The end of 2019 would have been a challenging time to open a retail store, but it turns out that it wasn’t such a bad time to launch a new “digital trade show” e-commerce company.  Trada was initially only active in Australia, starting out with 40 Australian brands and 100 Australian retailers, but last month the company opened the virtual doors of its American B2B business.  The U.S. has recently seen exponential growth in wholesale digital marketplaces such as Faire, Tundra, Bulletin, Juniper and Hello Abound, fueled in part by a reluctance to travel to actual trade shows during the pandemic.

Co-founder Ankit Oberoi, who spoke to me via Zoom from Singapore this week, said that Trada is trying to get a foothold in the American marketplace by offering retailers free shipping on all orders this year. In order to attract more vendors, they are waiving their usual commissions and credit card fees through December 31, 2021. 

Free shipping across the board is an attractive offer, especially given the fact that freight costs on heavier products can significantly erode profit margins. At the moment there are a couple hundred vendors on the site, although more undoubtedly be joining.  I had originally hoped that Trada would include some Australian products, but the American version for practical reasons will be made up of domestic vendors.

Shekhar Raju, the other co-founder of Trada, is a product manager at Intuit, the company that owns Quickbooks – and in fact Trada is now a subsidiary this corporation. That means that Trada’s entry into the U.S. market has considerable resources behind it.  Time will tell how they find their niche in this competitive field.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

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