When marketplace sellers get together, the conversation often turns to multichannel management software. Many sellers will talk knowledgeably about different vendors, but others will look on blankly.
After a while, when there is a break in the conversation, one of the sellers “in the know” will notice the vacant stares. How can they explain what they’re talking about? Maybe by saying how this kind of software synchronizes stock levels across marketplaces, creates listings and manages orders? Well they could, but normally they don’t. They just say, “Oh you know, like ChannelAdvisor!” And the blank looks fade instantly.
ChannelAdvisor is pretty much synonymous with “marketplace management software”. They’ve been in this business since 2001, longer than almost anyone else. They have over 2,800 customers globally, and in 2015 managed $6.8 billion in GMV (gross merchandise volume – total sales). ChannelAdvisor supports over sixty sales channels around the world, and the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013. There’s no-one else like them among the many multichannel software vendors.
I caught up recently with Mike Shapaker, ChannelAdvisor’s Managing Director for the EMEA region (covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa). We talked about how this industry giant came to exist, the features they have been working on recently, and the company’s plans for the future.
The most popular software category in the Web Retailer directory is also the most complex: Multichannel Management.
That’s no coincidence. Selling on one marketplace (Amazon or eBay for example) is hard enough. Throw multiple marketplaces into the mix, and maybe your own webstore too, and you have a recipe for disaster – if you try to do it without the right system in place.
So this post is all about multichannel management software: what it is, what it does, key features, how to choose a supplier and more.
International ecommerce – selling directly to consumers abroad – is growing at a tremendous rate. For sellers it’s a compelling proposition: expand into huge new markets with less competition, and reach new buyers who may be willing to pay more than your customers at home.
Those benefits are real, but there are plenty of challenges to go with them: language and culture, taxes and regulations, logistics and timezones.
Here’s a roundup of articles from the Web Retailer blog focusing on cross-border trade. They cover specific international marketplaces like Cdiscount and Rakuten Japan, product regulations and taxes in the EU, sales tax in the US, international returns, currency exchange and more. I hope they help you unravel some of the complexities of international ecommerce.
This post is by Craig Agutter, EMEA Ecommerce Manager at international currency transfer provider World First.
Online sellers know that marketplaces are a good bet for selling internationally, offering a safe and easy way to reach customers abroad.
But there’s no reason to limit yourself to eBay and Amazon. Europe is full of diverse online marketplaces with large and loyal customer bases.
So in this post, I’ve outlined my top ten alternative marketplaces to consider when trying to sell across Europe.
This post is by Ryan Miller, Vice President of Global eCommerce Strategy at Rakuten. Among other duties, Ryan helps merchants get set up on Rakuten’s global marketplaces, including Rakuten Ichiba in Japan. Rakuten has a share of 27% in Japan’s mature ecommerce market, and there is strong demand from consumers for foreign brands, making Rakuten Japan an attractive platform for cross-border selling.
With 44,000 sellers, 105 million members and sales of $17bn, Rakuten Japan is one of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world.
Rakuten’s Japanese ecommerce platform, called Rakuten Ichiba, began life in 1997. It’s an online marketplace which allows vendors to sell their goods in the way they want to. Rakuten Ichiba does not sell any products itself – it’s entirely a third-party marketplace.
Since 2005, Rakuten has been expanding internationally through acquisitions and joint ventures. It purchased Buy.com in the US (now Rakuten.com), Priceminister in France, and Ikeda in Brazil (now Rakuten Brazil) among several others. Rakuten was also an early investor in Pinterest and owns messaging app Viber, which has over 600 million users.
Even with Rakuten’s global expansion, and diversification into online media, the majority of its business still lies in Japanese ecommerce. It’s the market leader and presents a compelling proposition to brands and merchants from all around the world.