Online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon were once seen as the sole preserve of small traders selling cut-price, end-of-line and distressed inventory. They created an opportunity for entrepreneurs, unburdened by the demands of maintaining a brand, to stack goods high and sell them cheap.
Low costs combined with the sheer volume of available items, unlimited product ranges and the opportunity to purchase products simply unavailable elsewhere made these virtual marketplaces highly trafficked and therefore extremely lucrative. With eBay and Amazon continually topping the Hitwise Top Retail Sites Index (eBay.co.uk currently has a 19.2% share of all retail site visits in the UK compared to just 1% and under at a number of high profile sites including Tesco, Next and John Lewis), it is little wonder that many large retail names have started to take notice.
Early big name adopters to online marketplaces, like Argos, Littlewoods and Schuh, followed the small traders’ lead and used online marketplaces to maximise returns from end-of-line stocks and returns. It wasn’t uncommon for big name retailers to trade under a different name, fearing their image and high street margins could be damaged by their association to what many people, at the time, believed to be extremely low cost, low value sales venues.
But then two things happened.
1. The marketplaces started aggressively targeting big brand sellers, opening up more categories and developing new platforms for them to sell across, keenly setting their pricing to make it as easy as possible for large scale sellers to list their entire product catalogues.
2. The global economy fell apart (you might have read about this in the newspapers).
For retailers struggling in an almost perfect economic storm (high unemployment, falling house prices, limited lines of credit, etc. etc.) a sale is a sale. It doesn’t matter if that sale takes place on the high street, via their website or on a third party marketplace. In a time when cash is king, eBay and Amazon have become extremely legitimate routes to market.
Big name retailers, selling fixed priced goods, are now as synonymous on eBay and Amazon as online auctions and book sales. Take a look on eBay’s fashion pages and you may be surprised to see prominently listed sellers including French Connection, House of Fraser, Karen Millen and Superdry. Similarly, Amazon is now littered with large scale retailers and brands selling via its virtual shelves.
There are a number of reasons why trading on third party marketplaces makes so much sense. These are equally as valid for big name retailers as they are for smaller independents. For the 9 reasons that selling on eBay and Amazon make sense, see here http://www.sellerexpress.com/nine-reasons-why-selling-on-ebay-and-amazon-makes-sense/
For more information on how SellerExpress can help you manage your inventory across eBay, Amazon, PlayTrade and Magento, see www.sellerexpress.com