bol.com and Zalando see third party sales rise in vindication of marketplace strategy

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bol.com and Zalando have seen the proportion of sales by third parties on their platforms rise in their recent financial results, showing how established online retailers are moving towards marketplace models.

A graph posted on Linkedin by Emile Valkestijn, head of marketplaces at consultancy Newcraft, showed that 32% of sales on Netherlands-based bol.com were now by third parties.

In total, third party sales netted €678 million for the Ahold Delhaize subsidiary compared to €1.4 billion from direct sales. Valkestijn predicted that the share would pass 40% in 2019.

A similar trend was seen at German fashion retailer Zalando, which said that its partner programme now accounted for 10% of its €6.6 billion gross merchandise value (GMV). The programme allows brands to sell on Zalando while maintaining control over their products’ presentation, with notable participants including Hugo Boss.

By the 2023-2024 financial year, the retailer hopes for this part of its business to account for 40% of GMV.

The platform model allows retailers to take advantage of excess capacity in logistics and hence benefit from scale, as well as expanding the appeal of their platform by expanding their product range.

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Amazon already makes devices such as the Amazon Echo (pictured). Image: Fotolia
Strategy and Innovation
8 Aug 2022

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