Even for retailers that are far along in their omnichannel transformation, operating a marketplace remains more complicated than developing an e-commerce site. To take advantage of this market and avoid its pitfalls, solutions are being perfected by marketplace experts and e-commerce service providers. More and more players are positioning themselves. In early 2021, Cdiscount launched a marketplace solutions publisher activity in addition to its operator role. With the acquisition of Atonic in early 2022, Salesforce will in turn internalize this ability.
As the market is above all a volume market, embarking on this activity implies carrying capacity, extreme consistency in the different stages, as well as significant marketing and technological maturity. “Even being selective about sellers and their products, the offer becomes so important that retailers who engage in a market logic must scale to succeed in the operation. They have no choice but to become programmatic. Providing products from other vendors to meet 100% of customer needs in one theme is an organizational and customer experience revolution. Retailers must be careful not to dilute their brand specifics in a universe where part of the customer experience mechanically escapes.”explains Régis Quintin, director of Commerce Cloud for Western Europe at Adobe, whose Adobe Experience Cloud platform concentrates front-end e-commerce solutions, customer data and knowledge.. So many tools that allow you to configure marketing automation, attract customers and personalize their experience, relaunch them at the right time…
Technology at the service of fluidity
For faster connection between third-party sellers and marketplaces, Mirakl is releasing several new features this fall, including a FastTrack Onboarding feature, which automates the creation of stores and offers for existing products. “The validation of the company’s Know Your Customer (KWC) and the import of its catalog on our customers’ platform will be done in a few clicks within our ecosystem. Operators will be able to add relevant third-party sellers even faster and recruited sellers sell quickly across multiple markets.”, highlights Isabelle Bénard, product director at Mirakl. The French unicorn is also investing in the “payment” aspect with a Payout solution that will manage the regulatory and financial complexity for marketplace operators who need to pay their sellers internationally. On the consumer relationship side, its new AI-powered Customer Care Intelligence tool identifies critical after-sales service requests that require quick operator intervention.
The grouping of many brands within a huge catalog implies a precise management of information and product categories. Through its ability to analyze text and images, AI automates the categorization of products, for example, bringing together in the same category what one brand will call “sneakers” and another “sneakers”. In this hyper-supply world, quality content is needed: “ Industrial design integrates the marketing and commercial representations of a product from a very early age. It helps to present multiple looks or an exploded view of the product’s features, which increases your chances of being sold, notes Grégoire Pauty, Evangelist and Business Designer at Adobe. Amazon uses 3D so products provide an immersive experience and can be seen from all angles. This restriction imposed on product repositories is also an opportunity to sell services to companies that want to host on the marketplace.. The algorithms that run in the product repository also allow for very in-depth analysis of the part of the offer that is not sold…
In this extended enterprise model, Data must flow easily between the brand, retailer and marketplace operator so that everyone can securely access the information they have a right to consult. “ The cloud platform approach removes restrictions and allows clear data management to understand what is happening with sellers, work on personalization and loyalty, advance to increasingly complex universes. Technology also makes it possible to opt for product and price driven marketing or focus more on the customer through experience.”adds Sébastien Zins, Salesforce’s Director of Cloud Marketing.
Second-hand focus and BtoB
Marketplaces embrace major consumer and retail trends. Origami Marketplace, which notably develops second-hand marketplaces, is launching a solution ahead of summer designed with retail specialist Proximis that integrates second-hand into the customer journey with a unified shopping cart. “Second hand is a new growth lever, but some brands are afraid to cannibalize their offering again. The unified basket restores circularity between these two segmentsargues Antoine Meunier, growth marketing manager for this publisher. When a customer buys second-hand, their loyalty kit can, for example, be credited with a bonus amount to spend on the new brand offer or on products sold under your own brand. Or even be used on other group sites. » The unified basket also allows the brands in the chain to have an overview of the stocks to be taken from a store on the other side of France for a product that is not available in the region of the customer who places an order online or offers the he collects in click and collects an item in stock in the shop near him.
In this volume market, great rigor is required to successfully operate and control the customer experience.
A new horizon is opening up in BtoB. “In marketplaces, purchasing departments can place different suppliers in competition in the same place, whether in terms of price or the time of supply of the products sought in a logic of speed of service”, says Regis Quintin. For its professional customers in the European Union, Mirakl is launching a central lender feature that will simplify your shopping in the market. ” Companies do not want to create a vendor account in their ERP tools for each actor they will work with. With A lender, the market operator acts as a lender, the customer maintains depth of market choice, and sellers set their own price »explains Isabelle Bénard. By expanding its field of activity to the professional sphere, marketplaces remain in the e-commerce universe. No doubt hoping to conquer other universes, for example in mobility, or to find a place in physical points of sale.