Last updated: Revving up your digital marketplace: A playbook for success

Revving up your digital marketplace: A playbook for success

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The digital marketplace model is quickly transforming the auto industry as a growing number of brands seize new and emerging opportunities in B2B selling. Forward-thinking auto suppliers are starting their own online marketplaces to harness the power of B2B e-commerce.

How can you make the marketplace model work for your organization? To get rolling on your journey of digital transformation, you need to figure out where you are and where you want to go.

Launching a digital marketplace: No small feat

B2B e-commerce offers auto suppliers and other industries great opportunities for brand and revenue growth, but gone are the days of quickly throwing together a web storefront.

Building, deploying, and maintaining a sophisticated marketplace is no small undertaking or simple, onetime project. It’s an ongoing process, and a trusted framework or playbook can help smooth your road to success.

Successfully launching and sustaining your marketplace depends on having the right people, technology, and ecosystem in place.

All aboard: Getting buy-in for digital transformation

Before you embark on a digital marketplace initiative, you need the right people, especially in key leadership roles, on board and motivated to support and ensure alignment and buy-in throughout the organization.

At this stage, you need to ask questions such as:
  • Why does the business want or need to create a digital marketplace?
  • What are the value propositions that justify this initiative?

Setting goals and defining requirements

Next, you must define your organization’s goals and requirements. This means establishing what’s needed to create, implement, and run your digital marketplace. Some questions to ask:

  1. What are the specific steps we need to take to build our marketplace?
  2. When and in what order do they need to happen?
  3. What technology investments are needed and at what stage?

Scalability, growth, and sustainability are crucial for the ultimate success of your initiative. Making it happen depends on streamlining management processes to enable continuous improvement and development of your marketplace.

It also depends on these interdependent questions:
  • How can we attract more sellers to offer a better product selection?
  • How can we create better experiences to attract more buyers?

Setting up the right team 

You need a dedicated team made up of people from the sales floor to the executive suite to experts with the skills to develop, launch, and scale your digital marketplace.

Key roles include:

  1. Executive-level sponsors to support the business case and assume accountability for overall project success
  2. Senior-level point persons from core business units, such as sales and finance, to identify and track how the marketplace affects internal processes
  3. Marketplace experts to help establish customer, seller, and assortment strategies
  4. People to manage day-to-day marketplace operations, including oversight of e-commerce, merchandising and seller engagement, and customer service

Digital marketplace platform essentials

After putting the right team in place, focus on the e-commerce foundation. You need a secure and scalable platform that supports your objectives and makes it easier to launch and grow your marketplace, with technology and functionality including:

  • Secure and flexible architecture that integrates with your cloud and enterprise solutions to accelerate time to market and time to value
  • Robust business rules to automate processes including catalog management, seller onboarding, quality assurance, and financial reconciliations
  • Prebuilt APIs to connect you with technical and service partners

Ecosystem drives long-term success 

In order to grow capabilities and fuel ongoing success, your marketplace needs the support of a network of sellers and partners.

Sellers help address the key categories your customers expect, with parameters in place to reinforce brand standards for quality and service. Partners provide support for activities such as e-procurement, payment, logistics, and invoicing.

By taking a careful, strategic approach to building a digital marketplace, companies in the automotive industry can drive growth for years to come.

Rev up revenue + customer loyalty.
Discover how digital tech is transforming the auto industry HERE.

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