Marketplaces Bradley Hearn By Cindy Puryear

The Marketplace Front Lines: Where Should You Sell Next?

It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new e-commerce marketplace to consider. Everywhere you look is a sizzling hot, can’t-miss opportunity to reach more consumers.

What’s a seller to do?

Sure, you could list your products on each and every sales channel. But that would just be silly.

You’d run out of time.

You’d run out of resources.

You’d risk stretching your inventory so thin it would be nearly impossible to manage it all.

But not to worry — there is a way to make this blossoming array of e-commerce marketplaces work for you.

The secret to successfully expand on new marketplaces

Don’t get us wrong: Entering emerging marketplaces is a smart way to expand and grow your business. But before you jump at a new opportunity, it’s critical to identify the right marketplaces for your product catalog.

This is one area of e-commerce where quality definitely trumps quantity. And with so many new marketplaces coming on to the scene, it’s more important than ever to evaluate emerging opportunities quickly and thoroughly.

What do you need to know to determine which marketplaces are best for your business? 

ChannelAdvisor’s marketplace specialists answered this question in the first installment of our new webinar series, The Marketplace Front Lines: Where Should You Sell Next?

Our experts provided a quick (but thorough) analysis of five marketplaces that should be at the top of all brands’ and retailers’ radars right now:

  • Urban Outfitters
  • Albertsons
  • FlexShopper
  • Breeze
  • Back Market 

If you can carve out some time, it’s definitely a webinar worth watching

Pressed for time? Keep reading for a recap of key takeaways — and to register for the next event in our marketplace frontline series.

5 Emerging E-Commerce Marketplaces to Watch 

Here are the need-to-know basics for quickly evaluating the marketplaces mentioned above.

Urban Outfitters

A popular fashion and lifestyle retailer with over 200 physical stores in the US, Canada and Europe, Urban Outfitters is a widely known clothing retailer operated by URBN. But did you know the URBN portfolio also includes Anthropologie and Free People? Together, these trusted names make for a very large web presence and a profitable following. 

The typical Urban Outfitters shopper is:

  • Between 18 and 28 
  • Likely to spend more than $2,000 per year on fashion 
  • Highly technophilic, with 60% of traffic occurring on mobile and nearly 20% on apps

The typical Anthropologie shopper is:

  • A working woman in her 30s
  • Well-educated and well-off

Important considerations for third-party sellers:

URBN is fairly strict about preserving its branding and customer relationships. That means the marketplace is invite-only, and will remain highly curated to ensure products align with current assortments. 

With this in mind, brands and retailers that ARE a good fit will gain access to a profitable audience of more than 20 million active shoppers. 

Other considerations to keep in mind include:

  • The marketplace is currently looking for US-based merchants that can fill in assortment gaps for Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie
  • The highest-priority categories, as of Q3 2019, are men’s, home, holiday and party items, beauty and bridal
  • URBN has very strict image and content requirements to ensure a seamless experience for shoppers, so you may need to do some content optimization before launching.

FlexShopper

Do you sell items that appeal to consumers who skew young? If so, FlexShopper could be a great fit for your products. As the largest lease-to-own marketplace in the US, FlexShopper can give you access to 90 million consumers with a payment plug-in that integrates directly with your existing website. It can be a great way to save sales you might otherwise miss out on.

FlexShopper appeals primarily to buyers who:

  • Have an approved spending limit of up to $2,500 
  • Do not qualify for traditional credit terms
  • Are between the ages of 25 and 54

Important considerations for third-party sellers:

FlexShopper’s lease-to-own model means it can pay sellers 100% of the retail price with no recourse. 

In addition:

  • The typical FlexShopper seller has an average order value (AOV) of $500 – $1,300
  • National brands, in particular, tend to be a great fit

Albertsons

The US’s second-largest grocery chain launched a marketplace late last year to capitalize on existing online traffic. The move was a very strategic one. While the company certainly knows grocery shoppers — Albertsons has been around since 1939 and has an annual customer base of over 50 million households — it’s now looking to marketplace sellers to offer an even greater selection through online shopping that complements the in-store experience.

The marketplace appeals to US consumers who are:

  • In search of specific specialty items and ingredients
  • Located primarily in the western US

Important considerations for third-party sellers:

Albertsons wants to provide shoppers with a bigger assortment, and is actively seeking US-based merchants that sell specialty items in the grocery, home or health and beauty categories. 

Other considerations to keep in mind include:

  • The company’s top three online search terms are “keto,” “gluten free” and “vegan,” so if you sell related items there’s a good chance this marketplace will be a great fit for your product catalog
  • Albertsons prefers a good-sized assortment, so if you have a lot of SKUs and can bring many of these specialty products to the table, you’ll likely be a good fit
  • This new marketplace will operate like most other marketplaces, which means sellers ship directly to customers and pay a commission 

Breeze

Breeze was created to provide a strong, localized customer experience for one of the hottest regions in cross-border trade: the Middle East. It’s a great option for merchants that sell quintessential US brands, and covers a range of categories from electronics to apparel. 

Breeze shoppers typically:

  • Are located in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE 
  • Have an affinity for US-branded products 
  • Are accustomed to spending $500, on average, per order

Important considerations for third-party sellers:

Breeze has experienced extremely high growth over the past several years, and continues to expand. The marketplace is designed to make it remarkably easy for sellers to reach international customers by handling translations, currency, payment types and customer support. 

There are other reasons to consider selling on Breeze, too:

  • Breeze simplifies logistics for sellers by working with a team of global experts who have been in the package-forwarding business for 40+ years
  • Once you ship to a hub in New Hampshire, Breeze takes care of brand safety, fraud protection, export compliance and more

Back Market

Last but not least, Back Market offers a unique opportunity to sell refurbished and used devices. This marketplace attracts 12 million unique visits per month and sells over 8,000 units daily. Launched in France in 2014, Back Market grew quickly to represent the largest refurbished buyer community worldwide.

Back Market shoppers are:

  • Looking specifically for secondhand electronics 
  • Spending mostly on smartphones but are also in the market for laptops, tablets, entertainment devices and home appliances

Important considerations for third-party sellers:

As a niche marketplace, Back Market offers tremendous opportunities to brands and retailers that sell in the categories mentioned above.

In addition, keep in mind that:

  • Back Market is still in the early stages, and actively looking for sellers to come on board
  • Currently, competition is relatively low in non-smartphone categories such as TVs, sound and high-tech devices 

There are many more marketplaces to consider, of course. But when you focus on a handful at a time, it becomes much easier to make the right decision for your business quickly and confidently.

The second installment in our marketplace webinar series has been designed to help you do just that. Join us on August 8 at 3 p.m. ET for The Marketplace Front Lines: Where You Should Expand This Summer. You’ll learn the latest on five more fast-growing marketplaces: Shop.com, AllSale, UntilGone, MassGenie and Walmart Canada.

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