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Report reveals importance of e-commerce marketplace services

24 April 2018 - 09:07 by Simon Crisp

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Forty per cent of all safe shopping online will be conducted via marketplace-style platforms offered by existing retailers within the next two years, according to a study from Mirakl.

This trend is being fuelled by the marketplaces that are found on sites like Amazon which allow third parties to sell products to shoppers and effectively piggyback on the popularity of an established retail brand.

A number of major firms were questioned as part of the report and over two thirds said that launching a marketplace section on their site allowed them to convince customers to come back more regularly.

Seventy per cent said that the biggest advantage of having a marketplace was that it allowed them to sell a broader selection of items, going above and beyond what would normally be achievable.

Forty four per cent are even leveraging the marketplace themselves to sell products direct to consumers, circumventing the normal approach to safe shopping online.

Sixty per cent said that they valued the level of control over their branding and user experience that was afforded to them by adopting a marketplace as part of their site. They said that this was even more impactful than having products on sale elsewhere, which means the biggest players are not reliant on third parties to the same degree.

Meanwhile, marketplaces make it easier for small businesses to get their products out to shoppers without having to hope that their own site gains enough traction to climb up the search results. This means that it is a win-win situation for retailers of all sizes as well as consumers.

If the rise of marketplaces continues at the rate predicted, then they may eventually come to dominate all e-commerce sales in the UK and in other parts of the world.