Maze-One founder and now Incubeta’s Global Marketplace Lead, Tim van der Bilt, states, “It went by very fast. In 2018, I started Maze-One as a full-service marketplace agency. In just a few years we grew rapidly in the Netherlands and also abroad. We had quite a few companies asking for our hand, but when we opened conversations with Incubeta, we more or less immediately knew we had found the right home. By joining Incubeta, we are able to take our business to the next level and access world class digital marketing and advertising capabilities.”
Just one year after the acquisition, our marketplace operations have grown significantly. Today, Incubeta has multiple marketplace partnerships, including with Amazon. We are a Verified Amazon Ads Partner and have over 60 Amazon-certified marketplace specialists serving more than 150 brands from our offices in Amsterdam, London, Copenhagen, Oslo and Madrid.
As Amazon plans to enter the South African market in early 2023, our team is taking the opportunity to use our certified expertise and experiences from previous Amazon launches (e.g., Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, etc.) to support the growth of South Africa’s ecommerce industry – well beyond the Amazon marketplace. In the coming months, Incubeta will be offering select services to the South African market such as training courses and support with setting up Amazon accounts, which will be managed by our marketplaces teams abroad, and at a later date by specialists and new hires on the ground.
While Amazon is definitely one to watch, Incubeta also understands the value and importance of other players, especially of local marketplaces (e.g., Takealot in South Africa, bol.com in the Netherlands, Allegro in Poland, etc.). While many assume Amazon will take out the smaller businesses as it dominates the market, our experience tells us that this is not always the case. Despite Amazon’s size and logistical excellence, local players have the upper hand when it comes to brand trust and localization.
Incubeta’s Marketplaces Head for the Nordic region, Ulrik Grevenkop-Castenskiold, shares, “When Amazon moves into a new market they will often offer products from other regions that they feel will work in the new market. However, the machine translation for the descriptions tends to be very poor and the products are often represented in a way that companies would not find acceptable.”
Our team has seen first-hand how local marketplaces and SMEs can grow significantly following Amazon’s launch in their market. The competition that Amazon drives helps to accelerate market maturity overall, particularly by pushing local business to improve and better localize their customer offerings to keep up with the ecommerce giant. In other words, competition can be a good thing. What matters is how you compete.
Incubeta’s role in this space is to help brands to upgrade their growth by developing and executing the ecommerce strategy that’s exactly right for them, making the most out of marketplace opportunities in- and outside of the Amazon ecosystem.
Want to learn everything there is to know about Amazon’s launch in South Africa and the impact this could have on your business? Discover more here.