RetailX: Which marketplaces do you use – and how do you decide which?
Anthony Irving, managing director, Country House Outdoors (CHO): In addition to our own ecommerce site, we use multiple marketplaces including Amazon, eBay, Love the Sales and Fruugo. We look at each marketplace’s customer demographic, their reach, their commission structure and ease of integration. Our ecommerce website is our prime focus, we view marketplaces as a value add. Currently marketplace sales are less than 10% of our overall transactions.
RetailX: Can you tell me about the one or two most important opportunities that marketplaces give to you as a brand – and how you make the most of them?
Irving: It helps us promote our brand, find new customers and, most importantly, sell through excess inventory. I’d say don’t rely too heavily on the big players. If you build a 90% Amazon business for example and either Amazon changes their rules for selling you might see sales fall dramatically. To be truly successful online, you need to optimise your own website, and your own brand requires careful planning and investment.
RetailX: How do you see marketplaces and your relationships with them changing in the future?
Irving: We will continue to utilise big marketplaces – Amazon and eBay – as an add on and not a major part of our business. But Love the Sales and Fruugo are different, we have a great relationship with these guys and can actually speak to them – unlike Amazon where you are just a number at best. In addition when setting up on Love the Sales it was really refreshing that the team there listened and understood our business. Fruugo works well outside of the UK, however the recent Brexit changes have made selling into the EU a particular challenge.