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EDITORIAL How cross border ecommerce and marketplaces are beating the logistical blues

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Despite the world being in the grip of a logistics logjam, millennials are driving a growing move towards cross-border ecommerce. According to research, 52% of them are shopping from overseas sites, inspired not buy where things are from, but from finding the best deal on increasingly unique items.

Fashion, beauty and cosmetics lead the way, but millennials and Gen Z shoppers are increasingly buying everything and anything from anywhere, the study shows.

These shoppers became oblivious to borders out of necessity back in the lockdowns, but have stuck with it ever since and are, says the research, likely to continue to do so. Convenience trumps all.

Which is probably why marketplaces are doing so well. The key reasons that consumers give for using them is that they offer competitive prices and are ultra-convenient to use. As a result, marketplaces are springing up all over the place, not trying to take on Amazon, but to carve out their own niches.

Two of the niches that are driving the roll out of marketplaces are luxury and second-hand. Combining the two, a new P2P marketplace, NTH Collective, has gone live in the UK with the express purpose of aiding the buying and selling of second-hand, high-end designer and couture fashion.

Aping eBay in the 2000s and tapping into the role that many non-transactional marketplaces such as Autotrader, play, NTH Collective has sought to iron out all the wrinkles that keep people from selling and buying used clothes and accessories online.

Submissions are approved within 24 hours, users can take their own photography, in line with the site’s guidelines, and the collective only takes a 17.5% commission, lower than most other resale sites.

Coming at this the other way, charity Scope is looking to sell not only pre-loved items on its new online store, but also a range of new items, all designed by disabled artists. While the items are lovely, the real news here is that the charity shop is now selling online – effectively as a marketplace – which is designed to be accessible to disabled users, something sorely lacking across retail, as well as targeting Gen Z.

Bringing us full-circle, marketplace OnBuy has partnered with carrier Hermes as it grows its marketplace business both in the UK and, driven by all those cross-border millennial shoppers, overseas.

The plan is that the marketplace, which aims to keep things simple for both buyer and vendor, can now offer a full range of trusted, secure delivery both domestically and overseas, making it easier than ever for merchants on the platform to sell everywhere.

And this really now where the ecommerce battle is being fought; marketplaces are starting to pull ahead of retailer sites worldwide and, through the economies of scale they bring, they can also corner the delivery side of things, making them yet more convenient to shoppers and maybe even getting them out of that delivery logjam that is gripping the world.

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