Japan-based horizontal Mercari has announced Mercari Shops, a new service that lets businesses and individuals open e-commerce storefronts on its app.

The full rollout of the service will start in September, and Mercari is currently inviting applications from creators, producers, and small-business operators to open online shops. Users can open e-commerce stores on the Mercari app and manage them through smartphones to market and sell products to 19 million active users, according to the company’s announcement.

Source: Mercari

While there are no sign-up or monthly usage fees, 10% of the listed price will be charged after a product is sold.

Mercari created Mercari Shops in response to acceleration in e-commerce volume globally due to Covid-19. Offline businesses are now taking increased interest in selling online, said Mercari.

More than 40% of small businesses in Japan attributed their distance from e-commerce to lack of technical expertise and resources to run online shops, according to an attitude survey by Mercari’s app developer Souzoh.

The company planned to add a new feature this year to let businesses set up standalone online shops outside of its app.

The launch in its main Japan market was a logical first step as the business continues to report growth in revenue from its homeland compared to the U.S. where  the marketplace trails the No.1 horizontal Craigslist and OfferUp.

Mercari entered the U.S. market in 2013, one year after its launch in Japan.

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