Putting our Customers first has always been our ultimate goal and in line with that, we are excited to announce the launch of the Multiple Sellers per SKU (product) initiative which will allow our Customers to make the best choice when purchasing their favourite products from RedMart. To find out why we launched this initiative at the very end of this article.
What is Multiple Sellers per SKU?
It is the ability for different Sellers to sell the same product (below definition of same product).
Which products are considered Multiple SKU or same product?
As a rule of thumb, if products are from the same brand, same manufacturer and country of manufacturing, same variation (pack size, selling unit / pack, volume / weight / individual pieces) and same barcode then they are considered multiple SKU. In some cases, multiple SKU has different barcode (e.g. a different batch of wine) or has different design packaging (e.g. World Cup coke can design) but these are exceptions to the rule.
How does it work on the website?
From a customer perspective there will be a suggested / preferred Seller which has the best combination of price, availability to deliver (being open 7 days a week is the most important), stock and ability to accurately fulfil orders (always providing for pickups on time with all the items ordered by customers).
Below is a comparison of the same product by 2 different sellers Sally's Room and Horme Hardware - as you can see, suggestions of other seller(s) who sell the same product is available below the product name and price. *click images to expand*
[All images / products for illustration purposes only]
A) This product is available at a lower price from another seller as indicated.
B)This product is available sooner from another seller as indicated.
A preview of the same product will be available at the bottom of the product page:
C) When the customer search for a particular product, the product also indicates the number of sellers who are offering the same product.
What can Sellers do to be the preferred Seller?
Being an early joiner on our platform, existing Sellers are in advantage and will be the default Seller. However, if another Seller comes onboard with a stronger offer (as described above) you might lose the preference. To stay on top of the game, you will need to have a competitive price and be open as many days a week as possible while always fulfilling what was promised to customers by keeping stock updated.
Tip: Our sorting algorithm uses mainly availability for delivery, i.e. being open 7 days a week, and price to select the preferred Seller. For example, if you have same price as another Seller but you’re open for pickups more days a week we’ll prefer you.
Does this means that any Sellers can sell your products?
Providing great service to customers also means some curation is needed on multiple Seller per SKU. We’ll continue our strong screening of Sellers that we allow to sell with us, for example, we don’t onboard companies that are in the short term business of slashing prices for short periods of time (undermining our long term sustainable Sellers); we don’t onboard Sellers without proven record of legally selling products in Singapore and we’ll limit the number of Sellers that sell the same SKU to an optimum balance of price, availability and stock. In summary, this will still be a restricted entry platform but it’s fair to say our customers deserve the best price and convenience we can possibly give so we need to keep these three key points in check every time to assess if the offer of each product is maximized. Also, onboarding multiple SKUs on RedMart is a time consuming task so we’ll assess on the three points mentioned above to decide if we make the effort to get more SKUs, that means if you have best in market price with 7 days a week pickups, healthy levels of stock and are able to fulfil what is promised there’s no reason for us to make the effort to find more Sellers selling your products.
What can you do if you're the authorized sole agent / distributor in Singapore for a brand / product?
If you are selling only a single brand and the official store for this brand - please ensure this is included in your Store Name, e.g. Drypers Official Store. To do this, submit a ticket to Partner Support and provide documentation to prove this claim.
Note that if your store has multiple brands and you’re not the official agent or distributor, you cannot claim it to be for the entire store. While we’re working on a solution for this, you can submit a ticket to Partner Support and add rich product content (e.g. About the brand) to every of the brand’s product stating you’re the official distributor.
Why did we launch the ability for different Sellers to sell the same products?
Our customer facing platforms (website, IOS and Android apps) and its underlying systems didn’t allow us to sell the same product through different Sellers which affected several areas of our service to customers. With this “monopolistic” framework prices are not, as frequently as customers like, matched to the best in the market which incentivizes them to buy elsewhere. Availability for delivery is another key flaw in our service to customers, only 40% of our existing Sellers are open on Saturday and even worse on Sunday with 15%. Knowing that 56.6% of our customers order between Friday afternoon and Sunday this poses a critical risk for our businesses (RedMart and Sellers) which can be explained in 3 points;
15.6% of customers are not willing to wait and remove the unavailable items (Marketplace items from Sellers not opened on weekends) from their carts which results in lost sales.
Customers are not willing to wait for MP items and decide not to buy at all from us because we’re not able to deliver everything when they want.
Customers are willing to wait but push their deliveries to the earliest available slot, which 99% of the cases falls on Tuesday 2pm onwards, putting an unsustainable pressure into our operations with peaks ranging 25% above average.
Last but not least with more Sellers selling the same products we also increase the available stock for purchase and avoid the common scenario of products being out of stock.
Light blue shows order distribution during the week for orders with Marketplace items. Dark blue shows the same for orders only with RedMart owned products (no Marketplace products) which have the best availability possible as they are available for preparation 7 days a week and 24 hours per day while Marketplace items are mostly 5 days a week for a maximum of two pickup waves per day. This chart clearly shows that customers prefer to order on Saturdays and Sundays which for Marketplace, with most Sellers closed on weekends, are lost opportunities to get more sales. Marketplace sales decrease by more than 30% because of items not available on weekends.
In summary the ability to open the offers of one product to more than one Seller will help us serve our customers better by improving prices, reduce the time from checkout to delivery and increase stock of products. With this we expect more sales to come to all Sellers that are able to provide the best service possible for customers.
Putting our Sellers first, together with our Customers, has always been the goal of the Marketplace team, after all your success is our success! We’re committed to make this a positive moment for you so if you have any concerns and queries please let us know here and we’ll address them as best as we can.