Wish has announced a two-year partnership with ecommerce software provider PrestaShop. Merchants using this software will be able to quickly sell to consumers on the Wish marketplace. A integration module on the PrestaShop platform syncs their products and orders between PrestaShop and Wish.
The impact of marketplaces
An online marketplace is a platform on which multiple retailers sell (part of) their assortment. There are literally thousands of online marketplaces around the world and these players gain more and more market share. The result is a changed ecommerce industry: online sales happen increasingly from these marketplaces instead from retailers’ ecommerce websites.
The reason behind this shift is clear: consumers can find almost everything they are looking for and for retailers an online marketplace offers them lots of opportunities. Because why would you restrict your market to your neighboring countries, while you can sell just as easily to consumers in Vietnam, Greenland or Brazil using a marketplace connection. Yet, marketplaces don’t offer significant added value by definition. If you’re operating in a very specific niche industry, chances are (potential) consumers could have already been able to find their way to your products.
Why are marketplaces so popular?
The fact online marketplaces have become so popular is partly due to their urge for innovation. Amazon for example is clearly not focusing on profits, but on growing through innovation. The company is continuously investing in the latest technologies and developments, while keeping the future in mind. For an average retailer these kinds of investments aren’t financially feasible. But by joining such platforms, these same retailers can profit from the existing innovations.
Another reason is retailers just don’t want to miss the boat. As soon as a marketplace is popular among consumers and competing retailers, retailers are afraid they are missing out. And there should be a good reason why these consumers and competitors are on that platform, right? So, as a result, more and more retailers will join, which makes the platform even more interesting for other players.
Additionally, the fact retailers can also use online marketplaces to try out quite easily whether there’s enough interest for their product is another popular reason to join such a platform.
What are the down sides?
While joining a big and popular marketplace could lead to an increase of your reach and online visibility, it doesn’t necessarily mean you get rich of it. There’s a big chance one (or more) of your competitors is also active on that platform, which means a strong competition that’s based on who has the lowest prices. And even if sales go well, the commission you need to pay to the marketplace often has quite the impact on your profit margins.
The forced urge to perform is also something not every retailer feels comfortable with. In order to sell your products through an online platform, there are often many requirements one needs to qualify. Many platforms demand a certain kind of velocity: retailers need to deliver within a certain time period or they need to answer consumers’ questions within a couple of hours.
And, by joining an online marketplace, you also offer lots of valuable data to that same marketplace. Imagine, for example, you’re selling a product that’s hugely popular among a certain customer group. The marketplace could decide one day to (manufacture and) sell that same product itself for a much lower price.
Examples of market places
It is no longer just American ecommerce giants such as Amazon and eBay that have left their mark in the global ecommerce industry. Asian and European giants are also increasingly making name for themselves. Think for example of the German fashion companies Zalando and Otto, the Chinese companies Alibaba and JD.com, the Japanese player Rakuten and the Dutch retailer Bol.com.
Whatever the assortment, chances are there’s a (specialized) marketplace that fulfills your needs. According to the European Commission, in Europe alone there are over 7,000 online marketplaces and platforms. To better protect retailers who joined these platforms, the Commission came up with a set of rules.
For example, the need to explain the most important parameters that form the internal ranking of retailers. They also need to tell which data they gather and how they will use these. And the European Commission also wants these platforms to set up an internal complaint-handling system to better assist business users.
Online marketing agency 10XCrew from the Netherlands has acquired Vorwärts, a German Amazon agency. Both companies are specialized in direct-to-consumer strategies and online marketplaces like Amazon and Bol.com.
Manor, a big department store chain from Switzerland, has launched its online marketplace. The platform was announced last year, was released in silent beta mode recently and is now officially live.
Ankorstore, a wholesale marketplace from France, has raised 100 million dollars (82.4 million euros) in a Series B funding round. The online marketplace will use the money to further expand in Europe and grow its customer base.
Ecommerce software provider Shopware has released the latest version of its software. The most important new feature is Shopware Markets. This service enables shop owners to seamlessly connect their online shop to the Amazon and eBay marketplaces.
Almost eight in ten Amazon merchants in Germany don’t see the marketplace as a partner. But they also generate an average of 51.2 percent of their turnover through Amazon. German ecommerce association BVOH calls on Amazon to reform its relationship with merchants.
Wholesale platform BigBuy generated a turnover of 65 million euros in 2020. And 90 percent of the B2B company’s sales shipped out of Spain. France and Italy accounted for most sales through this wholesale platform.
AliExpress Russia has invested in KazanExpress, a major regional ecommerce company from Russia, by acquiring a 30 percent stake. KazanExpress was founded five ears ago, but is growing extremely fast recently.
Amazon in Europe has welcomed 115,453 new sellers this year. This equates to 1,461 per day. Most new sellers have joined the Amazon marketplaces in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany.
Online retailers who sell on Amazon and use a payment service provider (PSP) to receive their Amazon sales proceeds, need to make sure their PSP participates in Amazon’s Payment Service Provider program. Here’s what is about to change and how you can be ready for the changes.
Amazon seller acquisition companies are everywhere. And now there’s also one in Finland: eBrands. This company even says it’s the only Amazon FBA brand aggregator based in the Nordics. eBrands acquires brands in both Europe and the US.
Dutch wholesale marketplace Orderchamp has announced its expansion to Germany. It’s the fifth market where the B2B platform officially has a presence. It’s also active in the Benelux and France. After a soft-launch, Orderchamp will now open an office in Germany to further penetrate this market.
Next month, Kaufland will officially enter the world of ecommerce. For the first time, the German hypermarket chain will be visible as a new operator on the previous online marketplace of Real, the company it acquired in June last year.
Online fashion marketplace Secret Sales has seen its month-on-month revenue increase by 4,000 during the Covid-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the outbreak, the UK company transformed from a flash sales outlet into a premium ecommerce marketplace.
Bol.com, the biggest online store in the Netherlands, has generated sales worth 4.3 billion euros in 2020. That’s way more than was expected by its holding, Ahold Delhaize. Of course, it has everything to do with the closure of physical stores in the Netherlands and Belgium.