RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The rapid growth of digital marketplaces is catalyzing a massive transformation of the retail model.
  • How is the industry responding to these changes? Manufacturers must swiftly reinvent themselves to stay competitive in the changing ecosystem.
  • The superhero industry players will take a holistic approach to transforming the shopping experience for their customers.


Everyone is talking about the retail apocalypse.

But the massive change in the industry is not so much the end as it is a reinvention of the retail model.

The rapid growth of marketplaces—such as Amazon, Alibaba, Instagram commerce, click and collect models, and food delivery ecosystems—are changing how people buy and consume products and services. Expecting convenience and immediate gratification, customers are turning to marketplaces to get what they want, when they want it. At the same time, retailers are turning to them to expand assortment and reach, launch new products faster, and improve profitability—all at less cost. With the global e-commerce market expected to be worth $24.3 trillion by 2025, marketplaces are already the next wave of retail growth.

The brand story never ends

Digital marketplaces have become epicenters of brand exposure and experience, capturing consumer attention in ways that augment traditional channels.

Courage (and capabilities) in the face of change

The rise of digital marketplaces brings change to how manufacturers interact with retailers and customers to distribute, promote and sell products.

Leap tall buildings in a single bound

For manufacturers, thriving in digital marketplaces is not impossible. Focusing their efforts in four critical areas can ignite new market growth.

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Where is your organization today?

1. Expert judgement

Using basic content for merchandising, along with expert judgement to manage individual marketplaces.

2. Data-driven performance

Leveraging enhanced content and A/B testing to optimize performance, along with consumer search trends and ratings and reviews to manage the brand experience.

3. Centralized management

Centralizing product data, digital assets and consumer insights to manage tailored experiences across marketplace platforms.

4. Omni-channel performance

Centralizing competitive intelligence as well as personalizing experiences and optimizing performance within and across marketplaces.

5. Enterprise digital agility

Optimizing portfolio performance via AI and machine learning, while leveraging market trends and competitive insights to identify new product and market development opportunities.

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Be your own superhero

For many years, the dynamic between manufacturers and retailers went largely unchanged. The status quo ruled. Those days are over with the rise of digital marketplaces. Fast-moving changes in the retail model have caught up with manufacturers—and they must transform. And fast.

Most companies have responded by managing every marketplace as a standalone channel, delivering basic content to each one, and crafting brand experiences based on gut instinct (or readily available content). But superhero players will take a holistic approach. They will transform their organization to manage across marketplaces with cross-functional teams, tailor content to differentiate products and brands, use data-driven experimentation and automation to optimize performance at scale, and tap into these marketplaces for insights to capitalize on new opportunities for growth. This is how manufacturers can harness their superpowers for superior performance in the next wave of brand experiences.

Jeriad Zoghby

Lead – Digital Marketplace Services, Accenture Interactive, North America


Sohel Aziz

Lead – Digital Marketplace Services, Accenture Interactive, Europe


Jason Chau

Lead – Accenture Interactive, Asia and Lead - Digital Marketplace Services, Accenture Interactive, Growth Markets

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