Superdrug is the UK arm of international health and beauty company AS Watson which owns 12 retail operations in 27 markets. Superdrug extends to more than 830 bricks-and-mortar stores in the UK and Ireland as well as online. Well known for championing products trending on social media, Superdrug launched its own third-party seller marketplace in November 2022 integrating the Mirakl SaaS solution into its existing SAP ecommerce platform. 300 brands were onboard for the launch.
Commenting at the time, Superdrug marketing and ecommerce director Matt Walburn, who led the development of the Marketplace at Superdrug, said:
Marketplace is the exciting next step in our digital transformation programme. Our intention is twofold; to promote diversity by supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses within the industry and to dramatically increase our range on Superdrug.com; broadening and strengthening our accessible beauty and health offering to our customers.Matt Walburn, marketing and ecommerce director, Superdrug
As Superdrug’s IT director Andrew Cobb explains, once a seller brand is accepted and onboarded by the marketplace team, each brand uploads its own product listings to the website. They are automatically pushed by the marketplace system into their correct place in the site taxonomy, where they can be found by shoppers, either through search or by browsing.
We don’t favour them in the search systems, we don’t promote them. It’s all very organic so if they become popular it’s because they’ve got a great product and people are interested.– Andrew Cobb, IT director, Superdrug
When an item is sold, payment goes into a holding account and is released to the brand via Mangopay once shipping is confirmed. Brands handle their own shipping, and Superdrug earns commission on each transaction.
The Superdrug marketplace was two years in the planning before launching in November last year, with 300 initial selling partners. The marketplace itself is from Mirakl, and has been implemented through its ecommerce platform SAP.
Launch got the marketplace up and running on the main Superdrug website, which sells only to the UK. The next steps are to adding it to the Superdrug mobile app and to enable in-store ordering of marketplace items for home delivery or click and collect.
Their aim is earning back marketplaces costs over three years from selling commissions.
This article is based on extracts from our RetailX Health & Beauty Marketplaces 2023 report, to find out more about the sector, download the report here.