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With 30% growth in month-on-month transactions since launching in December 2017, the Myer marketplace has become a key part of Myer’s developing omnichannel strategy.
As the department store chain looks to technology and innovation to help revitalise its business, it has used the marketplace platform as a catalyst for its new strategy to reach customers through channels that it has previously neglected while also working to maintain its core retail business.
The marketplace currently stocks over 32,000 products from 190 retail partners with fashion retailers such as Lorna Jane beginning to partner with the platform as Myer looks to bring its new platform closer to its other retail operations and integrating popular partners into their other core retail operations.
Since the marketplace's launch, seller numbers have continued to expand rapidly with a 300% increase since launch as the brand looks to grow its range as consumer desire for apparel brands trends upwards.
As part of its move to engage customers, the brand has highlighted the next 12 months as a key period where it intends to develop a better understanding of where its customers expect the business to position themselves for the future in regards to developing its online offerings and digital marketplace.
Myer head of omnichannel Robbie Tutt said the decision to launch the marketplace as a separate platform was part of a larger strategy to adapt and meet customer demands through new retail opportunities while also serving as a proof of concept for future projects to build upon.
“We wanted to launch the marketplace very quickly to use technology to get out into market as fast as possible and the easiest way to do that was a separate platform to prove a number of things for Myer.
“For the future and looking forward, we definitely expect and plan to grow that range significantly and to grow the number of sellers.
“But from a technical and customer point of view, we need to bridge that gap between the marketplace and Myer online and bring those two sides much closer together.”
As part of its move to expand its offering, Myer is currently onboarding between three to five new brand partners a week while also working to minimise the costs of onboarding and selecting partners based on customer research to identify where consumer demand has shifted and what partners it may look to bring onto other platforms.
“The marketplace is a Myer offering so we haven’t taken the approach of a pure Amazon marketplace where everything is available to everyone.
“We are curating the marketplace for products and brands that the Myer customer would like to shop.
“So when we approach a brand like Lorna Jane and they onboard onto the marketplace, we know that’s a brand that the Myer customer has an affinity with, we put it onto the marketplace and we see what sells and then we can curate the range from there” says Tutt.
As part of its launch strategy, the Myer team partnered with Marketplacer in order to develop its new platform with a focus on developing a platform that could assist in minimising regret costs and onboarding challenges for partner brands as the company moved towards a lean and agile business model.
Marketplacer COO Jeremy Francis said the partnership enabled the Myer team to trial new partner brands as part of a larger marketplace focus while also allowing the them to launch its product to market at a rapid speed.
“It was circa six months from when we said we were ready to go to getting the site live. We recognised that we needed to align at a really strategic level on Myer’s objectives and also their skills and experience in that space.
“We formed a steering committee of three of the Myer executive team and our executive team and we met every single week for the process building up to the site going live and the steering committee still exists today, it’s just changed a little bit in formation.
“The concept was to put a committee together to meet every week to ensure that at a really detailed level, we were making decisions that were right for both the Myer business and the Myer marketplace.
“Myer took an innovative approach with this marketplace and focused their willingness to try new things and think customer first around how things should work and ensured that all of their decisions were anchored in customer centricity and needs.”
In looking to enhance the quality of its customer experience, Myer has placed an emphasis on data analysis with the brand also highlighting a 30% growth in the number of unique visitors to the site over the last quarter as its offering continues to expand.
Tutt says the move towards improved data analysis and customer understanding will enable the Myer brand to work towards enhancing its offering and developing new initiatives in both its brick and mortar stores and omnichannel strategy.
“Initiatives like Myer market lets us use data from the platform to understand what customers like and what works for our customers and then we can build on it from there. So if that shows us a range that works on the market and for our customers, should we consider it as part of our core business?
“The Myer market is a core part of the omnichannel strategy and how we can grow the range that is available to our customers so I would expect to see a significant growth in the number of products and as a result in the customers and transactions that come from that.
“We want to bring products to our customers as quickly and easily as possible and we want to make it as quick and as easy as possible for new brands to onboard as well.”
Over the next 12 months, Myer revealed that it will look to bring the marketplace and its retail online offering together as part of its omnichannel roadmap including minimising the differences in how the platforms interact and ensuring that integration processes do not affect the customer experience.
Tutt adds that the company's long-term goal is to enable customers to have a seamless experience across all of its platforms and that developing that will be a crucial next step for the business.
“As part of our roadmap, we will look to bring the two sites and the experiences closer together. In the future, we envisage that there will be no difference in buying from the marketplace or buying from Myer.
“How it's fulfilled and who you get your product delivered from will be the only differentiator, you will get the great Myer service, you can return products to the store and you can click and collect your products from the Myer market. It's just a very fast and easy way to onboard products and brands for our customers.
“It's just one omnichannel experience and so the differentiation in the future will actually be very minimal.”