Start-up eCommerce platform and dropship aggregator Mercarto has partnered with AliExpress, one of the largest product inventory holders in the world.
The deal makes Mercarto one of very few UK businesses with access to the AliExpress product inventory and opens up a potential inventory of 300 million items.
The news comes as the recently launched service, which offers up-and-coming entrepreneurs the opportunity to launch an end-to-end online retail business in just two clicks, unveils a raft of new features and options.
New features include personalised store fronts, with billboard images, logos, colour palettes, buttons and fonts all customisable to give stores a new level of individuality. There’s also a newly optimised interface and custom variant and pricing options.
The ‘Mercarto Seller Network’ is now live within the platform, allowing product creators, manufacturers, wholesalers and suppliers to make their products available to any other seller on the network, giving them greater reach and boosted sales.
The platform manages every aspect of ordering, returns and customer service. All users have to do is name their store, select the products they wish to sell, set their price and profit margin and launch – they then drive sales by marketing the store through their own networks.
Mercarto founder Sean Brown said: “We’re pushing a major focus on product development. We’ve restructured the way we source products and having access to one of the biggest product resources in the world, gives us a huge baseline inventory to attract new store owners and UK-based suppliers.
“Mercarto’s goal is to become the largest accessible database of dropship products in the world while providing the best-in-class eCommerce platform.
“We’ve set benchmarks to guarantee the quality of the products we pull from AliExpress. That’ll leave us with an eventual inventory of around three million individual products, which opens up a huge amount of choice for our store owners.
“The new personalisation options mean stores can be stamped with their owners’ individuality, all within a template that remains optimised for conversions. We’ve also absorbed the delivery fees within our margins, so every product is now delivered free of charge.
“Ultimately everything we do is about giving our community of store owners as much choice and as much individuality as possible.”
New Stripe payment integration also enables the likes of Apple Pay and Google Pay, straight from any web browser, delivering a streamlined and secure checkout process.
In May, Mercarto announced a deal to bring UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones on board as a business partner and 50 per cent shareholder.
Brown added: “Since bringing Lawrence on board as a shareholder we’ve been able to focus 100 per cent on product development with access to funds, resources and a lightning-fast hosting solution for the entire platform.”
Mercarto is also developing a premium version, to give users deeper control of personalisation and a suite of marketing, reporting and order management tools.
Early adopters of the platform will have access to the full premium version for free, indefinitely.