We Are Pentagon is a specialist online marketplace provider. The company’s founder, Laurence Guy, has first-hand experience with the challenges of selling on marketplaces. In 2015, they undertook a strategic review which resulted in a three-year transformation turning the company from a domestic service provider into a global e-commerce enabler. According to Guy, it is critical to have staff who understand the local culture and language, so that relations with the market can be build.

Online marketplaces are the fastest growing segment of e-commerce, and sales are predicted to increase even more. In Asia, consumers are making 50% of their purchases on multi-merchant sites, and a striking 62% of cross-border purchases have been made on a marketplace. Something that is going to increase in popularity as well, are niche markets. They will be build with the help of technology and expertise. Marketplaces and social networks are also converging to create ‘market networks’, which Houzz is a good example of.

However, performing well on marketplaces is a challenge. The biggest challenge is managing channel conflicts, followed by defining a single strategy with a single solution. According to Guy, you need a clear strategy and constant education on this fast-moving industry.

Read the full interview with Laurence Guy’s advice on these challenges here, or download the latest edition of Cross-Border Magazine.