Retailers across the globe are facing a complicated macroeconomic landscape this holiday shopping season, with rising inflation and economic uncertainty leading to unpredictable customer behaviors – and questions about retailers’ bottom lines. Will shoppers cut costs on gifts, or take advantage of sales to stock up on high-value goods? Will they shop early, or wait in hope of bigger discounts? And how will they spend on eCommerce versus in-store shopping?
Now that Cyber Week 2022 (the week ending Monday, November 28) has come to a close, the numbers are showing that there are clear winners – and losers – in eCommerce this year. The differentiator: the enterprise marketplace model.
For the hundreds of companies operating marketplaces globally, Cyber Week was an overwhelming success, growing 53% year-over-year – while at the same time, overall eCommerce sales grew by just 2% globally. This dramatic growth shows that platforms are the model of the future, and traditional retail rules no longer apply in today’s economy.
Marketplace growth outperforms eCommerce by 26x
An analysis of hundreds of Mirakl-powered Marketplaces across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia found that during Cyber Week, marketplaces outperformed overall eCommerce by 26x globally. Growth was consistently seen across regions, with sales growing by 67% in North America and 44% in Europe. All of the shoppers browsing the 300+ marketplaces powered by Mirakl resulted in 1.6 billion API calls on the Mirakl Marketplace Platform (+23% over 2021), which scaled flawlessly during this new peak in orders, handling 23 billion product updates and maintaining 100% uptime throughout the week.
Twin forces powered online marketplace growth during Cyber Week. First, there was a surge in the total number of marketplace and drop ship orders placed on Mirakl-powered Marketplaces this year, reaching 2.3 million, a 30% increase over 2021. At the same time, average order value on marketplaces increased significantly, jumping by close to 20% year-over-year. Personalization technologies offered an extra boost to retailers’ bottom lines, making curated recommendations to help marketplace shoppers discover more of what they were looking for. Retailers using Target2Sell’s recommendation engine saw 10% of orders containing recommended products.
Behind this incredible growth are retailers that recognize what the rest of the industry has been slower to acknowledge: marketplaces are the only way to meet customers’ need for selection, price and high quality of service, achieve consistent profitable growth, and not only survive but thrive in today’s economy. Here, we take a look at two of Mirakl’s Platform Pioneers to get greater insight into how they’ve transformed their businesses with the eCommerce model of the future.
Verishop: Partnering with marketplace sellers to power Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales growth
Fast-growing U.S. retailer Verishop was founded three years ago with the goal of being more than just an eCommerce platform. The aim was to create and elevate a community of independent and emerging brands through an entire support system – helping brands drive sales, improve profitability, and maximize efficiency. Since launch, the company's marketplace has grown from 150 to over 4,000 brand partners. These brand partners have been vital to Verishop's continued growth and vice-versa. Over the past two years, the retailer has been steadily expanding its assortment, and its group of curated indie and emerging designers.
For this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, Verishop worked in lock-step with its sellers, who participated in site-wide sales and promotions in women’s & men’s fashion, beauty, home, and more. These close working relationships allowed the platform to offer new categories and products while preserving what Verishop customers expect: a place to discover an always-expanding assortment of products and designers they can’t find anywhere else with 24/7 customer support.
“The number one comment we hear from our shoppers is that they love Verishop because they discover things that cannot be found anywhere else. While there has been significant investment in the digital creator economy, there has been little in the way of support for the creators of brands who are building exceptional physical product," said Imran Khan, co-founder and CEO of Verishop. "Attracting and supporting these independent and emerging brands so they can thrive, and keeping our shoppers engaged with the best experience possible is our number one priority. eCommerce is a gigantic market opportunity and our aim is to ensure that this passionate engagement continues to define Verishop.”
home24: Scaling Cyber Week sales with a wider selection of products and categories
Leading pure-play home & living eCommerce platform home24 operates across Europe and Brazil, offering a unique selection of large and small furniture pieces, garden furniture, mattresses and lighting. The launch of its marketplace in July 2022 brought a vastly expanded assortment from 100+ curated third-party sellers to customers in Germany, adding products across the accessories, garden equipment, furniture and home textiles categories. Marketplaces in Austria, France and Switzerland are launching throughout Q4 2022, enabling home24 to expand its range quickly and significantly without having to build up additional inventory.
During Cyber Week, the marketplace has already proven an essential strategy to scaling offers and growing the business.
“For Black Friday this year, we were in the best possible position to respond to heightened consumer demand during the busy period thanks to the 100,000+ additional products we have added to our site since the launch of the marketplace this summer,” said Tobias van der Linden, Vice President Commercial Growth, home24. “We also saw an increase in customers taking advantage of the new product categories we have added thanks to the marketplace, and I was especially happy to see that our sellers participated in our daily deals with hundreds of products during the last weeks.”
Building a more agile, resilient and profitable eCommerce strategy for the holiday season and beyond
For any business still debating when and how to implement its own marketplace strategy, this year’s Cyber Week performance is a wake-up call. The retailers across the globe that outperformed expectations did so by embracing transformation and launching online marketplaces of their own. If you’re ready to not just survive, but thrive, in the new digital economy, contact the Mirakl team.