Marketplaces have increasingly been gaining popularity and traditional retailers have been looking to benefit and expand their product offerings via third-party sellers.
According to a report by OC&C Strategy Consultants, the online marketplace model is expected to grow by 15% annually as it drives the largest fundamental shift in consumer spending since the emergence of ecommerce back in the 1990s.
The research predicts that by 2025, spending through leading online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay will overtake the majority of ecommerce outlets.
Retail Gazette takes a look at the retailers who have launched their own marketplaces to capitalise from the consumer desire for more choice.
Hotter Shoes owner Unbound Group will launch its own marketplace, selling selected third-party brands to its older customer base later this year.
Unbound is looking to capitalise on the “digital strengths, customer loyalty and powerful database” of Hotter Shoes to launch a marketplace targeting the needs of its 55-plus consumer with a curated selection of fashion and lifestyle brands.
The new platform will initially launch its partner brand offering within the footwear and clothing categories but a wellness offer will follow.
Last month Mountain Warehouse also launched its own online marketplace acting as a one-stop-shop for outdoor clothing and equipment as it looks to give customers access to a wider choice of brands.
The marketplace will house “some of the best brands in the market” including Nike, Slazenger, Donda Cycling, Dotty Dungarees and Canterbury, the retailer said.
The marketplace is now live and the retailer has said that it is “actively” recruiting new brands within the outdoors sector that align with its core values.
Luxury fashion platform Farfetch entered the world of makeup with the launch of Farfetch Beauty, its own beauty marketplace, in April.
The platform offers over 100 different names, from powerhouse luxury names and indie brands including Chanel, Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury and Off-White™’s very first fragrance ‘PAPERWORK.’
Farfetch chief brand officer Holli Rogers said: “We took this as an opportunity to shake up the online beauty retail experience by bridging fashion and beauty to appeal to our existing audience of fashion lovers.
“We knew we had to offer beauty in an ‘only on Farfetch’ way – combining our know-how in bringing together a diverse community of expert voices that resonate with the modern beauty customer and their needs.”
In March, Superdrug revealed plans to launch a new marketplace that will see hundreds of brands, from premium to start-ups, partner with the health and beauty retailer to offer their products.
Superdrug Marketplace is set to launch in September this year, and brands are being recruited now.
Superdrug said it hopes that the marketplace will allow brands without the infrastructure for a national retail listing to team up with it to offer customers their products.
Superdrug will also focus on brands which align with its customers’ key values, with a particular focus on black-owned brands, building on the retailer’s Shades of You commitment to diversity in retail that it launched in 2021.
B&Q launched its own online marketplace at the start of the year as it continues to expand its ecommerce division.
The DIY retailer owned by Kingfisher is looking to create a “a one-stop shop for your home”, strengthening its foothold in key categories such as lighting, power tools and wallpaper.
B&Q has already signed up 17 third-party sellers, including Black & Decker, Breville and Osram, to sell through the marketplace.
The retailer aims to offer shoppers 100,000 new products within the next six months, in addition to the 40,000 already stocked on B&Q’s existing website.
B&Q chief executive Graham Bell said the business has ambitions to make “millions of products available” through the platform – “possibly within a year”.
Back in January, Yoox launched Yoox Marketplace in Europe, providing its shoppers with “instant access to a wider product assortment”.
The launch included over 700 brands and 150,000 new items across jewellery, ready-to-wear, accessories and footwear”.
The retailer already offers a massive selection of brands and products on its webstore, however, it previously operated mainly via a wholesale model rather than a marketplace approach.
It said the latest launch its part of its “broader transition to a hybrid operating model, designed to enhance the customer experience, expanding its brands and products offering on site”.
Last year, Debenhams launched a new online marketplace offering 70,000 products in its first major move since being bought by Boohoo last January.
Debenhams said the new marketplace would soon become the UK’s biggest selection of fashion, beauty, sport and homeware products.
It offer all the brands that both Debenhams and Boohoo currently hold relationships with, alongside another 200 which have been onboarded over the last three months.
“With the launch of this marketplace, we are evolving the Debenhams brand to stay ahead of the demands of the current digital-first world of commerce,” Boohoo chief information officer Jo Graham said at the time of its launch.
Last August, the online-only luxury menswear retailer Mr Porter launched Super Mart, a standalone on-site marketplace showcasing a curated selection of clothing from a variety of brands.
It features an edit from 29 global labels and more than 330 products across ready-to-wear, accessories and lifestyle.
“We are excited to launch Super Mart, a first-of-its-kind project – it’s been fantastic for us to work on a large multi-brand collection that champions diverse contemporary product from both established and cult brands; many of which have loyal fan bases but not been available on a global scale before,” said Mr Porter buying director Sam Kershaw.
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