EDITORIAL Calling all ambitious retailers and brands – time to embrace marketplaces

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This week kicks off with a pair of webinars from Tamebay aimed squarely at the retailer and brand communities who are increasingly looking to expand and evolve through marketplaces – and the timing couldn’t be better.

Shoppers increasingly turn to online marketplaces to shop online as they provide an easy and often reliable experience. In fact, consumers names Amazon their favourite brand, as we report, ahead of such stalwarts as M&S and John Lewis and Sainsbury’s.

The timing couldn’t be better either, with the Christmas Peak rapidly approaching. This year, an increasing number of shoppers are expected to partake in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday retailing pageants. In 2017 54% of those surveyed by Periscope by McKinsey said that they had taken part in Black Friday – and many more are expected this year.

And the driver is, of course, discounts. There is also the potential to buy one-offs and rarities – often also at a low price – is also driving shoppers to turn to Black Friday.

Increasingly, clothing is shifting into the top spot for peak shopping, although consumer electronics remains a big draw. Books, movies and music are also popular.

These key Black Friday items are also popular on marketplaces. Clothing, typically less well regarded on marketplaces, is starting to make in-roads into this sector, with more brands looking to sell through marketplaces. Meanwhile, consumer electronics et al have always thrived on such sites.

Together, Black Friday and the increasing use of marketplaces by shoppers to buy almost any category of goods, is making these sites ever-more compelling to retailers and brands. Black Friday – which essentially kicks-off a peak trading period that last right up until the early new year – has become something of a marketplace phenomenon, with Amazon embracing the idea with such alacrity that it essentially replicates it mid-Summer on Prime Day.

While shoppers may well be looking to up their Black Friday spending, however, as many as a third of UK retailers haven’t yet got their site ‘ready for peak’, according to a study by digital marketing agency, MarketingSignals.com.

This, again, offers a reason why retailers and brands need to look seriously at how to leverage marketplaces to tap into peak. Marketplaces focus on peak like no one else and so are ready – and ready across all channels. They only have to prepare themselves once to be ready for millions of retailers to sell, too, and are increasingly where shoppers turn first when looking for those peak bargains.

The second webinar in the Tamebay series showcases where retailers and brands also need marketplaces: tapping into international markets. The Christmas peak isn’t confined to the UK: across the world there is huge interest in Christmas and it is a mighty market to tap into. China has already proved this year that it has a hunger for UK-made goods – this is only going to grow in the run up to Christmas. A quick and easy way to tap into – and fulfil – this demand is to look at marketplaces that reach into these markets.

Drawing on the experience of a number of successful international retailers, these webinars and associated research will open the eyes – and hopefully some doors – to how to tap into the burgeoning international market.

With Brexit looming, the time is now to understand just how to get into these markets and marketplaces are the way in.

Image: Fotolia

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