Vertical Market

Vertical Market Definition

A vertical market is one in which the seller provides goods and services that are tailored to a particular industry, business, or group of people with specific needs. Sellers in this market typically do not cater to the needs of the general public and instead focus exclusively on a specific type of industry or business group.

Understanding Vertical Market

The customer base of the sellers in such a market is very limited. This also means that the need for advertising is limited and the expenditure on marketing will also be limited. With a limited customer base, the marketing strategies can be more focused which will prove effective for the seller.

The operators of the vertical market will be able to build up their brand as the focus will be on select kinds of customers.

When the participants focus and utilize their energies in a particular industry, they will be able to understand the industry better and they may come up with some new suggestions and improvements and may be able to solve the challenges faced by the businesses working in that particular industry.

Types of Vertical Market

There are three types –


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#1 – Corporate System

In such a system, all the functions of production and distribution are done by a single company. Such companies do not need to depend on other persons for production and sales-related functions and are self-sufficient in doing so.

#2 – Contractual System

In such kind of system, there exits contractual agreement between the different production and distribution levels for the completion of the overall function. The participants of such a system enjoy the economies of scale.

#3 – Administered System

In an administered system, one member of the production and distribution channel is dominant and the entire functions of a vertical market are being carried out by them in an informal manner. The dominant ones are those who are larger in size.


Let us consider an example of a software development company that develops software exclusively for the retail sector. Such a company can be said to be a part of a vertical market as it is dealing with respect to a particular group of customers only.

Vertical vs Horizontal Market

Difference Between Vertical and Horizontal Market

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A vertical market is a kind of market where the customers belong to a particular industry. Thus, in a vertical market, you will not find the sellers to be dealing in different kinds of industries. The sellers are operating among themselves, who are dealing in a specific industry. They deal with the select customer base.

On the other hand, in the case of a horizontal market, the products created by the participants are not limited to the use of a specific industry but cater to the needs of various industries. They are concerned with the overall market and do not depend on some select group of customers for their profits.


  • The vertical market can lead to only some enterprises controlling the particular market which may reduce the competition to a minimum level.
  • The quality of the products is likely to be poor in such cases since the level of competition is low and the customers have limited choices.
  • The sellers might be in a position to charge higher prices for their products since there are few numbers of sellers in the market.
  • The products may lack innovation since there will be no motivation or competition level to design and develop the products with improved techniques and features.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Vertical Market and its definition. Here we discuss types, characteristics of the vertical market along with an example, advantages, and disadvantages. You can learn more about from the following articles –