Marketplaces have been on the rise on the net for quite awhile. Marketplaces have grown by helping singular brands build their revenue and their names without having to put a lot of money into their own website. What is interesting is that as brands have caught up with their need to build their own website one has to wonder how deep should their site go? It dependent on how big that brand is.
Two marketplaces that I have been using for quite some time are 1st Dibs and Farfetch. They are both significantly large companies at this point. What they have in common are a few things. They capitalized on businesses that were way behind the times in regards to getting their businesses up on the web. They both realized that creating a one stop shop for all your needs in each of their spaces makes sense for several reasons. They have helped all the stores on their sites leverage their businesses. They have built one marketplace brand and so when you shop there you do not feel as if you are shopping at several stores. You can search for a specific item and it comes up regardless of where it is from. As far as I know there are thousands of stores on both 1st Dibs and Farfetch but it doesn’t feel that way. They have got out in front of the curve where brands are now starting to think about building their own website.
I would tell a large brand such as Rag and Bone or West Elm that they do need their own site. That many customers probably go directly to their site because they want to see what they have specifically. For other brands who are small and unique that it doesn’t make sense to spend time and money on their sites but to work with marketplaces. Sure they should have a site but they don’t need to have deep ecommerce. It takes away from the business at hand.
Hey Gorgeous is seeing that now. The up and coming brands want to be on their site because their customers continue to come back again and again because the experience is a good one (and obviously the product is good too). It isn’t a marketplace but it is a singular store brand geared towards a specific customer making it a one stop shop. Venuebook, a totally different marketplace that highlights venues in a variety of cities to book for events, dinners, etc. If you are a planner that needs to book several places a month you are not going to spend time going to hundreds of individual sites. You want to go a marketplace that is the leader in the area. Take a look at Architizer, you can find architects across the globe on there. Mouth isn’t a marketplace but it sells top indie food and liquor products so it is a one stop shop too.
These days everyone needs a website. The question is how deep should that site be. I am suspect of any business that doesn’t have a site these days but I completely respect simple sites that direct me to a killer marketplace.