Commerce is becoming a platform business 2 months ago

“PLAY DIGITAL” was the tagline of this year’s ECD Day, bringing together 500+ people from brands, retailers and marketplaces to “turn platform business into people business”.

Below some takeaways on what I learnt from attending a few of the 20+ practically oriented, deep-dive talks and interactive discussions.

YEAY: GenZ, data, and your future
Generation Z will represent 40% of consumers by 2020. Yeay therefore built an innovative video platform enabling GenZ to sell, buy and share products with one tap – with an own currency system so teens do not need a bank account or involve their parents to do commerce. I found it also interesting that 70%+ of this next generation of 13-23 years old want to start their own business and do not react well to today’s “over-mediated” marketing model, so there is a need to embrace this new generation in new ways and rethink commerce.

Digitec Galaxus: Biggest impact of a market entry in Switzerland
The #1 Swiss online seller with 25+% non-food online market share is continuing to innovate. The in detail presented EU-Hub will significantly reduce entry barriers and friction for German merchants to do business with Swiss consumers by taking over the fulfillment of all Switzerland-related logistics and customs. Furthermore, Digitec Galaxus is another marketplace focusing on improving content quality, increasing automation, and shortening delivery times.

myToys: The myToys Group Partner Programme: Partnership on equal terms
Interesting to witness the development of myToys from a toys-only retailer to the #1 EU Family E-Commerce player with a “mall concept” of 4 different merchant brands on one single platform. Also great insights on achieving a high CLV (customer lifetime value) by offering relevant products not only for kids, but also teenagers and their parents. Furthermore, myToys shares the model of e.g. Amazon to enable both B2C drop-shipping and B2B cross-shipping. However, it is a closed marketplace with a focus on equal, close partnerships with selected brands and merchants.

La Redoute Marketplace: Leading Platform for Fashion and Home
Impressive market reach in France as #1 fashion / clothes / shoes seller with a 99% brand awareness. The new marketplace concept seems to be working with already 500+ sellers online. A key differentiator to e.g. Amazon, eBay is that La Redoute persistently remains highly selective on which brands to onboard on its platform based on offering, business, (product) quality and online maturity. Similar to Digitec Galaxus, La Redoute can be a great enabler for brands and merchants to connect with specific customer groups, in this case the French fashion & homeware market.

MS Direct: Grüezi – E-Commerce in Switzerland
Not a marketplace itself, MS Direct enables cross-border commerce by providing in-depth solutions, services and knowledge on how to conduct cross-border commerce with the Swiss market. An example is that MS Direct takes care of setting up all VAT-, customs- and shipping-related registrations, processes and documentation to equip European merchants with robust, simple to operate and scalable business & technical processes.

Conclusion
Established, large merchants such as Digitec Galaxus, La Redoute and myToys increasingly expand their commerce footprint by establishing their own, often cross-border online marketplaces. These market offerings are complemented by professional service providers such as MS Direct to enable these businesses, but also innovative new business models such as Yeay that rethink how a commerce platform can operate for a new generation.

Get the full event notes here online.

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