Arts and crafts retailer Michaels has officially launched its online marketplace.
MakerPlace is billed as the only online marketplace that offers handmade goods, classes led by artists, how-to guides and access to Michaels’ products in a single platform, according to a Wednesday (Nov. 1) press release. The debut follows a three-month beta test.
“The launch of MakerPlace by Michaels deepens our ability to support customers in all of their creative pursuits, whether that be learning new skills, discovering handmade goods or growing their own handmade business,” said Michaels CEO Ashley Buchanan in the release. “MakerPlace provides a new way to buy and sell unique handmade art, gifts, goods and classes while empowering our customers to directly support or become handmade sellers themselves.”
The marketplace lets customers in the U.S. browse handmade goods such as jewelry, art and home decor, while also learning how to hone or develop their own skills, per the release.
It is designed to lower the barrier to entry and help artists and makers earn more with each sale, the release said. It also lets them take in extra income by hosting virtual classes or publishing how-to guides. If customers buy supplies mentioned in the guides from the Michaels website, the artists get a commission.
“Our research found that nearly three in four makers believe there’s a void in the online marketplace landscape today, and that existing platforms come with pain points like high upfront costs, increasing fees for product listings and competition with an overflow of mass-produced goods,” said Heather Bennett, Michaels’ executive vice president of marketing and eCommerce, in the release.
The launch of MakerPlace comes as several retailers are introducing third-party marketplaces.
“[T]he retail industry has vastly evolved, with more solutions becoming available to retailers of all sizes and verticals, enabling them to offer a much more diverse variety and well-rounded customer experiences,” PYMNTS wrote earlier this year. “That accessibility caused a movement. Now specialty retailers are looking to capitalize on their niche further by becoming platforms themselves and giving third parties distribution by allowing them to sell to their customer base.”
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