Online marketplaces are changing the way we shop
The marketplace model has taken hold during 2021 and more and more retailers see in it an opportunity to improve customer loyalty and prolong the lifetime value of their customers. Online marketplaces such as Amazon, Aliexpress and El Corte Inglés are in the top 5 of the most visited eCommerce in Spain.
They are the best known but they are not the only online marketplaces but there are plenty of others. La Casa Del Libro, PcComponentes, Mercadona, Perfumes Club, Decathlon, Tiendanimal, TradeInn or Venca are other retailers that have dared and are having success with their marketplaces.
According to a study by Mirakl, 70% of consumers now believe that online marketplaces are the most convenient way to shop, while 66% prefer sites with marketplaces to those without.
If trends continue, marketplaces will account for more than two-thirds of e-commerce by 2023, according to Forrester.
Advantages of online marketplaces
What are the advantages of setting up your own marketplace for a retailer that already sells online?
Adding a new product to a retailer’s catalog that sells well can be very costly and a real headache in the wake of rapidly changing consumer buying habits and recent supply issues.
With a marketplace, stock constraints and the time traditionally spent incorporating products to the catalog are significantly reduced and cross-shopping possibilities are increased.
However, this advantage comes with a challenge: quality.
Retailers who want to develop a marketplace that complements rather than challenges their eCommerce strategy will have to validate the quality of the products offered by the new sellers they incorporate into their platform, and also evaluate that the entire purchasing and delivery process for third-party items.
It is possible to grow sales without creating inventory shocks and without straining warehouse capacity.
Having new products can also help retailers increase traffic to their online stores by attracting new customers who can become loyal customers after a good shopping experience.
Still, it is true that every project has its challenges and these must be taken into account when assessing its viability.
It is important to have a clear and defined identity to offer a unified shopping experience while maintaining your own identity in all purchases, whether your own or through an external vendor. This may require the development of new systems to manage the processes of onboarding, verification and payment of suppliers.
Is setting up your own marketplace the only way?
Setting up your own marketplace is not the only option to take advantage of this new model.
Retailers can explore the option of becoming third-party sellers on other online marketplaces and thus open a new sales channel and reach new markets.
For retailers, it is a great way to reach new customers and improve their online visibility without the technological development that comes with adding a new platform to their strategy.
At Openbravo we already have experience in integrating our solutions with leading fashion and luxury marketplaces such as Farfetch, Intramirror (especially relevant for the Chinese consumer) and The List.