Excellence in Retail & E-commerce Marketing Strategy 2022

The unprecedented growth of e-commerce has provided New Zealand’s largest auction platform, TRADE ME, the opportunity to develop its digital channels in a period of uncertainty and shifting rules. Heading into 2022, Trade Me must now continue the momentum.

Developing digital channels

Over the pandemic Trade Me saw growth in its online e-commerce platform unseen in recent years.

However, as brick-and-mortar stores began to reopen, and international giants such as Amazon starting to close in on New Zealand, Trade Me needed to drive the hustle back online. 

Heading into a new year, Trade Me needed to market its brand differently to ensure it kept the unique consumers from its successful year without the launch of any major product enhancements.

Uniquely, Trade Me is faced with the challenge of competing in a retail world in which the business is unable to control inventory content, pricing or have a sales promotion calendar.

As a second-hand marketplace, Trade Me also battles with some embedded brand perceptions which can hinder Kiwis from using the platform. 

In order to address these challenges while also keeping the momentum of success going, the platform decided to focus on four key principles in its marketing campaign; scale smart, mobile-first, trusted Kiwis, and show and tell. 

With this marketing campaign, Trade Me wanted to increase share of wallet from its active buyers while improving product stickiness.

The brand planned to achieve this by increasing its marketplace sessions by five percent and its buy new preference to 36 percent. 

For this campaign Trade Me adopted the agile approach of lifecycle marketing, based on their first-party data, all while improving the platform. The company took on a fierce approach to prioritisation, ensuring a focus on activities that guaranteed the highest potential impact and return on time.

The brand ruthlessly prioritised and launched campaigns when they were 70 to 80 percent ready, giving them a head start into the market. Trade Me leveraged its Google Merchant Centre expansion to launch Facebook Dynamic Ads as part of its digital marketing. 

Using buyer insights, Trade Me was able to change its messaging to correspond with what was likely to drive preference with consumers. Trade Me also tweaked its email and category campaign and launched a ‘Buy local’ automation that highlighted local businesses. 

To overcome the challenge of breaking the perceptions of the brand, Trade Me focused on driving casual growth through listing promotions and improving its seller lifecycle journey.

The marketplace created a sense of value in its digital marketing, shifting its message from the range of products to highlighting the savings available through on-sale listings and curating higher-converting deals pages. 

Trade Me immediately saw success with this marketing campaign, delivering a double digit YOY growth. Six weeks out from the end of financial year, Trade Me significantly exceed its revenue targets. 

Trade Me was able to achieve an impressive value of marketing attributed revenue. 

Despite being in a unique position of holding a campaign to continue the success from past years, Trade Me was able to use first-party data to create an agile marketing approach that prioritised opportunities that were most important to the brand.  

Excellence in Retail & e-commerce Marketing Strategy

Trade Me

Marketing Initiative
From Bid to Buy Now – Scaling Trade Me’s Share Of Online Retail

Marketing Partners
MBM; The Breakout Room

Judges’ Comments
“Demonstrated positive evolution of their marketing strategy to best support the business objective and achieve extremely strong results in a very competitive landscape.”

Enter the 2023 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards

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Excellence in Retail & e-Commerce Marketing Strategy sponsored by The Radio Bureau

Open to retail and business operations (digital or bricks and mortar) where the majority of revenue comes from direct purchase – for example supermarkets, online retailers, online insurance providers, fast food restaurants, and any other type of retail operations. 


This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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