The Warehouse Group has announced the launch of its new e-commerce marketplace, TheMarket, exclusive to New Zealand residents.
Kiwi-owned and operated, TheMarket is launching more than 1,500 brands and one million products to its database, including brands such as Karen Walker, Cotton On, CUE, Billabong, and many others. Owned and operated by The Warehouse Group (TWG), this venture has been three years in the making with an investment $12 million to get it off the ground.
Although marketplaces aren’t a new thing by any means, and TWG has its own online store, TheMarket is a closed marketplace and offers NZ with a curative experience that is new to the country. “Our vision is to have the best local, international and niche brands across the categories,” explained Justus Wilde, TheMarket’s CEO. Askin to the Iconic and ASOS, TheMarket is set to redefine the way Kiwis shop for luxe products.
“TheMarket is unlike anything that currently exists in New Zealand,” he continued. “It will give New Zealanders access to the world’s best local, international and niche brands, improving range, availability and delivery options in one place.” Kiwis spent $4.2 billion shopping online in 2018, which is set to rise exponentially. “It’s a significant growth opportunity, especially when you look at New Zealand compared to other countries. Our online spend is currently about nine per cent of total retail spending, compared to the UK who are at 18 per cent. Research shows that consumers prefer the convenience and experience of shopping with an online platform that carries a broad selection rather than individual brands and retailers,” explained Mr Wilde.
Unlike many marketplaces, TheMarket offers a curative selection process for the products that it sells. Curating at a brand level, TheMarket sees quality over quantity for its content. The process is easy – a brand submits its products to TheMarket, and the marketplace will see if it’s the ‘right fit’.
Using Elasticsearch and Microsoft Azure, the ingredients behind TheMarket’s platform is built with in-house and open source technologies. “We’ve built it from the ground, up. It’s been a multi-year exercise in capability and experience,” explained Mr Wilde. “We had a blank piece of paper, and we really designed it for what the mobile shopper wants.”
Brands such as Karen Walker have partnered with TheMarket, “We love what technology has allowed us to build with our business and are always looking for ways to embrace any new opportunities being created. TheMarket is a perfect example of this and we’re very much looking forward to working with them and their incredible tech team,” Karen Walker explained.
What sets TheMarket apart from its competition is its dedication to customer experience. The marketplace offers BNPL options, tracked shipping and free returns – “Customers will enjoy local customer service no matter where in the world they buy from via TheMarket,” explained Mr Wilde. Customers have the opportunity to have any item returned for free via TheMarket’s network of ‘MarketPoint’ locations, which are scattered within existing stores across the country. “If any item purchased on TheMarket isn’t right, a customer can simply return it for free to a MarketPoint location,” Mr Wilde continued.
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