The Rise of Digital Marketplaces
With Prime Day right around the corner (July 12-13), Amazon still dominates the eCommerce world thanks to its incredible reach and deep pockets. However, just as Netflix seemed to rule streaming until there were 40 other providers, a whole spectrum of digital marketplaces cropped up in the last few years.
Some come from brands with long, established histories (such as Walmart), while others, like the 22-year-old Mercado Libre, have benefited greatly from rapid eCommerce growth in Latin America during the last few years. With new digital marketplaces on the rise, let’s take a look at some of the frontrunners in this new era of eCommerce.
Digital Marketplaces You Should Know
This may or may not come as a surprise, but one of the leading global digital marketplaces remains the perennial classic, eBay. Still going strong after all these years, the site continues to operate as a marketplace for both Consumer to Consumer (C2C) and B2C transactions.
Other leaders in the global rankings are the Chinese marketplaces Alibaba and its affiliate AliExpress. As we explored in our Fast Facts analysis of Amazon’s international marketplaces, Chinese eCommerce has distinct home-court advantages, thanks in no small part to Amazon’s limited success in the country and sidelining by the CCP.
In LatAm, the enormously successful Mercado Libre has dominated in recent years, as unprecedented economic surges throughout the last decade have cultivated unbelievably large (and previously untapped) marketplaces. Both our Mexican and Brazilian offices have been gradually moving into this marketplace, with remarkable success for our Brand Partners.
Almost two years since we reported on Walmart+, the Walmart equivalent of Amazon Prime, we’re once again aiming the spotlight at the retail monolith. Noting especially that their digital commerce venture has not only worked, but it’s also put the US’s two biggest retailers into a neck-to-neck competition.
Just last year it was announced that Amazon had overtaken Walmart as the largest retailer outside of China, but that doesn’t mean Walmart has decided to accept the new normal. Rather, their business operations have gone into overdrive, remaining on the global eCommerce rankings at an impressive (and strategic) positioning right on Amazon’s heels. With each month bringing over 100 million unique visitors to their site, plus many of the former Amazon China sellers jumping onto the site, ignoring the potential in the Walmart sphere could keep you from significant returns in the coming years.
Walmart Emulates Amazon
In just the last few weeks, there’s been an interesting shakeup over at Walmart’s digital eCommerce platform. In a move that more closely aligns its algorithms with the Amazon style, Walmart has decided to transition to second-price bidding, a move sure to be welcomed by Sellers. Rather than their previous bidding, which went to the highest bid regardless of the price discrepancy between the first and second, this updated bidding practice will now charge the highest bidder only a small sum above the second-highest bidder’s price.
Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) offers premium supply chain assistance to help Sellers more fluidly get their products into the hands of consumers. During non-peak seasons, Walmart offers low-cost, 2-day shipping anywhere in the contiguous United States, while also handling customer care and returns for products shipped using the service.
Moreover, Walmart has implemented the service Walmart Connect as a tool to measure customer behavior and practices to help curate products for unique customer bases. With tools such as DSP (Demand-Side Platform), Walmart is building its advertising structure to turn its digital marketplace into a strong competitor to the reigning champion.
Navigating the multiplicity of eCommerce marketplaces can certainly be daunting. Thankfully — Macarta is here to help! We’re a team of eCommerce experts with decades of experience, and we’re looking to take your brand to the next level. Reach out to us here, and let’s get started.
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