New report from Mirakl shows how third-party sellers are accelerating enterprise marketplace growth among top retailers worldwide

Mirakl, the enterprise marketplace SaaS platform, has released the 2021 Enterprise Marketplace Seller Report, detailed analysis of enterprise marketplace data examining third-party seller activity on leading retailer marketplaces around the world.

A companion to Mirakl’s 2021 Enterprise Marketplace Index, this inaugural report sheds light on third-party sellers and how they are fueling the growth of the enterprise marketplace model. Top findings include: marketplace momentum is attracting sellers, with 36% joining enterprise marketplaces in just the last 15 months; the largest sellers (top 25%) contribute 88% of gross merchandise value (GMV); and sellers outperform traditional eCommerce customer service benchmarks, with 50% lower return rates and 4.5/5 satisfaction ratings.

The 2021 Enterprise Marketplace Seller Report aggregates data from across more than 50,000 sellers, 60 million products, and billions of dollars in GMV representing more than 70 Mirakl-powered Marketplaces worldwide. Over the last year, marketplaces have grown at more than double the rate of eCommerce, demonstrating the increasing importance of third-party sellers in enabling top retailers to provide customers with anytime, anywhere access to the products they need.

Despite these impressive numbers, the world of marketplace sellers remains mysterious to many retailers. This lack of understanding limits marketplace operators in their efforts to grow and expand, as each new seller provides a GMV contribution of nearly $110,000 on average. The Enterprise Marketplace Seller Report empowers retailers launching and scaling enterprise marketplaces to better understand seller profiles and craft effective plans for seller onboarding, retention and growth.

“The acceleration of the enterprise marketplace model is expanding opportunities for incumbent retailers and third-party sellers alike to come together and thrive in a highly competitive eCommerce environment,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO of Mirakl. “The data from this new report quantifies that in addition to gaining new GMV from each new third-party seller, sellers are key to retailer marketplaces expanding their assortment faster, with greater differentiation, and higher customer satisfaction than through traditional eCommerce models alone.” 

The Enterprise Marketplace Seller Report’s key findings include: 

  • Enterprise marketplace sellers are diverse, representing three main business models: There are three primary types of sellers: marketplace native sellers (generating 63% of GMV across all enterprise marketplaces in Q1 2021), brand sellers (generating 20% of GMV), and eCommerce retailers (generating 17% of GMV). The variety allows retailers to more precisely tune and curate the composition of their marketplaces to better serve the needs of their shoppers.
  • Large sellers are prevalent, but a wave of small and medium-size sellers are on the rise: While large sellers accounted for 88% of marketplace GMV during the first quarter of 2021, small-and medium-sized sellers have doubled their GMV contribution in that same period and tripled in the past year. Small-to mid-sized sellers will continue to be a force in the coming years as retailers look for unique product selections. The momentum of enterprise marketplaces is reflected in the increasing rush of sellers online: More than a third (36%) of sellers joined enterprise marketplaces in just the last 15 months.
  • Nearly half of all sellers cover multiple marketplaces: Cross-marketplace coverage is on the rise, as sellers are seeking - and finding - expansion opportunities by partnering with leading retailers. Nearly half (47%) of sellers are now covering multiple marketplaces, up from 38% the previous year. As they expand, however, they proactively differentiate their assortment to match the needs of each partner: 74% of these sellers have different catalogues per marketplace.
  • Third-party sellers outperform traditional eCommerce benchmarks for assortment quality and customer service: Experienced sellers earn an impressive 4.5 out of 5 rating from highly satisfied shoppers. They also have lower refund rates (50% lower than traditional ecommerce) and fewer customer service inquiries per order than their first-party seller peers.
  • Marketplace sellers onboard quickly, and rapidly grow GMV for retailers: Time-to-value is accelerating for marketplace sellers. The fastest 25% of sellers averaged only five calendar days of total onboarding, from first contact to live marketplace offer, with catalog integration taking as little as a single day. A retention rate of 93% reflects a lasting relationship between seller and marketplace. The report also highlights that sellers tend to expand to additional marketplaces after succeeding on their first marketplace, leading to an environment where sellers are treated like marketplace customers.

“We are very, very happy with the quarter-over-quarter and month-over-month growth we are seeing in the marketplace,” said Timothy Baxter, CEO of Express, Inc. 

“Express’s marketplace accounted for 30% of my company’s sales during the holiday season, and most customers who come through the site are new to our brand,” stated Rocky Collins, founder and CEO of CALI HNDSME, a seller on Express’s enterprise marketplace.

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