Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder of Mirakl, explains how his company works with retailers to deliver a strategic asset for growth and profitability
When you mention ‘marketplace’ to anyone in the retail industry, the first thing people think of is Amazon. This is no bad thing. More than 40% of products sold on Amazon today are fulfilled by third party sellers. This means Amazon gets additional e-commerce channels without inventory or logistic constraints, its customers benefit from increased product choice and more competitive pricing while sellers have a new channel with which to reach potential customers.
The customer experience remains 100% Amazon, with any customer buying via the marketplace knowing Amazon is responsible for any issue that might arise. The Amazon Marketplace also drives traffic and sales for direct sales too, with Amazon able to market to these customers.
Marketplace – a natural evolution for retail
With this on-going success of Amazon Marketplace and the other challenges faced by retailers in the 21st century, many retailers and e-commerce firms are now starting to look at marketplaces as a way of bringing together buyers and sellers within a secure online space.
A marketplace is really a natural evolution for a retailer, the ideal way to increase profits without extra inventory and logistics costs, which is why Mirakl has been able to make such an impact in such a short space of time.
Mirakl provides Software as a Service (SaaS) marketplace platforms that fit seamlessly with a retailer’s brand and existing online presence to offer increased product choice and profits without inventory and logistics costs and restraints.
The Mirakl platform was designed to provide retailers and media organisations with all the advantages of a bespoke solution without the inconveniences of cost, deadlines and infrastructure. As a SaaS, Mirakl is flexible and built on Service-Oriented Architecture that can be customised to suit specific needs. Mirakl can scale the marketplace to whatever size is required and the platform integrates seamlessly with a retailer’s existing systems.
Keeping control of your brand
Brand is particularly important for our customers and it is important to bear in mind that the marketplace operator keeps full control over the client relationship at all times. A retailer may have spent years building its brand and be known for particular brand qualities. A good marketplace solution must fit with that brand completely, ensuring the same customer experience as in existing online or offline channels.
One of our customers is Europe’s leading department store, Galeries Lafayette. It has the world’s largest physical store in Paris and protects its brand values fiercely and wouldn’t have considered a marketplace platform if it wasn’t true to those brand values.
Mirakl marketplace in action – Fnac.com
Another Mirakl customer is Fnac.com. Founded in 1954, Fnac operates 170 stores around the world and is recognised as one of France’s most prominent retailers. Yet the company had challenges adjusting to a multi-channel environment and was concerned about losing margins on DVDs and CDs, as customers were able to buy more competitively priced good elsewhere.
The launch of a marketplace was seen as a strategic next move for Fnac.com, allowing it to offer far more products and at a more competitive price. It also offered the opportunity to test new product lines and to branch out into new markets.
The implementation of a Mirakl marketplace has had a hugely positive impact on Fnac.com. The number of products offered has increased dramatically, from 600,000 to 15m, all with no inventory and logistics investment. Marketplace now accounts for 25% of all online sales and 50% of all online profits.
But in addition to those highly impressive statistics, the marketplace has transformed the business. In the physical Fnac stores, new product lines that began in the marketplace, such as children’s toys, have replaced the DVDs and CDs, whilst the new cooking appliance section is one of the favourites, both online and offline. Fnac even has products in store that are fulfilled by third party sellers, the ultimate proof of success.
Online marketplaces let retailers grow their product offering, guarantee availability, shorten deliveries, improve customer satisfaction and increase profits. Whether horizontal or vertical, B2B, B2C or C2C, ran by an existing retailer or pure player, marketplaces have become a retail necessity.
Mirakl contact details:
Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder, Mirakl
Tel: +33 (0)6 79 12 56 72
(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)