Retailers have been aware of the power of online marketplaces for around a decade, with many of them having a well-established presence on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.
However, smart retailers and brands are now waking up to the fact that they themselves can build and run their own marketplace. There is no longer any need to be controlled by the rules and dictates of the internet giants because the technology is available for retailers to take the power back from the likes of eBay and Amazon.
The efficacy of large, undifferentiated marketplaces for retailers is declining; consumers are looking for more focused, niche and boutique offerings that resonate with their lifestyle choices. Consumers are better educated and expect more from their online shopping experience. And brands and retailers can now access the technology to build their own marketplace, and own their tribe.
In terms of tech set-up, the time it takes to get a solid, secure and attractive online marketplace up and running has been cut from months to days by the likes of marketplace platform provider Marketplacer.
Marketplacer managing director Jason Wyatt says brands and retailers that want to start an online marketplace can now do it quickly by using Marketplacer’s world-leading software platform.
“Imagine launching Airbnb in a day. We can enable companies to build a massive marketplace in one week rather than years of hard work,” Mr Wyatt said.
“There is currently no comparable off-the-shelf solution to Marketplacer omnichannel and e-commerce [offerings] do not address the holistic customer journey. Our technology is built for any product, anywhere in the world.”
Marketplacer recently announced an $11 million capital raising, which follows a $10 million funding round last year.
Mr Wyatt told the Australian Financial Review the new funding round is another vote of confidence from investors in Marketplacer’s mission to expand its operations.
“We’re not a start-up boot-strapping non-scalable tech, we’ve got robust systems and processes around customer service and creating a community.”
Marketplacer has established and partnered with five online marketplaces, which in total now receive more than 3 million visitors per month, up 133% since last July and represent 2203 retailers and delivers $600 million in leads per year. It also has several deals in the pipeline with leading brands to create marketplaces.
“We saw a genuine need for people who wanted to create marketplaces. They don’t have to be technologists, they need to be community managers, so we wanted to de-risk people investing into marketplaces,” Mr Wyatt told the AFR.
“If you wanted to write an essay you wouldn’t go and create Microsoft Word. So if you want to create a marketplace, use Marketplacer.”