How to Enhance Your Omnichannel Strategy With a Marketplace

How to Enhance Your Omnichannel Strategy With a Marketplace

By: Roshan Idnani

Online marketplaces are the future. In 2020, enterprise marketplaces grew at double the rate of overall eCommerce, with growth topping 81% year-over-year in Q4 – proving the clear utilization of online marketplaces in creating revenue and expanding horizons.

Brands should consider an online marketplace for many reasons including, reaching a broader demographic, expanding offering, increasing revenue and more:

  • Reaching a broader demographic: Brands can expand their methods of generating revenue by widening the range of customers. By growing assortment to meet more of consumers’ needs, online marketplaces empower companies to reach a broader audience and drive up revenue.
  • Expanding offerings: Marketplaces are essential to growing your online product assortment. On average in 2020, retailers operating enterprise marketplaces grew their assortment by 32% and benefited from an even larger gain of 81% in overall GMV.
  • Increasing revenue: eCommerce platforms increase revenue. Additionally, companies can grow revenue through the marketplace by incorporating marketplace products into digital advertising campaigns, ultimately capturing more spend from buyers as they turn to eCommerce for a greater share of their purchases. Using marketing money would be costly in the beginning, but prove essential in the long run to build up a network of loyal customers.

Brands can do a number of things to enhance their eCommerce business with marketplace solutions. We identified methods and tips to grow your eCommerce business;

  • Use digital tools to enhance your brand: Using search engine optimization (SEO) and tools such as web analytics and competitive benchmarking will help put your business ahead of your peers. In fact, enterprise marketplaces lead to SEO benefits: retailers that leverage the enterprise marketplace model see a 34% in overall organic site traffic, benefiting from additional demand and relevance without additional marketing spend.
  • Create trustworthy partnerships: With an enterprise marketplace, your buyers’ experience is in the hands of your sellers. Therefore, it is an important practice to vet and form close relationships with your partners to ensure the continued strength of your eCommerce business.
  • Don’t be afraid to advertise: Nowadays, businesses spend loads of time and money on advertising, and your marketplace should be an integral part of that investment. While keeping track of your money, be sure to invest in customer acquisition and putting your brand out there – both for your owned assortment and for your marketplace offers.

BORN Group is thrilled to be a partner of Mirakl, the industry’s first and most advanced marketplace SaaS platform. With Mirakl, organizations across B2B and B2C industries can launch marketplaces faster, grow bigger, and operate with confidence as they exceed rising customer expectations. Platforms are the new competitive advantage in eCommerce, and the world’s most trusted brands choose Mirakl for its comprehensive solution of technology, expertise, and the Mirakl Connect ecosystem to unlock the power of the platform business model for them. 

One of our joint marketplace success stories, iShopChangi allowed the leading travel hub to achieve an exceptional omnichannel solution that will serve millions of travelers for years to come. The goal of the project was to create an omnipresent shopping platform to install Changi Airport Group as the leader in their industry. BORN’s biggest challenge was to create a system which could accommodate both the remote and in-person practices Changi Airport Group had in place. With BORN Group’s help, millions of users visit the site to achieve perks such as duty-free shopping and earning rewards when shopping.

For more information surrounding BORN Group and our marketplace offering, please visit here.

Navigating Drupal: End of Life and Upcoming Releases

Navigating Drupal: End of Life and Upcoming Releases

Drupal 7 and 8 reach end of life in 2022, and Drupal 10 is scheduled to release in 2022! Are you confused?

By: Rakesh James, Drupal Architect at BORN Group

It is true that Drupal 7 and 8 are reaching the End of Life in November 2022 & 2021. Here we outline and clarify what this transition should mean to you as a Drupal consumer or user. As a leading digital transformation agency, it is our responsibility to provide our partners with the correct information and direction to smoothly transform your Drupal website into the latest version of the software, as efficiently and comprehensively as possible.  

What is meant by the end of life for both Drupal 7 and 8?

Drupal community will no longer support versions 7 and 8. Thus items including; security fixes, updates on the admin interfaces, bug fixes on the existing contributed projects like modules and themes documentation, will not be supported.

As a Drupal 7 or 8 owner, what does this mean for you?

This means your Drupal sites need to be upgraded to the latest version of Drupal. By upgrading Drupal to the latest version, you can continue to receive security updates, updated admin interface features, a receive continuous adaption of new features and modern technologies. As technology continues to develop and move faster, Drupal as an ecosystem is expanding and adapting as well. Upgrading will allow you to scale your application into other platforms on the internet.

How does one navigate a Drupal 7 to 9 uprade?

Drupal 7 or 6 site owners are a big step toward Drupal’s latest version, Drupal 9 because it’s needed as part of the migration process. Drupal’s latest versions significantly changed the way content and configuration is stored within the database. For a complete transformation of Drupal 6 and 7 sites to the newest version of Drupal, we need to address the following steps;

Step 1: Migrate Configurations and Content

It’s critical to migrate configurations including; content types, field definitions, and user roles. The content migration includes nodes, users, and taxonomy terms, which are examples of content entities.

Step 2: Upgrading Contributed and Custom Modules

Almost all the significant modules offer an upgrade path to Drupal’s latest version, Drupal 9. If not, you may need to do custom migration or port to the newest version of Drupal. Since Drupal 6 and 7 utilizes procedural programming style and since Drupal 8 there were significant changes made to Object-Oriented programming, your custom module and functionality leveraged in Drupal 6 or 7 needs to be rewritten to achieve Drupal 9 version compatibility.

Step 3: Theme Rebuild in Drupal 9

Following the migration of content, configuration and modules, we need to rebuild the theme in Drupal 9. As the structure of the theme has changed significantly, the theme cannot be migrated automatically. Drupal 9 leverages a twig template system for theming instead of PHP. 

In Drupal 9, core ships with migration modules that helps you to migrate content and configurations. Another automated migration tool, Acquia, allows us to migrate available modules leveraging the Acquia Cloud Platform. 

How does one navigate a Drupal 8 to 9 uprade?

Compared to Drupal 7, Drupal 8 to 9 is the easiest upgrade available and doesn’t require a full migration process. First Drupal 8 sites should be updated to the latest release of the Drupal 8 version. Then using depreciation API, BORN Group rewrite’s the custom module and code to achieve Drupal 9 compatibility. The newest version of almost all the major Drupal 8 contributed modules is compatible with Drupal 9. 

In conclusion, If you are a Drupal 7 site owner, it is best to upgrade your website to Drupal 9. But it is a bit more significant process compared to upgrading from Drupal 8 to 9.

For more information regarding our Drupal service offerings or to connect with out team, please visit here.

eMarketplaces: Unlocking The Value of Platform Economy

eMarketplaces: Unlocking The Value of Platform Economy

By: Aditya Basu

Unlocking & navigating the platform economy through a nuanced ecosystem strategy are en vogue these days, both in boardroom discussions and consumer preferences. Today, the world’s 6 most valuable companies by market capitalization and around 80% of the world’s unicorn startups operate a digital ecosystem that enables two-sided market dynamics and have gained enormous market share through network effects.

Platform businesses bring together producers, sellers, and consumers in high-value exchanges. Their chief assets are information and interactions, which together are also the source of the value they create and their competitive advantage. One of the classic examples of leveraging the platform economy through achieving critical mass & network effect is through the meteoric rise of Apple’s iPhones between 2007 – 2015. Though Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and LG collectively controlled 90% of the industry’s global profits in 2006, by 2015 the iPhone singlehandedly generated 92% of global profits by leveraging the power of platforms through a two-sided marketplace strategy.

McKinsey forecasted that 30% of all global economic activity, $60 trillion, will be mediated by platforms and ecosystems in 10 years’ time & Gartner says that “By 2023, at least 70% of the enterprise marketplaces launched will serve B2B transactions.” Yet, only 3% of established companies worldwide have adopted an active marketplace strategy. 

While the platform economy offers the most profitable & lucrative business model, online marketplaces are tough to build and achieve the “Critical Mass.” The classic chicken & egg conundrum, “To attain a critical mass of buyers, you need a critical mass of suppliers—but to attract suppliers, you need a lot of buyers.” 

We are in the midst of a seismic shift in business and society. Understanding platform strategy will be vital to grasp tomorrow’s economic models.

Evolution of Brand Economy: Omnichannel to Ecosystem Play

Today’s customers increasingly expect a seamless, integrated, consistent, and personalized experience with their service providers which current multi-channel models, with their multiple silos of customer contact, are unable to provide. A fully integrated response to these new customer requirements will need to be both customer-driven and omnichannel in nature. As we speak, large conglomerates are struggling with the “IF & HOW” to leverage digital platforms and ecosystem models for their industries. The key CXO challenge today is to create a core platform that can deliver incremental growth along with the new business & operating models around customers, partners & competitors.

Digital marketplaces have been the pulse of the consumer industry, yet many brands struggle to strike the correct chord. The shift in consumer behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digitization even further. However, the online marketplace model has persisted, driven by consumers seeking the convenience and broad assortment that marketplaces provide. In fact, online marketplaces now represent 58% of global web sales, totaling more than $2 trillion annually.

Broad Pivots of Marketplace Operations: Strategy to Execution

The typical marketplace model has millions of customers, multiple systems, and complex operations. Any brand trying to enter the marketplace will have to swim through the chaos to ace their digital marketplace strategy. We simplify the Marketplace model from the lens of 5 broad pivots of Marketplace Operator, Enterprise commerce & marketing capabilities, the right partnerships & alliances in Fulfillment, logistics & Financial services along with building a best in class Tech & Data Ecosystem, as depicted in the graphic below.

Our key capabilities encompass our methodology of Imagine, Build and Run; we develop and implement strategies for customers to grow profitably in a borderless, digitally-and-physically connected world. We lead brands from strategy to execution by setting up feasible business & operational models, defining KPIs, setting up integrated applications to enable associates, and finally delivering exceptional customer experience driven by our Stella Framework.

A few notable value drivers on Marketplace implementation include, but are not limited to;

  • Revenue augmentation with multi-channel & cross-border sales
  • Improved customer targeting & analytics through digital marketing, micro-segmentation & social integrations
  • Cross-sell & Up-sell opportunities through tailored pricing, product bundling & increase AoV (share of wallet)
  • Business process optimization
  • Walking the Talk Leadership: Marketplace Implementation across the globe

Walking The Talk Leadership: Marketplace Implementation Across The Globe

Recently we were approached by one of Asia’s largest transportation hubs to become their digital growth partner, to develop & manage its next-generation omnichannel e-Commerce Marketplace for onboarding and tenant management. BORN developed an experience-led Marketplace platform to provide a personalized shopping experience for Sellers (B2B), consumers (B2C), Enterprise users (B2E). The implementation has helped them to optimize marketing effectiveness, improve operational efficiency with faster time to market, accelerate conversions, and enable topline growth through upselling & cross-sell.

For more information in regard to BORN Group’s Marketplace offerings and further case studies, please inquire here.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Wanted: The Atelier reBORN

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Wanted: The Atelier reBORN

By: Adam Weissman, Back End Associate Developer at BORN Group

For boot camp grads and those early in their tech careers, the conventional
“job-seeker” wisdom is often less about lighting the spark that will make your star burn brightest, but finding a stepping stone that isn’t so slippery that your ambitions are extinguished before your journey even begins. In other words, they say, “Get into a training program, apprenticeship, or junior position as prestigious as possible, so that a second job will be the reward for the first.” While that mindset might be “practical” it disregards that not all training programs are about transforming you from a round peg to fit a square hole, and not all “stepping stones” are for crossing streams — some are for climbing mountains. 

Would-be associates at any company should consider the larger ecosystem of talent, and people they’ll be working with and learning from.

But how do you know if a company is just for crossing a stream, or the mountain to climb? It comes down to whether the associate training program is a factory or an atelier. The atelier, as mentioned here, is best represented in its ideal ‘graduates:’ the Leonardo Da Vincis, Michelangelos, Raphaels, and many more whose work you know, but names you’ve never heard of. The emphasis and goal of the High Renaissance atelier (1490s-1527) was to produce work worthy of the top art patrons of the day. In 2021, we might substitute art commissions for eCommerce builds, and the patrons for today’s leading brands. 

The BORN Associate Program IS the modern equivalent to the renaissance atelier. The analogy starts with each project-build destined to be its own masterpiece, but goes further with each of BORN’s Practices serving as a quarry; with each custom build: Arctic Fox, Bulldog, Eagle, or Bison (supporting leading eCommerce platforms spanning; Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Adobe Commerce Cloud, SAP Customer Experience, or Shopify Plus) acting as a slab of marble waiting to take life. 

But the atelier is truly reborn in the relationships forged by associates with each other, and the Tech Leads that raise them up. In the 2021 class of Salesforce Associates, Tech Leads Matt Meagher and Chris Connell mentored the associates on the nuances of platform-specific problem-solving. Answering questions like; what can go right and what can go wrong, as well as passing down “unwritten documentation” and debugging techniques the way a Master Sculptor might illuminate secrets from one generation to the next. 

“Documentation can teach you only so much. Hands-on experience with the platform, day-to-day tools, and problem-solving techniques is where the real true comprehension happens,” stated Chris Connell, SFCC Tech Lead at BORN Group. 

“I tell anyone confused on how something works to ‘follow the path.’ Not sure what this is doing? What code is it using? What code is that using? Being able to trace that usually leads to discovery. I show them how the codebase can become documentation,” added Matt Meagher, Front End Tech Lead at BORN Group.

Lastly, the BORN Associate Program not only sets new hires on track to realize their potential as technicians with trade tools like Javascript, The Salesforce Platform, Git, and beyond — the way in which Leonardo Da Vinci or Raphael would’ve been masters of mixing their own paints and “techniques of the brush” — but as artisan problem solvers capable of conquering legacy code from pre-built solutions, similar to how Michelangelo might’ve had to reimagine and reengineer St. Peter’s Basilica after 40 years of construction and five earlier architects.

“We are creating a work environment where we consistently identify our team’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values by maintaining open, effective communication and ongoing encouragement. Based on these assessments we regularly promote new roles and responsibilities to challenge each one of us within the organization,” stated Kevin Yao, Salesforce Practice Lead at BORN Group.

And so, as the BORN Associate Program brings the atelier ‘full circle’, we come back to the point of those bootcamp grads and early tech-career starters that might be wondering, “Where do I go from here?” If you’re looking for a program that will help you realize your potential, where once you ‘graduate’ to production work every project is as its own commission, where the work you do is always fresh, then keep an eye out on BORN’s career page for updates surrounding the next Associate Program.

“Fostering a learning-based culture is paramount to growth, retention and satisfaction. Watching the new energy brought in by each batch of associates is infectious. The maturation of those leading the program gain each go-around is inspiring. The unbridled success of this program is inspiring adoption in other capabilities and geographies. I am personally excited to see the growth that comes out of these types of efforts in the coming years!” stated Dustin Holmstrom, Head of Digital Architecture, North America at BORN Group.

eCommerce 101

eCommerce 101

It seems as though we’ve transacted online forever, but really it is only in the last three decades that eCommerce – that is, the buying and selling of goods via online services or the Internet – in its current form has been around.

The History of eCommerce

The germ of the concept dates back around forty years though, to well before the Internet became ubiquitous.

Encryption technology around telecommunications and the semiconductor industry advanced enough that in 1979, English inventor and entrepreneur Michael Aldrich demonstrated the first ‘online shopping system’[1] using a modified television set connected to a transaction processing computer via a telephone line in the UK. He enabled automated business-to-customer or business-to-business transactions in a closed, secure loop that could be shared by third parties, which would go on to become what we called eCommerce today.

In 1982, Boston Computer Exchange, an online market for people to sell used computers, became the first eCommerce company.

eCommerce stores and marketplaces

It took another 10 years till Book Stacks Unlimited debuted as an online bookseller, using an dial-up bulletin board. In 1994, it moved over to the Internet at, today owned by Barnes & Noble.

In 1995, Amazon also launched as an online bookseller before converting into to a broad spectrum eCommerce store in 1998, and finally evolving into a marketplace that also accepted third-party sellers in 2000. Also in 1995, eBay was founded as an auction site which has gone on to become a giant of online retail globally. The takeup of broadband internet connections in the first decade of this century had a big part to play in this trend too.

Amazon set many of the standards for modern-day eCommerce by offering features that mail-order couldn’t, such as one-click shopping, comparison shopping across retailers, product reviews, quick and sometimes free delivery as well as easy returns.

In 2005, by adding a membership component with Amazon Prime that allowed for two-day shipping and later, access to its streaming service, and building warehouses across the US to be closer to the customer and cut delivery times, it revolutionized the supply chain management and fulfillment side of eCommerce. Etsy, the marketplace for crafts and small sellers, was also launched in 2000.

Membership is also how music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer and operate – as premium subscription services – though actual streaming of music goes as far back as 1881 when the Theatrophone allowed listeners to listen to opera and theater performances via a telephone line. Netflix and Disney have, of course, done the same for video streaming, which has turned them into a club-type good.

While Amazon is the largest eCommerce store and marketplace globally in terms of revenue and market capitalization[2], Alibaba (founded 1999), Rakuten (founded 1997) in Asia and Mercado Libre (founded 1999) in Latin America are significant players in their markets.

Payment Infrastructure for eCommerce

In 1998, though, another important part of the eCommerce ecosystem, that of the payments that power it, launched when Paypal (originally Confinity) was founded. Paypal is now owned by eBay.

Since then, the proliferation of other digital wallets and peer-to-peer payment processing platforms such as Google Pay (previously Google Pay), Stripe and Apple Pay have made mobile payment even easier and more widespread.

Afterpay, Klarna and Paypal Credit are introducing customers to the idea of buy now, pay later, the practice of paying for eCommerce purchases in three or four installments like in actual retail, making it more widely accepted.

Anyone Can Have a Webshop

With customers not necessarily confined to a geographic location, there needed to be a way to reach them. Google Adwords, introduced in 2000, fulfilled that need. It allowed eCommerce businesses to advertise to people using Google search.

The arrival of Shopify in 2004 upended the till-then expensive coding and equipment necessary for the development of a webshop and point-of-sale systems and democratized it to allow anyone with an account to set one up using available templates. Shopify has built up a 20% market share in the US with WordPress plug-in WooCommerce themarket leader with 26%[3].

Types of eCommerce

Business to Business, B2b The traditional route where companies buy and sell goods and services with each other.

Business to Consumer, B2c This is the route when companies sell to consumers.

Business to Business to Customer, B2b2c A route where larger businesses sell to smaller entities who resell the product & services to a customer. A good example would be an HVAC company selling air conditioning equipment to a contractor who services the end customer.

Marketplaces This is where suppliers (business vendors and individual sellers) sell to buyers (businesses or consumers).

Consumer to Consumer (C2c) eBay is the best-known example of a platform that allows consumers to sell and buy products to each other.

Social, mobile and voice eCommerce applications

The future of eCommerce is all about shopping using mobile devices and apps and increasingly, voice. 81% of visits on Shopify sites is from mobiles[4]. SMS marketing is therefor becoming increasingly important. Social shopping has also taken off with brands using sponsored stories on Facebook and shoppable posts on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to reach customers.

Choosing an eCommerce platform

BORN Group has been around since eCommerce was in its infancy. Today, we are integrators for the major systems including SAP Commerce, Salesforce Commerce, Adobe Commerce, BigCommerce, ShopifyPlus, Commercetools, VTEX, and Elastic Path. To make informed platform decisions, we use something called a 5C methodology as part of our technical roadmap that we call the Feature Value Matrix at BORN. These include:

Conform We identify requirements that can be supported to conform to out-of-the-box features in a platform.

Configure BORN identifies requirements that can be supported through configurations made to the platform.

Customize We determine the necessary customizations that will need to be built into the platform.

Compromise The configuration and integration of third party tool or systems such as ERP, OMS and CRM systems that cover tax systems, loyalty programs, payment gateways, fraud detection, affiliate programs, email campaign systems, and user reviews

Connect Identifying all requirements that are supported through integration and offer accelerators for a shorter time to market at a reduced cost.

Through optimization of the 5C’s BORN Group is able to pinpoint your businesses specific needs and map those requirements to the most efficient solution.

eCommerce: Even more potential

Currently, only around 14% of retail sales is e-retail[5]. Moreover, 4 in 10 people worldwide don’t have an internet connection and over half the world doesn’t have a smartphone[6], so there is still a huge amount of potential with regard to eCommerce. Expect to see more omnichannel experiences, personalization, and artificial intelligence-enabled shopping.

The situation with Covid saw eCommerce sales accelerate around the globe – the US alone saw a 30% growth[7] – and is expected to touch USD 476 billion in 2024[8].

To know more about how BORN is leading the charge to merge usability with shopability by making informed platform decisions  to drive consumers online, click here.

[1] Michael Aldrich Invents Online Shopping,,

[2] Global Amazon retail e-commerce sales 2017-2021, Statista,

[3] Ecommerce Platform Marke Share in the USA, Oberlo,

[4] Shopify Announces Third-Quarter 2019 Financial Results, Shopify,

[5] E-commerce share of total global retail sales from 2015 to 2023, Statista,

[6] How Many People Have Smartphones In The World?,

[7] US Ecommerce Growth Jumps to More than 30%, Accelerating Online Shopping Shift by Nearly 2 Years, emarketer,

[8] Retail e-commerce sales in the United States from 2017 to 2024, Statista,

A Marketplace for All Reasons

A Marketplace for All Reasons

Before the advent of the online retail marketplace as we know it, there were B2B marketplaces that came out of the dotcom bubble such as VerticalNet, CommerceOne and Covisint. They helped businesses with online auctions at the one end and with procurement on the other, which involved complex transactions such as requests for quotations, information and proposals. They have mainly been subsumed into and are used these days as part of complex enterprise resource planning systems in major corporations.

However, the online marketplace model has persisted, driven by consumers seeking the convenience and broad assortment that marketplaces provide. In fact, online marketplaces now represent 57% of global web sales, totaling more than $2 trillion annually[1]. B2Bs are catching onto the marketplace trend as well: Gartner says that “By 2023, at least 70% of the enterprise marketplaces launched will serve B2B transactions”[2].

The origin of the modern marketplace trend can be traced, in part, back to two companies that did survive the dot-com bubble: Amazon and eBay. Amazon was founded in 2000 originally as an online marketplace for books before expanding into multiple categories and becoming a behemoth that is one of the biggest economic forces in the world[3]. Alexa, itself an Amazon company, ranks it the third-most visited website in the United States after Google and Youtube.[4]

eBay, founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, evolved from being an auction site to becoming an online marketplace with its ‘Buy it Now’ feature. eBay has grown to become a multibillion-dollar organization so big that the payment services provider it owned at one time, PayPal, had to be spun off.

eBay is present in over 30 countries but in China, where the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platform Taobao – founded in 2003 by Alibaba – is the market leader, it couldn’t make a dent. Just like how eBay felt the need to own a payment services provider, Alibaba also owns Alipay, an escrow-based online payment system which is the most-widely used third-party payment solution in China.

In 2010, its service AliExpress connected Chinese manufacturers directly to international visitors, a move that would go on to radically change the offerings in many marketplaces today and give rise to retail fulfillment practices such as drop-shipping, where sellers don’t stock the product but instead buy it from a third party and have it mailed it out the customer. Taobao’s B2C platform Tmall is the third-most visited site globally.[5]

In Japan and Southeast Asia, eBay runs one of the main marketplaces Qoo10, in a joint venture together with another early C2C marketplace platform GMarket, founded in 2000 in Korea. The leader is Japan is Yahoo’s Paypay Mall, which was built on the success of the PayPay payment app and modeled on Alipay and Taobao, followed by Rakuten and then Amazon.[6]

The success of these digital giants has accelerated the adoption of the marketplace model across industries and regions, and marketplaces are being adapted to a variety of uses. We’ve begun to notice a myriad of them that can be labeled under the below categories.

Types of Marketplaces

  • Horizontal Marketplaces: where vendors offer a broad range of good and services across multiple categories, for example, Amazon or Idealo (the latter a price comparison site launched in 2000 in Germany that also offers sales of goods).
  • Vertical Marketplaces: where vendors offer products and services specific to a defined category or market. Etsy for arts, crafts and vintage items (founded 2005) or Airbnb for rentals (founded 2008) are prime examples.
  • Product Marketplaces: offering physical products such as Amazon or Walmart and even the tech marketplace Newegg.
  • Virtual Marketplaces: offering virtual products. Gaming marketplace G2G or cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase fall under this category.
  • Service Marketplaces: carpooling marketplaces Didi Chuxing, Uber, Lyft Line, Waze Carpool and Blablacar are some of the most popular. TaskRabbit is a marketplace for handymen while Udemy offers online courses.
  • Hybrid Marketplaces: offering both products and services. The subscription box marketplace Cratejoy offers extra services such as subscription-specific logistics, fulfillment management and shipping, tax-smart checkout, and resource guides. Houzz connects people with interior designers but also sells products for the home.
  • Niche Marketplaces: covering only a small part of the market.

From eCommerce to Marketplaces

Traditional eCommerce websites have to deal with challenges such as a limited product range, inventory, multiple sales channels and lack of control over the customer journey. This has led to many of them converting into marketplaces, where the owner then can take over the customer journey, allowing for a seamless customer experience.

The model is also more profitable than the conventional first-party eCommerce model. Because marketplace operators do not have to source, purchase, or warehouse inventory, they mitigate the cost & risk of inventory, and can adapt and scale their assortment in response to inevitable fluctuations in consumer demand throughout the year.

Marketplaces also Offer Many Advantages for Sellers

  • Access to a Broader Customer Base: A whopping 56% of searches start on Amazon[7]. Amazon Prime has 112 million members in the US alone and over 150 million worldwide.[8] [9] In December 2019, 214.8 million users visited Amazon’s websites per month, while second-ranked Walmart could boast of 138.3 million unique visitors during the same period.[10]
  • Reduced Time to Launch: Marketplaces allow new sellers to generate revenue straight away while building awareness for their brands without worrying about driving traffic to their sites.
  • Established Infrastructure and Support: The most popular marketplaces have established programs to help sellers get their products out to customers in terms of marketing, sales and fulfillment. Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and eBay’s Global Shipping are two examples of them.

The ubiquity of marketplaces has been powered by technology companies such as Mirakl, a best-of-breed marketplace technology solution on the market. Founded in France in 2012, Mirakl was built on the expertise of its co-founders, who launched, scaled, and sold Splitgames, the first omnichannel online marketplace for video games in 2005.

Retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers have built their online marketplaces on Mirakl’s cloud-based software. Mirakl counts customers in over 40 countries, including Carrefour, H&M, the Kroger Col, Urban Outfitters, and Best Buy Canada.

They have also made a foray into B2B marketplaces for procurement or bulk buying of parts such as Astore by Accor Hotels, as well as clients such as Airbus Helicopters and Toyota Material Handling. Mirakl even runs a “marketplace of marketplaces” called Mirakl Connect, where sellers, marketplace operators, and technology partners connect to identify new opportunities in the marketplace ecosystem.

Marketplaces have changed the way we discover products and services. Indeed, they may have changed the way we live by bringing a wide range of these directly to our devices and reducing inefficiencies by lowering the cost of acquiring information about the sellers’ products.[11]

[1] What are the top online marketplaces?, Digital Commerce 360

[2] 1 Gartner, 11 Imperatives When Building an Enterprise Marketplace Business, Sandy Shen, Jason Daigler, 10 December 2019

[3] The Amazon effect on the US economy, Investopedia,

[4] Top Sites in the US,

[5] The Top 500 Sites on the Web.

[6] Online Marketplaces in Japan: Rakuten, Amazon and PayPay Mall, Webretailer,

[7] Report: Google beats Amazon for product-search reach, but rival sees greater loyalty, Searchengineland, September 2017,

[8] Statista,

[9] Amazon Prime tops 150 million Prime members

[10] Most popular retail websites in the United States as of December 2019, ranked by visitors, Statista,

[11] A Strategic Analysis of Electronic Marketplaces, J. Yannis Bakos, ACM Digital Library,

BORN Group’s Year in Review

BORN Group’s Year in Review

On our one year anniversary of being acquired by Tech Mahindra, BORN Group reports a transformative year looking back at our expansion of services and accolades as an agency. In face of the pandemic, BORN has kept buoyant, thrived, and secured landmark wins and awards to continue its status as the most decorated agency of its class.

BORN commanded over thirty-seven award wins throughout 2020. Client work with brands like Starbucks, Cadbury, Digi, Frette, Cartier, Tata Cliq, Tata Cliq Luxury, Tata Tetley, Love Bonito, Changi Airport Group, and Sour Patch Kids enjoyed high honors across the globe, receiving distinctions from the Communicator Awards, the Lovies, the FoxGlove Awards, Campaign India Digital Crest, the dotComm Awards, the Mob-Ex Awards, and the Digies. These wins centered around delivering excellent UI/UX, cultivating best practices, and ensuring best consumer engagement for these marquee brands.

As an agency, BORN Group received various commendations, winning Gold for Best Digital Consulting Agency of the Global Brand Magazine Awards, Company of the Year in Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations by the International Business Awards, an Agency of the Year Finalist by the Drum Awards, and named advertising + Marketing Research Agency and Brand and Design Agency of the Year. BORN Group’s CEO, Dilip Keshu, was also distinguished as an Entrepreneur of the Year by the International Business Awards, otherwise known as the Stevies, while the agency also enjoyed numerous accolades via partner awards, namely in receiving the SAP APJ Excellence Award 2020 for SAP Customer Experience, Most Innovative Partner of the Year Award by the 2020 Bloomreach Awards, and Best User Experience and Design by the BigCommerce 2020 Partner Awards.

As part of its acquisition by Tech Mahindra, BORN Group undertook a complete digital overhaul to capture their full suite of offerings, verticals, and 80+ comprehensive case studies. The new site was recently awarded multiple CSS Design Awards for Best UX Design, Best UI Design, and Best Innovation, along with an honorable mention from the awwwards. 

Behind all these accolades were our fearless BORNies. With over eighty new hires this year, including key hires in management positions with the additions of, Minna Rhee, Managing Director, North America, Reji James, Head of Managed Services, North America and Dustin Holmstrom, Head of Digital Architecture, we’re proud to note our team grew despite the many challenges of 2020. Finally, BORN came together to build and deploy state of the art strategic frameworks in Stella and SMOC, and pledged support toward change through contributions to the BORN Equality Fund.

With 2021 on the horizon, we look to move towards a post-pandemic world more resilient and able than ever.

As we say here at BORN, onwards and upwards!