Marketplace Talk: February's ecommerce news

Ready to catch up with February’s ecommerce news? We’ve got you covered!
Read about February's top marketplace news, including Bol's remarkable financial surge, Wish's acquisition by Qoo10, and Blokker's strategic online comeback in Belgium. Key insights also reveal Alibaba's revitalization, Mirakl's profitability leap, and the innovative push in social commerce and AI-driven shopping experiences.

📈 Bol's bright year: A fifth up in results, trade volume hits €5.8 Billion

Ahold Delhaize reveals a significant uptick in Bol's financial outcomes for 2023, marking a strategic disclosure of the platform's performance.


Bol's gross result surged by 21.5% to €151 million, with trade volume growing by 4.9% to €5.8 billion, outpacing its revenue increase of 7.3% to €2.9 billion.


This announcement comes amidst Ahold Delhaize's broader success, with a 6.3% rise in European online sales to €7.6 billion, contributing to a total revenue boost of 1.9% to €88.6 billion. 


🆕 Wish finds new home: ContextLogic's $173 Million deal with Qoo10

In a strategic move, ContextLogic announces the sale of Wish to Singapore's Qoo10 for $173 million, marking a pivotal shift for the discount online retailer. 


ContextLogic will remain as an entity holding proceeds from the deal as well as US$2.7 billion of so-called net operating loss carryforwards, a tax-related asset that can be used to lower taxable income in the future.


Blokker re-enters Belgian market with a digital twist through Bol

Blokker, a household name in retail, has marked its return to the Belgian market not through traditional brick-and-mortar stores but via an innovative online strategy, partnering with Bol.


This move comes after Blokker's withdrawal from Belgium at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, shutting down its physical stores and online presence.


However, leveraging its 43-year legacy and significant brand recognition in Belgium, Blokker sees a promising opportunity for online sales.


The retailer's choice to sell its full range of private label products through bol, from kitchenware to home essentials, is strategic, benefiting from Bol's vast reach and Blokker's strong price-quality proposition.


“We have learned that the trusted brand name Blokker, its brand range with a strong price/quality ratio, and the enormous reach of Bol, form a successful combination,” a spokesperson of Blokker.


This re-entry into Belgium underscores a strategic pivot to ecommerce, aiming to capture the market through a trusted online platform, and unlocking a great potential for growth in the marketplace.


This is a great example of how brands can put their products at the center of their strategy. With this move, Blokker shows that the products are suitable for a whole new addressable market, in this case, a geographical extension. That is an obvious case but brands can also benefit from marketplace exposition with a different target audience for instance.”


February 2023 (2)Twan Rutten
Strategic Business Growth Lead


💵 Mirakl hits profitability with 20% ARR growth: a new era for ecommerce platforms

Mirakl, a global leader in ecommerce platform solutions, has announced a milestone achievement in 2023, reaching profitability for its Mirakl Platform and recording a substantial 20% growth in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).


This success is highlighted by an impressive $8.6 billion GMV transacted on its platforms, a 50% increase year-over-year, amidst challenging market conditions. 


The company's strategic expansions, including the launch of Mirakl Ads and Mirakl Payout, alongside securing a €100 million credit facility for future acquisitions, reflect its financial maturity and innovation-driven growth.


By integrating advanced AI capabilities and reinforcing its suite with new features, Mirakl is poised to meet the rising demands of ecommerce, offering comprehensive solutions that empower retailers to thrive in a competitive digital landscape.


🔼 Alibaba bounces back with strategic revamp and leadership shift

Alibaba, the titan of Chinese ecommerce, has declared its resurgence in the competitive digital marketplace.


Co-founder Joe Tsai revealed that after a period of intense scrutiny, internal reorganization, and the scrapping of a high-profile cloud computing IPO, Alibaba is confidently navigating its way back to the top.


The company, facing fierce competition from budget-friendly alternatives like PDD Holdings and the rise of live-streaming sales on Douyin, has undergone a significant management overhaul, including Tsai stepping in as chairman and Eddie Wu taking the helm as CEO.


This leadership reshuffle, part of a broader strategy to split Alibaba into six business units for potential public listings, marks a pivotal turn in the company's trajectory.


With aspirations to push ecommerce penetration in China beyond 40% in the next five years, Alibaba is not just surviving but aiming to thrive amid evolving market dynamics and ongoing US-China tensions.


📲 Navigating consumer concerns in Social Commerce


In a recent exploration by Chubb, a striking contrast emerges between consumer and retailer concerns in social commerce. 


With an impressive 85% of consumers placing their trust in social media marketplaces over traditional online platforms (48%), the report unveils a unique landscape where trust plays a pivotal role.


However, the journey is not without its hurdles; 75% of consumers reported experiencing financial fraud, and issues like delivery delays and damaged goods further test their faith.


The study, involving over 500 consumers and 525 retailers, highlights a critical gap: while social commerce wins on trust, the path to maintaining it is fraught with challenges, signalling a call to action for businesses to fortify consumer confidence through seamless and secure experiences.


“Whether it’s on social media or on ecommerce platforms, the customer journey must be simple, easy, and give the consumer confidence — their trust is fragile,” said Amy McNeece, senior vice president of digital consumer partnerships for Chubb in North America. 


🌐 Instagram's marketplace expands: Bridging brands and creators across the globe


Instagram's marketplace, a vibrant hub for creators and brands to forge paid partnerships, is now reaching new shores.


Expanding into eight additional countries, including Canada, Australia, and Brazil, this move aims to globalize the creative economy.


Initially tested in the U.S., the platform has successfully onboarded thousands, enhancing the way brands and creators collaborate.


With a focus on authenticity and reach, Instagram's marketplace leverages machine learning to match perfect partnerships, promising a new era of digital marketing where content creators and brands can thrive together in a mutually beneficial ecosystem.


Instagram’s rivals like Snap, YouTube, and TikTok all offer creator marketplace functionality. Learn about ChannelEngine’s integration with TikTok Shop


💡 Social Commerce: A global snapshot of ecommerce evolution

In the digital age, shopping has transcended traditional boundaries, with social commerce emerging as a formidable force. A Statista Market Insights forecast reveals a significant trajectory: social commerce could account for 22% of ecommerce transactions by 2028


Leading the charge is China, where nearly half of all ecommerce revenue stems from social platforms like Douyin.


Despite its burgeoning popularity, the landscape varies globally, with social commerce expected to play a differing role across major economies.


This shift underscores the dynamic nature of ecommerce, highlighting the growing influence of social platforms in shaping how we shop.



🤖 Amazon's AI assistant Rufus: revolutionizing online shopping

Amazon introduces Rufus, a groundbreaking AI-powered shopping assistant, setting a new standard in ecommerce.


Rufus, accessible via the Amazon Shopping app (in beta and limited to the US at the moment), offers a seamless blend of expertise and personalization, answering queries, recommending products, and facilitating a user-friendly shopping experience.


By integrating comprehensive product knowledge with customer insights, Rufus transcends traditional online shopping barriers, offering tailored advice and fostering an interactive shopping environment.


This innovation not only enhances customer satisfaction but also represents a significant leap forward in utilizing AI to bridge the gap between digital convenience and personalized service.


Although Rufus is not Amazon's inaugural foray into GenAI capabilities, this latest iteration elevates the experience.


Rufus allows customers to engage in contextual conversations, asking detailed questions about products or specific shopping needs, like the suitability of an item for a particular use.


🔗 Amazon update: Variations can be selected from the search page

Amazon has introduced a significant update, enabling users to access product variations directly from the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when browsing the marketplace. 


This enhancement underscores the growing importance of variations, with expectations for an increase in click-through rates (CTR).


It represents a valuable chance for sellers to innovate and present distinctive options to customers. Notably, this feature is accessible only for organic search results, not for sponsored products.


“This initiative by Amazon is a stride towards improving the shopping experience, offering a streamlined way for users to explore and select product variations right from the search page. It opens the door for sellers to better display the range of their products and meet the specific needs and preferences of consumers more effectively.”


Jorrit_ChannelEngineJorrit Steinz
CEO & Founder


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