Inside the Launch of Click Central with Mark Gray

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 12 May 2021

Click Central is no ordinary marketplace. In honour of the upcoming launch, we sat down with Mark Gray, Director of Click Central, to discuss the venture a little further.

Click Central is an arm of the iconic Click Frenzy, the online sales event that induces frenetic energy from its customers across the country. Since 2012, Click Frenzy has showcased leading brands and categories spanning fashion, beauty, lifestyle, home decor and travel.

Click Frenzy is now taking the next step forward by launching its own digital marketplace – Click Central. This aims to extend its events, allowing the business to reach new customers and reward its most loyal shoppers.

“Click Frenzy has the existing knowledge of how to please its customers,” Mark Gray, the Director of Click Central, tells us. The new marketplace aims to further accelerate the growth for participating brands with ‘365 days” of access to the Click Frenzy customer base.

So, why is this the right time for the online platform to launch Click Central? A trend expanding globally is the spike in marketplace creation, as Gray explains. “The market is getting a little bit flooded with the different niches and types of marketplaces. There’s a small window to come in and create something really different that doesn’t already exist in the online marketplace landscape.”

In the last 12 months, the attitude towards online shopping has shifted dramatically. Although millions of Aussies widely adopted it before the pandemic, the need for e-commerce skyrocketed throughout lockdown, accelerating growth by approximately five years in the span of a few months.

This certainly isn’t Mark Gray’s first rodeo. He has previous experience working with some of the leading marketplaces in Australia and worldwide. His past roles include helping to launch both Catch marketplace here in Australia and TheMarket.com in New Zealand. As Managing Director for Australasia at ChannelAdvisor, Mark worked directly with eBay, Amazon, TradeMe, China’s TMall, South Korea’s GMarket and Japan’s Rakuten to name a few.

With so much experience in the landscape, Gray has learned the ‘best in class’ lessons in marketplaces – as far as what does and doesn’t work – and how to replicate it across channels. “Every online marketplace has its focus and what makes it a little bit distinctive, but what I’ve learned over the years is that whilst the customer experience is important, it’s really about creating the opportunity for the merchants and brands to retain more control about how they showcase their offerings. Giving merchants the ability to tell their story and to be discovered leads to a better customer experience. In the end, this builds credibility and confidence with their purchase. It’s not just about who is the cheapest, but who gives the best overall experience!”

“[Click Central] will create an ecosystem where merchants can coexist profitably and be able to add more depth and breadth of content to product listings,” he explains. Click Frenzy, which has been in the game since 2012, has a ‘devout’ and ‘effective’ database, with over 1.6 million Australian shoppers under its belt. Furthermore, the company says it’s likely on track to reach 30+ percent growth for FY21, without any revenue from the marketplace.

The marketplace landscape has been inundated over the last few years by retailers such as Amazon, Catch, Kogan and many others getting in on the game. So, what makes Click Central a standout in such a diverse field? “Specifically within Australia, you’ll see the lion’s share of marketplaces focus strictly on price and deals,” he says.

“While price is important, it’s just one aspect of the customer journey and experience.  We want to avoid, The Race to the Bottom on price discounting pushed by other marketplaces, where discounting is the only focus. We are determined to add another level of value to the customer.

Click Central doesn’t plan to follow the standard marketplace playbook, Gray tell us. Merchants joining the marketplace will benefit from massive volumes of traffic generated during the Click Frenzy events. On top of this, Click Central will be launching a different type of loyalty program coined, Friends with Benefits.  This invitation-only program will allow more customers to engage and purchase products, the higher the reward tier. 

“What Click Frenzy is going to bring to the table is more of a focus, not just on price, but focus on quality, known brands that give it a more upper-tier experience; a first-class experience. Customers can come in and find everyday products, but sitting alongside that are going to be distinctive brands, many of whom are not currently working with any other marketplace.”

Click Central is on track to launch in the first half of 2021.

Disclosure: Click Frenzy Pty Ltd is owned by Global Marketplace, the parent company of Power Retail.

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