WHAT’S DRIVING THE RELENTLESS GROWTH OF ONLINE RETAIL MARKETPLACES?

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Conclusion: This is only the beginning

Online marketplaces are growing faster than ecommerce in many markets and there is no sign of that trend abating. In fact, the cash flowing into these multi-merchant shopping sites seems to ensure further expansion and the arrival of additional startups.

Even more than an online retail store, marketplaces offer almost unlimited potential to an ambitious entrepreneur as they’re built solely out of software code. A pure marketplace— one like eBay or Taobao that doesn’t own any of the merchandise on offer—need not buy a single product nor equip a single warehouse. It just has to attract merchants to sell on its website and shoppers to buy.

Consolidation in the marketplace arena has begun, but there is still room for new concepts to emerge. Examples include ModLi, the marketplace that specializes in modest clothing for women, and Mercato, which delivers food from local food shops. Both were able to break into the Top 100 of global online marketplaces within just a few years of launch. All it takes is ambition, some web development chops and a few investors willing to bet on an entrepreneur’s idea.

There are still new opportunities ahead of marketplace players. One is luxury, which to date has not been a strong category for the biggest marketplaces. But that may be changing.

Amazon in September 2020 launched Luxury Stores, offering prestige brands greater control than Amazon sites normally afford to present their goods, while shielding them from competitors. That was followed by Alibaba and Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont announcing a $1.1 billion project that included a joint $600 million investment in upscale fashion marketplace Farfetch and another half a billion dollars to bring high-end goods to Chinese shoppers via Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace.

With the rapid growth of online grocery shopping since the pandemic struck in early 2020, it’s likely there will be new marketplaces emerging to address that opportunity.

And there are no doubt other opportunities percolating in the minds of internet entrepreneurs. Those that develop innovative strategies and invest wisely in technology may well grow into very successful companies indeed in just a few years.


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Source: digitalcommerce360.com

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