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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : March 06, 2017

Ecommerce leading way for more 3rd party sellers

With more people shopping online, as evidenced by the 2016 holiday season, more retailers are opening seller sites within larger hubs like Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. While there are challenges to successful online selling, one expert believes the benefits outweigh the challenges.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: We are seeing substantial interest in 3rd party/ecommerce selling. What is driving this?

Aron Hsiao, Head of Communications, Terapeak: First off is ecommerce as a whole. As every recent holiday season has shown, ecommerce is taking a larger and larger chunk of the retail pie. Next are the marketplaces--eBay, Amazon, Walmart, and so on. More than half of all shoppers now start their retail searches by going to according to Internet Retailing. In short, what's driving this interest is changes in the retail landscape and in shopper behavior--toward ecommerce and toward a few large marketplaces. Sellers that aren't there--increasingly aren't reaching a larger and larger percentage of shoppers.

Kristina: Do you expect this interest to continue?

Aron: In terms of ecommerce in general, the horse has left the barn. Ecommerce hasn't been described as a "fad" or as "niche" in years, and for good reason--most shoppers these days expect the selection and prices that ecommerce offers, which is why every major retailer has an ecommerce presence, and why retailers that are struggling often foreground their ecommerce operations at the expense of brick-and-mortar reach.

Kristina: Is it necessary, at this point, for smaller retailers to look at marketplace selling?

Aron: SMBs are going to find it more and more necessary to have a presence on major marketplaces if they want to compete and grow. But while it's important to be on the marketplaces to reach shoppers the first time, having an independent website tends to be important for establishing customer loyalty and repeat purchases, and for maximizing margins. So more and more SMBs are going to find that their best approach is to maintain a presence on marketplaces, then to work to drive awareness through those transactions of independent websites where they can better differentiate themselves and avoid the fee overhead that comes with marketplaces.

Tags: 3rd party selling, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, Terapeak

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