Development of online marketplaces and digitization at full speed, physical stores to be reinvented … The year 2020, marked by the health crisis, saw the dramatic acceleration of major transformations in businesses.
Digital marketplaces: the hit of the year?
“The digital transformation of our customers has become obvious,” explains Philippe Corrot, co-founder of the French unicorn Mirakl, which is booming with its software solution for creating and managing internet marketplaces (“marketplaces”).
If many partners have been “affected” by the crisis, 2020 has nevertheless been a good year for the company, which ends with the announcement of the launch of a market place “with very high potential”, according to him, for the DIY giant Leroy Merlin.
According to Akim Denora, Omnicommerce director of the Association Familiale Mulliez (AFM), it will make it possible to offer “an almost unlimited offer”, also with products offered by external sellers.
Having them sell directly also allows distributors to no longer have to manage stocks … and their costs.
“Almost all the brands, (…) whether they are online or not at the origin, are in the process of opening + marketplaces +”, observed at the beginning of the fall Edouard Nattée, CEO of Foxintelligence, which measures the activity of e-commerce companies.
Health concerns, calls to limit travel … The model of the “hard” store has been put to the test.
“Customers have not yet sufficiently found their way to their shops,” noted the association of trade federations Conseil du commerce de France (CDCF) at the end of December.
To bring them back, some brands are trying to reinvent their stores. This is the case of Go Sport, which has just reopened one of its emblematic stores on Place de la République in Paris: its president Philippe Favre wants to make it “a space for expertise and advice”, through the training of certain employees ” as sports coaches “for example. A “30 meter” athletics track is also under construction. Objective: “that customers feel in a sporting environment” and that the store “complements digital”.
Customers today “will take a lot of information upstream on the web, many will go to the store to talk with sellers, see the products, before returning to the site to finalize orders”, abounds Akim Denora to Leroy Merlin.
Second hand in force
Ikea, Zalando, La Redoute, and even Auchan: many brands have started offering second-hand products in 2020, especially in textiles where the pressure is strong with the enthusiasm for the specialized site Vinted.
“It seems that this is a trend which is changing the industry and which persists,” explained the latter’s CEO, Thomas Plantenga, to AFP at the end of October. “That people feel that the industry needs to change, that it needs to be more circular, it will benefit society.”
Ethical commitment, but also economic arbitrage are the keys to this enthusiasm, which is particularly strong among the youngest. This benefits the French site Le Bon Coin, but also online sellers: the digital marketplace Rakuten noted as of December 25 “more than 300,000 new announcements” of gifts resold in one morning in France. The same goes for competitor eBay with “600,000 ads linked to the resale of Christmas gifts” in one day.
“The production of consumer goods worth nearly 5 billion euros could be relocated to France over the next twelve months”, estimated in a mid-November study the consulting firm in business transformation Alvarez & Marsal .
The reasons for this rise in power? On the one hand, to avoid the disruption of distant supply chains, more subject to diplomatic and health risks (border closures, customs duties, etc.). On the other hand, respond to the concerns of consumers wishing to support local producers. This is particularly noticeable for food purchases, according to another study carried out by Accenture and SAP: short circuits, such as direct purchase from producers or local shops, performed well in 2020.