Marketplaces – the immediate solution for retailers?
Fashion retailers are facing an unprecedented crisis, as compliance with social distancing advice and government orders have forced high-street stores to close, for a period as yet unknown. While measures are being taken on an international level to minimise the damage to businesses, for many retailers the current reality compounds an already difficult situation, as disappointing sales for Christmas 2019 and a slow uptake of the Spring/Summer fashions has been detrimental to many.
For now however, e-commerce has been declared an essential business and may offer a way of reducing the effects of the crisis and continuing to reach consumers. But not all businesses have the luxury of having an online store ready to go at such short notice. With this in mind, the option of omni-channel retail could offer an immediate solution to struggling retailers.
Omni-channel retail has existed for some time, with multi-vendor marketplaces like Amazon and Zalando leading the field. The good news for retailers is that registration to launch time is generally fast – marketplaces want to convert new sellers into potential income as soon as possible. They also offer support for new online sellers, with many offer fulfilment options and marketing packages to help sellers convert sales and simplify distribution.
There are hundreds of marketplaces available, and each has it's own commission and fee structure, making it not only unwise, but almost impossible to register on all of them. It's important to evaluate which marketplace best matches your business and shares your customer base. For example, independent fashion designers may find a platform on Etsy, while upcoming brands may find their audience through Asos Marketplace or Not on the Highstreet. For lower-cost retailers, Ebay and Amazon offer huge audiences, although high levels of competition. Plus, with the launch of TradeGala Marketplace, brands can expand their reach by offering their products wholesale to buyers around the world.
We all hope for a speedy solution to the current crisis, and look forward to the day when retailers can once more open their doors to a public kept inside for too long. But the rising demand for e-retail options is likely to continue, even as life returns to normal, as consumers adapt to new purchasing habits. Perhaps now is the ideal time to protect and future-proof your retail business by expanding into omni-channel retailing?
Written by: Amber Domenech Patey