In January, ABB Electrification launched ABB Loja Online, Brazil’s first-ever online marketplace for electrical products. Six weeks in, the team that made it happen came together for a Mirakl-hosted webinar to share why ABB chose to invest in a marketplace strategy, and how they collaborated with partners and stakeholders to make the launch successful.
Hear it in their words – watch the webinar on-demand!
Why marketplace? Building a compelling B2B online presence
As a complex electrical manufacturing organization, there was no “one size fits all” solution for ABB’s eCommerce strategy. But with the online marketplace model, ABB had the flexibility to drive demand, strengthen its brand and cultivate deeper connections with both distributors and end customers – without disrupting channel partners’ businesses.
The recipe for marketplace success starts with a plan
A successful marketplace starts in the earliest stages of planning. When ABB set out to develop its strategy, they identified four critical aspects that the marketplace needed to be successful.
First, ABB’s marketplace needed to be customer-centric, designed to match the needs of its buyers. For the Brazilian market, that meant a focus on the mobile experience. Samer Shehadeh, Global eCommerce & Innovation Director for ABB Electrification, explained, “In Brazil, mobile is always first. Even if a contractor, installer or architect is just doing a search, we wanted to make sure the data and digital content was relevant to their search and ensure that ABB’s brand identity is aligned with what users expect.”
To guarantee adoption, the marketplace needed to be easy to use. Without a simple, intuitive interface, buyers who were ready to buy online – and the distributors who were seeking a digital sales channel, and would fulfill buyers’ orders – would both end up disappointed.
ABB focused on developing a front-end shopping experience that performed above par, both on mobile and desktop. They also needed to offer an easy-to-use back end: suppliers needed to feel 100% comfortable with the eCommerce model, taking an order online, and fulfilling it without any hesitation. So ABB also invested in providing training workshops for distributors, showing them how to use the back-end functionality and ensuring that they meet the stock, pricing, and service-level agreements that they agreed on with ABB.
The front-end experience on ABB Loja Online easily accommodates marketplace-specific features, like multiple sellers for the same product.
And finally, the marketplace needed to be built for scale. ABB was launching ABB Loja Online to address an immediate opportunity in Brazil, but there are opportunities to grow the solution globally. Having that ambition in mind from the beginning ensured that they would choose partners like Mirakl who set them up for a global marketplace opportunity.
Crafting a strategy for a successful launch
Understanding what you want and need from your online marketplace is critical to success, but it’s not the end of the road. You need to work with the right partners – the ones who have dedicated marketplace expertise and can support your business as you launch. Mirakl partner and solution expert Zaelab worked with ABB to meet their mandate of launching the marketplace in under 6 months.
They started by bringing ABB’s cross-functional marketplace team together for an on-site kickoff to make the key decisions that would drive the execution over the next six months. Critically, the kickoff connected the business and technology sides of the project. The channel, sales and marketing teams aligned on the key attributes of the Brazilian market and what would be needed to drive adoption. The team also identified the various technologies and solutions that were needed to create the ideal customer experience, including not just Mirakl but payment providers, tax solutions, and others.
The marketplace has some nuanced user experience requirements beyond typical eCommerce capabilities, like presenting multiple suppliers on the same listing and managing multi-item orders that are shipped from more than one distributor. Zaelab and ABB worked together from the early stages of development to collect feedback on the user experience. Fast forward to today, and the team is still working to ensure that ABB Loja Online meets the needs of buyers and suppliers alike.
Hear from Samer Shehadeh, Global eCommerce & Innovation Director at ABB Electrification, and dozens of other Platform Pioneers at the Platform Pioneer Summit by Mirakl on June 3rd in Boston. For more information and to register, visit miraklsummitus.com.
Written by Sara Matasci
Content Marketing Manager at Mirakl