The Michaels Company is launching a new online marketplace, called MakerPlace. The marketplace listed hundreds of thousands of SKUs at launch on Nov. 1, Michaels said in a press release.
Michaels ranks No. 111 in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 database.
Michaels MakerPlace competes with Etsy
The retailer launched its marketplace following a successful three-month beta test, the retailer said.
MakerPlace is positioned as a competitor to Etsy Inc. In addition to handmade products, Michaels MakerPlace sellers can sell places in virtual classes and how-to guides.
“Our research found that nearly three in four makers believe there’s a void in the online marketplace landscape today, and that existing platforms come with pain points like high upfront costs, increasing fees for product listings and competition with an overflow of mass-produced goods,” says Heather Bennett, executive vice president of marketing and ecommerce at Michaels. “MakerPlace by Michaels was designed in direct response to these challenges with the goal of helping handmade artists and makers succeed,” she says.
Michaels MakerPlace doesn’t charge a listing fee to sellers. It charges a 4% referral fee to sellers on its basic subscription plan, along with a 2% referral fee to sellers in the professional tier, which costs $9.98 per month. All sellers pay a transaction fee of 3% plus $0.20 per item.
Why add an online marketplace?
Starting an online marketplace puts Michaels in good company. 40 retailers in the Top 1000 operate a consumer marketplace, with 23 those in the Top 100, according to Digital Commerce 360 research.
“For retailers like Michaels, with specific audiences, adding a marketplace expands selection in a way that consumers appreciate,” says James Risley, research data manager and senior analyst at Digital Commerce 360.
Michaels can lend its name recognition and trust among consumers to marketplace sellers, and consumers might then feel safer buying those items from a known source, he says. It’s also a way to generate revenue beyond selling goods, with the learning component in the marketplace.
“With Michaels’ solution, there’s a little risk in moderation, making sure a woodworking class isn’t turned into a venue for how to make weapons. But I think it’s a good niche for this kind of non-goods marketplace,” Risley says.
MakerPlace will operate alongside the other third-party marketplace Michaels launched in February. That marketplace appears on Michaels.com alongside first-party goods, and expanded Michaels online offerings to more than 1 million SKUs.
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