Over the last 9 months or so, we’ve been working together with a British fashion and homeware retailer to develop an onsite marketplace, recently released to the market with incredibly positive feedback, this marks a change for retail and how they do business online.

SAP Commerce has been integrated with Mirakl to create a segment-defining Marketplace that opens up a world of possibility.

Often confused with the wildly popular Dropship model, the Marketplace model offers the opportunity for a far superior level of customer experience.

What’s the difference between Dropship and Marketplace?

The difference lies in who owns the responsibility of pricing, customer service, and returns as businesses scale. As Mirakl put it themselves “Owned inventory and a small set of dropship products are not enough to capture the full revenue opportunity. The marketplace model exposes customers to products they are searching for in ways otherwise impossible.”

The dropship model is designed to reduce the pain points in logistics and fulfilment. The retailer offers more products, in core categories, without taking on financial tie-downs to inventory.

They would make a product available for sale on their site, and only when purchased would the retailer then buy the product from the dropship product manufacturer or wholesaler – who then in turn ships it to the customer. Packaging typically has the retailer’s branding, and the retailer services the customer. The third-party is virtually invisible to the customer.

An example of this is the rise of Youtuber & Influencer Merch. Seen as a supported revenue stream to their blogger activity, they design a range of products that represent their online persona and offer it to their followers. This is seen as a low-risk strategy in most cases as they don’t tie up valuable funds in inventory and only pay for what gets sold, however, they have little control of the customer experience beyond their sale site. And considering their reputation is their largest revenue generator, selecting a poor supplier can cause long-term, insurmountable damage.

A Marketplace is designed to improve the customer experience by making it fast and easy to offer many more products.

Retailers grow their assortment by hosting curated and brand-aligned third-party sellers. The retailer facilitates transactions on their site on the sellers’ behalf, and the sellers fulfil orders themselves. Packaging has the third-party seller’s branding in most cases, and they are the one that services the customer post-purchase. As a facilitator, the retailer receives a commission for these sales, without a need to increase its team size.

This model is seeing global success and other brands such as Home Depot and Macy’s have already adopted this approach to broaden their online offering and reach. The 2018 State of the Merchant eCommerce report found a business using this model saw average revenue growth of 32.7%.

Who Are Mirakl?

Mirakl is the leading global marketplace solutions provider who recently announced that they had raised $70 million to invest in their technology & people to continue to power the platform economy globally.

Launched in 2012, they started to gain success quickly and by 2014 they had over 50 worldwide customers including some of the biggest global leaders. In 2016 they were recognized by Forrester Research as “One of 20 Startups All Retail eBusiness Executives Should Know in 2016”.

Offer More. Learn More. Sell More.

SAP Commerce Marketplace Management by Mirakl enables your retail, manufacturing, or wholesale distribution organisation to create, launch, and operate your online marketplace. You can offer customers the products and services they want while ensuring quality control over your marketplace to limit risks and drive growth.

Eclipse, who has a long-standing relationship with Joules, spearheaded the development and ultimate implementation of the platform enabling Friends of Joules to go from an idea to a market-ready solution integrated with their already successful online store on SAP Commerce.

If you’re looking to offer more products, drive more traffic, make more sales and ultimately increase your profit with a Marketplace, Eclipse can help. Reach out and talk to our team of Passionate People to see how we create Brilliant Commerce tailored to your business.