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There's a new pathway for brands to expand the number of marketplaces on which they sell.
The news: Ecommerce accelerator Pattern is joining Mirakl Connect, the ecosystem of marketplace platform Mirakl. With this tie-up, brands that work with Pattern will be able to sell on marketplaces in the Mirakl Connect network.
What do the partners bring?
Mirakl Connect includes more than 350 retailers that use Mirakl software to power third-party marketplaces, including Kroger, Belk, and Macy’s. Combined, these platforms generated $4.3 billion in gross merchandise value in 2021.
Pattern has a platform that is designed to help brands increase sales across DTC websites, online marketplaces, and other digital channels, while also managing warehousing, fulfillment and logistics. It is used by brands including Panasonic, Converse, Stance, and KONG. The platform recently crossed $1 billion in sales.
What will this partnership provide?
It’s an opportunity for brands that use Pattern to reach new audiences through marketplaces in Mirakl’s ecosystem. Pattern already allows brands to sell with marketplaces such as Amazon, Tmall, Target and Walmart. This will open up more opportunities.
It comes as third-party marketplaces, which allow brands and sellers to sell through ecommerce stores but require them to handle their own logistics, are rapidly growing as sales channels. Edge by Ascential forecasts that marketplaces are expected to account for 60% of global ecommerce by 2027, becoming the largest global retail channel.
“As the online commerce landscape continues to shift, brands need to stay nimble to be where their customers prefer to shop online. Increasingly, that means marketplaces,” said Pattern Director of Marketplaces George Hatch, in a statement. “Plugging our ecommerce acceleration platform into Mirakl Connect gives our partners access to the customer bases of the world’s most trusted retailers, while enriching the digital shelves of retailers within the network with an expanded selection of premium products.”
Retailers are standing up marketplaces as they seek to grow the assortment on already-well-trafficked ecommerce stores, which can in turn help to drive repeat buying and advantages on pricing. They also recognize opportunities to provide advertising and other services to brands who sell through marketplaces.
One recent sign of this interest is the September move by Macy’s to launch a marketplace, which is powered by Mirakl.
As marketplaces grow, brands will seek to have a presence on different sites, just like they stock their merchandise in a variety of stores. As Mirakl continues to expand the number of marketplaces on its platform, brands that work with Pattern can realize new options as they grow.
“Having a strong multi-marketplace strategy is essential to success in today’s ecommerce landscape,” said Mirakl Director of Seller Recruitment Sabreena Khan. “This partnership between Pattern and Mirakl Connect will be invaluable for every brand that wants to reach new customers, expand their ecommerce presence, and accelerate growth while protecting their brand identity.”
Trending in Operations
Campbell Soup Company CEO Mark Clouse offered thoughts on messaging amid inflationary shifts in consumer behavior.
After months of elevated inflation and interest rate hikes that have the potential to cool demand, consumers are showing more signs of shifting behavior.
It’s showing up in retail sales data, but there’s also evidence in the observations of the brands responsible for grocery store staples.
The latest example came this week from Campbell Soup Company. CEO Mark Clouse told analysts that the consumer continues to be “resilient” despite continued price increases on food, but found that “consumers are beginning to feel that pressure” as time goes on.
This shows up in the categories they are buying. Overall, Clouse said Campbell sees a shift toward shelf-stable items, and away from more expensive prepared foods.
There is also change in when they make purchases. People are buying more at the beginning of the month. That’s because they are stretching paychecks as long as possible.
These shifts change how the company is communicating with consumers.
Clouse said the changes in behavior are an opportunity to “focus on value within our messaging without necessarily having to chase pricing all the way down.”
“No question that it's important that we protect affordability and that we make that relevant in the categories that we're in," Clouse said. "But I also think there's a lot of ways to frame value in different ways, right?”
A meal cooked with condensed soup may be cheaper than picking up a frozen item or ordering out. Consumers just need a reminder. Even within Campbell’s own portfolio, the company can elevate brands that have more value now, even if they may not always get the limelight.
The open question is whether the shift in behavior will begin to show up in the results of the companies that have raised prices. Campbell’s overall net sales grew 5% for the quarter ended April 30, while gross profit margins held steady around 30%. But the category-level results were more uneven. U.S. soup sales declined 11%, though the company said that was owed to comparisons with the quarter when supply chains reopened a year ago and expressed confidence that the category is seeing a longer-term resurgence as more people cook at home following the pandemic. Snacks, which includes Goldfish and Pepperidge Farm, were up 12% And while net sales increased overall, the amount of products people are buying is declining. Volumes were down 7%.
These are trends happening across the grocery store. Campbell is continuing to compete. It is leading with iconic brands, and a host of different ways to consume them. It is following that up with innovation that makes the products stand out. Then, it is driving home messaging that shows consumers how to fit the products into their lives, and even their tightening spending plans.
Campbell Soup is more than 150 years old, and has seen plenty of difficult economic environments. It is also a different business today, and will continue to evolve. At the end of the day, continued execution is what’s required.
“If it's good food, people are going to buy it, especially if it's a great value,” Clouse said.