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Marketplace Madness: A Look at the Past, Present, and Future of Marketplaces

How marketplaces have evolved and how the connections created within marketplaces give brands a more 360 view of customers

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Mini malls, shopping centers, and large department stores all still exist and remain popular despite their digital counterparts

But online marketplaces are where more and more brands are gathering to not just sell goods, but to get a better 360 view of their customers, and gain access to sell products from other big name brands that fit their marketplace niche. Jason Wyatt is the Executive Chairman at Marketplacer, a business dedicated to creating marketplaces, so he knows a thing or two about the industry, and it’s one he absolutely loves.

“Marketplacer is probably the most fascinating business that I’ve ever been associated with because it enabled so much global connection and enables people and businesses all over the world to sell things they don’t own and to really supercharge commerce,” he says.

Wyatt has seen marketplaces evolve, especially in recent years, there are some truly innovative ideas that have come to life thanks to Marketplacer. One example is Providoor, an Australian marketplace for restaurants that was built as a reaction to COVID-19 and reached a $100 million run rate within 12 weeks.

But even in the post-pandemic world, there will be areas that Wyatt believes marketplaces will rule, including in the B2B space, where some are skeptical of the merits of a marketplace strategy.

“From a B2B perspective, from a traditional brand, when you’re selling to retailers, when you’re consolidating in a B2B industry, how does a marketplace make sense?” Wyatt asks. “The interesting play within there is the unfair advantages to businesses is pretty similar as it is to a B2C perspective. Their unfair advantage is really anchored around their existing stockists or retailer base that they sell into. They’ve got a great community of sales representatives or sellers on the floor who are going around and servicing them. How can they then connect up to other suppliers in other industries that could actually sell to that community and we make it easier to do that? And there’s a really sort of large demand at the moment behind B2B marketplaces as well.”

Finding that unfair advantage that a marketplace brings to the table is how Marketplacer has built successful marketplaces in 10 countries and formed partnerships with big names around the world.

“We always identify what we consider to be an unfair advantage when we help our clients and customers really figure out whether it’s a worthwhile strategic project for them,” Wyatt says. “Because it’s a strategic project to go through, that marketplace journey. And the unfair advantage has really been always anchored around two core elements. The first being an existing community or audience or customer base that you know they want to buy more things from you. Or you know you can connect them up in a single destination to improve that customer experience. And the second is more often not the ability to have an in-depth knowledge of the supply base, a connectivity into that supply base and product base. You can actually really exploit the now and explore the future around connecting those two sides of those marketplace journeys.”

To hear more from Wyatt, tune into Up Next in Commerce, here.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

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