Airmail marketplace vendor image

Airmail marketplace is an online retail platform that focuses on the sale and global shipping of products, facilitating worldwide access to a variety of items.

If you’d like to start your own marketplace like Airmail, you’re facing a buy vs build decision. So before you decide to build it in-house on top of Spree open-source, consider using Vendo which is a marketplace SaaS. Go live, start selling, iterate.

Build vs Buy a marketplace?

Open-source offers many benefits, including full ownership and the ability to tailor freely, but these come at a price. The process of developing a complete marketplace solution is both time-intensive and costly, typically requiring several months or even years. This understanding is based on our experiences with a range of marketplace initiatives.

Unless you have a significant amount of funding, it’s generally more advantageous to use a ready-made, all-in-one marketplace solution like Vendo, as suggested by an expert who has long charged for marketplace development work.

Back to the Airmail marketplace case study

Airmail, launched in 2019 by Graydon Carter, the former editor of Vanity Fair, represents a unique blend of journalism and e-commerce, distinguishing itself in the digital media landscape. As a subscription-based digital magazine, Airmail focuses on offering a diverse range of content that caters to a global audience.

The platform, known for its sophistication and a personalized touch, provides exclusive content across various domains, including politics, environment, arts, literature, and fashion, among others.

Airmail’s success can be attributed to its approach to content curation, providing readers with high-quality and insightful perspectives from some of the world’s renowned journalists. This strategy has not only informed but also engaged its audience, creating a portal to new perspectives every Saturday morning.

The platform operates as more than just a magazine; it includes an exclusive online marketplace, AIR SUPPLY, offering a curated selection of gift ideas for different occasions. This diversification into commerce has broadened Airmail’s appeal and revenue streams.

Airmail has successfully integrated technology in its operations, enhancing user experiences and opening up new revenue opportunities. For instance, Airmail Plus, an air charter marketplace, represents a significant technological advancement in the industry.

The project reengineered and simplified processes for users, potentially changing the game for air charter operators and brokers. Jerome Paradis, the inventor on a US and International patent for this project, led the development of Airmail Plus’s web application.

The global Airmail market itself has shown positive growth prospects, with the market expected to expand significantly in the coming years. The market, which was valued at several billion dollars in 2020, is projected to grow at a notable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2030. This growth is underpinned by factors such as evolving consumer behaviors, technological advancements, and the expansion of e-commerce.

How to emulate Airmail marketplace success?

To achieve a level of success similar to Airmail, you should think about launching your marketplace sooner rather than later, ideally in weeks rather than months. Check how well your range of products meets the needs of your audience. Continuously refine your customer acquisition strategies based on real experiences.

Test the waters of the market before you dive into building it yourself.

Here’s what you’d be getting with a Vendo free trial:

  • Book a marketplace demo call: We’ll set up your demo marketplace and populate it with products, so you could give it a try and start selling in 14 days
  • Customize your Storefront: Use the drag & drop page builder or custom CSS
  • Onboard Brands: Invite your brands or choose brands from our catalog
  • Select Products: Curate products and collections manually or automate it
  • Embed products: Make your content, newsletters, social media shoppable
  • Get Paid: Get paid as soon as products are shipped by the brands
  • End-to-end automation: Brands sync, fulfillment, payouts, invoicing, taxes

When you’ve tried all that and it works, start thinking about building your own, custom-made marketplace project based on Spree Commerce. First, by decoupling the storefront and going headless with Vendo marketplace API, and later with your own backend, if you decide you really need it. Just lift and shift the storefront.

Nobody has to know what’s under the hood, right?