UK supermarket giant Tesco is preparing to introduce an online marketplace that will allow customers to shop for a wide range of third-party products in addition to groceries through its website. This initiative comes as Tesco seeks to enhance its online shopping experience and offer customers greater convenience.
Tesco has reportedly been developing the technology behind this marketplace for the past two years and is now focused on assembling a team responsible for recruiting sellers and collaborating with them on product range, merchandising, and promotional strategies. For customers, these third-party products will seamlessly complement their core grocery orders on Tesco.com.
The company is currently in the process of hiring a marketplace business development manager who will oversee the seller network and create an appealing range of offerings. Sellers will be selected based on data-driven criteria.
Tesco’s strategic goal is to become the most convenient grocer, with a strong emphasis on serving customers through online channels. The marketplace will encompass a broad range of categories, with a particular focus on pet food, health & beauty, and alcohol. Additionally, it will offer larger pack sizes than those available in physical stores.
While Tesco has not officially confirmed the marketplace’s launch, it has acknowledged ongoing discussions with suppliers to expand its online offerings.
Tesco previously experimented with a marketplace model when it opened Tesco Direct to third-party sellers in 2012. However, Tesco Direct ceased operations in July 2018. This time, experts believe that Tesco’s approach to the marketplace model could be more successful if integrated into its omnichannel experience.
Paul Adams, CEO of marketplace services platform Tambo, suggests that this development will drive more sales and traffic to Tesco.com, potentially creating additional advertising revenue.
The supermarket industry has seen several major retailers, including M&S, Walmart, Carrefour, Kroger, Boots, Superdrug, and The Range, experiment with marketplace models in recent years. Tesco’s move to reintroduce a marketplace aligns with the growing trend of supermarkets seeking to diversify their offerings and enhance the online shopping experience for customers.