The Company That’s Saving Retailers During The Pandemic By Launching Their Online Marketplaces – Forbes

Many major retailers have struggled to successfully operate their own ecommerce channel. The economics of ecommerce are fickle, to say the least. But there is a business model that could help embattled retailers to adapt to vastly different shopper demands that this era has brought about: for retailers to launch and operate their own online marketplaces. A software provider in that space, Mirakl, has turned that concept into a credible solution over the past few years.

 


Originally posted on 16 April, 2020 on Forbes.com

Toyota Material Handling’s eCommerce Strategy Paying Off

Using an online store, the company has seen parts sales increase by 220% year-over-year.

Savvy companies are adept at leveraging their strengths to meet changing demands.

And that’s just what Toyota Material Handling, USA Inc. (TMH), one of the largest manufacturers of industrial equipment, did when it saw that pure-play eCommerce companies were moving into the aftermarket parts business and doing well.

This was a wake-up call for the company to up its game and push forward more quickly with their digital transformation strategy.

“There are two different avenues when it comes to using eCommerce for the aftermarket business,” explains Nick Ostergaard, manager of Digital Transformation for TMH. “You can get into the direct selling game, or you can figure out a way to leverage your expertise. Because we have a strong reputation with a large customer base, we wanted to make sure that our customers were dealing with us, and not a third-party when it came to this area of the business.”

Rather than customizing its current eCommerce platform, TMH chose to work with Mirakl, a solution provider’s platform. “Partnering with Mirakl was a way to avoid any channel conflict, and also a good way to leverage the strength of our dealerships,” says Ostergaard.

Then in 2019, TMH launched its B2B parts online marketplace also built on the Mirakl Marketplace Platform. The portal, called MyToyotaStore, fulfills orders through the company’s network of authorized material handling dealers.

“It was critical for our authorized dealers to join us online in an effort to upgrade the customer experience in the material handling industry,” said Ostergaard.

Upgrading the customer experience is especially important as the use of eCommerce is now well-established. Forrester, the consulting firm, has reported that nearly 90% of business buyers are currently purchasing through an online marketplace.

In addition to the integration of that technology into the buying cycle, those who purchase the company’s customers are increasingly younger and very adept at eCommerce. “We need to be attractive to the next generation of b2b buyers who have grown up with online ordering,” says Ostergaard.

This strategy is working for TMH as the company has seen a 220% increase year-over-year with online parts sales. And one interesting statistic is that 70% of online sales are new customers.

Of course, going digital presents challenges as well. Often mature organizations are slow to adopt new ways of doing business but Ostergaard says that trial and error is the best way to adapt to new techniques.

He offers this advice when embarking on a digital transformation. “ Make sure that you engage early and often with senior management when trying new systems,” advises Ostergaard. “Involve all areas of the organization by using an advisory council structure so that there is one source to funnel information from across the company.”


Originally posted on 16 July, 2020 by Adrienne Selko, Material Handling & Logistics

France launches marketplace to manage essential products against COVID-19

French startup Mirakl usually works with e-commerce websites in order to help them build out a marketplace with third-party sellers. This time, the company has developed a marketplace called StopCOVID19.fr to centralize the supply and demand of essential products during the fight against COVID-19. The French government is backing the project.

While many French companies have promised to manufacture hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and other essential products to protect healthcare professionals and people in general, it also creates many supply chain challenges. How do you make sure that hospitals that suffer the most from shortages get essential goods in time?

StopCOVID19.fr is starting with hand sanitizer, with plans to expand to other protective goods. It helps companies and public institutions talk to each other. For instance, a chemical company has to connect with packaging manufacturers in order to store a large volume of hand sanitizer. Similarly, public and private hospitals don’t want to waste time contacting each manufacturer directly.

This isn’t an open marketplace. You have to be working for a health facility or an industrial company focused on COVID-19 protection goods. The French government screened all sellers that are currently listed on the marketplace. You have to contact Mirakl on the website to create an account.

A comprehensive marketplace could also become an essential service to analyze the country’s inventory over time. It could be particularly useful to distribute masks around the country and prepare for the end of the coronavirus lockdown.


Originally posted on 25 March, 2020 by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Mirakl and Silverback.ai Announce Deeper Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Marketplace Growth

Silverback.ai, the leading AI-driven marketplace performance engine, announced today a deeper partnership with Mirakl, the leading global marketplace platform solutions provider, which will bring more sophisticated artificial intelligence capabilities to Mirakl customers.

Through its partnership with Silverback.ai, Mirakl will be able to provide its customers with the ability to make automated data-driven decisions at scale to ensure a constant competitive offering (best sellers, best products, best prices) and to optimise promotions to rapidly accelerate growth.

Online retail is becoming more competitive, and marketplaces have come to understand the need to evolve and automate their work, particularly decision-making around product assortment, pricing, and promotions, in order to stay ahead and avoid losing time and thus leaving money on the table. By shifting from manual work to an automated, real-time, data-driven decision-making process, marketplace leaders and merchants are able to consistently offer better products, more competitive pricing, and optimised promotions, which are key to gaining a greater share of revenue. Automation eliminates slow and random decision-making and arms marketplaces with the tools to move faster, work more efficiently, and boost their bottom line.

This partnership between Mirakl and Silverback.ai speaks to the increasing role and importance of AI and automation in online retail and will give Mirakl’s over 200 customers spread across more than 40 countries the ability to not only stay ahead, but also to see real results.

“We look forward to empowering Mirakl’s customers to stay ahead of the competition, lead their businesses into the future, and drive real, bottom-line results, and we’re excited about the additional opportunities that this partnership with Mirakl will bring,” said Boaz Cohen, CEO and Co-founder of Silverback.ai.

“Mirakl’s mission is to equip our customers with everything they need to launch online marketplaces that win in the platform economy. With our unique position at the heart of the marketplace ecosystem, we know that the number of sellers and the range of products and services is crucial to the success of a marketplace strategy. We partnered with Silverback because they help our retailers, manufacturers, and distributors make data-driven decisions to broaden range and accelerate marketplace growth,” said Philippe Corrot, CEO and Co-founder of Mirakl.

About Silverback.ai: Silverback is an AI-driven sales decisions hub that empowers online retailers to offer the best product assortment at the most competitive prices and optimise promotions to be ahead of the game. Using sophisticated AI and predictive analytics, Silverback.ai makes it possible for retailers to outsmart their competition, through an updated catalog adequately stocked with top-selling products; win-win seller relationships; seamless recruitment and onboarding of new suppliers; competitive offers and pricing; and optimised promotions.

For more information: www.silverback.ai

About Mirakl: Mirakl is powering the platform economy by providing the technology, expertise, and partner ecosystem needed to launch an eCommerce marketplace. With the Mirakl Marketplace Platform, both B2B and B2C businesses can offer more, learn more and sell more: increase the number of products available for buyers, grow the lifetime value of customers, and anticipate buyer needs and preferences. Committed to ease of use, The Mirakl Marketplace Platform is a turn-key solution that’s easy to integrate into any eCommerce platform and Mirakl Catalog Manager makes managing product data quality simple at marketplace scale. Mirakl’s unmatched marketplace expertise is key to customers’ success. Mirakl employs a team of 60+ marketplace experts who help clients adopt best practices and client success provides critical long-term strategic guidance. Over 200 customers in 40 countries trust Mirakl’s proven technology and expertise including Urban Outfitters, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Best Buy Canada, Carrefour, Siemens, Toyota Material Handling USA, Inc. and Walmart Mexico.

For more information: www.mirakl.com


Originally posted on 23 October, 2019 by VentureBeat

Mirakl and Silverback Partnership to bring AI to marketplaces

Silverback have announced a deeper partnership with the Mirakl marketplace platform, which will offer more sophisticated artificial intelligence capabilities to Mirakl customers.

Through its partnership with Silverback, Mirakl will be able to provide its customers with the ability to make automated data-driven decisions at scale to ensure a constant competitive offering (best sellers, best products, best prices) and to optimise promotions to rapidly accelerate growth.

Retailers running marketplaces have come to understand the need to evolve and automate their work, particularly decision-making around product assortment, pricing, and promotions, in order to stay ahead and avoid losing time and thus leaving money on the table. By shifting from manual work to an automated, real-time, data-driven decision-making process, marketplace leaders and merchants are able to consistently offer better products, more competitive pricing, and optimised promotions, which are key to gaining a greater share of revenue. Automation eliminates slow and random decision-making and arms marketplaces with the tools to move faster, work more efficiently, and boost their bottom line.

“Mirakl’s mission is to equip our customers with everything they need to launch online marketplaces that win in the platform economy. With our unique position at the heart of the marketplace ecosystem, we know that the number of sellers and the range of products and services is crucial to the success of a marketplace strategy. We partnered with Silverback because they help our retailers, manufacturers, and distributors make data-driven decisions to broaden range and accelerate marketplace growth.”
– Philippe Corrot, CEO and Co-founder, Mirakl

This partnership between Mirakl and Silverback speaks to the increasing role and importance of AI and automation in online retail and will give Mirakl’s over 200 customers spread across more than 40 countries the ability to not only stay ahead, but also to see real results.

“We look forward to empowering Mirakl’s customers to stay ahead of the competition, lead their businesses into the future, and drive real, bottom-line results, and we’re excited about the additional opportunities that this partnership with Mirakl will bring.”
– Boaz Cohen, CEO and Co-founder, Silverback


Originally posted on 24 October, 2019 by Chris Dawson, Tamebay

How Bunnings is about to take a major step in its growth

Bunnings is about to embark on a massive growth phase, as the hardware giant prepares to enter the world of “marketplace” retailing.

One of the world’s fastest-growing retail concepts, “marketplace” is the model whereby a retailer or operator sells products supplied by third parties, but holds no stock of those products itself.

Think the likes of Amazon, eBay and China’s Alibaba, which offer millions of products but hold few to no items themselves, and either take a commission on each sale or charge suppliers a subscription fee – or both.

It’s one of the hottest things in retail right now, with many of the world’s leading companies either beefing up their current platforms, or gearing up to launch their own marketplace offering.

Bunnings is aiming to launch its marketplace platform, MarketLink, in November.

While it is tight-lipped about what specific suppliers or products will be on offer, managing director Mike Schneider earlier this month referred vaguely to “indoor furniture, whitegoods and kitchen appliances, home entertainment, kitchenware and homeware” as just some examples.

But as Mr Schneider put it, the retailer is ultimately aiming to offer “everything from the front gate to the back fence”.

Tzipi Avioz, a senior executive with Mirakl, the company providing the technology and market know-how for Bunnings’ MarketLink, told The New Daily that while an e-commerce retailer can typically stock around 40,000 items within a conventional online platform, a marketplace can accommodate more like two million products.

Bunnings will begin with a modest 8000 lines, but Amazon offers about 12 million, according to US retail trade magazine Retail Touchpoints.

Ms Avioz said the growth in marketplace has been – and will continue to be – sizeable, with marketplace sales as a percentage of total digital sales globally having doubled in the past nine years.

In 2018, online marketplaces accounted for 52 per cent of global e-commerce sales and sold more merchandise than all stand-alone retail websites combined, she pointed out.

Ms Avioz added that global research firm Gartner has predicted that more than half the world’s online sellers will adopt marketplaces or include third-party sales in their e-commerce platforms by 2020, and overall, a staggering one in five companies will be a marketplace operator within the next five years.

While online sales totalled $28.6 billion in 2018, that’s expected to grow to $35.2 billion by 2021, with much of that growth originating from the marketplace sector, Ms Avioz said. And Australia is part of that picture.

She singled out online retailer Catch.com.au as an example.

“Catch Group launched a Mirakl marketplace in June 2017 and has since become Australia’s third-largest online retailer, with nearly $200 million in sales,” she noted.

“By comparison, Amazon Australia is the 15th largest. And 40 per cent of Catch’s sales are driven by its marketplace, which has grown from 35,000 products to two million … and [it has] doubled its customer base in just two years.”

Ms Avioz explains marketplace as essentially “building a business within a business … to grow their reach and number of products and services they are selling from other suppliers” that can deliver massive growth to established companies.

That’s particularly the case for Bunnings, whose digital offering has lagged the market, until it flagged a major revamp of its digital sales platform, with 55,000 products scheduled to go online before Christmas.

Ms Avioz said the marketplace model had also been found to not only add to the size of orders by 15 per cent, but also boost a company’s in-store sales by 7 per cent.

But is there a flip side to marketplace?

Online retail commentator Colin Barnard said the advantages of the marketplace model were undisputed. At least for the retailer, and for many “mom and pop” suppliers who might find it harder to access the market.

Mr Barnard, who works with online advertising company Criteo, said the mass and volume of a marketplace platform enabled companies to “get to know the customers better” because it increased the frequency of their visits to a site, more so than in the case of a specialised or single-category retailer.

That allowed a retailer to gather a huge amount of data about a consumer’s behaviour, which in turn enabled them to target customers more specifically and entice them into return visits and purchases.

“The marketplace brings a lot of benefits in that ‘customer relationship management’, whereby a buyer can be prompted with an ‘other customers also bought this’ messages, for example,” Mr Barnard said.

Certainly, Ms Avioz said that research on some marketplace platforms found that they boosted an average online sale by 15 per cent and in-store sales by 7 per cent.

But Mr Barnard said there was also a concern that the growth of marketplace might lead to an unhealthy rationalisation of the online market that could ultimately see the bulk of the world’s online transactions concentrated among a handful of players.

And in the case of high-selling lines, there was also the risk that the platform operator could begin manufacturing those products themselves, effectively cutting out suppliers or manufacturers.


Originally posted on 23 October, 2019 by Mike Bruce, The New Daily

Discover new marketplaces to sell on with Mirakl Connect

Finding the main marketplaces to sell on is relatively easy in the UK – there’s eBay and Amazon, some specialist sites like Etsy, NotOnTheHighStreet and Yumbles, and some newcomers such as OnBuy and Flubit and Fruugo. What’s harder is finding marketplaces run by retailers as they are not so highly promoted and in many cases aren’t known for running a marketplace. To solve this problem for the marketplaces that they power, Mirakl have launched Mirakl Connect.

The aim of Mirakl Connect is to be a global marketplace ecosystem bringing together the Marketplace community. It is the first professional networking platform where Marketplaces and Sellers can meet and start doing business together. By joining Mirakl’s global marketplace community, Sellers can quickly search, contact and register on Mirakl-powered Marketplaces. Mirakl Connect is free to join and use for Sellers with three main aims:

  • Promote your business to all Mirakl-powered Marketplaces on a global scale
  • Engage, from one place, with new Marketplaces that can boost their online business
  • Accelerate your sales growth across Mirakl-powered Marketplaces

Since launch in June, 38 registered marketplaces shipping to Europe and North America have signed up with 550 registered sellers looking for new opportunities. This has resulted in 850 connections between Sellers and Marketplaces.

Number opportunities on Mirakl Connect

We’ve taken a look at some of the categories and marketplaces on Mirakl Connect to give you a flavour of the opportunities for your products. The first table shows the number of marketplace opportunities for each category and the second lists some of the marketplaces you may wish to connect with.

discover marketplaces on Mirakl Connect

Category
Number of marketplaces
Category
Number of marketplaces
Home & Garden 27 Luggage & Bags 26
Toys & Games 24 Furniture 23
Electronics 23 Apparel & Accessories 20
Health & Beauty 18 Baby & Toddler 18
Sporting Goods 16 Cameras & Optics 16
Office Supplies 14 Hardware 14
Animals & Pet Supplies 13 Arts & Entertainment 12

 

Marketplaces on Mirakl Connect
Afound Anthropologie Best Buy BHV
Carrefour Catch Conforama ePRICE
Darty fonQ Galeries Lafayette Go Sport
HARVEY NICHOLS J.Crew METRO Nature & Découvertes
PcComponentes Phone House Urban Outfitters Worten

You can sign up for a free seller account on Mirakl Connect here.


Originally posted on 12 September, 2019 by Chris Dawson, Tamebay

Mirakl launches Mirakl Connect – a global marketplace ecosystem

Mirakl, a SaaS marketplace platform has launched Mirakl Connect, a global marketplace ecosystem. The marketplace is a digital platform connecting marketplace operators with sellers and partners to support the launch and growth of new platform strategies.

An online marketplace brings third-party sellers together into a single eCommerce platform. This allows consumers to shop from multiple sellers through a single portal with a unified checkout. The model is quickly gaining user attention. Forrester data shows that marketplace sales already account for more than 50% of online transactions. Forrester’s research suggests the growth trend is on track to reach nearly 70% by 2022.

Tapping into the global marketplace ecosystem boom

Marketplaces have taken an increasing share of online retail sales: 56% of B2C online retail spend came from marketplaces in 2017. This report used the Forrester Analytics Online Marketplace Tracker methodology to examine 11 marketplaces across 16 countries. it aimed to understand their share of the B2C eCommerce market and their growth trends from 2015 to 2018. The Forrester report also looked at marketplace expansion and brick-and-mortar stores’ increasing investment in and sales through marketplaces.

According to Gartner by 2023, the majority of online sellers will list their products with marketplaces.

However, achieving success in the global marketplace ecosystem depends upon first having an effective technology as a foundation. In addition, it is important to find and connect with the right partners and sellers. This is where Mirakl Connect comes in. Bringing together, in a single platform, a global marketplace community of:

  • Mirakl-powered marketplace operators
  • Marketplace sellers
  • Partners offering services and technology solutions with experience in the marketplace space

Removing another barrier to entry

(Image credit/Linkedin/Antonio Parisi)
Antonio Parisi, Marketplace Director at UBALDI

According to Antonio Parisi, Marketplace Director at UBALDI, “Mirakl is leading the marketplace revolution. Essentially it is giving any online business the ability to leverage the same strategy and technology that turned Amazon into the world’s biggest online retailer.”

Parisi added, “With Mirakl Connect, they’re making it even easier for companies to accelerate.  By effectively removing the biggest barrier to entry and growth. Essentially, finding the right partners that meet our marketplace requirements in terms of product categories and geography.

Based in France, ULBADI is a digital network and a real network of specialised physical stores, at the forefront of technology based.

Mirakl Connect accelerates interactions between marketplace players, allowing them to:

  • Promote their business to increase visibility in the marketplace industry.
  • Make new connections and engage with potential marketplace business partners all in one place.
  • Accelerate the launch and growth of their marketplace activity.

Mirakl Connect is free and provides key features that help platform members accelerate and succeed in their marketplace business, including:

  • A curated marketplace community with access to global players in a single platform.
  • A company profile that allows members to create and manage a profile to promote their business.
  • Search capabilities that help members easily and quickly find new prospects with filters like product category or geography.
  • Built-in chat function, allowing members to conveniently engage and discuss new opportunities with one another.

Mirakl Connect is bridging the gap between operators, sellers and third-party partners. This enables the kind of partnerships that allow everyone to capitalise on the huge marketplace business opportunity,” said Mirakl US CEO and co-founder Adrien Nussenbaum.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business?

According to international analyst groups, businesses must re-imagine their digital commerce strategies by using emerging technologies and business models. According to Gartner, new business models – marketplaces will enable sellers to generate revenue streams and focus on customer outcomes.

Gartner predicts that “By 2023, 15% of medium-to high-GMV digital commerce organisations will have deployed their own marketplaces. Thereby creating a digital ecosystem on their path to digital business.” Gartner identifies the emerging technologies and business models that are resulting in success for innovative digital commerce organisations.

For businesses, and retailers in particular, keeping all your options open is the sensible course in this extremely competitive marketplace. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to expand your current marketplace, businesses have to explore these platform options. They provide an opportunity to connect business with the right suppliers. Connecting to the right partners, is an essential ingredient required by organisations to achieving growth goals or revenue targets.


Originally posted on 10 June, 2019 by Roy Edwards, Enterprise Times