Harnessing the Power of the Marketplace Model to Support Small and Local Businesses

Eva Bearryman - November 5, 2020

While the pandemic has highlighted the unique power of the platform economy to defy economic slowdown, the lockdown has also put a spotlight on how small and local businesses stand to lose out if they don’t have a solid online sales channel. 

It is vital to harness the full potential of the marketplace model for the benefit of these small and local companies that are suffering as a consequence of Covid-19.

In order to respond to increased online shopping, retailers are changing tack. They can no longer afford to be dependent on their brick-and-mortar stores, and are looking instead to how they can grow their eCommerce offering. As millions of people across the world now work from home, retailers want to extend their ranges at speed and start selling new product categories in response to changing consumer trends. How? By onboarding third-party sellers on an online marketplace.

Small and local companies that do not have the capacity to launch an online sales channel in time for the second lockdown and Black Friday 2020 can still reap the benefits of the marketplace model.

Platform Pioneer Carrefour France has provided the perfect example of how. In a groundbreaking move, Carrefour France announced this week that, with the support of Mirakl, the company is opening up its online grocery marketplace for free to small and local businesses until the end of 2020. The end goal is to help these companies continue to operate during the lockdown, while simultaneously bringing loyal consumers the products they need and want during a difficult time.

Launched in June this year, the Mirakl-powered Carrefour France Marketplace was built as part of the company’s innovative digitalisation strategy and ambition to become the leader in grocery and farm-to-table e-commerce.

With expert technical support from Mirakl, these companies can digitalize their business in one week so they can sell their grocery, cleaning, healthcare and beauty, pet care and childcare products for free during lockdown. Sellers have access to an existing client base of 15 million consumers who visit every month, all without having to urgently set up their own online channel or incurring any related marketing costs.

The move comes as the French government called on companies to ramp up their digitalization efforts in order to help small and local businesses selling ‘non-essential’ products to resist the negative effects of lockdown after store closures. By launching this initiative, Carrefour is confirming its position as a digital transformation leader in the grocery eCommerce sector.

Join the Platform Revolution

In the first 9 months of 2020 Mirakl customers defied the Covid-19 economic slowdown, onboarding more than 50 new customers. And Mirakl-powered Marketplaces are on track to achieve $3.5B GMV by the end of this year.

Now is the time to create or join a marketplace.

For operators looking to support small and local companies during the lockdown, seize the opportunity to onboard them to your marketplace. The Mirakl Connect ecosystem of operators, curated sellers and partners provides a unique opportunity to accelerate your seller onboarding process. Once set up, new sellers will be able to bring your customers the products they want at speed, all in time for the Black Friday rush and without extra stock and warehouse costs for you.

For small and local companies looking to cope with store closures and still maximize sales during the 2020 holiday sales period, the sooner you can start selling through existing marketplaces the better. This will allow you to benefit from an existing customer base and avoid urgent, upfront costs to develop your own online sales channel. You can also join the Mirakl Connect ecosystem, through which you can promote your business to all 200 Mirakl-powered marketplaces across the globe and engage with Partners that can boost your business. And the icing on the cake - reduce your dependence on Amazon and Alibaba.

Power your digital transformation by joining the platform revolution.

Eva Bearryman,
Communications, PR & Content Manager

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