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11/18/2021

Macy’s takes on Amazon, Walmart, eBay with digital marketplace

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Macy’s is preparing to introduce a third-party online marketplace.

The third-party online marketplace space is getting a little more crowded.

Macy’s plans to launch a curated digital marketplace, in what it says is an effort to expand its assortment in existing categories and brands and introduce a range of new categories. The department store company will curate third-party retailers and brands to sell their products on macys.com and bloomingdales.com, with an expected rollout in the second half of 2022.

Macy’s is partnering with enterprise marketplace technology company Mirakl to launch the platform. The retailer intends to seamlessly integrate Mirakl’s dynamic platform capabilities into the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s architecture, allowing the evolution of strategies over time. Mirakl’s tools will enable sellers to monitor, drive and grow their businesses within Macy’s curated marketplace.

Canadian department store retailer Hudson’s Bay also partnered with Mirakl to launch its own online third-party sales platform, Marketplace, in March 2021. eBay, Amazon, and Walmart have long been the leading retailers offering this type of curated e-commerce platform connecting third-party sellers to their customers, in the past year, retailers including Kroger and Chipotle have taken steps toward opening U.S. online marketplaces.

Facebook has also partnered with Shopify to ease the process for brands to conduct third-party sales on its platform, while Google purchased Irish retail start-up Pointy to help companies integrate products they sell into Google search results. Meanwhile, Walmart has expanded its Walmart Marketplace offering through partnerships with e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce and Shopify.

In addition to preparing to offer a third-party online marketplace, Macy’s has recently been introducing a broad range of other customer-facing technology features. These include a redesigned mobile app, livestream shopping, contactless payment, and an expanded 3-D room planner.

In addition, Macy’s is adding PayPal and Venmo as contactless in-store payment options. Additional new shopping features at Macy’s include an online fragrance finder tool that provides an immersive, visual experience and enables customers to curate a personal pool of fragrance recommendations based on their preferences and desired scent profiles; as well as a one-stop online sustainability shop featuring a range of products that have been independently certified as responsibly made or packaged.

“Our digital business is targeted to generate $10 billion in sales by 2023, and we expect the new marketplace platform to produce incremental revenue on top of that target,” said Matt Baer, chief digital and customer officer at Macy’s. “The marketplace platform will enable us to expand our assortment at a low incremental cost, while giving Macy’s customers easy access to even more product selection to meet their diverse needs.”

“To be a retail leader in today's economy means balancing two imperatives: staying true to the trusted brand DNA that your customers value, while also anticipating and rising to meet their evolving expectations. It’s a pleasure to partner with Macy's, a retailer that both understands the potential of marketplaces to positively transform a business and has the vision, ambitions and strategy to fully reap the benefits," said Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO, Mirakl.