The Silicon Review
“We partner with brands to provide the technology needed to create a marketplace, of any size, at speed to drive new revenue streams.”
Marketplacer is a global technology Platform as a Service (PaaS) company equipped with the tools and functionality needed to build successful and scalable online marketplaces quickly. The Marketplacer platform exists to simplify growth by implementing marketplace strategies such as shipment from third-party sellers, adding new categories or third-party range extension, consolidating markets, and rolling out modern revenue models such as recurring memberships that allow businesses to grow faster and beyond the constraints of capital inventory.
Richard Hankin, Senior Vice President, North America at Marketplacer, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review on how he and his company are powering leading global marketplaces.
Q. How skilled is the Marketplacer team of experts? And how do they bring value to the company?
It started with the cycling industry where our founder, Jason Wyatt and his long-term industry friend, Sam Salter observed a host of fragmented independent retailers, world-leading brands and a highly engaged community of cyclists wanting to buy, sell, trade, share and engage. Together they developed technology that brought them together under one roof: BikeExchange.
After years of testing, learning and fine-tuning that technology, we recognised other communities, industries and businesses could benefit from this ‘marketplace mentality’. In imagining a world beyond the constraints of inventory and limitations of traditional ecommerce, Marketplacer is focused on helping B2C retailers grow at speed and scale.
Now, we have more than 100,000 hours of building, owning, and managing marketplaces within multiple geographies and industries. We supercharge commerce and have customers in 10 countries, have built over 100 marketplaces, and fuel more than 15,000 sellers. Our executive team hails from industry stalwarts such as Adobe, eBay, IBM, Salesforce and Walmart, for example.
Q. What are your focus areas?
We're working with some of the world's largest traditional businesses such as Myer, Woolworth’s, and Optus, to transform them into marketplace-driven enterprises, where they offer third-party products alongside their first-party inventory. Our vision is to be the most trusted and connected commerce technology on the planet.
We think the marketplace model is the next big thing in ecommerce. At Marketplacer, our view is that it's no longer about an ecommerce strategy or omnichannel; it's commerce. A seamless customer experience whether you're buying digitally or in a brick-and-mortar store.
Q. How do Marketplacer-built tools supercharge commerce and build successful and scalable online marketplaces?
Retailers know of the big marketplaces – eBay, Etsy, and Amazon, but they often don't know that the marketplace model is inherently flexible and suitable for a wide range of business models. This is where Marketplacer comes in. We partner with brands to provide the technology needed to create a marketplace, of any size, at speed to drive new revenue streams.
A common misconception is that the opportunity is for a business to sell via an existing marketplace, not to build their own. A marketplace is a seamless and logical extension for nearly any ecommerce business and enables the retailer to own the entire customer experience.
Our extensive experience building, owning, and managing marketplaces within multiple geographies has allowed us to craft proven methodology and technology. The Marketplacer platform is modular-built, feature-rich, and integrates with several partner systems to provide you with a complete technology partner to launch your marketplace. Retailers leverage our modular-built platform to create the ideal marketplace to scale their business. They select from the relevant module, whether for products, services, events, holidays, or a combination thereof.
Q. What groundbreaking and proactive methodology does Marketplacer US implement to meet its clients' expectations?
We've developed a methodology by which our customers can leverage our 10+ years of experience, learning, and collective expertise to execute their comprehensive marketplace strategies. We call it our "Platform for Growth", a process created to guide Marketplacer customers through three core components of our methodology, Discovery, Technology, and Success, to ensure the ongoing success of their marketplace, from launch through all the way to day-to-day operations.
For example, the initial discovery process is about defining a retailer's marketplace goals and identifying the customer needs they are aiming to satisfy. This step is a series of workshops that map out the marketplace and set it up for success. We help define marketplace goals and identify the customer needs the retailer is aiming to satisfy.
We hold scoping and strategies sessions that help a) define the strategic benefits of creating an insights-led marketplace and b) connect the business's industry insights with Marketplacer's in-depth knowledge of marketplaces to ensure that adopting a marketplace strategy is the right direction for your business. We also conduct a Commercial Workshop that outlines monetization options and an overview of typical revenue and cost levers to help model a three-year capital budget and profit and loss statement.
The Technical Scoping session presents retail customers with a proposed architectural design of their marketplace, relevant to their industry and business needs. We outline the integration approach and scope of the process and the migration plan and schedule.
Q. What new endeavors is Marketplacer currently undertaking?
Marketplacer is always innovating, be it our platform for features for our marketplace operators or merchant sellers, working with partner integrations and leading commerce platforms. We already pride ourselves on removing the friction for marketplace operators to identify and onboard sellers. We continue to invest in this space as it's the single biggest friction for a retailer executing a marketplace strategy with speed and at scale. We also continue to make aggressive inroads in the U.S. market with key senior executive hires, and marquee client wins.
Q. Given how frequently circumstances change, what plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?
The very nature of why we exist is to allow retailers to be transformative. We are invested in what we see as a leading future commerce model. We are in the business of helping retailers transform their current offerings to keep pace with the demands of their customers. That means turning a retailer into a destination and turning suppliers into a community of sellers. We recognize that marketplace strategies are not one size fits all, which is why our platform is extensible and flexible in the way businesses can leverage our platform.
A look at market data trends clearly shows a huge shift of retailers toward a marketplace model. We expect this to accelerate in the years ahead. This is why we are always evolving ways to simplify and streamline the technical processes required for companies to get started with a marketplace.
Q. What is your final message to The Silicon Review readers, your current and future clients, and partners?
It's an exciting time to be an innovative retailer. The world is realizing that with tech, you can change the dynamics of how people buy and consume goods.
Retailers and brands are waking up to the realization they don't have to own the inventory they're selling, which benefits existing customers and attracts new audiences to help fuel growth. The marketplace model is a proven strategy to bring a big lift, 30 percent and higher, when done right. It also offers a lower financial risk to implement, doesn't require internal organizational upheaval, and fosters a test-and-learn environment without the risk traditionally associated with new commerce strategies. All these reasons and more are why we're seeing marketplaces be increasingly adopted by existing ecommerce businesses.
Richard Hankin: A High-Performing Leader
Richard Hankin has been with Marketplacer at their global headquarters in Australia, managing sales across the APAC region since 2020 and now overseeing sales for North America. Under his leadership, Marketplacer supported the development of more than 100 innovative marketplaces including Woolworths, Singtel Optus and more. He has been instrumental in expanding how businesses traditionally think of marketplaces, guiding businesses as diverse as airlines, sports teams, restaurants, and more.