With less than two weeks to go until one of our favourite UK industry events of the year: Retail Week Live (7th - 8th March, Intercontinental O2) - I grabbed five minutes with Nick Bareham, UK Country Manager at Mirakl to find out what to expect from his presentation and why now, more than ever, retailers are adopting the marketplace model.

So firstly, what should we expect to hear from you at Retail Week Live this year?

I’m delighted to be joined on stage by Nati Harpaz, CEO of Catch Group in Australia - so I hope we’ll be demonstrating how UK retailers could learn from Nati’s utilisation of the marketplace model to deliver some very impressive growth. More specifically I aim to debunk some of the popular myths surrounding the marketplace model; ‘it’s only for generalist retailers,’ ‘consumers distrust marketplaces’ and many more misconceptions.

That’s interesting! So what options do retailers have when it comes to using marketplaces?

Well, they have no other option than to have a marketplace strategy - the ubiquity of the model and the resulting shift in consumers’ eCommerce shopping habits make that a necessity! In terms of application of the model however, there are many options. Do they choose to ‘operate’ a marketplace and supplement their own assortment with relevant SKUs from third parties? Or do they choose to ‘sell’ on existing marketplaces to obtain reach into new international markets for example. I predict more and more UK retailers will do both. There is no ‘right’ answer, every retailer will be different. The beauty of the model is that it’s adaptable to suit all needs. Fundamentally, the marketplace model is a launchpad for scale either way.

… Why now? What’s changed?

Consumer expectations. Amazon and the online generalists have taught consumers to expect choice, price competitiveness and utility all in one destination. Of course heritage and the strength of a brand do still matter. The savvy retailers with whom we speak aspire to balance both; seeking to become a category leader by delivering a deep (yet still curated) catalogue wrapped in the specialist services that differentiate them from the generalists. Outside of their home markets, they look to utilise the reach and footprint of appropriate third party marketplaces to drive sales without (risky) investment in overseas infrastructure.

And finally, tell me something that I might be surprised to know?

Many retailers cite cannibalisation of existing direct sales as a major concern when considering adoption of the marketplace model. In our experience, our client’s routinely see a 2% - 3% increase in core sales post-implementation of marketplace inventory. It’s not hard to rationalise why; the expanded assortment drives more search traffic to their sites, a % of which add existing core SKU’s to their basket. Win-win!

Nick will be speaking with Nati Harpaz, CEO of Catch Group on Tues 7th March at 13:45 Popup Stage - we hope you can join us for the session.

We will be around for both days at Retail Week Live, if this has piqued your curiosity about how you might be thinking about marketplaces all wrong, we would love to meet you for a coffee to discuss – contact us!


[Completely unstaged shot of the London team!]

Meet the speakers:

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Nick Bareham is UK Country Manager of Mirakl, responsible for growing UK retailers’ revenues. Founded in 2012, Mirakl gives retailers and brands the power to rapidly expand their product assortment by adopting the Marketplace Model. With over 150 customers across 40 countries, Mirakl-Powered Marketplaces include Hewlett Packard Electronics, Best Buy Canada, Carrefour, Darty, Galeries Lafayette and Halfords. Prior to joining Mirakl, Nick worked for 17 years in the marketing technology industry helping clients such as Easyjet, Office Depot, Skype, Tesco, and most recently the Virgin Group. In his spare time, Nick is an Investor and Board Member of Rock-Up! - an innovative new leisure offering for the UK's retail landscape.

Nati Harpaz is the CEO of Catch Group, Australia’s largest pure eCommerce organisation with a retail product business as well as a daily deals business. Nati’s focus is on building cultures in organisations to enable rapid growth which stems from the understanding that management cannot compromise on the quality of its human resource as well as the requirement of a very clear and concise business strategy to allow the entire organisation to focus on achieving it. Nati’s background includes Law, Information Technology, Retail, Media and generally everything digital. As an entrepreneur from a young age he has had various experiences across multiple industries but always in a leadership position. On top of his position as CEO of Catch Group he is also the chairman of APAC’s largest retail media organisation. Nati Headshot.png 



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