At We Are Pentagon‘s Fashion Without Borders event we were introduced to eight marketplaces from around the world, some of which we’d never heard of before. Today is a brief highlight of each marketplace but we’ll be covering them all in more detail in the near future.
TMall – China
TMall is part of the Alibaba group of companies. It was carved out of the C2C marketplace Taobao.com, to give a place where professional sellers could list their products. There are 100 million daily buyers on the site, which dwarfs the size of eBay and Amazon.
There are two ways to sell on TMall – TMall classic, for which a Chinese legal entity is required along with a warehouse based in China, and TMall Global, for businesses located outside China registered in their home country.
One important thing to realise about China is that Alibaba is the first port of call for shoppers. Unlike in the West where we’re used to Google surfacing marketplace products, Baidu (the prominent Chinese search engine) is barred by law from indexing Alibaba products. If you want to get seen in China go where shoppers go, list on Alibaba’s TMall.
Privalia – Spain, US, Brazil, Mexico
Privalia is a discovery site, think of it as daily deals rather than a search driven marketplace. Each day they hold up to 30 events on the site with buyers driven to the site through Privalia’s app, email, social media, shop fronts and alerts.
With 24 million users Privalia specialises in deep discounts (minimum 40% off but typically 60%), so retailers would typically use the site for out of season or end of line items.
Privalia require three things from retailers: 1) It’s a deal site, minimum 40% discount; 2) Business to consumer customer service; and 3) A digital catalogue in Spanish and Italian.
It’s worth noting that Privalia is the leader in all the marketplaces it operates as a daily outlet.
JadoPado – Middle East
JadoPado operates like it’s 1995 – Dubai based, in the UAE there’s 6% penetration and less than 1% in Saudi Arabia so online commerce has a long way to go. However the audience is high spending and the growth potential is immense, it’s expected to grow to $25 billion by 2025.
As well as offering 5,500 categories for merchants to list in, JadoPado handles all payments on behalf of sellers. It’s free to list and fees start from 4% on successful sales.
Trade Me – New Zealand
0.75% is the incredibly low number of returns that a top US fashion retailer experiences on Trade Me. Partly this is due to the usage of Trade Me by New Zealanders, who are just as happy to relist unwanted items as they are to return them.
Trade Me is used by 3.6 million of New Zealand 4.4 million population and over 80 UK retailers already sell on Trade Me. Due to relatively high prices in New Zealand, retailers from the UK are almost guaranteed to be competitively priced and, although the other side of the world, shipping to New Zealand is relatively easy and surprisingly fast.
Mercado Libre – Latin America
Mercardo Libre (part owned by eBay) is the number one site in Latin America, although less than 2% of retail is currently online. Covering 12 countries, 48% of sales are in Brazil, 30% Argentina, 8% Mexico and 7% Venezuela.
Mercado Libre have opened up cross border trade and don’t require you to have a legal entity in Latin America. They opened up cross border trade from the US to Mexico and Brazil and will be expanding to allow UK and EU sellers to access the site from Q2 or Q3 this year. UK merchants would be paid in the UK and Mercado Libre take care of all payments (they offer instalment payments as well as supporting all local payment methods).
Lazada – South East Asia
With Tesco being a surprising investor, Lazada have a presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. They’re pioneering ecommerce in the region with a $1billion GMV in their third year, and are offering multiple payment options (including cash on delivery), customer care and free returns.
Shipping is surprisingly reasonable at around £5-£10 per 1/2kg and returns are under 1%. Part of the reason for the low returns is simply a cultural difference – in these countries you often can’t even return products to a physical shop so it doesn’t even occur to consumers that they can make returns online.
Payment methods are peculiar to the locality and generally credit cards are non-existant, but Lazada takes care of payments and covers fraud.
The good news is that you can sell using English as a language to list in, plus Lazada handles customer service and if they can’t answer a question they’ll communicate with you in English and then convey the response to the consumer in their local language.
La Redoute – France
Joseph Pollet founded La Redoute in 1837 and yes that was back when Queen Victoria was still reigning! This has to be the oldest company operating a marketplace today. In 1928 they started ecommerce (without the e) via a paper catalogue but in 2010 they opened their first online marketplace and now attract 9 million visitors per month.
Unsurprisingly for a company with such an ancient pedigree, they have 99% brand awareness in France and aim to delivery goods in a French style in a local way. Today their marketplace accounts for 15% of turnover. If you’re a fashion retailer and want to sell to the French, don’t ignore La Redoute.
Xiu.com – China
Xiu.com is the number one fashion retailer in China, and are actively recruiting UK retailers and brands to introduce to their Chinese customers.
Since 2010 they’ve built up a loyal following of 5 million customers who today have an average basket size of $250. They also have over 6,000 VIP customers who spend over £10,000 annually on the site.
They operate a drop ship model, so are not only a sales channel, but a professional partner offering everything from fulfilment to translation and marketing. All you need to do when you get sales is ship to their UK warehouse. They’re picky who they work with and start with a trial period to make sure it’s right for both you, them and their customers, but if they think your products are right for their customers they’ll give you all the support you need to make it a success.