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E-commerce

Catch Marketplace reaches $1 million sales per week

Catch Marketplace has reached weekly sales in excess of $1 million dollars and is advancing towards a yearly sales forecast of $100 million, as new brands, including Booktopia, sign up to the platform.

Over 300 Australian sellers have joined the platform since it launched in June of this year, increasing the product range available on Catch.com.au by 600 per cent, from 20,000 to over 120,000 items.

New brands include Booktopia, Kitchen Warehouse, Toolswarehouse, Sodastream Australia, Fosani Lighting, Golfbox, Napoleon, Perdis and Glue Store. They join existing sellers, such as Lorna Jane, Speedo, The North Face and ASUS.

An additional 400 sellers have signed up and will be onboarded in the coming months, according to a statement provided by parent company, Catch Group.

Catch Group’s CEO Nati Harpaz said the marketplace business will soon drive a significant portion of overall sales on Catch.com.au.

“Catch Marketplace is already generating 15 per cent of…overall sales and we believe that within 12 months that number will be between 30-40 per cent,” he said.

“We think we have the best of both worlds, a potent core offer of unbeatable value products, with the marketplace providing an amazing assortment of categories and products, seamlessly wrapped around our amazing specials. This will continue to ensure that Catch.com.au, including the Marketplace, is a peak destination for Australian shoppers.”

Ebay, Amazon and Catch

Meanwhile, Australia’s marketplace sector is becoming more crowded, with not only Catch Marketplace but also Ebay, Amazon, Kogan, OzSale, MyDeal and new entrants like Esther & Co all competing for desirable brands to draw traffic to their platforms.

“It’s different for each seller, but like any retailer, most sellers have stock and planning issues. If you’re on too many platforms you risk not being able to offer meaningful stock to anyone,” Adam Kron, Catch Group’s head of commercial strategy, told Internet Retailing recently.

However, Kron was confident that Catch’s marketplace offering stacks up favourably against the others.

“At the end of the day, only three [marketplaces] really matter Ebay, Amazon and Catch,” he said.

“My personal view is Amazon has nothing to offer in Australia. They won’t come in with a price leadership position. They’re targeting established sellers. They’re not looking for garage guys. They’re looking at whoever’s doing well on Ebay or our marketplace.

“In terms of marketing opportunity, they’re not up to speed with where Catch are. Of course they’re going to get a lot of customers with the fanfare they bring, but they’re years away from causing disruption from holding stock.

“We can work with sellers to focus millions of eyes on sellers and move stock for them. We put promotions together for some of our top sellers every week,” he said.

When it came to Ebay, Kron dismissed the marketplace giant’s offering as “uncurated” and rife with counterfeit problems, but he conceded that it won’t be easy unseat.

“I think we’ll be fighting Ebay for the number two spot [in terms of] gross merchandise volume. International companies can lose millions and millions of dollars to make their point,” he said.

What’s next for Catch Marketplace

As Catch Marketplace closes in on its first 1,000 sellers, Kron said he believes the platform will eventually feature “thousands and thousands” of sellers.

“We’ve got many categories we haven’t really started attacking. We’re doing it in a way to build out a credible offering and doing it right,” he said, noting the rigourous checks sellers must go through to ensure they meet Catch.com.au’s service requirements.

Kron previously told Internet Retailing that Catch Marketplace had started to let sellers offer free shipping through Club Catch and would soon start sending push notifications to customers featuring seller promotions.

He recently said the company will offer new benefits to Club Catch members in the coming weeks. He declined to provide details, but referenced the fact that Amazon Prime users have access to content, as well as free shipping.

“There are opportunities in the service space,” he said, noting that this helps with customer retention, something Amazon excels at.

“Amazon is very strong in that space because they’ve got overwhelming investment. Catch has been doing it for years too – and not just through Club Catch. Over a million people have downloaded our app and receive push notifications. We have access through third parties to personalisation engines and AI programs coming out.

“Amazon are one of the best at it, but in Australia, Catch would have to be one of the best at it too. We’re making sure our offer keeps up.”

Catch Group CEO Nati Harpaz is chairman of Octomedia, Internet Retailing’s parent company.

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