1. Marketplace: You should go for a marketplace solution if you are looking to provide the following features/services in your website:
- Multi Vendor Solution
- Ability for users to register as vendors and start selling their products on your website. All this can be done from your site's frontend which isn't the case with Multi Store/Website.
- Amazon/Ebay kind of solution
|Fig: Multi Website/Multi Store (click on image to enlarge)|
2. Multi Store/Multi Website: You should go for a multi store/multi website solution in the following case:
- Use a single Magento installation to create several stores & websites which eases website maintenance related tasks.
- The following features are shared in a multi store setup:
- Payment Gateway (shared)
- Shipment (shared)
- Category (optional)
- Catalog is shared or not shared depending upon how you have set up your Category. If you have same category for all the stores then the products will be shared between all the stores. If you have separate categories for separate stores then the product can be restricted to each store.
- Users are shared across all the store enabling single account log in across stores.
- The following features are shared/not shared in a multi website setup, depending upon your configuration:
- Payment Gateway (Can be unique for each website)
- Shipping (Can be unique for each website)
- User account (Can be restricted or shared across websites depending upon your configuration)