When the marketplace becomes the most attractive market for innovation

Market massification, collapse of the single-seller e-commerce model, large groups' need for multi-equipment, boom in B2B platforms, verticalization ... Multiple factors explain the hyper-growth currently experienced by the marketplaces market.

Mirakl's recent fundraising ($ 300 million) represents a historic turning point for the market. It constitutes a strong signal for the marketplaces market and creates real emulation around the model. After years of evangelism, the market has grown. Many projects which were under consideration are finally launched. The observation is clear: the need for equipment is strong. Zoom on the motivations that push companies to launch their marketplace.

A tendency to multi-equipment in large companies

This fundraising confirms that we are facing a mass equipment market and not a niche market. The marketplaces sector is now comparable to that of CRM in 2004/2005. At the time, companies were very seriously under-equipped. In the space of a decade, most of them have acquired a customer relationship management solution.

We are currently experiencing the same phenomenon. All companies, whether they are SMEs, mid-size companies (ETI) or large groups, will have to equip themselves with one or more market places in the years to come. Why multiple marketplaces for a single company? A large bank, for example, will have every interest in creating a first marketplace to retain individual customers, then a second to strengthen its corporate real estate branch, a third for everything related to leasing, a fourth around savings. , etc.

If it does not, it will experience what retail banks are currently experiencing: an uberization of its activities due to the arrival of new players such as neobanks who have adopted the marketplace format. Indeed, if we take a closer look, neobanks are in reality banking hubs that aggregate services provided by third parties, therefore market places. N26 and Revolut are perfect examples.

The collapse of the single-seller e-commerce model and the time-to-market

Another major trend is the collapse of single-seller e-commerce. In 2008, 10% of global e-commerce was carried out on marketplaces. In 2020, this percentage rises to 57%. When a company thinks about its digitalization, it analyzes these figures. It is therefore looking for a turnkey technology that can be quickly deployed. In an extremely evolving context where market reversals are occurring more and more frequently, time-to-market has indeed become extremely critical. A business cannot afford to wait. A marketplace project must be operational in two or three months maximum.

The rise of B2B marketplaces

The demand for the creation of marketplaces is strongly driven by B2B. And it is clear that when you sell products to pharmacists, for example, you cannot offer them machine tools. The breadth of your product range is naturally constrained by the verticality of your sector. This has the advantage of generating as many marketplace projects as there are trades.

The quantity of B2B marketplaces to be created is therefore much greater than in B2C, even if more and more general B2C merchant sites face competition from specialized players, such as in the DIY, travel or leisure sector.

The trend towards the verticalization of platforms meets the needs of consumers demanding ever more expertise and specialty. Generalist projects have disappeared, most projects today are vertical projects, which we also qualify as niche.

Two good practices to follow

Getting started with creating a marketplace requires complying with at least two main rules.

The first point of attention is not to understand this type of project as a technological project but rather as a business project. A marketplace is indeed a "two-sided business" which concerns both the search for the offer (the sellers who constitute the catalog of the marketplace and which must be recruited, animated and retained) and demand (the buyers who must be attracted and then retained in turn). It is dangerous to focus on technique, the business stakes are already high enough.

Another key success factor: the breadth and volume of the offer. The buyer, whether private or professional, is requesting a large catalog. If it can't find enough choices in your store, it will go to the store. The long tail is therefore a key objective. If you set up a marketplace in a given segment, you must attract all the brands, all the suppliers related to this segment. You have to surpass the market leader in this area, most often Amazon. It is by finding the product at home that it cannot find elsewhere that a customer will be loyal to you. You must become the "one stop shop" in your field.

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