Platforms and marketplaces are widely used as synonyms. The term platform is used as a technical umbrella term for a marketplace.
They are to be distinguished from an online shop. The former have an intermediary, the so-called marketplace/platform operator, who makes his platform available to bring buyers and sellers together. With an online shop, on the other hand, the operator of the online shop has a website as his own platform, through which he can sell directly to his buyers.
Within marketplaces/platforms, a distinction is made between B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketplaces/platforms. One speaks of B2B platforms/marketplaces if both sides are commercially active and therefore entrepreneurs, i.e. if they face each other as buyers and sellers.
In the case of B2C platforms, an entrepreneur and a consumer face each other. The functionality is the same, the technical requirements are identical.
However, there are differences within the need for protection of the consumer is particularly in need of protection according to the will of the legislator, for example, the trader is subject to certain pre-contractual information duties vis-à-vis the consumer and the consumer, in contrast to the trader, is entitled to a right of withdrawal.