Four principles for finding success in digital commerce marketplaces

When consumers think of digital commerce, their minds often go straight to a marketplace. Whether it is Amazon or eBay in the US, Rakuten in Japan, Alibaba and JD in China, Shopee in Southeast Asia, Zalando in Europe, or Mercado Libre in Latin America, marketplaces seem globally ubiquitous.

In fact, according to a recent study conducted by Merkle, an estimated 2.5 trillion of the $4.7 trillion global B2C digital commerce market passes through a marketplace.

But it might surprise you to learn that, increasingly, it is mature companies – across B2C and B2B industries – that are finding success implementing and operating marketplaces on their own terms.

Brands as varied as Airbus, Eli Lily, Walmart, and Toyota have implemented successful digital marketplaces to solve a wide variety of consumer needs.

Unlike wholesale (B2C) or distributor (B2B) models, with marketplaces, the financial responsibility for inventory – and often some aspects of site merchandising – typically lives with the seller (“merchant”).

For some brands, such as Target or Wayfair, marketplaces offer an opportunity to extend their existing assortment and stay on top of new product trends by quickly onboarding additional sellers. For others, like Macy’s, the augmentation of their traditional department store model with a marketplace model can enable greater near-term profitability.

B2B industries are particularly well-positioned to capitalize on marketplaces. While it is commonly observed that B2B organizations have historically been slower to adopt digital commerce, marketplaces can enable them to bring their distributors together in one place or extend their value by convening brands in adjacent categories to provide one-stop-shopping.

Merkle, a global leader in customer experience and digital commerce, has partnered with numerous brands to successfully launch and grow marketplace businesses.

This work has included supporting Saks Fifth Avenue’s evolution from a traditional department store toward a digital marketplace business. With solutions generating over $2 billion in gross merchandise value yearly, several principles have emerged to ensure growth.

1. Start with trusted partners

Even the most well-thought-out strategy and flawlessly executed implementation will need continued refinement.

Marketplaces are living businesses, and the initial stage after launch is pivotal to success. Ensure that any firm you may work with to help define your strategy, implement your vision, or optimize your operations have a marketplace experience and understand the complex dynamics of your operations.

Similarly, the merchants who initially sell on your marketplace should be well-known to you, as existing relations can ensure faster remediation of any issues, tighter feedback loops to evolve the marketplace, and a willingness to work through any growing commercial or operational pains. Furthermore, the marketplace needs to adhere to different financial protocols, depending on the geographic location in which it’s based.

You may be wondering if there is a ‘right’ number of merchants to launch a marketplace, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

For some businesses – say, an already successful multi-brand retailer looking to augment its existing digital business model – the customer experience strategy may be seamless, with the marketplace being part of the core shopping experience. In that scenario, a brand may want to launch with low-single-digit partners to test the model, ensure its primary business isn’t impacted, and learn where to scale.

For a net-new ‘greenfield’ marketplace, the equation might be different. A minimum supply is necessary to support initial demand generation, but in many cases, onboarding one initial merchant with a compelling product catalog can be enough to create momentum.

2. Be crystal clear with consumers

While marketplaces are excellent value drivers, they still must follow digital commerce best practices. Whether B2C or B2B, consumers have exacting standards for marketplaces.

In particular, experience leaders such as Amazon have set a bar for delivery, returns, and customer service convenience, operating almost like a ‘mono-brand’ or wholesale retailer by taking responsibility for everything from reverse logistics to delayed orders.

Unsurprisingly, Merkle’s study revealed that 74% of consumers said it would negatively impact their perception of the marketplace if they had a poor experience with a third-party merchant. And 85% expect the marketplace they buy from to handle all delivery and shipping issues.

This does not mean your marketplace needs to do it all. But it does mean your user experience design – from the way you integrate the marketplace experience with an existing digital commerce platform to how you merchandise and message marketplace products – needs to be top-of-mind as you develop your marketplace strategy.

3. Prioritize your merchant experience.

A flourishing merchant community is the bedrock of any marketplace. While it is essential to start with trusted partners, it is also important to offer merchants a seamless onboarding, payment and management experience.

Giving them easy-to-use tools and integrations to manage product, content, pricing and availability – while also supporting customer inquiries – not only makes them successful, but it also reduces your operational load.

The easiest way to ensure a high-quality merchant experience is to treat it like your customer experience. Model the end-to-end journey, test functionality prior to launch, and continuously connect quantitative (eg, site analytics) and qualitative (eg, surveys and feedback forums) data to help refine and evolve your capabilities.

4. Plan for long-term monetization initiatives

Marketplaces provide many levers for monetization beyond product sales (eg, media functionality to offer advertising opportunities). Leading marketplace technology platforms like Mirakl have made this particularly seamless by releasing their own ad functionality that integrates with their core marketplace platforms.

But the opportunities go beyond commerce media. Value-added services offer a pathway to additional profitability for marketplace operators. For example, providing access to your own customer service capability or offering forecasting, demand-based pricing, or supply-chain services to your merchants can strengthen your business partnership, improve performance, increase utilization, and boost return on investment for your existing logistics network .

Taking these principles into account, brands are poised to seize the opportunity represented by marketplaces. With the help of a trusted strategy and implementation partner, your marketplace offering can seamlessly meet the demands of customers while also providing the tools merchants need to be successful on your platform for years to come. powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 slot zeus nolimit city sv388 slot jepang scatter hitam slot thailand link slot thailand 777 slot powergaming88 slot luar negeri slot gacor maxwin slot gacor hari ini slot gacor terbaru mahjong ways 2 slot thailand jp slot slot bni slot bri slot bsi slot danamon slot gopay slot server korea slot malaysia slot amerika slot rusia fan tan monopoly live lightning roulette mega ball sweet bonanza candyland mega sic bo mega baccarat andar bahar sbobet88 ktm303 slot dubai slot qris powergaming88 Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Pg Soft Starlight Princess Slot Gacor Maxwin Joker123 Sv388 Slot Thailand Slot Thailand Slot Qris slot thailand joker123 mahjong ways 2 888slot slot thailand slot88 sweet bonanza slot jepang slot thailand slot mahjong ways slot qris slot deposit dana slot dana nolimit city slot thailand sv388 slot888 slot kamboja Slot Thailand Starlight Princess Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Maxwin slot thailand akun pro kamboja slot filipina joker123 slot zeus slot88 slot thailand slot mahjong slot megaways NEW SLOT POLA GACOR Slot Server Luar jp slot slot ganas crazy time live slot qris slot akurat slot bca slot bni qris slot zeus server thailand server hongkong slot ovo slot gopay slot linkaja joker123 nolimit city sv388 starlight princess mahjong ways pg slot slot zeus sv388 idn slot slot server thailand slot thailand ladangtoto nolimit city koi gate sicbo online roulette online lice casino live22 baccarat online nolimit city slot ovo slot gopay pragmati play starlight princess slot pg soft slot mahjong slot zeus sv388 digmaan slot mania slot zeus slot thailand server thailand ying77 slot thailand judi bola live casino sv388 pg soft slot dana mahjong ways slot mania slot x500 ladangtoto slot server kamboja digmaan digmaan slot88 scv388 sabung ayam online slot live casino sicbo online live casino online slot thailand ladangtoto sv388 ladangtoto powergaming88 66kbet powergaming88 slot thailand ladangtoto slot thailand server thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot gacor ladangtoto2 ying77 bet server thailand slot thailand ying77 slot88 ladangtoto ladangtoto slot maxwin sv388 sv388 slot gacor 66k bet slot dana sabung ayam inline slot mahjong slot toto slot server thailand slot gacor slot server thailand slot gacor slot thailand situs slot wwg slot slot daftar judi slot online indonesia slot gacor slot mawin slot gacor slot thailand slot gacor slot gacor demo slot pragmatic sv388 slot88 pgsoft Daftar Judi Slot Online Indonesia Paling Gacor di Indonesia Daftar Situs Judi Slot Online SLOT88 lucky neko slot gacor slot88 slot kakek slot maxwin slot thailand Slot Mahjong Ways 2 Mudah Jackpot Paus di PG Soft Hari ini 2023 Lucky Neko Situs Slot Gacor Pgsoft Hari Ini SITUS SABUNG AYAM SV388 ONLINE DAFTAR LINK LOGIN APK AGEN SV388
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