On Thursday 7th of June we celebrated the 4th Annual Marketplace and Platform Summit, saying bienvenue to 400+ change agents in businesses across the world representing 20 countries. Held at Station F, the World’s largest start-up incubator, we knew this would be a day of innovation and inspiration, and we weren’t wrong! Here are just a selection of our highlights from this not-to-be-missed day.
And checkout the highlights video!
The Platform Revolution is Here
Every year Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO and Co-Founder of Mirakl, shares his vision for commerce in the coming year and the message was loud and clear. The Platform Revolution is gaining momentum as business realize it’s the most effective way to service their customers. Let’s start with a quick definition, what do we actually mean by Platform? - These are orchestrators of ecosystems combining transactional marketplace, payments, social, value-added services, all linked by data allowing them to capture the network effect. In essence, they are matchmakers linking people, organizations, and resources.
And businesses who take this approach are achieving unparalleled success. Take Walmart, they were able to expand their product catalogue by 4x in a single year through adopting the marketplace model. Or if we look Down Under, Catch Group will take a whopping $100m in sales on their marketplace in the first year alone.
It’s not just generalist retailers reaping the rewards. Many brands are now seeing marketplace as a fast-track to growth and way to launch their eCommerce. The model has experienced extraordinary success in the Luxury sector, five years ago Farfetch didn’t exist, and today it’s valued at $5b - the primary partner for luxury brands to sell online.
Products are great, but we all like services. We like people to help us. Products and services are becoming even more connected. We’re in an age of never-ending supply of new demand platforms and services marketplaces that are reinventing the way people consume services. From Treatwell, the largest health and beauty marketplace in Europe to Kickstarter, Uber, Airbnb and Upwork - these services experiences have become ingrained in our everyday lives. This is the dawn of the platform, it’s not just a marketing exercise - it’s a journey into the realms of deep transformation.
Doing nothing is no longer an option. Businesses who want to succeed in the on-demand economy need to ask themselves, how will we platform our business and what role will we play?
Key Strategies and Takeaways for B2C Retail
With so many inspiring speakers, we’re having a tough time narrowing down our highlights, here are just a selection of the key ideas discussed:
“Incremental Gains” Stefano Toro, Marketplace Assistant Director, Walmart Mexico
When launching a marketplace, go live with minimum viable product (MVP). You don't need to launch absolutely everything at once. Start with what your customers need, then start making improvements, such as introducing new categories and partners. Consider you have two customers: sellers and ultimate customers. Give sellers time to get familiar with platform. Walmart Mexico started with 55 sellers, in December of 2017 and today they have 522 and more than a 100,000 SKUs.
“Focus on Experience” Yannick Leouffre, CDO & CMO, Go Sport
We have always focused on our customer, we want to be the best help possible to them. With hundreds of types of sports and profiles of customers, all with different buying needs. The only way to serve our customers was through a platform model. The best way to be relevant for our customers is to offer the products they are seeking. Our customers are looking for price, selection and convenience. In the future we want to leverage our store network more fully, both in terms of stock management, but also bringing experiences into our stores. Customers can practice sport in 80 of our stores, and to date more than 6000 people practiced sport with us > we’re moving into experiences.
“Communicate the goals of your Marketplace” Stanislas Conseiller Head of New Business at Conforama & Constance De Polignac, CDO at Galeries Lafayette
Ask yourself key questions at the onset of your re-platforming: Why do you want a marketplace? How will it serve your brand and marketing strategy?The key to retail and marketplace alignment is to make sure you share the goal of where your strategy is going. Don’t hesitate to test and learn on your marketplace, fail fast. It’s crucial to be transparent with your team, don’t introduce a category or sellers without ensuring the retail team are on board. Teamwork is vital.
“Be adaptable, your customers are changing” Leslie Leifer, Vice President, Enterprise Strategy and Business Development at 1-800-Flowers.com Inc
At 1-800-flowers, we have two main challenges: the retail environment is changing and the reality is customers are looking at a broader range of products, on top of this they are less loyal than ever. Millennials like to see the storyline behind the product. The marketplace model embraces, allowing us to move faster and adapt quicker to customer demands.
“The Future is Now” Laura Pho Duc, Head of Marketing & Communication EMEA at Alibaba
The Chinese market is evolving and fast, more and more consumers are getting access to products via the marketplace. Alibaba are investing across the eCommerce ecosystem from payments to logistics and speed of delivery, robots and more. On China’s famous discount event, Singles Day or 11/11, they took 25b$ in 24 hours, a mind boggling number.
Alibaba see themselves as a technology and data company. The data we collect belongs to the brands. Every seller can have a databank of their own customers. Aside from the transactional marketplace, we have developed several touchpoints with our customers in partnership with brands.
In China, everything is mobile first. We don’t think in terms of online and offline, we think about mobile. China is the future of commerce, they are your consumers of the future. We never stop innovating, we never think that’s okay for now.
“Start small, move fast” David Schwarz SrVP Ecommerce & New Digital Activities at Carrefour Group & Gary Allinson, Strategic Alliance Executive at Cybersource
We all need to become a student of technology. If you don’t you risk becoming insolvent. Carrefour have huge ambitions in Brazil, marketplace plays a key role. In terms of product assortment and driving world class SEO. We want high quality traffic. Our marketplace allows us to integrate online and offline, by offering Click and Collect to store, which then drives in-store sales. When building our marketplace, we focused on fixing our foundations so we could grow fast. We turned 80 sellers into 300 sellers and 200,000 offers into 800,000 offers. Marketplace now represents 35% of total sales in core categories and 15% across all categories. Our advice is to start small, move fast, act like a start-up.
“Creating Customer Value” Regis Schultz, President of Monoprix
Regis Schultz is a true visionary of the retail industry. Former CEO of both BUT and Darty, his knowledge of the current retail climate is unparalleled. We were delighted he could join us and share his insights on the evolution of eCommerce and what’s next?
Regis was openly an early skeptic of the marketplace model, believing you couldn’t dominate across all categories. Amazon changed that. You could be the best in your category with the most knowledge and experience, but increasingly that didn’t make you number one. A business like Amazon could come along who knew nothing about electrical, offered no aftersales, and take significant market share at a speed you couldn’t possibly keep up with. Your first instinct is to fear you won’t last. But then you realise you can fight back.
Monoprix want to offer the same amazing experience customers expect offline, and find a way to translate this online. Currently, Monoprix stores are located in towns, but their marketplace opens up their audience in a scalable way. In the coming years, they expect marketplace to make up 10-20% of total revenue.
There will always be someone offering your product cheaper, the price advantage doesn't last long term. Businesses who want to succeed and grow need to create value around product and service, if you can’t do this, your future will be uncertain.
Key Strategies and Takeaways for B2B Retail
B2B marketplaces are blossoming, they are predicted to grow by 15% p.a until 2020. We heard from some of the businesses driving the B2B Marketplace transformation, here are our key takeaways:
“B2B is Blossoming” Olivier de Panafieu, co-Managing Partner at Roland Berger France
Last year we talked about the Spring of B2B Marketplaces, and this year as we uncover our deep-dive study, we can really see a flourishing of these platform models as the industry gains momentum. 56% of B2B Buyers expect to make half or more of their work purchases online in the next three years. And 87% of buyers have already bought through a marketplace. The industry is dominated by the two As : Amazon and Alibaba, both employing different models - Amazon with their hybrid and Alibaba with their marketplace stand-alone.
Currently most B2B players adopt one of these four models:
One-stop Shop > aims to grow the business by expanding product and service offerings vertically and horizontally to attract new customers.
Distribution Channel Extension > integrate a new and complementary distribution channel into the existing network
Business Model Transformation > fluidity the match of demand and supply in an unstructured market
Procurement Network > provide members with access to a price attractive offer
For more info on the challenges and opportunities facing B2B players, download our exclusive report with Roland Berger, available very soon!
“Focus on your value add” Vincent Belhandouz, President at Aniel, Ales Drabek Chief Digital & Disruption Officer at Conrad, Axel Mouquet VP Business Development at Webhelp Payment Services
Amazon business has leveraged their successes from B2C, and applied them to their B2B branch, creating a powerful proposition. With transparent and dynamic pricing, strong logistics capabilities and convenient prime functionality. But businesses still have the power to fight back.
For Conrad it’s all about quality of service. They are investing in technology innovation, Artificial Intelligence, White Labelling and Easy Payments inc invoicing - in order to capture customer loyalty. Get the right partners
Aniel launched their marketplace at the request of their customers, it wasn’t a defensive mechanism, it was about understanding customer demand and providing the quality of service their customers had come to expect.
“Transform your Business from Within” Coline Pont, Chief Procurement Officer at Accorhotels France
Accor is transforming procurement into a new business. Traditionally, procurement tools haven’t been great, we needed to implement a lot of tools, it was technically and training-wise very demanding. We subsequently undergone a transformation from a procurement team to an eCommerce team. The benefits of a platform model have been huge, we are able to improve Customer experience, offer competitive prices and control data and service quality. Implementing Mirakl was easy and we have great support!
“Take advantage of the innovation” Siamak Baharloo, CEO of LabViva
The life sciences industry is now worth 61$b. Labviva uses science as the organizing principle to connect sellers and buyers to create the Amazon of life sciences. Labviva’s goal is to transform purchasing for scientists by offering all of the products they need, backed by expertise. Using Mirakl they are able to offer a licensed marketplace backoffice, streamline vendor management, handle payments, quoting, invoicing and other essential business operations, provide dashboards for vendors on sales trends, issues, payments and other critical information. For them, innovation is happening at a rapid rate.
We would like extend a huge thank you to our innovative and market-leading sponsors. It was fantastic to hear your best practice tips and learn how you are working to put the customer at the heart of your offerings. The Marketplace & Platform Summit would not be possible without your support.
And the Winner is…
We culminated the day the best way possible, in celebration of our customers and partners with the Mirakl Awards. Here are the very worthy winners!
Best Project of the Year:
Systems Integrator Partner of the Year:
Independent Software Vendor Partner of the Year:
Winner: Webhelp Payment Services
Winner: Catch Group
Winner: Walmart Mexico
Best Change Management:
Most Innovative B2B:
Winner: Accor Hotels
Most Innovative B2C:
Best Group Strategy:
And that’s almost a wrap for 2018. We still have time to thank everyone for joining us, especially those who made the trip overseas. We loved having the time to hear about your projects, your future plans and celebrate all of your successes.
Watch the highlights now!
Bring on MPS19 !
Written by Laura Hare
UK Marketing Lead, Mirakl