Marketplaces: A promising strategy to counter inflation's impact
The year 2022 witnessed a widening gap between the growth of brand websites and marketplaces, according to the Enterprise Marketplace Index by Mirakl, a French specialist in creating marketplaces for brands and companies. This trend is now being reinforced by inflation after the COVID-19 crisis.
The study focuses on the recent acceleration of marketplaces, while brand websites and retailers are falling behind. These "first-party" sites only experienced a 6% growth last year, while marketplaces surged ahead with a 38% growth rate. Marketplaces are capitalizing on the e-commerce acceleration triggered by the pandemic.
The study analyzed 99 international marketplaces with a combined sales volume of $4 billion, involving 50,000 sellers and 120 million product listings. In addition, Mirakl surveyed 9,600 consumers, of which 89% now pay close attention to online prices due to inflation.
Consumers' pursuit of good deals primarily benefits marketplaces due to their wide range of offerings, which has expanded even further. With the arrival of new brands and sellers on these platforms, the catalogs on marketplaces have grown by 52% in a year, resulting in an average of 1.8 different offers for the same product.
The report cites examples such as H&M Home, which sells its products through various H&M group platforms and partnerships with new brands like Lee/Wrangler, Abstract House, Houseof, and Jollein. Another example is Maison du Mode, whose marketplace activity helped offset the slowdown in its first-party sales. The marketplace segment is said to have doubled, reaching a sales volume of €42.1 million. The American sportswear brand Lands' End stated that 75% of its marketplace sales now come from customers who were previously unfamiliar with the brand.
Average commission of 14.1%
For sellers, the question of commissions charged by marketplaces remains relevant, varying by category. The fashion/accessories and jewellery categories have the highest commission rates, ranging from 15% to 25% and 20% to 25% of the sale amount, respectively.
Sports products follow closely, with commissions ranging from 15% to 20%, while perfumes and cosmetics range from 10% to 15%. By comparison, electronics range from 6% to 10%. The average commission rate across all categories was 14.1% in 2022.
On average, marketplace sellers generated $146,016 in sales volume. This translates to an average revenue of $20,647 per seller through commissions for marketplaces themselves, reflecting a 42% increase from the previous year.
"94% of consumers worldwide expect to use marketplaces in the same or greater capacity in the future. For retailers and brands, 62% plan to sell on more marketplaces in the next 12 months," according to Mirakl. "This data indicates that the ecosystem is expanding."
The success of marketplaces among consumers is driving a ripple effect. In 2022, the number of sellers entering the marketplace space accelerated by 31%. Additionally, 53% of surveyed sellers currently sell on more marketplaces simultaneously than a year ago, with 62% intending to join even more platforms in the next 12 months.
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