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To export, should it pass by a market place?

These sites that host online shops of thousands of independent merchants (such as Amazon, Cdiscount, Tmall, etc.) can be a very interesting option to export via

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To export, should it pass by a market place?

These sites that host online shops of thousands of independent merchants (such as Amazon, Cdiscount, Tmall, etc.) can be a very interesting option to export via e-commerce. A condition to accept their constraints... and a certain anonymity.

And if the road towards e-commerce international went through the marketplaces, or marketplaces? These dedicated spaces on sites selling online, where are hosted the offers from independent traders, concentrated in many countries a very substantial online shopping. This is the case of France, where on 15 e-commerce sites most visited, 10 (Amazon, Cdiscount, Fnac, etc.) have an activity of a market place. But also in Germany, or in China, where the giants Tmall (Alibaba) and JD.com represented in 2016, more than 80% of the e-commerce business-to-consumer !

When it comes to purchase from a merchant overseas, the role of marketplaces may be reinforced, in particular those of global dimension, such as Amazon or eBay. In Germany, the United Kingdom, more than half of e-buyers in cross-border passing through the one of these two sites. Side sellers, "46% of French traders who sell to the international use of the marketplaces (...), against only 22% for domestic transactions. Amazon is in first place, followed by eBay and Cdiscount", indicated that in 2016 a survey/Paypal / Ipsos.

A good way to "test" a country

Should we imitate them? Open his shop on a market place presents undeniable advantages in order to sell abroad. It avoids having to develop its own site and its own infrastructure of cross-border, with the costs that this implies. There is a platform established, often very large, very well-known, well-referenced, which inspires customer confidence, and allows you to discharge many of the practical aspects: translation , management of cross-border payment, regulatory issues... Some of which may even ensure the delivery of the products, if you store them in them (such as Amazon with its "Shipped by Amazon").

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"Often, the market places are used by small merchants who have no hearing, all alone on the Internet. Being hosted by sites to a large audience, they become suddenly very visible, says François Momboisse, president of the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (Fevad). This can be, in particular, a good formula to 'test' a country quite easily, because there are few fixed costs, no need of dedicated team..."

commissions... and quality rules

In return, the merchant pays for the market place. "To host its products is free or inexpensive, depending on the site, then a commission is paid on each sale," says François Momboisse. It must also undertake to comply with hard rules of quality of service: response time to the customer, delivery terms and conditions... Because, in case of failure on the part of the seller, this affect especially the reputation of the market place that hosts it !

But the model has also disadvantages. The seller is drowned in the mass, his name is not necessarily put in front... To know about a brand in a foreign country, this is not the ideal. "A strong brand is going to establish directly, via a variation of its web site adapted to the local clientele," says François Momboisse. For a brand of medium-sized, "there are different points of view. Some prefer to test on a marketplace, if their products are successful, before investing in a stand-alone site of their own in the language of the country."

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choose the market places

The system of the marketplaces also has a certain flexibility. Nothing prohibits, for example, to offer its products on multiple sites, one general and global, the other more specialized (clothing, electronics etc.) or very powerful in a single country: El Corte Ingles in Spain, Otto in Germany, Tmall Global in China, on which The Position and Business in France have recently launched the space Shop France... "one should ask the questions: what are the main sites of the merchants of the countries referred to? To which turn its consumers when they want to buy the type of products that you sell?" advises François Momboisse. There is nothing to prevent rather than operate its own website, and sell in the parallel market squares.

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