E-commerce may be booming in 2021, but the year remains shrouded in uncertainty. When will the confinements end? When will the borders open and tourists will return? Has spending stabilized at “normal”?
The smartest retailers will take advantage of uncertainty through innovation. A marketplace strategy is fast becoming one of the best ways for retailers to grow long term, and thanks to a host of new connectors and strategic partnerships, there are several ways to achieve this that are focused on impact and effectiveness. What was once the domain of only large retailers is now a possibility for everyone.
Become a third party marketplace and sell what you don’t own
While we hear a lot about the big giants like Amazon, Ebay, or Alibaba, there is a growing interest in a different kind of third-party market right now. Indeed, 75 percent of participants in an E-commerceGuide report bought a product on Amazon in 2020, but about 55% bought products in “other” markets.
A third-party market strategy is to invest in intellectual property to sell the products of other companies without taking the risk of buying the product.
Recently Netflix announcement one in line store of “selected products, including clothing, toys and games”, to sell merchandise related to its programming. In Australia, coastal culture retailer SurfStitch has achieved exponential growth selling other companies’ products through their online retail site, without incurring inventory or development costs.
Third-party marketplaces allow you to expand your market share and product line – all quickly, easily, and with minimal friction.
How to approach becoming a third-party market
With advances in headless commerce and API-based platforms, businesses can consider two modes of deployment: connected and headless.
A connected implementation
“Connected” is an implementation model that connects the primary back-end of a marketplace platform to your existing ecommerce engine.
For example, Marketplacer’s recent partnerships with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Adobe Commerce, and Shopify to create connectors, allow users to continue operating normally while adding the power of a marketplace to their existing e-commerce offering.
In this model, user experience and shopping cart, search, and checkout functionality continue to be driven by your existing ecommerce engine, while Marketplacer drives back-end vendor automation and administration. This can be achieved either with a headless version of Marketplacer or by using one of our pre-built connectors.
A headless implementation
In the headless model, you use your own custom-developed front-end or “head” that represents the user experience. But in this model, the Marketplace platform provides both the primary back-end as well as the shopping cart, search, and checkout functionality that underpins your customer experience.
HMD Global (Nokia phones) recently worked with Marketplacer to develop a headless API that supports the payment journey around the world Nokia.com/phones/en_au site, allowing the company’s Australian branch to simply “activate” its local e-commerce store – a program that delivered instant ROI in just nine weeks. Marketplacer integration was focused on speed and agility, which makes it easy for the HMD Global team to integrate third-party vendors in Australia. As a result, Nokia’s latest 5.4 model is selling even faster than expected, and the team sees plenty of untapped opportunities to boost online sales.
Headless and connector models allow you to quickly add marketplace functionality to your current site without the need for new developments and without abandoning existing investments in your platform. Improve, don’t undo.
One market strategy that allows you to expand your range and reach as efficiently as possible while leveraging your existing technology is the number of companies – large and small – that will increase their e-commerce in the future.
- John Mullins is Chief Alliance Officer at Marketplacer.