A new UK marketplace, called UK Marketplace or UKM for short, has launched, aiming to offer British sellers an alternative way to sell.
The headline is there are no subscriptions and fees are just 5%. It’s a hybrid between a classified site with no online payments and local collection for consumers, and the ability to charge (via Stripe) and ship for businesses. ….
UK Marketplace aims to differentiate itself with a value transaction cost and exclusively offer it’s platform to UK sellers. This the platform says will avoid the race to the bottom on pricing by excluding Chinese sellers from the marketplace.
They say that they have around 70 business seller registered offering some 40k products with 30k users pre-registered to download their app once it’s available. They also have a Facebook group with 52k members running at 5k new listings per month – these are likely to be more consumer classified style.
Our aim with UKM is to create the leading one stop go-to place for almost anything UK related, while helping our customers to reach a broad global audience for the smallest possible fees.
By integrating social media-style interactions – buyers will be able to ‘follow’ the sellers they are most impressed with or interested in – we are endeavouring to create a sense of community as well as a simple selling platform. One where sellers can really get to know their buyers, and buyers can purchase with confidence.
While our intuitive interface and state of the art seller control panel with a sophisticated sales report tool means that literally anyone in the UK can quickly and easily sell their products and track their sales.
After months of building and beta testing, we are hugely excited to finally launch UKM to the public and can’t wait to see their response.
– Martin Saxon, spokesperson, UK Marketplace
So, should you jump in for the new year to sell on UK Marketplace? We think perhaps not yet unless you have time on your hands. What you need to seriously consider a new platform is a track record of sales and a marketplace with the scale to attract buyers. 40k products isn’t that much and neither is 30k buyers. That’s not intended to be disparaging, but for a serious business you are probably better off waiting for others to build the momentum and jump in when activity increases.
And the other reason for not jumping in quite yet, is that there don’t appear to be any integrations with the major multichannel management programs. This is key as if you’re not getting too many sales initially then you at least need to have a hands off approach to managing both your inventory and your sales.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen how hard the other (still relatively new) British marketplace OnBuy have had to work to grow. They are now on a par with Notonthehighstreet in terms of traffic which in itself is an incredible achievement and they are still growing. But, they have integrations, they have buyers placing orders, they may not have the scale of an Amazon or eBay yet but buyers on the platform report early success.
Will UK Marketplace emulate the success of OnBuy? We certainly wish them well for 2023 and it would be a delight to see them grow. However we suspect their early successes may well come from classified consumer ads in the short term so wait to see if businesses start to see traction and perhaps the real indicator that it’s time to get on board will be when your multichannel program of choice offers an integration – that will happen when the demand from retailers grows which will be a marker of success for the new marketplace.