What does ‘Online Marketplace’ means?
The definition of an online marketplace can be simplified to “an e-commerce site that brings sellers and buyers together in one place, enabling ecommerce sales”. There is no denying that these online markets have grown in popularity in recent years, with almost 47% of ecommerce sales globally made through online marketplaces in 2020, amounting to nearly two trillion dollars. Furthermore, many thought-leaders expect this number to grow in the coming years as online sales continue to increase and become more relevant.
How to get started in an online marketplace
Getting started on an online marketplace can be relatively simple. Through working with pre-existing marketplaces, the steps can be completed in a number of hours and allow sellers access to potential customers very quickly. Further to this, through offering different categories of products, the easiest payment methods, pertinent reviews and in some cases help with logistics, these marketplaces offer a simple method of showcasing products digitally and increasing the share on online sales dramatically. However, research is required before launching on any marketplace. Moreover, other options also exist, including setting up ecommerce in your own webpage, or using free platforms through social media.
Online marketplaces in the DIY Industry
For almost all types of products there are individual marketplaces, with some marketplaces, such as Amazon, Aliexpress and Ebay, acting as large “hyper online-marketplaces” with products in almost all categories. These are also some of the most important marketplaces nowadays. Keeping in mind that targeting the right consumer is key, one of the questions remains how to decide which online marketplace to work with initially.
Most known home improvement marketplaces
Focusing on pre-existing marketplaces, in the DIY industry there are a number of specific online shops, with some demonstrating fast growth over a relatively short period of time. One of the largest of these is Wayfair, which offers over 14 million items from more than 11,000 global suppliers, has over 100 million visits per month, and posted a total net revenue of $14.1 billion in 2020. Operating throughout North America and Europe Wayfair have access to some of the largest home improvement markets around the world. From another perspective and offering a different take, established omnichannel retailers in the home improvement industry, such as Leroy Merlin, have recently begun to launch their own marketplaces.
Case of study: Mano a Mano
Focusing on the European market, ManoMano is one of the online marketplaces that have grown dramatically in recent years and the name has become more commonplace amongst consumers, perhaps partly due to their recent advertising campaigns. The Co-founders of ManoMano, Philippe de Chanville and Christian Raisson, only embarked on their adventure in 2013, not even 10 years ago.
Their aim was to revolutionise the DIY, home and gardening world by bringing it into the digital era, starting by not having a physical shop in any sense. Since then, they have experienced exponential growth, reaching new sales records year after year. Currently, ManoMano operates across 6 European markets (France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK) with 3,600 retail partners and offer more than 10 million products and, as of July 2021, had a valuation of $2.6 billion.
It is important to keep in mind that each online marketplace has its own unique requirements, product categories, listing fees, and audiences. So, to be sure to be making the right decision and selling through the best marketplace, upfront research is necessary.
It is vital to understand the different strategies for selling on marketplaces, which ones hold the most promise for certain products categories, and what is needed to ensure a smooth start.Luckily, in this regard, there is a wealth of knowledge shared through international congresses, such as the Global DIY-Summit, online platforms, such as the Global DIY-Network, and associations such as HIMA. Considering that selling products through the correct online marketplace can increase sales and open the doors to new markets, it seems clear that this research and learning is worthwhile.