ANIEL -- distributor of auto parts to body shops -- launched its Mirakl-powered marketplace in March 2019, allowing the group to add millions of SKUs to their catalogue. "Digital transformation is happening in every sector, there’s no question about that,” said ANIEL Group President Vincent Belhandouz, whose marketplace has become a leader in the auto body parts replacement and aftermarket category, one of the goods sectors with the largest margins.
During the B2B Platforms Masterclass in Paris last month, Mr. Belhandouz presented 8 key takeaways to launch a successful marketplace that will help you become a one-stop-shop by extending the range of your e-commerce activity, help you bolster loyalty with existing customers, and allow you to develop a wider ecosystem within your market. Here are his tips:
- Digital transformation is unavoidable, so it's in your interest to go as far as you can as fast as you can. Choose a platform that will help you scale quickly and have your end goal in mind. Choosing the one-stop-shop approach was what my customers needed the most. I want to be THE one-stop-shop for body shops.
- You’re not just setting up a marketplace. You’re adapting to the digital changes and expectations from your customers. You’re platforming your business, and that change needs to come from the top down. If management isn't on board, no one is on board.
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- Take a pedagogical approach. Once you’ve bought into the benefits of developing a marketplace, you need to explain to your suppliers the added value they are getting. This will also help you justify your commission.
- Your marketplace needs to represent you. Have your brand's DNA. It’s imperative to get buy-in from your internal stakeholders and let them influence the marketplace.
- Don't pinch pennies when negotiating with your partners. Pick the best partners who will represent you and your values. You'll be saving money in the end and making much more by offering more.
- Even if you're in a mature market, don't be afraid of thinking outside the box. Offer goods and services that will appeal to your audience. You need to shift, upgrade and diversify to stay competitive.
- Be customer centric with your internal and external stakeholders. The objective is to develop a model that respects everyone in the supply chain.
- Be a specialist. Amazon and Alibaba may offer some similar inventory, but they aren't experts. In B2B, we're part of ecosystems we know very well. Customers rely on that expertise. That's what separates us from the generalists.
ANIEL is a Platform Pioneer. A visionary who has gone beyond the constraints of their business model to launch a platform business. If you are an executive at the forefront of digital transformation within your organization and want to hear from other Platform Pioneers, join us in Paris April 29 for the Platform Pioneer Summit by Mirakl.
Written by Julie Delazyn
Julie has worked in communications and marketing with tech companies and big corporations for the past 10 years. As a former NYTimes journalist in Paris, she is a passionate advocate of storytelling.