The Fast-Growing Marketplace Model
Changes in purchasing behavior, market massification, the collapse of the single-seller e-commerce model, the boom in B2B platforms, verticalization… Many factors explain the current hyper-growth of the marketplace market. If we rely on various indicators, such as the number of marketplaces created each year, this trend is not about to stop!
While in 2008, 10% of global e-commerce was done on a marketplace, this proportion reached 57% in 2020. According to Forrester, global marketplace sales should even approach 70% by 2022. Moreover, these figures are probably clearly underestimated, given the boom in online sales during the health crisis and the periods of confinement that we experienced in 2020.
A study of the ranking of the top 10 e-commerce sites, in terms of traffic (number of average unique visitors per month) in the third quarter of 2020, reveals that 9 of them are marketplaces (Amazon, Cdiscount, Fnac, Booking, Vinted, Carrefour, Wish, Leroy Merlin and Oui SNCF). To testify to the enthusiasm of consumers for marketplaces and the weight of the latter in online sales, we could also cite the recent IPOs of marketplaces. success stories, such as that of the American food delivery company DoorDash in early December on Wall Street. In addition, the Chinese giant Alibaba still holds the record for the largest IPO with $ 25 billion raised on the Nasdaq. Not to mention the stock market valuation of Amazon… Proof of this is that the market values the Platformization model dearly .
The Phenomenon Of Platformization Is Spreading To All Sectors Of Activity
Contrary to what one might think, the marketplace model represents much more than an e-commerce site extension … All companies, whether they are SMEs, mid-size companies (ETI) large groups, will have to equip themselves with one or more market places in the years to come. Already developed in several sectors such as transport, distribution, or housing, this model now extends to all sectors of activity, whether in B2C or B2B.
The banking sector is one of the most emblematic examples, with the creation of new banking marketplaces every month in France and around the world. For example, it suffices to observe the success of N26, Revolut Qonto, which have positioned themselves as banking hubs.
A similar trend is observed in the industry, which is seeing new B2B marketplace projects (Alstom, Suez, etc.) flourish day by day. According to a PwC study, 76% of French manufacturers will have reached an advanced level of digitization by 2020, for a total investment of 907 billion dollars. Whether it is to accelerate digital transformation, manage purchases or position itself as a player in the circular economy, the marketplace model perfectly meets the challenges of the industrial sector.
Because they make it possible to bring together a group of participants interested in the same subjects in one place, marketplaces are also showing great promise in the field of events. This is evidenced by the launch of the Salon du Chocolat marketplace, which brings together the best of artisan chocolatiers and aims to bring this great event to life all year round.
Finally, let us mention the energy sector, where the creation of marketplaces makes it possible to intervene at different stages of the value chain: from production, with industrial parts platforms, to marketing.
The Rise Of B2B MarketPlaces
B2C paved the way, B2B followed, slowly but surely. Three factors explain this rise in power. First of all, the behavior of professionals tends to be modeled on that of individuals. More connected and more informed, they now aspire to find in their professional purchases the same experience as in their B2C purchases: wide choice, competitive prices, and excellent customer experience. It is estimated that by 2022, 75% of B2B purchases will be made on a marketplace (Gartner).
Then, the technological evolutions of platforms now make it possible to be in phase with the constraints of B2B : complexity of relations, long decision cycle, the importance of negotiation and etc. Now, B2B companies can benefit from key functionalities to create a marketplace adapted to their needs , those of their suppliers and their buyers.
Finally, the marketplace model conceals business opportunities:
Have an effective lever to accelerate your digital development
Benefit from an additional sales channel
Adopt a disruptive approach by offering an innovative experience
Rethink its distribution channels and benefit from growth drivers in previously neglected territories
Extend its range , in a strategy of differentiation or focus
Capture more customers by up-selling
Improve its internal purchasing processes , by creating an e-procurement marketplace
Accelerate its international development …
Construction, recruitment, legal, food, health, industry, high-tech… B2B marketplace projects are emerging in all sectors, either directly by traditional B2B players, or by B2C marketplace operators who switch to B2B. A strong trend that will accelerate in 2021.
Trend Towards Verticalization Of Platforms
Today, the B2C marketplace market is already popular with many players and is therefore starting to saturate. In this increasingly competitive context, choosing a specific vertical is a promising strategic choice.
Unlike horizontal marketplaces such as La Redoute or Cdiscount which sell products services of all kinds (Clothing, furniture, toys, etc.), vertical marketplaces focus on a particular sector or a range of specific products services . For example, Etsy only offers arts and crafts products, the ManoMano platform specializes in the DIY sector and Vestiaire Collective has positioned itself on second-hand luxury. All sectors can be addressed!
The vertical marketplace model offers many advantages: differentiating itself through specialization, creating and bringing together a community, offering a unique shopping experience, offering ever more innovative and efficient technology…. A trend which should increase in the years to come for operators who wish to position themselves as experts and counter generalists.
An Increasingly Qualitative And Personalized Customer Experience
By nature, a marketplace is more complex than an e-commerce site and it can be difficult to navigate in the middle of a very large offer! Experience and customer relations are therefore two key elements in the success of a marketplace and which will allow you to make the difference. In addition to a well-thought-out, clear and intuitive interface, there is no shortage of options to support and guide consumers in their purchasing journey: quick navigation on mobile, chatbots, social commerce, augmented reality … Always more fond of a smooth navigation and a seamless shopping journey, consumers have never been more demanding and expect a flawless experience.
The use of customer data makes it possible to build more personalized journeys to meet these requirements and ensure a better match with customer needs:
Product recommendation and targeted promotions , based on purchase history
Proposal of additional products before validation of the basket
Display of stores and collection points nearby , based on geolocation
Adaptation of the home page thanks to predictive targeting.
With the development of technologies such as AI, the collection and use of data will further develop to allow operators to be as close as possible to consumers and their expectations, by offering them the right offers, at the right time. , and in the right place!
The Boom In Circular Economy MarketPlaces
Today, 62% of French people take a brand’s values into consideration before buying its products. Faced with ecological issues and consumers’ desire to be more responsible in their purchases, it’s a safe bet that 2021 will see the growth of the marketplace to organize the circularization of the economy, second life and the economy. sharing to continue.
For some time now, we have observed the emergence of circular economy marketplaces, more local and more ethical in all sectors, in BtoC as in BtoB. Unlike a traditional marketplace, the circular economy marketplace offers second-hand products for sale or purchase . From recycling used or damaged products to the rental of second-hand products, circular economy marketplaces allow companies to reduce their storage costs, take control of the second-hand market for their products or even enhance their value. stocks. These companies see the circular economy marketplaces model as a powerful lever to be in tune with their CSR challenges .
In line with these commitments, several circular economy platforms have emerged in recent months, such as Engie and its BeeWe marketplace, which makes it possible to buy and sell spare parts within the various entities of the group. . An ambitious eco-responsible project, aimed at making intra-group transactions possible, in an e-procurement process. This is also the case with Back acia , a marketplace which gives a second life to construction waste, thus becoming the first digital broker of used building products.
In industry or services, in B2B or B2C, the fields of application of circular economy marketplaces are multiple and this type of platform will continue to develop to meet environmental and societal challenges but also high expectations. of consumers.
After years of evangelization, the marketplace market has grown. Boosted by the health crisis and the need for companies to digitize, the year 2020 will have seen the advent of the marketplace model in all sectors. Today, marketplaces are the keystone of the digital transformation of companies and represent a real lever for growth . This hyper-growth of the market will continue since, according to Gartner, 15% of large accounts and mid-sized companies in the e-commerce sector will have put their own marketplace online by 2023.