Ebay launches Amazon-style end-to-end fulfilment UK service

Here is the marketplace news that captured our attention this week.

Ebay launches Amazon-style end-to-end fulfilment UK service

eBay is launching a new Amazon-style fulfilment service for its sellers in the UK, offering them end-to-end fulfilment even on items sold on other platforms. eBay announced the rollout of its new fulfilment service in collaboration with global logistics firm Orange Connex, offering sellers storage, packing and delivery services for the first time.

Sellers who sign up to the service will have access to dedicated fulfilment centres in Leicester and Birmingham, enabling them to offer next-day delivery, same-day handling and fully tracked services. According to the marketplace, the service will be available for items purchased both on its own marketplace and third-party platforms.

eBay has said the rollout is in response to a huge increase in new UK sellers this year, alongside demand from established sellers to grow their businesses. The model has proved hugely successful for Amazon, with over half of the UK’s top Amazon sellers thought to use the service.

Tambo's view:

The announcement of eBay's new initiative will be a concern for Amazon. While eBay has served as a marketplace matching buyers with sellers, it has traditionally sidestepped the middleman approach adopted by Amazon and its managed fulfilment centres and transport infrastructure. The announcement is now one of a number of eBay's recent initiatives as it strives to match Amazon. This follows similar eBay fulfilment initiatives in both China and Germany that underpin the Marketplaces ambition to match Amazon globally on all fronts. In the future, we expect to start seeing more eBay-branded boxes on front porches alongside Amazon boxes.

Amazon Upgrades Luxury Marketplace With Ads Aimed At Designers

Less than a year after the inception of Amazon’s Luxury stores, the company has opened the doors to more consumers and begun using the platform as an opportunity to introduce people to new designers. Amazon recently announced the debut of Chufy, a label launched in 2017 by art director and fashion consultant Sofía Sanchez de Betak, and Mira Mikati’s eponymous brand. Amazon also recently introduced Pietro Simone beauty products.

Amazon launched its Luxury Stores marketplace in September, offering invited US Prime customers early access to Oscar de la Renta’s fall/winter 2020 collection through the Amazon app. Though it is no longer invitation-only, Luxury Stores customers still have access to a reserved customer service hotline and exclusive items from each luxury brand.

Amazon’s foray into luxury is part of “Amazon Fashion Connects,” an effort to build relationships with new and established European designers amid challenges. Initial collaborations included digital storefronts with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid, the British Fashion Council and German fashion magazine InStyle.

A recent tracker reported that online luxury purchases grew 39 percent worldwide year over year in both April and May of 2020. Online retail sales are anticipated to account for 25 percent of total luxury purchases by 2025, up from 10 percent in 2019.

In addition to the pandemic, a key driver is the reduction of online checkout frictions, which has led to speedier transactions that make it more likely for consumers to embrace shopping internationally. One recent survey found that 68 percent of consumers had made online purchases from international merchants within the past year. One-quarter of consumers bought clothing items from retailers based in other countries, with this share rising to 31 percent for millennials and Generation Z shoppers. And one advantage that Amazon has with its Luxury Stores — which others may struggle with — is free shipping.

Luxury items are also expected to be a hot commodity this holiday season as shoppers shift their focus from “needs” to “wants,” and begin to revamp wardrobes or turn liquidity into goods with value as inflation concerns grow. According to an analysis by Salesforce, handbags and luggage are among the items expected to do well this holiday season, as well as luxury apparel and accessories such as watches.

Tambo's view:

Luxury retailers and have historically kept their brands off of Amazon.A platform built primarily on competitive pricing, Amazon’s model has traditionally been perceived as the home of bargains for lower-end retailers: one that is largely incompatible with the luxury experience. However, in recent times, Amazon has increased its offering by introducing Luxury Stores and more recently, has upgraded the luxury marketplace with glossy ads to make it a more attractive platform for higher end brands. If luxury retailers want a slice of the growing eCommerce market, sprucing up their online stores on marketplaces and freshening up their digital offerings is vital to cashing in on the growing demand.

If you are a luxury brand and want to sell on Amazon but have not yet done so, get in touch with us and we can help you get started on the platform.

Former Farfetch team launches online marketplace for gardeners

A new online marketplace for gardeners has been launched in the UK by former Farfetch execs. Sproutl, as it is named, is a new online marketplace that celebrates the best brands and businesses in the gardening industry. That’s not all, they’ve also announced $9 million of seed funding led by Index Ventures with participation from Ada Ventures.

Sproutl is not just an online gardening marketplace. It’s a platform that provides inspiration and advice to a new generation of growers, demystifying gardening, making it accessible and fun to fresh new audiences who may never have grown anything before, bringing plants and products seamlessly from phone to door.

The platform is designed to make shopping hassle-free for consumers and take the pain out of online selling for horticultural suppliers and integrate with their systems. Sproutl manages not only logistics, packaging sourcing, and delivery but also online marketing and customer services. Allowing local garden centres, shops and nurseries to develop their online presence and reach new national audiences, generating incremental sales.

The launch of the online marketplace for gardeners and its expansion are supported by a $9m seed investment which will allow Sproutl to move a step closer to its ambition of changing the online gardening landscape in the UK.

Tambo's view:
Outdoor space in Britain has experienced something of a renaissance since the start of the pandemic and the opportunity for plant and gardening brands is now huge. Gardening items have traditionally been things you shop for in-store, usually at a garden centre, but with the recent boom in e-commerce, it seems a fortuitous time for a seed start-up to open up gardening to a whole new generation of gardeners and plant enthusiasts online.

Our recent
Future Shopper Survey highlighted the popularity of online shopping as well as new shopping habits amongst younger shoppers and it is no secret that start ups like Patch Plants are extremely popular amongst millennial and Gen Z audiences. Sproutl has huge potential with Future Shoppers as long as they understand their online shopping behaviours and use these insights to create better online experiences than the competition.
E Bay fulfilment program coming to the UK