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Darty boosts margins with Mirakl marketplace

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 19 August 2016

Marketplace platform provider Mirakl reckons that Darty, a leading European electronics retailer, is seeing better visibility in search, greater profit margins, and new category growth after implementing the Mirakl marketplace solution in 2014. According to a new case study published by Forrester Research, Darty attributes its marketplace success to buy in from C-level support and the foresight to start with non-overlapping product categories, dedicate adequate employee resources, and take advantage Mirakl’s marketplace platform versus custom building their own solution.

Darty’s online marketplace has delivered the following results to date: the retailer is able to generate €6 to €7 euros for every €100 sold through the marketplace (including any costs for administering the marketplace), compared to €2 to €3 that it generates from €100 sold in products that it stocks directly.

In addition, 20% of visits to Darty’s website are driven by its marketplace items, which it attributes to increased visibility in search engine results. The retailer has seen an increase from 120,000 owned SKUs on Darty.com to 520,000 SKUs via the marketplace initiative.

Forrester spoke with Darty executives Cecile Helme-Guizon, strategy director, and Olivier Godart, director of e-commerce. Based on Darty’s experience, Forrester made a series of recommendations to retailers in order to make the most of their own marketplace.

Forrester stated: “Analyse the buy- versus -build question carefully. Few retailers truly understand the complexities of managing hundreds or thousands of sellers, and few have the full IT resources to dedicate to this effort. Darty pays a maintenance and service fee to an outside vendor on an ongoing basis – but by outsourcing the marketplace project ensured the company spent less upfront on an uncertain technology product and was able to generate a quick win.”

Online marketplaces are not ‘set- and -forget’ initiatives, according to Forrester. Retailers must constantly manage seller effectiveness, accuracy of seller content and customer satisfaction with seller products. These tasks require dedicated and capable team members whose careful management ensures the overall success of the marketplace programme, claimed Forrester.

Forrester also advises retailers to work with the most receptive internal partners first. Internal merchants and stores often see marketplace as a sales competitor. To avoid that scenario, it can be wise to begin with non-overlapping categories, according to Forrester. This gives the company culture time to digest the marketplace initiative.

Adrien Nussenbaum, US CEO and co-founder at Mirakl, commented: “Darty’s marketplace success is the result of three things. First, Darty had the full support of the C-Suite and the ability to ingratiate the marketplace into company culture. Second, thanks to management’s support, Darty was able to dedicate the proper resources to the project. Finally, Darty chose to use the proven Mirakl marketplace solution, avoiding a long and costly custom technology build that ultimately saved the company millions of dollars.”

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