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For Marketplaces, 2021's Black Friday Was a Merry Start to the Shopping Season

Joe Sawyer
December 3, 2021
For Marketplaces, 2021's Black Friday Was a Merry Start to the Shopping Season
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Following a lackluster Black Friday for many traditional eCommerce sites, media coverage around the globe questioned whether the once-mighty shopping holiday had lost its relevance. A closer look shows that the story isn’t so straightforward – and that, in fact, some leading merchants thrived amid sharp growth rates. Specifically, online marketplaces continued their rapid growth and captured a disproportionate share of holiday sales, satisfying the needs of shoppers seeking out the widest selection of high-quality, well-priced goods for themselves and their loved ones. During the week of Black Friday (11/22-11/29) Mirakl-powered Marketplaces generated over $207 million in GMV, a 47% increase from 2020.

This dramatic rise pushed the performance of the Mirakl Marketplace Platform to new levels, as it processed more than 2.2 million orders (up 41%) and handled 1.3 billion API calls – a 44% increase from 2020. While outages and slowdowns plagued dozens of retail websites during this critical shopping period, the Mirakl Marketplace Platform once again scaled seamlessly, delivering 100% uptime. For hundreds of Mirakl customers, like Portuguese consumer electronics retailer Worten, this scalability gave them the confidence and support that they needed to capitalize on every opportunity.

“Our customer experience is a top priority for Worten, especially as our traffic and orders exponentially grew during the high-demand period of Black Friday. The 100% uptime and zero latency of the Mirakl Marketplace Platform were critical as we scaled,” said Rita Sousa Marques, Marketplace Director for Iberia, Worten.

Black Friday sales around the world

While Mirakl marketplaces soared, traditional eCommerce sites around the world did not enjoy the same success. From sluggish sales to outright declines – and well-publicized performance challenges –  these sites experienced disappointing Black Friday results. In the United States, sales dropped for the first time ever. The same was true for most of Europe: Germany and the UK experienced a nearly 20% dip in Black Friday sales, while France was down roughly 8%.

Yet the story changes when shining a light on online marketplaces: transforming from slowing sales to unparalleled growth. Mirakl-powered Marketplaces in North America saw 46% growth on Black Friday, and 43% in Europe.

As online marketplaces continue to grow, shoppers are increasingly turning to them to fulfill their holiday needs. Mirakl’s 2021 Holiday Shopping Snapshot found that 81% of shoppers, globally, said they were open to purchasing gifts on an online marketplace, citing better prices, faster delivery, and an overall better selection as the top reasons for doing so. They’re particularly popular with high-frequency, high-value online shoppers, who plan to do more than half (57%) of their holiday shopping through marketplaces this year.

For more holiday shopping insights and trends, check out the 2021 Holiday Shopping Snapshot by Mirakl.

Marketplace model in action

Platform Pioneer Decathlon UK is a leading sporting goods retailer. While others might have scrambled this Black Friday, the marketplace model gave them the agility to respond and deliver on customer trends while also offering protection against stock shortages.

Rather than strictly relying on their own manufacturing facilities and transportation options, Decathlon UK complemented their selection with inventory from their curated assortment of third-party sellers. Through this combination, they were able to deliver shoppers the specialized products they were looking for, at competitive prices, without the associated risks (and potential headaches) of purchasing, storing, and shipping inventory ahead of time.

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"After our best Cyber Weekend in history, it further underscored the benefit of the Mirakl platform in acquiring new customers, driving increased sales, and providing our customers with a broader sports range," said Christoph Meier, Director eCommerce, Decathlon UK.Explore the Decathlon UK marketplace

A look to 2022

As eCommerce continues to take a bigger slice out of the holiday shopping pie, businesses must find a way to deliver on rising demands or potentially risk losing these customers forever. The success of our Platform Pioneers this Black Friday is proof that only the marketplace model offers them the flexibility to react to the latest trends and consistently deliver shoppers more – not just in terms of selection, but also convenience and value. Where other retailers struggle, Platform Pioneers are aligned with industry growth and positioned to win.

We are grateful for our Platform Pioneers who have already joined us and welcome those who are considering launching marketplaces of their own to reach out and learn how a marketplace can accelerate their eCommerce growth.

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Written by
Joe Sawyer
Chief Marketing Officer at Mirakl

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