Today Pentagon talks to Sophia Tsao, the VP of Newegg Global. Thanks to her positive leadership and the big power of a small team, the marketplace platform has grown rapidly to become a half billion dollar business unit within Newegg, and has expanded its seller programme internationally to include sellers from more than 35 countries. Today, Newegg Marketplace is a global one-stop shopping destination in over 50 countries, spanning 17 industries with a broad range of over 45 million products.
Hi Sophia, Please can you describe your role at Newegg and how you help sellers become successful on the marketplace?
Hi Pentagon, I am the Vice President of Newegg Global Marketplace. Newegg Marketplace has been providing a selling platform for sellers since 2011. Over the last six years, we’ve found tremendous success launching new platform features and introducing new market opportunities for our sellers.
As of today, qualified sellers partnering with Newegg can reach customers in over 50 countries (www.Newegg.com), connect with B2B customers in the US (www.NeweggBusiness.com), and leverage powerful marketing and promotional platforms such as NeweggFlash.com and unlocked.newegg.com to drive sales and brand awareness.
Newegg believes in a more personal approach to selling on the marketplace, our team of dedicated product and merchandising managers work individually with each seller, learning about their unique business to provide the right resources and tools to help the seller succeed.
So thinking about selecting the right resources, what are Newegg’s best-selling categories at the moment?
Tech products have traditionally been our best sellers. Newegg, being the top online tech shopping destination in the US, has made us a retail leader in categories such as computer hardware and consumer electronics since our business started in 2001. Today, we are still the market leader in these core categories.
Technology is an everyday part of our lives, but tech goes so much beyond computer components and premium gaming hardware. We have seen strong gross merchandise value conversion in sellers who specialise in smart home, smart appliances, wearables, drones, augmented reality and virtual reality and other unique products that enhance the digital lifestyles of our customers.
How would you describe a typical Newegg buyer and what characteristics do they have?
Newegg customers are your typically affluent, early adopters of technology and trends. They are the ones on the lookout for the latest and greatest, whether it’s the most recent 2-in-1 laptop, miniature drone, or that trending cordless vacuum cleaner. Newegg customers rely on Newegg to provide them with not only the latest products and brands, but also detailed product content and peer reviews which they can trust before deciding to purchase.
Newegg has one of the highest customer Average Order Values of all marketplaces, and a high repeat purchase rate thanks to our base of 32 million loyal customers.
Newegg has recently announced its launch in 20 new countries: why did you decide to take this important step?
Global ecommerce is no longer just a market trend, but an immediate business opportunity that all sellers should truly evaluate. Global retail ecommerce is expected to maintain double-digit growth through 2020, when sales will top $4 trillion, and cross-border ecommerce is also growing at an amazing rate.
As a US retail platform, we realised there is an incredible opportunity for customers from around the world because through cross-border ecommerce they can access a wide array of products at competitive prices. This was a business opportunity we wanted to be a part of, and one we wanted our sellers to able to take advantage of as well. For any marketplace sellers looking to scale their business, assessing global markets outside of their own is definitely an area deserving of serious consideration.
In June of this year, Newegg opened up our site to customers from 50 countries, opening our doors to customers in key parts of Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, allowing long time Newegg followers and brand new customers gain access to our portfolio of over 45 million products. With this global expansion plan, Newegg also introduced our Newegg Global (www.newegg.com/sellers/global) selling programme, which allows our marketplace sellers to gain immediate access to customer bases in multiple regions of choice through a single seller account. Sellers can set qualifying product catalogue to any specific regions they’d like to service.
What are the core requirements for new sellers looking to sell on Newegg and what do you offer in return?
Newegg is an invite-only marketplace; we review each seller application carefully, examining various factors such as product assortment, content quality, price competitiveness, and seller rating. We extend a personal invitation to qualified sellers to come on board and operate a seller account.
As a basic requirement, sellers must:
- Have a legitimate business license
- Operate a dedicated customer service line
- Guarantee operations that fulfil orders within 72 business hours
Aside from these basic selling requirement that ensure quality of product and service to Newegg customers, there are no other requirements.
In terms of the benefits of selling on Newegg, by joining Newegg marketplace, and becoming a partner, sellers gain the ability to reach over 32 million customers, access to multiple value-add marketing opportunities, as well as logistics and customer service support leveraging our Shipped by Newegg service. For international sellers who utilise Shipped by Newegg service, they even qualify for six months free storage for products they allocate to Newegg for fulfilment.
What is the recipe for your success and what do you count as the most important ingredient?
Today, the ecommerce landscape is transforming faster than ever. Recent mergers, acquisitions and consolidations are proving this. We’re watching more traditional brick and mortar stores adding an online presence, whether they’re doing it themselves or joining online platforms, so the competition is heating up.
What’s helped Newegg stay ahead of the curve is striking a balance between being customer-centric and seller-centric. For example, the development of our global expansion programmes were heavily influenced by the fact that cross-border ecommerce is the future of retail commerce, meaning more consumers want access to imported goods at competitive price points, and what better way to capture this market opportunity than to provide a bridge between the global consumer demand and the thousands of quality brands and marketplace sellers already selling products on Newegg platforms.
What are the costs for a Newegg seller?
Newegg operates on a commission only basis. If a seller does not convert sales on the Newegg platform, there is no cost.
Newegg’s commission structure is simple, transparent, and ranges between 8% and 15% depending on the category. The Newegg advantage is that this single commission rate includes services such as a dedicated account manager, free marketing and payment processing. In the case of selling to China, the commission fee even covers a free local return service and customer service operated by Newegg’s dedicated team in China.
Newegg makes selling to the U.S, China, and globally to over 50 countries easy by removing typical barriers to entry caused by other marketplaces through their high costs consisting of security deposits and monthly or annual service fees.
For more details on commission rate with Newegg Global, sellers can visit www.newegg.com/sellers.
What is the next big thing in ecommerce in your opinion?
CROSS-BORDER | Cross-border is really the future of ecommerce. With marketplaces simplifying and removing the barriers to enter the market, globalisation is imminent. It really comes down to how individual marketplaces can create differentiation and value, selling tools to make cross-border business a less daunting and a scalable proposition, for those sellers and brands who are ready to take on new markets.
SOCIAL COMMERCE | Another contributor from ecommerce to sell on marketplace around the world is the growth and evolution of social commerce. Right now in America we are in the early stages of this, where social content is primarily a driver of branding and traffic to commerce destinations. Brands that are succeeding in the social game regularly utilise rich content that evokes positive emotion and brand association, be it in-house or user-generated, to establish an emotional connection with their followers. While it is commonplace, the connection to the “buy” button is still not as seamless of an experience as it is with our Asian social and ecommerce platform counterparts.
CHINA | To see the future of social commerce, we should look to Asia and more specifically to China, where social commerce has evolved to the point of actually being a fully integrated and complete ecosystem combining the content and community aspect that users consume on social media, with the commerce experience of shopping on a website or app. This stretches beyond the traditional idea of social being simply a “starting point” or a marketing channel, but instead connecting every part of the shopping journey through awareness and inspiration to purchase, payment, all the way back to the sharing and influencing aspect, completing a full ecommerce cycle.
What is the most interesting news you have recently heard in ecommerce or retail?
PAYMENTS | The rapid development and evolution of payment gateways is a fascinating piece of news coming out of China, and essentially redefines digital payment as we know it. Many who are familiar with WeChat understand that it’s more than just a social messaging app. This super app, which is a fully integrated payment gateway/mobile wallet, has added a social tipping component. For example, writers publishing content on the platform have the ability to receive tips in the form of a “Praise” button—similar to a “Like” button here in the US — from consumers.
PEER-TO-PEER | Essentially the consumer, who in this case is the reader, can “Praise” the author and choose to donate cash digitally after reading a piece of content,. This may seem like a minor functionality update for an already impressive social app/mobile payment gateway, but the meaning behind it is quite significant, in that payment gateways now extend beyond coverage of traditional usage in commerce, but into a truly social, boundless C2C/personal relationship fostering arena.
From a commerce perspective for retailers and ecommerce platforms, this functionality is a great tool for businesses to personify their philanthropic and charitable efforts, changing the way private companies engage with individuals and philanthropic organisations, which can lead to greater opportunities for companies to make significant positive impact.