So, for which sectors, company sizes and target groups would an online marketplace really make sense?
What special features should retailers implement to guarantee success?
Most consumers can no longer imagine their daily shopping without Amazon and co. The top dog from Seattle’s success has had a significant effect for companies that already offer their products through various online channels worldwide. Many retailers are now considering building their own marketplace, but most lack the necessary experience.
It is likely that potential marketplace candidates do not know what a successful start should look like or what promising concepts exist for traders. When it comes to development, the typical pitfalls are not always apparent and understanding the technical challenges involved can hold many ambitious retailers up. On top of that, many companies have not defined concrete goals in their marketplace strategy to accommodate such a complex proposition.
Build into the company's overall strategy
When it comes to implementation, it is important to remember that a marketplace must always be part of a coherent overall concept. When developing it, traders should be clear about some of the basics:
Which milestones should be reached and when?
Will the portfolio serve a niche, and if so, which one?
Who are the target customers and what are their needs?
What are the goals for growth?
If these questions are clarified in advance, the chances of successfully implementing a marketplace significantly increase. After that, companies then need to explore how the existing website traffic can be converted via a marketplace. This is especially important if the company’s solution portfolio is focused on a specific industry and has already made a name for itself.
Customer centricity is critical
Michael Urban, expert for agile transformation and e-commerce, recognises the potential of the marketplace:
"According to his assessment, all well-known online retailers are already setting themselves up as marketplaces, which is leading to a boom in the retail segment. However, the road to a working marketplace solution is rough and requires many years of optimisation until it functions smoothly.”
The development of a marketplace should never be viewed purely from the perspective of the provider, i.e., only as a new sales channel. It is far more important to focus on the consumer's perspective, as well as their specific needs and advantages. For customers, it’s usually the brand that is key - and not the marketplace where they buy the product. To be considered in the shopping process, the marketplace must respond precisely to the consumer's demands and desires.