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Managing Retail Marketplaces & More

Posted on 7.20.2016

As more consumers turn to marketplaces to transact online, it's becoming clear that retailers need to leverage these digital properties as part of their overall omnichannel strategy.

Josh Neblett, co-founder and CEO of etailz, a $100M technology data-driven leader in marketplace e-commerce and third-party retailer on Amazon, is at the forefront of this shift in the e-commerce landscape and makes a knowledgeable source on mastering the marketplace. Website Magazine caught up with etailz Co-Founder and CEO Josh Neblett to learn more about his company as well as get insights into managing retail marketplaces.

1. Which retailer is a good example of using marketplaces to provide a successful omnichannel strategy; and why?

Nike is a great example of a brand retailer embracing the omnichannel model and succeeding at implementing an omnichannel strategy. Nike allows consumers to touch and feel the product in their brick-and-mortar stores, and then enables flexible and customizable shopping online. This includes the ability of a consumer to customize their shoes online, making the online shopping experience much more interactive and personal. 

2. Why are some retailers hesitant about entering marketplaces? 

Some brands and retailers may find entering marketplaces daunting because they don't fully understand exactly how marketplaces work, and because e-commerce is innovating a warp speed. In fact, marketplaces, such as Amazon, are often compared to the Wild West. In addition to a lack of understanding, many retailers have the misconception that selling on a marketplace could diminish their brand value. Marketplaces are here to stay and a key component of today's successful omnichannel model, and require proper strategy, controls and marketing in place to enhance your brand presence. The comparison could be made to taking a road trip across the country or traveling to an exciting new place. Without a map to guide you, you could lose your way.

3. How does the consumer benefit from shopping with a retailer who has both an established e-commerce site and a presence on marketplaces? 

A retailer's e-commerce site fosters the development of a strong, loyal consumer connection with the brand. This is achieved through visual and written storytelling and blogs on the site, as well as e-mails and social media campaigns that reflect the brand look, feel, personality and promise. Loyal customers look forward to learning more about new products, and updates with the brand as they feel a personal connection with the products available on the branded retailer's e-commerce platform. 

At the same time, consumers are increasingly signing up for a Prime Membership on Amazon, thus becoming increasingly loyal to that marketplace. In many cases, the consumer learns about a specific brand or product from a brand’s own marketing efforts and on their own e-commerce website, yet ultimately makes their buying decision on Amazon. 

An established e-commerce site and presence on a marketplace provides two convenient ways for the consumer to get the branded products they want. The consumer can one-stop shop for multiple items, take advantage of membership savings and other benefits on a marketplace, and learn more about their favorite brands. The brand-specific e-commerce site provides another avenue to capture new customers, and ideally transition them into lifetime customers. Those customers, wherever they are - increasingly on a marketplace or an e-commerce site -- have the option to buy a brand's product on Amazon (or other marketplaces where they products are available), or on their own direct e-commerce site. 

4. What does your partnership program offer retailers?

As a retailer ourselves, we offer our retail partners (including retailers, suppliers and manufacturers) a powerful opportunity to grow their brand's online presence. We put to work our eight years of experience as a top third-party retailer on Amazon, and on other marketplaces (Jet, Walmart and eBay), and internationally. Over the years, etailz has developed a deep and broad understanding of marketplace nuances and best practices that inspired the development of proprietary Perispect software.  

Perispect's advanced analytics are used to source products and to give manufacturers brand reach, transparency, insight and control of their online presence. This includes web-reporting tools and resources for greater brand control, price monitoring and seller representation on various marketplaces; and reduces the chances of unauthorized retailing. etailz provides regular sales forecasting and reporting and any applicable regular marketing reporting. 

5. Anything else you’d like to add?

Nearly $100 billion was transacted on online marketplaces in the United States in 2015 (Internet Retailer) and that number will increase. Roughly 1/3 of all online transactions happen on Amazon. The big takeaway is that Amazon is not slowing down, and they can’t be ignored. The traditional omnichannel model (brick and mortar and direct) has shifted to include marketplaces. Any retailer wishing to maintain their competitive edge in today's economy will incorporate online marketplaces into their omnichannel strategy. 

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