Tesco is now officially a competitor to Amazon and eBay having opened up Tesco Direct to third party retailers. So far on Tesco I’ve spotted products from both Maplin and from online gardening retailer Crocus. You’ll also notice that every product on Tesco Direct now carries the message “Buy from Tesco”, which is exchanged for “Buy from Maplin” or “Buy from Crocus” on products from 3rd party suppliers. This changes to “Supplied by….” as soon as you get to the shopping basket to check out.
So far I have yet to see a product offered by Tesco and a third party, so I don’t know whether they ban competing products or only display them from a third party if Tesco themselves are out of stock. This also means we currently have no insight into their pricing policy, although the products I have seen are offered on the retailers own sites at the same price point as on Tesco Direct. However if you collect Tesco Club Card Points you are better off purchasing on Tesco as third party products still earn you points, but other than that price parity with a retailers own website appears to be in place.
Tesco have been very quiet about the launch of their marketplace, although they’ve had plenty of stories over the last couple of years saying it was going to happen. However just a few weeks ago, at the Internet Retailing Expo in Birmingham, Dan spoke to them and they had nothing to say about the pending launch of their marketplace.
It looks very unlikely that Tesco will open up their website as a proper marketplace open for large numbers of sellers to list on, which is a shame. From the current third party sellers it looks like they’re going for large non-competing high street retailers. There is currently no information available as to the criteria for selling on Tesco Direct or what the fees are so we can only assume that it’s currently an invitation only marketplace.
Tesco are due to announce their full year results this week so it’s likely that they will include an announcement of their new marketplace, but don’t forget you heard about it first here on Tamebay and we’ll keep you updated as and when we hear more.