Joost de Bot, Vice President and EMEA General Manager, Jitterbit
There’s no getting away from it – your customers love marketplaces. Offering almost infinite choice, simple price comparison, helpful customer reviews, and one-click checkout with fast fulfilment – marketplaces have reshaped eCommerce.
Recent figures from the Centre for Economic and Business Research reveal revenue from marketplace sales increased 9.4% year-on-year just in 2022, outstripping the 7.4% growth of companies without a marketplace presence. It has been predicted that by 2025, 65% of cross-border online sales in Europe will be carried out on multi-vendor marketplaces.
At Jitterbit, we’ve long been behind the scenes, helping our customers integrate and automate their way to marketplace success – for retailers and marketplace operators. Wanting to understand how senior retailers across Europe see their marketplace strategy evolving, we commissioned an independent market research company, Vitreous World, to survey 200 of them.
Our survey found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that 95% of our respondents already trade on marketplaces and that the few remaining retailers not yet on a marketplace (5%) plan to be on one within the next five years. However, we also discovered that most of our respondents (78%) find operating on marketplaces challenging and cite manual processes as the biggest hurdle to overcome. Almost as many (77%) report that they are less competitive in the marketplace than other companies due to cumbersome and disparate systems creating data silos.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Looking closer at the experience of European retailers, I want to share five steps to getting more out of your marketplace strategy.
Many of our survey respondents use integration, but not all integrations are equal. Although they may serve as an entry point, retailers should abandon simple point-to-point integration solutions as their business scales – these can quickly become unmanageable. Instead, find an integration partner who provides an Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS). A good IPaaS solution will not only make managing tens, even hundreds of integrations straightforward by automating them – they’ll also provide the support and out-of-the-box workflows you need to grow.
Retailers know that automating processes can dramatically improve efficiency and enhance service quality. And yet, over half, 58% of our respondents, report more than 20 manual data processes in their operations, and 77% say manual data processes inside their business prevent them from making the most of their marketplace presence.
What’s more, with AI solutions increasingly being deployed, automating their integration becomes essential to realising efficiencies. With this new wave of AI innovation breaking on the eCommerce shore, retailers without a fully-automated integration solution will likely find themselves exposed when the tide goes out.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – retailers need to diversify their marketplace presence to maximise revenue. They should explore opportunities in multiple marketplaces to reach a wider audience and capitalise on various consumer preferences.
Again, multi-marketplace activation is only feasible with automated integration. Any challenges you’re encountering with manual data processes will metastasise when more marketplaces are added to your mix.
Stay on top of emerging trends and opportunities, and ensure your systems and processes are automated and can be quickly adapted to accommodate a pivot.
Relying on manual processes to fill in the gaps between your workflows or manually updating point-to-point integrations is too slow to keep up with your competitors and the fast-moving market.
In an increasingly competitive market, retailers must prioritise quality products, excellent customer service, and fast delivery. If you can’t provide the seamless service that marketplace customers expect, you may find poor reviews become a vicious cycle, impacting sales and leading to more negative ratings. In this spiralling scenario, marketplaces may even terminate your access as a vendor.
Staying ahead in the game requires constant attention to your key indicators. You can only succeed with seamless, integrated processes.
Retailers who want to stay competitive in the ever-changing eCommerce landscape must embrace hyperautomation, removing clunky manual processes, adopting best-of-breed technology as it comes on stream and delivering seamless customer service – whichever marketplace the customer chooses to be on.
To read the full report, visit: https://www.jitterbit.com/report/what-are-european-retailers-thoughts-on-trading-on-marketplaces?utm_source=Internet+Retailing+Magazine&utm_medium=Referral&utm_campaign=EMEA+Marketplace+Report+Q2FY