Maisonette is an expertly-curated baby and kid’s marketplace featuring the best products from around the globe: stylish clothing, top toys and gear, and home décor.
The team behind Maisonette wants to do for the children's market what Net-a-Porter and Farfetch did for designer fashion: provide hundreds of brands, from cult and international houses to little-known labels, in one online location.
How Maisonette marketplace started and how it works
This New York-based company was founded in 2017 by two mums and former U.S. Vogue editors, Sylvana Ward-Durrett and Luisana Mendoza de Roccia, with the goal of providing parents with a one-stop curated shop for everything a modern family might need for their children.
Maisonette began with preppy young children's apparel and has progressively expanded into home décor, home furniture, toys, equipment, and accessories.
Today, the company's eCommerce platform features over 1000 brands from around the globe, providing relevant, high-quality products at every price point and expert-led content tailored to every stage of parenthood.
What is Maisonette's marketplace business model?
Maisonette operates on a multi-vendor marketplace model. It is asset-lite, which means that rather than holding inventory, the company doesn’t have warehouses to manage. Instead, it partners with brands and vendors to sell its products. Orders are shipped directly to customers from the various retailers featured on Maisonette's platform. This model allows the business to scale and grow quickly while being flexible and taking risks on specific categories without it being a cost, despite the large, highly competitive, and growing market. In the U.S. alone, the children’s apparel market is estimated to be $34 billion, while globally, it amounts to $630 billion. Right now, Maisonette is selling to U.S. customers alone, however, it plans to move into international markets in the future.
The User Experience and features of Maisonette's multi-brand eCommerce website
Maisonette's website is beautifully designed with pastel colors that fit perfectly into the children's world and certainly appeal to their parents, primarily mothers, who are undoubtedly the most frequent customers.
The homepage is a perfect showcase of the entire website. At the very top, we find the most exciting information for users, such as promotions, followed by the most popular brands and categories, the best products from a given category, and the possibility to browse the offer by age (Shop by Age), which is very useful for busy parents of babies and toddlers.
At the very top of the website, there is a search bar that makes it easy to look for a specific item or browse by keywords. The mega menu offers a wide selection of categories, including Gifts and Shop by Occasion option, which is very useful for clients who have little clue about children's products and are just looking for a present for somebody else's kid.
The footer nicely contrasts in color with the rest of the page and contains links to the most essential information, such as shipping & delivery, FAQ, contact details as well as information for potential vendors (Partner With US).
The brand pages follow the same styling as the rest of the website. At the top, we have a short description of the brand and the products it offers. Thanks to filters such as category, gender, age-range, size, color, and price, users can find what interests them quickly and easily.
An interesting feature is Quick Shop, a button that appears on hover on the product in the listing and enables to immediately place it in the cart without having to visit the product page.
The category page looks similar to the brand page and has the same filters plus one extra - filter by brand.
The PDP is very stylish and contains all the necessary information and many photos of the items, both on the model and the product itself, as well as the details (i.e., patches, etc.) if there are any. The size is selected by age, but there is also a detailed Size Guide. Some cool features on the product page include a picture of the gift wrap that can be selected at checkout and recommendations of related and complimentary items (Also Bought With).
Select Gift Wrap at Checkout
Also Bought With
The cart pops up on the right side of the product page and offers information on whether the order qualifies for free shipping (and, if not, how much is missing), as well as the possibility to pay in installments with Afterpay or PayPal.
The user experience at checkout is simply unique. The Review & Order page offers the possibility to change your email, edit your cart, and add a gift message if the purchase is intended as a present. There are also several payment options available such as credit card (Visa or Mastercard), Apple Pay, PayPal, and Afterpay.
Only registered users can create Wishlists and add their favorite items. But once it is done, saved products can be easily accessed and purchased using the Quick Shop feature.
Your Mini Profile
Registered users can also create profiles of their children by adding information such as name, birth date, and gender. This will result in a personalized view of Maisonette's website and product recommendations based on these profiles.
Some products on Maisonette's marketplace are sold as bundles at a discounted price.
How to create a thriving marketplace eCommerce business like Maisonette?
Maisonette has some very powerful advocates, including NEA investor Tony Florence, who also led previous investments for Jet, Goop, and Casper. NEA is an investor in Maisonette, as is Thrive Capital and the growth-stage venture firm G Squared, and the total funding of the company amounts to nearly $50 million.
If you’re thinking about replicating in-house what Maisonette has built, stop dreaming. It’s not going to happen.
Instead, consider using a turn-key and proven solution such as Vendo to launch your own multi-brand eCommerce business at a fraction of the cost of custom development or enterprise SaaS and within days instead of months. No developers are needed.
Once live, Vendo automates everything from vendor onboarding (eg. from Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, using API or CSV files), integrating with 3rd party services (eg. Stripe, Algolia, Shippo, TaxJar), accepting buyer payments in over 135 currencies, pushing orders for fulfillment to your sellers’ stores, to seller payouts in 50 countries.
Vendo works well with a number of separate storefronts or sales channels. Either with multiple warehouses and your own fulfillment or with absolutely no inventory of your own. One platform to manage all your products, customers, orders under one roof.
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