News is out that Tesco are the latest to announce the launch of an online marketplace to compete with eBay and Amazon. The marketplace is expected to launch in the summer of 2011, it was hoping to launch the site this year but wants to make sure that the technology behind the site is fully tested and working.
Retail Week who broke the news say that the Tesco Marketplace is likely to include all Tesco non-food categories including toys, games, electricals, furniture and clothing and has already had conversations with other retailers regarding selling on their new site.
The big questions for online merchants is just how to spread their inventory across the plethora of sites which exist already or are due to open. Sellers already list on eBay, Amazon and your own website in the UK and on International sites. Other options inlcude Overstock, Etsy, Play.com, Pixmania, Rakutan, PriceMinsiter and now the new sites due to open which include Asos as well as Tesco in the UK.
The only solution for larger sellers is it use management tools such as ChannelAdvisor or eSellerPro but will these companies add in support for marketplaces like Tesco?. For smaller sellers who can’t justify these solution the dilemma is whether to dilute their inventory by listings on multiple sites or to concentrate on eBay and Amazon and miss out on potential sales.
One interesting quesiton is what payment methods Tesco may opt to accept. Will they embrace PayPal and maybe Google Checkout or will they accept payments through their own website billing and disburse payments to merchants at a later date similar to how Amazon operate?
If Tesco link their marketplace to their existing ecommerce operation then the potential for sale will be huge. Tesco has around a 30% marketshare in the UK and has stores in 14 countries around the world. Tesco do of course already sell their own products on eBay, currently with over 800 listings live on the site.