This week, Facebook announced Facebook Marketplace – a new service for selling, ahhh, pretty much anything. Eager users posted ads for everything from furniture to marijuana (see this NY Times article). Trying to get on the site today proved impossible, with a “we’ll be back soon” message coming upon my phone. No doubt they’ll get that cleaned up quickly, but Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO of Mirakl, weighed in with his thoughts on it.
Mirakl, the leading marketplace platform provider, today announced that Darty, a leading European electronics retailer, is seeing better visibility in search, greater profit margins and new category growth after implementing the Mirakl Marketplace Solution in 2014. According to a new case study published by Forrester Research1, Darty attributes its marketplace success to buy in from C-level support and the foresight to start with non-overlapping product categories, dedicate adequate employee resources and take advantage of Mirakl’s marketplace platform versus custom building their own solution.
Mirakl is proud to once again achieve validation for IBM Websphere Commerce Server (WCS) on Cloud. eCommerce is increasingly important to manufacturers, brands, retailers and others. With the success of marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba, and Etsy, more and more organizations are extending eCommerce with a Marketplace of their own. Mirakl makes it simple and cost-effective for IBM WCS customers to add a Marketplace to existing eCommerce sites.
Consumers today demand frictionless commerce. Educated, informed, and empowered, they are also short of time and easily frustrated by even the slightest hiccup in the purchasing process. Simply put, consumers have come to expect a wide array of product choices with high availability and a fair, competitive price. This can be a tall order for an eCommerce site to deliver directly to the customer:
- Providing a wide breadth of product choices is an expensive and risky proposition.
- High availability requires investment in inventory and logistics capabilities that can cut into margins and increase risk.
- Competitive prices are reliant on an efficient market, which requires multiple offers simultaneously. Customers have full visibility into pricing and will leave a site if the price is not competitive.
A Marketplace exists to allow customers to find what they are looking for, at the optimal price and with the best quality service. The retailer finds and recruits third-party sellers as a way to extend product range and offer more choice to customers in a single platform. There are three keys to a successful Marketplace:
- Large product catalog – customers must be able to find the product they are looking for.
- Fair Price – a price does not have to be the lowest price in order to win, but it does have to be aligned with the market.
- Great Buying Experience – there must be good quality product information, short shipping lead-time, great customer service, and seller information transparency.
Mirakl Marketplace Platform enables IBM WebSphere Commerce customers to quickly expand reach via a scalable omni-channel Marketplace. Mirakl’s feature-rich and easy-to-use Marketplace Platform allows retailers to easily increase retail product breadth and seamlessly on-board third-party sellers. Mirakl’s connector for WCS allows IBM customers to quickly add on additional sellers without the inconvenience of cost, deadlines and infrastructure. Mirakl’s functions are mapped directly to WCS, simplifying the process of adding and managing a Marketplace. The Mirakl Marketplace Platform Connector for IBM WCS includes:
- Mirakl Marketplace Management – allows the marketplace operator (IBM customer) access the back-office functions (e.g. seller management, activity monitoring) that steer the marketplace.
- Mirakl Catalog Integrator – transforms merchants’ product catalogs to a format easily readable and integrated with IBM Websphere Commerce.
- Mirakl Seller Portal – allows merchants to directly manage their stores on the marketplace (e.g. products and offers, orders).
Marketplace sales are generally 2x more profitable than retail sales, driving up overall gross margin. Marketplaces also drive increased web and store traffic and improved conversation rate. According to Forrester Research, in 2013 in Europe, websites hosting online marketplaces enjoyed growth rates that were double than those without. Marketplaces now account for up to 50% of overall online transactions. Mirakl’s pricing model ensures ROI – it is based on the success of the Marketplace.
Retail Systems Awards recognize technology excellence of Mirakl
The Online Technology Vendor of the Year award was one of the most keenly contested of the ceremony, which took place at the London Marriott Hotel and was attended by a who’s who of the UK retail industry. Mirakl was up against some of the world’s most highly-regarded retail technology firms, including HookLogic, Intershop Communications, Maxymiser, Oracle Marketing Cloud and SpinMe, and was voted the winner by Retail Systems’ independent judging panel.
“2015 has been the year that online marketplaces have really come of age in the retail sector and for Mirakl it has been our best ever year,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO of Mirakl Inc. “Not only have we confirmed deals with some of the world’s biggest retailers, but we have closed a funding round of $20M and now won one of the industry’s most prestigious awards for our online marketplace technology. We have even bigger plans for 2016 and winning this Retail Systems award gives us the ideal platform to go forward and meet our goals.”
The Retail Systems Awards are now in their 10th year and seek to recognize technology excellence and innovation within the retail sector. Winning entries come from retailers and technology suppliers who are leading the way in such areas as mobile, online, payments, loyalty and personalization.
Mirakl has signed more than 20 retail customers so far in 2015, as the demand for online marketplaces increases. Retailers such as Best Buy, GAME and Halfords have been attracted by a marketplace’s ability to offer greater scope for expansion combined with higher profit growth and lower risk. This allows a retailer to increase the products it offers, to introduce new categories, offer more competitive pricing improve the service offered to its customers.
“Online marketplaces retain some of the core principles of retailing, and provide the customer with price, choice and availability,” continued Adrien Nussenbaum. “Mirakl is the company making this happen and to be recognised for the quality and success of our product at the Retail Systems Awards 2015 is hugely gratifying. The reasons that we won are the same reasons that so many of the world’s retailers have chosen to work with us, and we look forward to continuing that into 2016 and beyond.”
Earlier this year Mirakl recently closed a $20 million Series B round of funding, a deal led by noted investors such as 83North’s Laurel Bowden (an investor in firms such as hybris, Just Eat and Notonthehighstreet), Felix Capital’s Frederic Court and Dave Strohm, Partner at Greylock. Mirakl has offices in France, the UK and North America, and now numbers more than 50 customers.
Read the featured article and discover all the winners on E-commerce News : These are the winners of the Retail Systems Awards
Auchan marketplace, at the heart of a real cross-canal strategy
Auchan, the third largest food retailer in France, has announced the launch of its marketplace, powered by Mirakl’s technology. Auchan aims to extend its product range and offer a complete cross canal experience to its customers.
The retailer will focus on two main categories: food, which is the core of its business, and garden articles. The categories ‘high-tech’, ‘baby care’, ‘furniture’ and ‘toys’ should complement the marketplace by the end of this year.
The marketplace won’t be confined to just e-commerce. It will integrate with the company’s existing cross-channel strategy, so purchases and returns from the marketplace will be possible from the physical stores.
Learn more about this project
E-commerce news – French supermarket to launch new online marketplace
Tamebay – 3rd biggest French food retailer opens marketplace
Retail Times – French supermarket giant Auchan launches online marketplace with Mirakl
Retail Systems – Auchan branches out with Mirakl
Direct Commerce – French supermarket giant Auchan launches online marketplace
C4 Commerce – Auchan branches out with Mirakl
Halfords launches its Marketplace with Mirakl
Halfords today launches its marketplace service, which will give customers abundance in choice amid plans to stock up to 40,000 SKUs.
By partnering with online marketplace provider Mirakl, the retailer will anticipate and react to trends and customer’s buying behaviour, and test the market for new brands in real time. New products can be introduced to the site within weeks in response to customer demand, strengthening the digital offer further as Halfords’ online sales reached £100million for the first time in the last financial year.
Halfords marketplace trading manager Nina Morris says: “This launch means we can react faster than ever to the needs of our customers, with more choice and access to more brands. Our sector-leading innovation also means we will be able to target new customers who may not have shopped with Halfords before”.
Halfords made the choice to put back the customer at the heart of their business, a strategy that will certainly and shortly have a significant and positive impact on its growth and profit. By choosing Mirakl, Halfords proves that Mirakl is becoming a standard for retailers, like Tamebay stated.
Read the articles on :
Tamebay – New Halfords Marketplace launched today
Retail Gazette – Halfords launches marketplace to add to customer choice
Retail Systems – Halfords unveils new digital platform
Direct Commerce – Halfords launches marketplace to widen customer choice
Retail Week – Halfords unveils online marketplace to offer 40,000 extra SKUs
The Drum – Halfords opens Marketplace to better test ecommerce trends
Post & Parcel – Halfords launches online marketplace
Ecommerce News – Halfords launches online marketplace
The Retail Bulletin – Halfords launches online marketplace
Retail Technology – Halfords extends range with marketplace launch
Retail Times – Halfords ties with Mirakl to launch Marketplace and offer 40,000 SKUs
Kam City – UK: Halfords Launches Online Marketplace
Essential Retail – Why are retailers launching online marketplaces?
Retail Technology Review – UK bike retailer Halfords boosts digital and e-commerce with online marketplace launch
Banzai Group, owner of Eprice, has announced an important growth of its e-commerce results, supported by their Marketplace.
Within e-Commerce, its core categories (electronics and appliances, apparel & other) grew by 30%. The underlying KPIs show a similar trend: GMV grew 33% thanks to the good performance of 3P marketplace volumes generated in the period. Number of orders grew 26% to 681 thousands, AOV grew 5% to €130 and number of buyers grew 26% to 372 thousands.
Banzai’s Eprice has launched its Marketplace with Mirakl, and these performances shows the success of this strategy.
Read more on this news here.
If you’re a high street retailers, etailer or a publisher you’re probably finding that competition is greater than ever. The future will probably see more destination sites and consumers beginning their searches on marketplaces then will ever visit an individual retailers stores.
One way of keeping consumers coming to your website is to make sure that they can always buy the products they’re looking for. On your own, that’s pretty impossible which is why more and more sites are adding marketplaces, even the largest retailers in the country such as Tesco and GAME.
That’s where Mirakl come in, Mirakl is a provider of online marketplace cloud based software that allows a retailer to quickly set up and run their own marketplace, hosting transactions between buyers and third-party sellers. Mirakl power marketplaces with some of the world’s biggest and best-known retailers, including Bestbuy, Galeries Lafayette, Darty and GAME in the UK, with their relatively new GAME Marketplace.
Read the full review of Mirakl’s solution by Tamebay Magazine here.
Why Darty is now seduced by marketplace model
Regis Schultz, Darty’s chief executive, explains why he is convinced by the marketplace model, and why he thinks it can apply to almost all the retailers.
Read the article here.
By Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO of Mirakl Inc and Marketplace expert.
Leaving aside for one moment the competitive pricing and excellent customer service, one of the main attributes Amazon brought to retail was the ability to offer increased product choice. Retailers can introduce all manner of customer service initiatives and reduce prices as they see fit. But with a finite amount of storage available to shops, Mirakl’s co-founder Adrien Nussenbaum points out product choice is one area that high street stores can’t ever hope to compete with Amazon.
“Because consumers crave a choice of products, retailers need to look at ways that enable them to offer that – it’s the old adage of giving the customer what they want. The good news is that there are options to enable them to do so,” he said.
One such method is drop shipping. Instead of retailers holding products themselves, they partner with a wholesaler that stocks its own inventory or they liaise with the product manufacturer directly. “Drop shipping is convenient, efficient and minimises the risk, as a retailer only has to manage the products that have been ordered,” continued Nussenbaum. “It also allows for deeper and customised relationships to be built with a few core partners, so is particularly good for larger and more complex commercial relationships.”
The third party is responsible for packaging and delivery of products, which removes another potential stress, meaning that drop shipping can also work well for emerging retailers. For example, online fashion portal Brothers We Stand uses a drop shipping model as a way of bringing together ethical fashion labels.
Of course, drop shipping also lets retailers offer a greater selection of products to its customers. Yet the retail model with drop shipping is operationally complex and can drive up internal costs, as Nussenbaum explains: “Retailers attempt to integrate their order/customer management systems with those of third parties, which impacts costs. Customer service can be a problem too, with the different parties involved working to their own standards.”
The other main option for retailers to expand their product range, is the online marketplace. “The Amazon Marketplace is the most famous example but global brands such as Walmart, Best Buy and Galeries Lafayette have all launched online marketplaces too,” he continued. Some etailers such as notonthehighstreet.com, are based entirely on marketplace sales. But what has tempted retailers to venture into the world of marketplaces?
“A marketplace can be used to complement or replace the drop ship model, offering scalability, flexibility and profitability,” explained Nussenbaum. “By connecting sellers and customers directly, online marketplaces can provide a retailer with incremental revenue and margin, improved customer service, and a new way to test and feature products that are otherwise restricted. As it is so easy to bring new partners on board, retailers can offer greater choice for minimal additional cost. They also benefit the other parties involved – sellers get the chance to reach new customers, while consumers benefit from the greater choice.”
An oft-cited concern with online marketplaces, is around control – what products are sold, what service is provided by sellers and the prospect of losing control over an overall brand. “Some retailers have been around for 100 years or more – why should they risk exposing their customers to a third-party seller that might not reflect those values? But there is no real reason this should occur. Crucially, the retailer retains control at all times over what products are offered, and how transactions and communications take place,” he said.
Additionally, while online marketplaces are good for scaling and adding a number of sellers quickly, they do not deal as effectively with complex, non-standard commercial agreements with partners.
Providing a much larger product choice is of increasing importance in retail, as consumers crave the convenience of buying their goods in one place. Both drop shipping and online marketplaces allow a retailer to do just that, as Nussenbaum concludes: “Whichever option a retailer chooses will vary according to specific needs, but offering an extensive and varied product selection is fast becoming a must-have in modern retail.”
Read the full article also published in Retail Technology here.