Big box brands like Amazon and Walmart have won the marketplace game for years. Their operational efficiency and strategic approach have attracted multichannel brands to their sites.
Sellers know these marketplaces allow them to reach a wider audience while taking on more frustrating administrative aspects of selling online.
But the idea of an online marketplace is snowballing, giving multichannel brands new marketplace opportunities on which to sell.
What’s Going on With Online Marketplaces?
While the eBays, Amazons, and Walmarts of the world still reign supreme in ecommerce, more companies have realized the value of the marketplace business strategy. Forrester found that two-thirds of online spending happens on marketplaces. The opportunity is there, and it’s only growing.
The business model works best when sellers and the marketplace brand work well together. It’s a two sides of the same coin situation.
On one end, you’ve got the vendors who sell products on the marketplaces. For them, it’s all about the opportunity to reach more customers. The shift towards online shopping began long before 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic ramped things further. Now, multichannel sellers across multiple industries have several potential growth opportunities. Partnering with the right marketplace can be a great way to get your products to customers more efficiently.
The other side of the coin includes the marketplace brands themselves. They embrace the business model because it allows them to provide various products to their target market without producing the products themselves.
The recent ecommerce boom has influenced these brands as well. Niche marketplaces have started popping up more frequently. Some have turned their store into a marketplace, and big-named traditional retailers have also developed their own marketplaces.
7 New Market Opportunities for Multichannel Sellers
All of these changes have provided sellers with choices for where to sell online, but they can be hard to track. We wanted to highlight some of the top new marketplace opportunities for multichannel sellers to consider.
Bed, Bath, and Beyond
In late 2021, the retail giant joined the trend of bringing third-party brands into its online platform.
The company already had established its digital presence with its ecommerce store. Including additional, non-branded vendors are part of Bed, Bath, and Beyond’s three-year transformation strategy.
Like most significant marketplaces, sellers have to apply for the marketplace. However, according to the brand’s website, the approval process typically only takes a month, which helps vendors get started more quickly.
The supermarket and multi-department store expanded its ecommerce presence in 2020 through its partnership with Mirakl Marketplace.
In a press release, the company’s VP of product experience, Jody Kalmbach mentioned that the pivot came in response to consumer trends: “Our customers are increasingly turning to our ecommerce solutions provided at Kroger.com for their grocery and essential household needs. To better serve our customers, we’re continuing to invest in technology that enables us to expand our digital services to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere.”
Brands looking to sell on the Kroger marketplace must go through an application and vetting process to ensure the application and vetting process to make sure they fit the company’s vendor expectations. However, those that make it through gain access to the substantial 8.5 million customers Kroger serves.
Best Buy Canada
The Best Buy Canada marketplace serves Canadians specifically, but that doesn’t limit exposure.
According to their site, this booming marketplace serves over 400 million customers, and third-party vendors play a significant role in its success. 25% of the sales come from marketplace sellers.
Not a tech brand? No problem.
Best Buy Canada has expanded beyond the traditional brand to include things like:
- Baby essentials
- Fitness equipment
- and more
The marketplace boasts a quick and easy start-up process and extensive benefits for vendors like fast payments, high-quality training, and expert support.
Newegg.com has been a leader in PC components and electronics since 2001 and expanded to include a marketplace business in 2011.
The platform gives third-party sellers access to Newegg’s customer base of over 40 million worldwide. And they’ve expanded their product offerings to include
- Consumer electronics
- Emerging home automation
- Lifestyle tech.
The company has a simple, 4-step walkthrough of their registration process that interested parties can view here to see if they fit the criteria.
As part of its own “omnichannel evolution,” Macy’s plans to open an online marketplace in the second half of 2022.
Retail Touchpoints reports that the marketplace “will expand the range of products carried by Macy’s and introduce new categories for the retailer on both macys.com and bloomingdales.com.” The brand’s Chief Digital and Customer Officer, Matt Baer, stated that the “digital business is targeted to generate $10 billion in sales by 2023” and expects the marketplace to add revenue on top of that figure.
Multichannel sellers have the vast potential to sell with one of the most prolific retail brands. Keep an eye out for the marketplace opening as we head into the second half of 2022.
You might be noticing a trend here of large brands pivoting to the marketplace business model in the wake of ecommerce growth.
Belk has been around since 1888. This digital boom isn’t the first time this successful brand has had to adjust to its model. Adding a marketplace option fits well with the department store model since it takes the idea and brings it online.
Both strategies bring together a variety of brands in one place for a mutually beneficial return and happier customers. The only difference is that the online marketplace allows customers to shop in the comfort of their homes, which continues to add value.
Sellers have access to various resources to help them succeed, including a dedicated vendor portal where they can manage their products and monitor sales. The opportunity is there, as Belk’s success as a marketplace has helped the company restructure in recent years and shows signs of continued growth.
Seeing big brands pivot to the marketplace shows the business strategy’s significant reach. But it’s not the only way companies have found success in the market. Niche marketplaces like Reverb have proved that you can have great returns with a hyper-focused company that sells exclusively online.
Reverb sells musical instruments and gear from a variety of online vendors. Their tagline is that they “connect you with millions of musicians who want to buy your gear,” and the market research shows that this is more than marketing flare.
The company saw record-breaking numbers throughout 2020-2021. Their vendors drive their success, including Chuck Levin’sâ€“a brand that used StoreAutomator to transition from traditional retail to a multichannel ecommerce brand.
Reverb provides an easy onboarding process, access to a fantastic community of vendors, and excellent support for sellers. All that comes with access to a niche community of buyers who access the marketplace specifically for the niche items you might be selling.
The marketplace model offers plenty of opportunities for online sellers to reach more customers and grow their revenue. With so many options, narrowing down the best choice for your brand can be challenging, but you don’t have to settle for just one.
Multichannel listing software like StoreAutomator makes it easy for you to manage your sales across every channel. You can sell products on different platforms but access all your data, listings, and shipping information in one dedicated space.
Want to see how this works?
Book a demo with our expert team. We’d love to see how we can help your brand grow.