Connected CommerceMay 19, 2020

Retailers Get Collaborative in New Marketplace Business Model

By GABRIELLA BOCK | MANAGING EDITOR

There’s no better time than now to rethink the traditional supply chain. 

While inventory and distribution challenges have run amok during the COVID-19 pandemic, smart businesses around the world are finding success by working together. 

Instead of waiting to see its category rebound, Romanian fashion brand Miniprix decided to get inventive.

With the help of VTEX, a global, cloud-based e-Commerce Platform and Omnichannel solutions provider servicing companies such as Stanley Black & Decker and Motorola, Miniprix was able to refocus its online store on a product that was in greater demand: food. 

Enter Minimarket. 

In less than two weeks, Miniprix dove deep into a new category and began buying and managing food and pet supplies for the people of Bucharest.

Through VTEX’s solution, Miniprix joined forces with local suppliers and transformed its eCommerce site into a marketplace of its own—a rising digital selling strategy VTEX calls “collaborative commerce.”

 

   Food for sale on the  Minimarket |  Miniprix

 

Miniprix’s timely, if unconventional, pivot into food was so successful the retailer is now planning to roll out Minimarket as a stand-alone business. 

In a recent interview, Amit Shah, VTEX’s US general manager and chief strategy officer, told RETHINK Retail that collaborative commerce is one of the best ways for a retailer to increase its product assortment in other categories without taking the inventory or fulfillment risk. 

 “I think many retail stores are suffering the same issues right now,” Shah revealed. “If there was inventory in-store, all of that inventory is now stuck to some degree.”

 

  Collaborative commerce offers a lot more flexibility for retailers because they’re no longer relying solely on their own infrastructure to service the end customer.”

 

And Minprix isn’t the only retailer that has found success with VTEX’s marketplace solution. 

In March, photo and video equipment retailer F64 and Dacris, a B2B office supplies company, teamed up to meet new consumer demands brought on by the sudden shift to remote working.  

F64 now offers its customers an array of home office equipment, which is fulfilled by Dacris, while Dacris integrates into F64’s inventory to sell cameras and home studio equipment for video conferencing.

Miniprix, F64 and Dacris are prime examples of what businesses can do when they think outside the box and employ quick solutions that fit their customers’ needs—even if those needs fall outside their typical offerings.

“I think the marketplace trend is one that’s first been accelerated in B2C but we’re also now seeing it in B2B environments where the manufacturer thinks not only about selling the product or the equipment, but is also thinking about what happens afterward,” Shah revealed. 

“So, they’re all creating these new ecosystems that span a longer customer relationship than that initial purchase.”

And if there’s anything retailers should be planning for now, it’s the afterward.

 


 

VTEX is the first and only global, fully integrated, end-to-end commerce solution with native marketplace and OMS capabilities.

VTEX helps companies in retail, manufacturing, wholesale, groceries, consumer packaged goods and other verticals to sell more, operate more efficiently, scale seamlessly and deliver remarkable customer experience.

Their modern microservices-based architecture and our powerful business and developer tools allow VTEX to future-proof our customers’ businesses and free them from software updates.