Mass merchandise online retailer Buy.com says 46% of its fourth quarter orders came from its marketplace, where thousands of other retailers sell to Buy.com visitors. The number of marketplace orders increased 146% in 2009 over the prior year, and the fourth quarter marked the 13th consecutive profitable quarter for the marketplace.
“We’ve really shifted from being a retailer to being a retail marketplace,” says Neel Grover, president and CEO of Buy.com, No. 33 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “We’re really just one seller among our several in our marketplace.”
The marketplace currently has 11.5 million listings from a few thousand sellers, including Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide retailers such as Toys ‘R’ Us, Alibris and Tiger Direct. Buy.com is No. 21.
Grover adds that Buy.com’s marketplace has found its niche between the marketplaces on Amazon.com and eBay, as well as the newer marketplaces at Sears.com and Walmart.com. “We take a different approach than our competition,” he says. “Our competitors are set up with separate retail and marketplace teams. We have one cohesive team. That means that whether an item is sold in our marketplace or via our distribution channels, we’re happy to get the transaction and will work together to make sure that you’re happy with your purchase.”
Jeff Wisot, Buy.com vice president, marketing, will be speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 8-11 in Chicago, in sessions entitled The issues that e-marketers struggle with and Networking for e-retail marketing execs.