Interview: Mirakl on its UK foodservice marketplace launch

Marc Teulieres is the executive vice president of customer success B2B at Mirakl


How does the foodservice marketplace work? Has it been designed specifically for the wholesale channel? 
Enterprise marketplaces are digital platforms, launched by industry leaders, that offer buyers an extended assortment of products from a base of trusted, high-quality third-party sellers. In an enterprise marketplace, the operator doesn’t own the inventory. Rather, the operator’s role is to facilitate a connection between the buyer and the seller. The end result is a more convenient one-stop shop experience for buyers.

Marc Teulieres

By launching enterprise marketplaces, manufacturers and distributors are deepening their relationship with buyers, gaining invaluable insights into purchasing trends that would otherwise be lost, and creating new channels for revenue growth by attracting new sellers across more categories. The B2B market has lagged behind retailers in terms of enterprise marketplace adoption, but that’s changing fast.

B2B markets have usually lagged behind B2C in terms of enterprise marketplace adoption, but that’s changing fast. Enterprise marketplaces have already been adopted by wholesalers such as Conrad and Kramp (with Maykers), and by manufacturers such as Airbus Helicopters, ABB and Toyota Material Handling. We now see a strong acceleration in the food & beverage distribution, as we’ve just seen with Turner Price. Turner Price is leveraging its marketplace to enrich its product range and to offer new product categories to its customers. The company will gain agility and operational efficiencies and will offer a better, digitally enabled buying experience to its customers.

Read more: Opinion: Marketplace platforms could offer wholesalers a huge sales opportunity

How are you working with wholesalers on the implementation of marketplace? Were they part of the initial planning phase?
Mirakl offers the industry’s first and most advanced enterprise marketplace SaaS platform. Our goal is to help our customers launch marketplaces faster, grow bigger, and operate with confidence as they exceed rising customer expectations. We have a dedicated team of 150 marketplace experts who work with our customers from the earliest days of their marketplace initiatives to provide expertise and support. This process goes both ways: we’re always working with our customers to collect their feedback and enhance our products to better serve them.

Will Turner Price be the only wholesaler initially? Are there plans to extend it to others as well as foodservice buying groups?
Mirakl is working alongside the largest wholesalers around the world. To name a few, we recently worked with Kramp, a large agriculture wholesale company to launch Maykers, a one-stop shop for farmers. With its marketplace, Kramp has increased their business agility to more readily meet the demands of its customers – quickly and at scale. We are also working with the German wholesaler Conrad, creating the first B2B marketplace for technology and electronics in Germany expanding the product assortment by 500, 000 products in just a few months. Last but not least, SalonCentric, a subsidiary of L’Oréal USA recently announced they will leverage Mirakl’s B2B marketplace platform with a one-stop shop for wholesale salon and beauty supply distribution.

We’re also seeing a strong acceleration of the enterprise marketplace model in food & beverage wholesaling. While Turner Price has launched the first foodservice marketplace in the UK, Mirakl works with leading wholesalers across the globe, including UNFI, the largest publicly traded wholesale distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods in the U.S. and Canada, and Metro, a large food & beverage wholesaler in France. We look forward to empowering more wholesalers to make the leap and digitally transform their services in the future.

What impact do you think this will have on the foodservice industry?
The food service industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that’s ready for new digital business ventures. Until now, there hasn’t been a one-stop shop for those in the catering and hospitality industry. With its marketplace, Turner Price is accelerating its online growth, increasing the number of products it offers online by 5X in a matter of months.

Their rapid growth is proof that the marketplace model gives wholesalers a more agile way of working, connecting customers to more brands and delivering the frictionless buying experience B2B buyers now crave. It also provides suppliers an opportunity to serve customers that would otherwise be out of reach, and offers them a way to grow their business within wholesalers’ existing customer bases.

In all, Turner Price’s success sends a clear message to the food service industry: the time to digitally transform is now. The marketplace model offers an opportunity to innovate quickly, and keep up with customer demands. Those who seize that opportunity will thrive in this growing digital first economy.


 

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Paul Hill
Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. Paul can be found on Twitter on @BW_PaulHill, or can be contacted via paul.hill@newtrade.co.uk and 020 7689 3376.

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