There have been huge changes to the way we work in recent weeks, months and years, speeding up the move to flexible and digital working, and the impact of artificial intelligence. One growth area is the use of third-party marketplaces among e-commerce providers, which has seen particular growth in the last few months as businesses have scrambled to get themselves online.
French software vendor Mirakl works with e-commerce platforms to help them add third-party sellers through the addition of a marketplace, broadening their appeal, services and customer base.
Mirakl started life as an online marketplace operator, and is now a provider of marketplaces
In 2005, the founders of Mirakl established SplitGames, which included a multi-channel marketplace. After its acquisition in 2008, they went on to found Mirakl, to provide online marketplaces to others. Last year, the company announced the launch of Mirakl Connect, which allows Mirakl customers to operate on multiple marketplaces at once. It also enables new e-commerce platforms to find third-party sellers more easily, and speeds up their expansion by reducing the effort required to get started.
Mirakl has grown rapidly over the last few years
Since its foundation in 2012, Mirakl has raised $93 million in funding, including a single round of $70 million last year. Over the last five years, it has expanded to reach customers in four continents and 40 countries, and now has over 100 employees. It has also opened subsidiaries in Germany, the United States and United Kingdom during that period. Its customers include both B2B and B2C businesses.
Marketplaces offer huge advantages to e-commerce businesses
There are three big advantages to the use of third-party marketplaces for e-commerce businesses. First, they enable rapid and low-risk expansion of goods or services offered, without the need to scale up or change the business. Second, they allow businesses to become a ‘one-stop shop’ for customers, and therefore their first port of call. Third, they provide additional data that can be used to find out more about customers’ wants and needs and therefore enable businesses to provide more services that will add value. The use of a marketplace makes it considerably easier for e-commerce companies to integrate the catalogues of new acquisitions or partners. This therefore reduces the time to generate value from the acquisition or partnership process.
COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of e-commerce, including marketplaces
Over the last few months, most of us have become increasingly aware of the importance of e-commerce in our lives. More and more businesses are looking to join marketplaces, and Mirakl has been quick to provide tools and support to enable them to do so. These include, for example, a webinar on how marketplaces can help businesses to navigate COVID-19. The webinar sets out industry trends, and also provides customer case studies to show how other firms have benefitted from the use of marketplaces.
Mirakl has partnered with AI firm silverback.ai to deliver new capabilities
Mirakl recently announced a strategic partnership with silverback.ai, a marketplace performance engine based on artificial intelligence. This will enable Mirakl customers to access better insights and therefore improve decision-making about price and product offering, and when to use promotions. Automated real-time decisions are more relevant to customers, and enable businesses to respond rapidly to market changes, growing faster in response to demand.
Mirakl provides help to its customers through its Customer Success Team and Mirakl University
The help provided by the team includes with business strategy, preparing a business plan, and putting in place practices to give customers the best chance of success. Mirakl University provides certification in use of the Mirakl marketplace, ensuring that e-commerce teams are ready to take advantage of all that is on offer. The Mirakl University certification is provided by the Customer Success team, so the two forms of support can be successfully combined as needed.
Mirakl also gives its customers access to a wide range of partners in its ecosystem
The Mirakl BLINK Partner Program is a term used to describe the ecosystem of Mirakl partners available to customers. The list of partners is carefully curated to ensure that they provide reliable and useful technology and services. This enables Mirakl customers to integrate other services, and be confident that the process will run smoothly. Current partners include Salesforce, Drupal, Symfony, Oracle and IBM: some of the biggest names in the IT business.