The eCommerce market is dominated by businesses utilising a marketplace model. It’s not surprising that consumers find the marketplace shopping experience so appealing – it hits on two of the most prevalent consumer needs: product breadth and convenience. Due to this popularity amongst shoppers, the online marketplace model is predicted to grow 15% annually. As large national and international retailers compete for relevance, many are launching their own marketplaces using SaaS solutions such as Mirakl. Household brands like Decathlon, Mountain Warehouse, Superdrug, and B&Q are all opting to take advantage of this sales model to expand their product breadth via third-party sellers.
You may well be thinking ‘great – big brands getting bigger – how wholly unremarkable and disheartening.’ Yes, the eCommerce expansion plans of large brands may bring to mind Mr Burns cackling on his throne. However, this evolving eCommerce structure can be a win for the small, the medium and the aspiring-to-be-large – not just the very large.
As an eCommerce brand, broadening your channel coverage is one of the most effective ways to scale your business. Large marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay often take priority when building a marketplace strategy, but with the emergence of many smaller more specialised marketplaces, often with less onerous selling fees, eCommerce brands have more opportunities to improve their channel coverage whilst associating themselves with reputable and relevant brands.
Let’s say you’re a small-medium sized eCommerce make-up brand. Getting your products into Superdrug retail stores is improbable, to say the least. Not only are you up against more established brands fighting for physical shelf space, but the infrastructure of your business is unlikely to facilitate wholesale to the degree necessary for such a large-scale retailer. Superdrug’s online marketplace would give your make-up brand the opportunity to align with a relevant household retailer through a more realistic and manageable affiliation.
Step 1: Understand the relevant marketplaces available. With so many retailers opting to utilise a marketplace model, your options may seem infinite – however, it’s important to understand what each marketplace is looking to sell, and approach only those relevant to your products and audience.
Step 2: Ensure your end-to-end eCommerce software integrates with the SaaS marketplace solution the retailer is using. eCommerce brands selling on two or more channels often require software, such as Volo, to improve the ease of selling across multiple platforms. It’s important when listing on a retailer marketplace that Mirakl – or similar SaaS solutions – can be integrated with ease.
Step 3: Get in touch with the retailers. Retailers with their own marketplaces will often have a dedicated page and contact for onboard brands – this Superdrug page acts as an example of what to look out for. They may also have selection restrictions like ‘invitation only’, so it’s wise to do this research early.
Mirakl is one of the most popular solutions for businesses launching their own eCommerce marketplace. It’s important to note that Mirakl is not a marketplace itself, it is a platform that allows companies to manage a network of third-party sellers. The platform enables listing, selling, and fulfilment across multiple sellers to create a cohesive and efficient virtual marketplace.
Volo fully integrates Mirakl, opening up your selling opportunity to a large and rapidly growing range of retailer networks. Brands and retailers working with us are able to expand their reach and automate their processes with retailer marketplaces on Mirakl, without adding any stress to their channel management approach, but adding top line revenues and better productivity in the process. To find out more about how Volo could help your business scale on Mirakl marketplaces and other channels, please get in touch.