience.
It’s time to start thinking vertically. This is where concepts like the hub-and-spoke model come into play.