Target US Takes on Amazon, Walmart With Marketplace Feature

April Davis By April Davis | 26 Feb 2019

A few lucky third-party sellers are now able to sell goods via Target’s online store, with the retailer announcing the launch of its new e-commerce feature, Target Plus.

In a blog post on Monday morning, Target announced its new initiative, Target +, which is reportedly still in its early stages. The exclusive, invite-only marketplace gives selected third-party merchants the chance to sell their products via Target.com.

“Target + provides guests with a curated selection of product choices that enhance our existing assortment, with the perks they enjoy from Target, like five percent off with a Target REDcard, free shipping and easy in-store returns,” said Target’s Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, Rick Gomez.

Designed to complement its existing online channel, Target says third-party sellers will be able to list products for sale in the home, toys, electronics and sporting goods categories.

“Guests look to Target for great products. With Target +, we aim to give them easy access to even more great products by partnering with best-in-class specialty and national brands that will help guests save and get more done in just one stop to Target.com,” Gomez said.

According to the company’s update, the third-party products will be integrated with the brand’s current product listings and will be vetted by Target prior to appearing on the site. So far, SVSports, Mizuno, Kaplan, Early Learning Company, Serenity Health & Home Décor, and Music123 are among the brands that have reportedly been invited to sell via Target.com.

Target’s invite-only model also gives the business an advantage over two of its major competitors, Walmart and Amazon, as its strict invite-only model allows the retailer to effectively monitor the quality of the products being supplied by third-party merchants.

However, while operating as both a retailer and a marketplace comes with distinct benefits, such as increased revenue and a larger product range, regulators across the globe are starting to crack down on online marketplaces and their activity.

Amazon has been a target for a number of these, with The European Commission, led by Margrethe Vestager launching an investigation into Amazon, its use of data and its treatment of third-party sellers in September last year.

The Indian Government has also introduced new e-commerce laws that protect small sellers on Amazon and Flipkart’s platforms in the region, costing the sector an estimated $46 billion in revenue over the next three years.

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