Play.com expands to offer e-commerce marketplace service
26 October 2012 - 09:54 by Mike Price
People looking to set up their own online storefront will now be able to do so via Play.com's new marketplace, which allows merchants to build an e-commerce outlet, complete with their own branding.
As well as being able to sell products to site visitors seeking safe shopping online, through a platform they can trust, merchants will be able to offer reward schemes based around Play.com's Superpoints initiative. This should help sellers to market their services and encourage more people to part with their cash.
This service has been backed up by Play.com's parent company, Rakuten, which has been pushing to make the site more competitive in the UK, where Amazon is currently dominant.
Merchants will be able to get in touch with the people they sell to via safe shopping online, thanks to the integration of a mailing system established by Rakuten.
Spokesperson, Adam Stewart, said that working with third party retailers and individual merchants would be vitally important to Play.com going forwards.
He admitted that the level of competitiveness in the online market could be problematic, although he said that bargain basement prices were not the only thing that an e-commerce site should offer consumers.
Mr Stewart said that by bringing merchants under its wing, Play.com would be able to create a collaborative relationship, that will benefit all involved and ensure that there is no unnecessary rivalry when there could instead be collective growth.
Other major online retailers who have taken steps to enhance their marketplace services and platforms, like eBay, are based almost entirely on this idea. It will be interesting to see whether or not Play.com will be able to break into this market effectively or whether it will find that the more established platforms of this kind will overwhelm its efforts.