As we bid farewell to 2018 and welcome in the new year, we want to take a moment to celebrate a groundbreaking year for platform achievements. With 50% of global eCommerce sales occurring through marketplaces and platforms, it’s never been more important to celebrate innovation. Mirakl customers were a driving force behind this new Platform Revolution in 2018, so we’re excited to share what a few have been up to.
eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon are quickly becoming the preferred shopping environments for digital consumers. Last year, Forrester Insights found that half of B2C online retail spend came from marketplaces, and those numbers continue to increase.
[This is a guest blog from Nati Harpaz, CEO and Managing Director of Catch Group]
Last week, Mirakl participated in the inaugural Platform Economy Summit Europe—a gathering of the most influential platform business innovators to catalyze this revolutionary business model across the continent.
While companies in the US and China have already adopted a platform mindset, their European counterparts are lacking are lagging. Today, seven of the world’s ten most valuable companies are platform businesses; yet not one of them is European. 60% of the ‘Unicorn’ billion-dollar start-ups are platform businesses, and only a small proportion were born in Europe.
In 2017, Mirakl processed over 200,000 orders on the Black Friday, creating more than $23M GMV for our customers. Fast forward to the same period in 2018 and Mirakl processed over 500,000 orders, creating $60M GMV. We are proud of our clients and their achievements!
As tech giants like Amazon enter the B2B distribution sector, traditional companies have responded with two broad strategies: digital innovation, and mergers and acquisitions. But those two terms cover a breadth of activity, not all of which will be equally helpful in competing with Amazon Business. The success of either approach depends heavily on how deeply a company understands the nature of Amazon’s threat.
“By 2020, more than 50% of online sellers will either list their products on marketplaces or sell third-party products on their core commerce sites” predicts Gartner. Despite the prevalence of the marketplace model across the world, for many in the retail industry, marketplaces mean Amazon.
And put simply this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s been a challenging few years for the retail industry, and apparel retailers have been among those hit the hardest. And while there may not be a single explanation for why this is, there are a few key drivers. For one, it’s no longer fashion brands that set the trends, rather customer expectations are now driven by influencers on Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms. Compound that with competition from emerging, more nimble retailers and eCommerce giants such as Amazon making a play in the space, and you have the perfect combination for friction and challenges.
The UK retail market has experienced a turbulent few years with major household names issuing bankruptcy warnings. Last week it was announced that U.K. retailer, Homebase, was set to close another 43 stores amidst struggling trading conditions. Chief Executive Damian McGloughlin was quoted as saying: “Launching a CVA has been a difficult decision and one we have not taken lightly. Homebase has been one of the most recognisable retail brands for almost 40 years, but the reality is we need to continue to take decisive action to address the under performance of the business.” It’s since been speculated that Amazon is primed to pick up Homebase real estate to facilitate growth in their on-demand delivery service.
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.