Integration and Automation Key Ingredients to Marketplace Success - Photo by Kindel MediaThere is no doubt that customers love marketplaces. Accelerated by the boost to online shopping during the pandemic, these platforms have only grown in popularity. According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research, revenue from marketplace sales has risen 9.4% year-on-year, outstripping the 7.4% growth of companies without a marketplace presence.

At Jitterbit, helping our customers integrate and automate their way to marketplace success, we wanted to understand how senior retailers across Europe view their current marketplace strategy. We commissioned an independent study to take a closer look at this latest iteration of the evolution of eCommerce.

In our report ‘eCommerce Marketplace Strategy: The Power of Hyperautomation: How Online Retailers are Using Integration to Maximise Marketplace Revenue and Efficiency’, we were able to delve further into how retailers across Europe feel about their marketplace strategy. The report also examines the benefits and challenges they are experiencing and what they plan to do to stay competitive in such a growth market.

The (Market)place to be

Riding the wave of marketplace success, retailers across Europe have fully embraced the phenomenon. 95% already have a marketplace presence, with the remaining 5% planning to in the next five years.

Top marketplaces vary between countries, but Amazon is the first choice for 18% of the continent’s retailers, followed closely by other marketplace giants eBay (14%) and Etsy (8%). Regional marketplaces, like El Corte Inglés in Spain, Zalando in Germany and Bol in the Netherlands, do well in their own countries, with representation among the top four of each country.

61% of retailers say that their marketplace experience is manageable and that benefits include a sales boost (32%), faster buying processes (37%) and a cost reduction (36%). Many also enjoy offering their customers increased flexibility (22%) and using the platforms’ marketing and advertising features (26%).

The fly in the ointment

However, despite the firm intention to continue trading on marketplaces over the next few years, many retailers also report that challenges are holding them back from making the most of the opportunity.

Most are currently trading on only one platform. Few currently plan to increase this within the near future. Our survey indicates that this reluctance to diversify could be partly explained by the several disparate systems necessary to trade on marketplaces today. Retailers already suspect that a lack of integration between existing systems is currently holding them back from making the most of their marketplace presence compared to other vendors.

  • 78% of retailers reported finding trading on marketplaces was challenging
  • 88% cited disparate processes as the number one challenge
  • 77% suspect that their own lack of integration is holding them back compared to other vendors
  • 83% of retailers admitted to still having more than 10 manual data processes in their marketplace tech stack, with 31% having 31 or more

The key for this to run seamlessly is integration. Jitterbit works with retailers and marketplaces, helping our clients get the most out of their collaboration.

The start of a beautiful friendship

Retailers and marketplace platforms have a symbiotic relationship. They depend upon each other for success. With many platforms for customers to choose from, consumer ratings, fulfilment efficiency, and pricing take on greater importance. Retailers could seek alternative platforms if they experience poor service or low traffic.

Marketplace platforms could remove vendors from the marketplace if they don’t maintain high standards in fulfilment and customer satisfaction.

If you can’t beat them – join them

Marketplaces are so dominant in online retail today that retailers are now considering a “can’t beat them, join them” approach to secure customer relationships and protect brand value. 88% of our respondents said they were considering building their own marketplace.

While launching a successful marketplace has many benefits, the importance of integrated and automated systems and a low-code / no-code platform increases with scale and ambition. Based on our survey, the strategy of retailers vending on multiple marketplaces while managing their own marketplace will be an increasingly common occurrence.

Are we reaching ‘peak marketplace’?

We see no reason to doubt that market momentum will continue, and consequently, competition between the marketplace brands will intensify. Quality, speed and efficiency in marketplace operations will become even more crucial in vendors’ battle to maintain and grow market share.

With no ‘peak marketplace’ in sight, there is no doubt that there’s still significant opportunity ahead for those retailers that dare to diversify their marketplace trading – or even to create their own. But for this to succeed, retailers must eradicate their manual processes once and for all – and fully embrace hyperautomation.

The good news is that we are there to help them every step of the way. Seamless integration and, through that, hyperautomation, will be the key to unlocking diverse marketplace opportunities across Europe.

Read our full report here.


Jitterbit-2023Jitterbit is a global technology business serving over 3,000 customers around the world. We are dedicated to empowering your business transformation through seamless, automated integration. Automating your business processes means accelerated, more informed decision-making and better customer experiences. Our Harmony platform combines API Management, business process optimisation and no-code app creation to help you remove all manual data processes from your business and achieve hyperautomation faster.  Find out more about Harmony here at www.jitterbit.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

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