2019 is coming to a close, and at Mirakl, we’re turning to the year ahead. As Mirakl’s VP of Global Partner Sales & Alliances, my team and I recruit firms across disciplines and geographies to partner with Mirakl. Our goal is to build an ecosystem of organizations that can provide the personalized, customized support Mirakl customers needs as they transform their businesses to succeed in the new digital economy.

In addition to their technical excellence, our partners are thought leaders, constantly challenging Mirakl – and Mirakl customers – to go beyond. That’s why we’ve asked them to share some of their predictions for 2020. 

Today, we’re featuring Mirakl’s co-founder and U.S. CEO, Adrien Nussenbaum, alongside Mirakl partners BORN Group, Bounteous, and Optaros by MRM//McCann, as they offer their predictions on B2C eCommerce for the year to come. 

Data drives experiential retail and endless aisle

Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and U.S. CEO, Mirakl

Customers expect retailers to invest in the experience at their brick-and-mortar stores. As this trend grows in 2020 and beyond, forward-looking retailers will respond by using data from across their channels to optimize their inventory, paring down in-store offerings and creating endless aisle online.  

The new retail winners will leverage data to identify and stock the fast-moving items that bring customers to their brick-and-mortar locations. Instead of focusing solely on owned assortment, these retailers will also leverage their endless aisle strategies powered by marketplace to offer a vast selection that’s integrated online and in store. With strategies like click-and-collect, where customers buy online to pick up at brick-and-mortar locations, and tablets in store that showcase marketplace products to shoppers, retailers will truly be able to offer what customers want, when they want it, wherever they’re shopping. 

Better personalization through integrated in-store digital and online experiences

Amy Wolff, VP, Front End Solutions, Bounteous

With digitally native brands leading the way for optimized customer experiences online, consumers have come to expect a high level of seamless interaction from all retailers operating online. As retailers work to incorporate new technology in their physical stores using an eCommerce platform, they must ensure all systems integrate to build a unified customer profile. From this data, brands can build personalized experiences for marketing campaigns, in-store promotions, push notifications, and rewards offered throughout the shopping experience.

For brands that started online or are in the processes of upgrading their brick and mortar stores, physical devices such as touch-screen kiosks provide customers the ability to explore and discover products, check inventory and aisle location, and allow brands the opportunity to engage with customers offering education and brand storytelling. The more we are able to meet our customers where they are through exceptional experiences and utilize analytics to understand their engagement across the physical and digital landscape, the more personalization we can offer them both in-store and online to increase engagement, brand loyalty, and drive sales.

B2C incumbents prepare to transform

Keith Pires, SVP of Sales, BORN Group

In 2020 we will see the collapse of yet another venerable old-line retail brand (Macy's anyone?). CPG brands will finally move to create one-to-one consumer relationships via one-stop shopping "lifestyle" marketplaces for home, kitchen, auto, etc. with cross-brand loyalty programs and incentives. Amazon will establish a beachhead in healthcare services. 

Distributed commerce makes a reappearance, and it’s here to stay

Krithika Rosenthal, VP of Strategy, Optaros by MRM//McCann

Increasingly, brands need to make sure they are ever-present where consumers expect to find them. Distributed commerce (sometimes referred to as “shoppable content” or “universal cart”) is not a new concept; however, it is becoming more prevalent because of social commerce.

What is distributed commerce? It is the ability for consumers to buy from embedded content without leaving the platform or page they might be on, leading to fewer clicks and higher sales. Essentially, it is buying that happens across any experience or medium that is not restricted to websites or brand apps.

Content as part of commerce has always been important, but it is becoming even more integral to the overall experience. Brands can no longer solely rely on simply directing consumers to a destination or an online store: content-driven experiences are entrenched in commerce now. Look no further than Instagram’s shoppable posts and stories, and marketplaces that are making this part of the content platform.

Voice and conversational commerce are another driver of distributed commerce. 76.5 million people in the US—nearly 23% of the population—will use smart speakers at least monthly by 2020.

It isn’t simply inspiring content that needs to be in many more places than ever before – it is also product content. In addition to publisher-driven and social content, we see it happening with apps such as Drop, a unique rewards platform and Mavely, a curated shopping app that rewards women for their everyday activities like shopping, sharing and influencing.

Brands have to distribute their content and the ability to shop in the moment consumers are most receptive. When you operate a branded marketplace with several brands and products, this becomes even more necessary. Driving customers to the destination can no longer be the primary tactic: you must ensure the content is contextual in-feed in social or within the native publisher or other app environment. In 2020, we’ll see shoppable and distributed content become the norm.

Creating consistency through integration

There’s a simple truth lying under each of these predictions: the customer is in control. They decide when, where and how to interact with your brand – and they are demanding a consistent, relevant and personal experience. With the support of Mirakl and our partner ecosystem, retailers will have the tools and strategies to deliver on that in 2020.

Art Boyd

Written by Art Boyd

VP Global Partner Sales & Alliances, Mirakl

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