New marketplace for Everything Caravan and Camping makes its debut

Online community group and retail products manufacturer and distributor launch marketplace offering

Leisure-Tec Australia CEO, Paul Widdis
Leisure-Tec Australia CEO, Paul Widdis

An Australian social network-based community is taking its first steps in the retail arena, launching an online marketplace of products for caravan and camping enthusiasts.  

Everything Caravan and Camping is a seven-year-old online-based community group that’s grown to more than 700,000 members and focuses on information, tips and recommendations for both activities. Its new marketplace offering has been built and designed by lifestyle products manufacturer and distributor, Leisure-Tec Australia, and is powered by Marketplacer’s technology platform.  

The marketplace launches this week with 2000 products from 15 vendors and expects to bring on more products as the year progresses. Its target market is the growing caravan and camping space, worth an estimated $24 billion annually, which includes 800,000 registered caravans across the country.  

Leisure-Tec Australia CEO, Paul Widdis (pictured), said the aim is to become an invaluable resource for this part of the travel and tourism sector. With more Australians choosing to holiday domestically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, growth prospects for the outdoor, caravan and camping sector remained very strong, he said.  

“It’s all about helping people to find and purchase the products they need to enhance their outdoor experiences,” he said. “We are planning toquickly ramp up both the number of items offered through the marketplace as well as the number of vendors providing them during 2022 and beyond.”  

A key element of the new marketplace is showcasing Australian-made equipment. “This will help customers who are keen to support domestic businesses but who may not be aware that some exist,” Widdis continued.  

To celebrate its debut, customer discounts including a store-wide ‘welcome discount’ of 10 per cent on sign up to the website and a ‘launch discount’ of 10 per cent across the store are on offer.  

Future plans also include incorporating access to service providers plus recommendations on equipment maintenance as well as insurance.  

“Currently, it can be a challenge to find appropriate servicing facilities and support for caravans and associated equipment,” Widdis said. “Through the site, people will be able to access everything they need and ensure their equipment is operating at peak performance at all times.”  

Widdis said Leisure-Tec Australia’s investment in the new site is a central plank in the company’s plans for growth. Part of the Truma Group of companies, Leisure-Tec distributes the Truma, myCoolman and Milenco brands.  

Marketplacer was chosen as the technology provider because of the combination of flexibility, scalability and local support. Key features include the ability to quickly upload details of products to the site, real-time stock availability information and multiple delivery option support.  

“We spoke with a number of existing Marketplacer users and quickly discovered that the platform offered all the features and capabilities that we required,” Widdis said. “From signing a contract to the site going live, our project was completed in just six months.”

Widdis told CMO the team has a number of internal targets around customer numbers and sales targets with a vision of exceptional growth in the first year.

"There are a number of promotions and new targets to ensure our customers can get the best out of their caravan and camping experience," he said. "This has been a significant investment in not only the Marketplacer technology but also in terms of staff numbers in the areas of marketing, technology including world class, third-party software and analytics, supply chain and product specialists to ensure customers and our partners can access and utilise the site in a quick and easy way."

Marketplacer executive chair, Jason Wyatt, said the Everything Caravan & Camping portal was a fantastic example of how ecommerce was reshaping the way people locate and purchase goods.  

“It meets the needs of an enthusiastic and active community and will continue to grow during coming years,” said Wyatt.

Check out more of CMO's stories on brands taking a marketplace approach:

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