B&Q launches home improvement marketplace
The retailer is enhancing its ecommerce platform to offer a bigger choice, with the ambition of millions of products being available
Fri Mar 18 2022
B&Q customers will have access to an additional 100,000 products within six months via selected third-party sellers on its new online home improvement marketplace at diy.com. This will triple the existing number of SKUs.
B&Q's marketplace proposition will both expand existing ranges and add new categories, with products available for home delivery and click + collect options coming in the future.
Customers will be able to choose from an expanded selection of wallpaper, lighting, and power tools, as well as a new range of small domestic appliances, a new category for B&Q. The home improvement retailer has already signed up 17 third-party sellers, including Black & Decker, Breville and Osram, to sell through the marketplace.
All third-party sellers at diy.com will be selected by B&Q experts. Sellers undergo a verification process to ensure they complement B&Q's existing offer. Products sold by third-party sellers are easily identified by the description 'sold and shipped by [seller name]' underneath the product title.
Marketplaces are growing in popularity, with nearly half (48%) of online product searches now starting on marketplace platforms in key markets including the UK and US [survey by Inriver]. B&Q's new marketplace is expected to accelerate its e-commerce growth. It will be hosted online at B&Q's website (diy.com) and the B&Q app.
B&Q's diy.com is one of the top retail websites in the UK with significant traffic, giving third-party sellers access to a larger sales platform. For B&Q, the launch of a marketplace means diy.com will become even more of a strategic asset to the business, as site traffic grows in line with an increased product offering.
The multi-channel approach of B&Q's marketplace makes it easier for customers to shop with online and in-store benefits. The integration with B&Q's network of over 300 stores nationwide also means customers can conveniently return many items purchased from the marketplace in-store. B&Q's CEO Graham Bell CEO, said:
At B&Q, we're focused on improving shopping experiences for our customers to make shopping with us even more convenient. Around 85% of our customers' shopping journeys start online. With the launch of marketplace, customers can now access an even bigger choice of home improvement products online, with the convenient option to return many products at their local store, with click + collect options coming in time.
Marketplaces are a rapidly growing retail phenomenon around the world and we're excited by the potential this model brings in combination with the convenience of our fulfilment capabilities. The unique multichannel combination of this online marketplace, along with our network of 300 stores, means we can offer customers a level of choice, speed and convenience that pure play retailers cannot match.
B&Q's marketplace reflects evolving customer demand, with the shift to online and the need for speed, convenience, and choice, and creates a scalable model for Kingfisher, B&Q's parent company, to roll out marketplaces in other markets and banners.
To support the operation of the marketplace model, Kingfisher has partnered with Mirakl, an enterprise marketplace SaaS platform. Mirakl brings a lot of expertise, shaped by working with over 300 retailers that have adopted the marketplace model including Decathlon and H&M Home.