The arrival of Amazon or any eCommerce giant in a new country is often met with concern by local companies. But in reality, it is a meaningful endorsement of eCommerce growth and the vitality of a market. It can bring powerful momentum propelling digital transformation initiatives, as seen in the Netherlands and Sweden. Learn how Platform Pioneer Empik was way ahead of the recent arrival of Amazon in Poland with the launch of their own marketplace.
In 2020, Amazon reported that third-party sellers on its marketplace surpassed $3.5 billion in sales on Prime Day, a nearly 60% year-over-year increase, meaning marketplace sales are growing even faster than the company’s retail business. But the marketplace model, and its hypergrowth, do not belong to the digital giants alone. In fact, the recently published Enterprise Marketplace Index by Mirakl found that marketplaces grew by more than 80% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, more than double the rate of overall eCommerce growth.
Adapting the marketplace model is not only for companies looking to open an “everything store”. It works for every type of business in every sector, across both B2C and also B2B markets. A marketplace operator can use the platform to concentrate efforts on developing core product categories that sit tight with the company’s brand, focusing on a curated strategy.
Empik, ahead of the marketplace curve in Poland
eCommerce in Poland has been accelerating for some time now, so it is not surprising that tech giants are attracted to the country and its sizable market. While the launch of Amazon in Poland last month is bound to increase the level of competition among online retailers, Amazon's entry into the country should not be seen only as a threat. Instead, it creates an opportunity for industries to seek more innovative solutions and leverage the platform economy.
Like most consumers, many Polish shoppers look for the best possible prices, and delivery in under 24 hours is becoming the norm in Poland. Buyers will undoubtedly prefer businesses that can meet these demands. Everything now points to a ‘now or never’ moment for Polish retailers to seize the marketplace opportunity.
Leading Polish omnichannel retailer Empik was several steps ahead when they launched their marketplace in April 2017. A growing lifestyle retailer that has served the Polish market for over 70 years, Empik has over 300 retail outlets and is one of the top 3 eCommerce stores in the region. Through its first-mover strategy, the retailer has already been able to reap the benefits of creating a marketplace to sell their cultural, knowledge and entertainment products, and all ahead of Amazon’s arrival in the country.
We spoke to Mirek Drab, Marketplace Director at Empik, to learn more about the organisation’s marketplace.
"During the past year, an increasing number of consumers have been compelled to shift their purchases online. We have seen a high level of growth in our online sales. Our usual orders per day have doubled and marketplace has been key in enabling us to respond to this growing demand. Thanks to our Mirakl-powered marketplace, we were able to provide our customers with the convenience, quality and wide choice they have been seeking. Two product models will not cut it, your customer must know that there are two hundred models to choose from," commented Mirek.
"In order to deliver, we wanted to develop a marketplace as a second pillar of our eCommerce and Mirakl provided us with necessary technology for this. Another unique advantage of a marketplace is the scale which guarantees many more customer reviews. We see how products with more reviews sell much better. Customers also appreciate the security our marketplace offers them -they trust our brand and our buyer protection program. We wanted to leverage an international partner experienced in launching marketplace platforms, so we reached out to Mirakl. With their support, it took only 5 months to launch the marketplace and we were able to add products and sellers at speed,” he added.
The marketplace also has a positive impact in helping to grow Empik’s categories as well as introducing new ones, as Mirek explained further:
“In the first 6 months of 2020, some of the categories on our marketplace such as sports and outdoor, home and garden, health and beauty or toys grew by triple digits. We have never sold garden pools before, while now we are selling hundreds. We have also started selling furniture and have recently expanded to garden furniture, which is already performing very well. There are also cases when category growth exceeds our expectations. We have never planned to develop car tires assortment and now we observe a strong increase of merchants applying to join this category.”
Businesses are at a critical crossroads, facing now-or-never decisions that will determine their future. They can adopt the marketplace model and gain a lasting advantage over the competition, or risk losing the opportunity with a “wait and see” approach.
Whether the digital giants are just entering or rapidly scaling in your market, the imperative is clear.
Now, the choice for organizations across all industries is imminent: proactively leverage the marketplace opportunity – or lose out to the forward thinkers and digital natives who already have.
Start your marketplace journey today - register to attend the Mirakl Platform Pioneer Summit on 5 May to find out how to successfully launch and grow an enterprise marketplace.
Written by Eva Bearryman
Communications, PR & Content Manager