Ryan Gracie spills branding and stays on the trail

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Branding is one of the most important factors that a retailer needs to consider if they want to differentiate themselves. But how do they do that when they are unsure of their value proposition or just want to tap into their large audience? We spoke to MyDeal CMO Ryan Gracie about his past at Catch, the present and MyDeal and the future of marketplaces.

“I would say the last eight years have been very interesting as marketplaces have started to grow across Australia,” said Ryan Gracie, MyDeal’s CMO, at the Online Retailer Conference & Expo. “We were a little late to the party, but now there’s this multitude of marketplaces, new ones popping up every day; I think at the moment there are over 30 dominating the landscape. It will be very interesting to see where this goes over the next five to ten years.”

Do you think we are heading towards an oversaturated market landscape?

“There’s probably no such thing top marketbut there is Great same product in every marketplace,” Gracie told us. “And what’s happening is that we’re all competing for the same keywords and the same products at the same price. So consumers get tired and try to find the product they are looking for because I’m typing it into google, are there these products in 20 different marketplaces for the same price? So you’ve got these conscious choices around, ‘Where am I going? It’s all the same. But why are they from different vendors?’”

So they’ve removed the ‘Of the Day’ from the Catch branding and are an integral part of the MyDeal rebranding that also happened last year.

“Yeah, so I joined Catch in 2016 when it was still like that catch of the day. So the suggestion and advice was that we let ourselves go [‘Of the Day’], and after much back and forth we arrived at the end. And I think it’s really changed the way the marketplace behaves around the daily deal sites,” Gracie said.

“I found that the marketplace was just getting on board and going from one deal a day to thousands of deals and now millions of products. And then when I arrived at MyDeal last year it was obvious that it needed to be rebranded. We had to go through this journey, which is always a bit painful but worth the effort. And we were working on it with a colleague of mine, John Barkle, and we launched last September and it was great; it was really successful.”

There was one thing you mentioned in that panel that I found interesting about staying on your lane. I want you to explain why it’s important for a marketplace to pick a lane and stay in it, rather than expand, and something that might not fit really well.

“I just don’t think there’s room to help too many general merchandise retailers in the country,” Gracie said power retail. “So we have Amazon, we have eBay, of course we have Catch, we have MyDeal, Everyday Market. And then look at these alleys lined with fashion by Barbeques Galore, THE ICONIC, now they can experience success. But once they try to sell things to your customer base they aren’t expecting; I think that’s a bit greedy because they’re trying to make money because they have an audience. There’s also the value proposition, so stick to that and expand the aisle as much as you can.”

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