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Meet Fruugo: the marketplace on a mission to simplify cross border trade

Ellie Thomson, Marketing Manager
6 August 2020

For brands and retailers looking to expand internationally, online giants such as Amazon and eBay are often the first marketplaces which spring to mind. But what other key marketplace players can help you sell online?

With growing numbers of marketplaces disrupting the ecommerce landscape, in this blog we caught up with Håkan Thyr, Chief Revenue Officer at Fruugo who explains what sets Fruugo apart from other online marketplaces.

Rather than positioning Fruugo as an online challenger, Håkan perceives Fruugo as a “complement” to other marketplaces with “a unique focus on making cross-border trade as easy and risk-free as possible for retailers.”

Like most ecommerce businesses, Fruugo has seen an increase in demand this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic driving more consumers to shop online. Fruugo’s growth has been significantly higher than average, which Håkan explains is down to the marketplace’s broad selection and global reach” although there has been a distinct change in consumer behaviour:

“The main change in behaviour has probably been in what categories consumers are turning to ecommerce for. I don’t think many people would consider buying a 2kg bag of flour online six months ago, but in April flour was one of our fastest growing products.”

Fortunately for marketplaces like Fruugo, rapid changes in consumer spending can be responded to quickly and innovatively, making ecommerce far more robust at dealing with external threats than the traditional brick-and-mortar business model.

When considering the long-term ramifications of Covid-19 for online marketplaces; Håkan said: “Broadly speaking, it will be a boost for most ecommerce businesses. I think marketplaces with a wide selection and global reach are best positioned to benefit from sudden increases in demand wherever they occur.”

Ultimately a ‘wide selection and global reach’ is near impossible for an offline retailer to achieve in 2020, making competition with online marketplaces even more fierce. With our troubled highstreets regularly making the headlines for economic struggles and high-profile restructures, it was interesting to hear that Håkan is optimistic for what the future holds:

“There is definitely a role for the highstreet. Some product categories will always benefit from a tactile, in-person experience. The highstreet will need to shift to a model where stores provide a brand experience and personal customer service. Any retailer that doesn’t provide a differentiated experience will struggle to survive off-line.”

Creating a personalised customer service in store when the majority of the population is staying at home is a problem that household names such as John Lewis & Partners are already trying to tackle – having last month launched their pilot virtual personal shopping experience which elevates its in-store experience to an online platform.

Arguably technology has never had a more important role when it comes to online trading and supporting our highstreets. What’s more, for Fruugo emerging technologies such as AI will touch every part of its operation in some way.

Håkan explains: “Our Data Science team uses AI to improve how we market our retailers’ products which helps shoppers with their product discovery. We are applying AI technology to improving product data which will also lead to a better customer experience. One of the back-office functions that is benefitting from AI is Risk Management where better decision making will reduce fraud and make it easier to sell high-value items.”

For brands and retailers looking to sell online without the technology in place, getting the products live can feel like a daunting and complicated task – particularly when trying to tap into a new consumer base within an international territory. This is where integrators such as Pentagon come in, with technology services that streamline this on behalf of the retailer. Having integrated our services with Fruugo for many years, Håkan describes the benefits of the partnership for anyone looking to expand internationally:

“As transactional opportunities proliferate with the emergence of new marketplaces and social shopping sites, retailers will need to be agile. Integrators provide the agility to quickly access new revenue opportunities. Working with Pentagon allows us to offer Pentagon retailers a quick, easy and risk-free way of reaching billions of shoppers globally.”

If you want to find out how to sell online with Fruugo, get in touch with us at hello@wearepentagon.com and our team will arrange a free 1:1 consultation to understand your business needs and explain how we can get you live and trading in less than two weeks.

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