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How Superdrug is championing smaller brands via its marketplace

Superdrug is the UK arm of international health and beauty company AS Watson which owns 12 retail operations in 27 markets. 

Superdrug extends to more than 830 bricks-and-mortar stores in the UK and Ireland as well as online.

Well known for championing products trending on social media, Superdrug launched its own third-party seller marketplace in November 2022 integrating the Mirakl SaaS solution into its existing SAP ecommerce platform. 

Click here to view all coverage about Superdrug

Around 300 brands were onboard for the launch. Commenting at the time, Superdrug marketing and ecommerce director Matt Walburn, who led the development of the marketplace at Superdrug, said: “Marketplace is the exciting next step in our digital transformation programme. 

“Our intention is twofold; to promote diversity by supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses within the industry and to dramatically increase our range on; broadening and strengthening our accessible beauty and health offering to our customers.”

As Superdrug’s IT director Andrew Cobb explained to InternetRetailing, once a seller brand is accepted and onboarded by the marketplace team, each brand uploads its own product listings to the website.  They are automatically pushed by the marketplace system into their correct place in the site taxonomy, where they can be found by shoppers, either through search or by browsing. 

“We don’t favour them in the search systems, we don’t promote them,” says Cobb.

“It’s all very organic so if they become popular it’s because they’ve got a great product and people are interested.” 

When an item is sold, payment goes into a holding account and is released to the brand via Mangopay once shipping is confirmed. 

Brands handle their own shipping, and Superdrug earns commission on each transaction with the aim of earning back its costs over three years.

This company profile was originally featured in the 2023 RetailX Health and Beauty Marketplaces report, click here to view.

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