Etsy, eBay, GOAT, Farfetch, and the behemoth that is Amazon. When it comes to the web, consumers cannot get enough of online marketplaces.
There are some excellent reasons why this is now the go-to shopping experience.
The figures speak for themselves. According to webretailer.com, the global eCommerce market is expected to reach $5.5 trillion in 2022. And it will continue to explore.
Undoubtedly, online shopping has become an increasingly lucrative option for businesses across all industry sectors.
But what is an online marketplace? An online marketplace is a website or app that facilitates shopping from many different sources. The operator of the marketplace does not necessarily own all of the inventory.
Their business is to present other people’s merchandise to a user and facilitate a transaction. The online marketplace enables a collective of businesses to sell their products to an established audience and does the business’s heavy lifting.
Adrien Levinger is CEO of FAV Solution, a leading eCommerce website development agency in the US.
He has witnessed firsthand the amazing benefits of the marketplace business model and was an essential part of fast-forwarding the growth of The Webster.
One of the top luxury retailers in the US, The Webster is a luxury multi-brand fashion house operating physical boutiques in the U.S. and Canada and an online store.
When Levinger joined in 2016, its online catalog represented less than 300 products. It now carries thousands of products from over 300 brands and fashion houses from all over the world.
His insight and expertise helped grow the company’s online presence ten fold in under four years.
Levinger says so many pieces are at play to create an online experience that makes the consumer keep coming back for more: “The content or the inventory is what drives the traffic to the website. Then you must have a streamlined process for the consumer to purchase.”
He adds: “The important part in the middle is the tech, where it is easy for that purchase to happen. You need the team managing the site’s back end to optimize and maintain the site to the best of its ability.”
But that is not all. In today’s society, thanks to Amazon, everyone expects their purchases to be on their doorstep in a matter of days, if not hours.
As Vice President of Digital for The Webster, Levinger was integral to all aspects of that process happening with complete fluidity: “The caliber of the operations, the customer service, the fulfillment centers, the team handling, the returns all has to be very high. These are all important to how your customer interacts with the platform and ultimately enjoys every aspect of their experience.”
Managing all of these different moving parts ultimately led Levinger to create a seamless and perfect process for the user in the online journey.
Levinger developed a real-time integration between the company’s ERP system, their online store and Farfetch.
Farfetch specializes in selling luxury brands from around the world.
Using his unique expertise, the ERP system – a software system that helps organizations automate and manage core business processes for optimal performance, increased Farfetch’s income dramatically.
When he built the integration for the website, it was the only one of its kind in the world: “The reason for the success was due to the fact the system has live synchronization,” says Levinger.
“It allowed us to save a lot of time and energy in the long run, significantly decreasing the discrepancies between the stock and increasing customer satisfaction.
“For example. when you place an order in the marketplace, sometimes the stock isn’t accurate. So when a customer hits ‘buy on the online boutique, they may not have their size or choice anymore. So the consumer can’t order it.”
His solution sounds easy, but is actually incredibly complex to implement: “I built a synchronization that updates very frequently, so there is barely a discrepancy between what is available on the site and what is available to order. It reduces the risk of not being able to fulfill the order to almost zero.”
Kimberly Henken, a Key Account Manager with Farfetch, says Levinger’s contribution was a game changer: “Adrien has unparalleled expertise in the eCommerce, retail, marketplace, and tech fields. After stepping up as eCommerce Director for the boutique in 2017, Adrien and I worked in tandem to grow the business double digits year on year from 2017 to 2021.
“His knowledge around business-to-business integrations, POS systems, retail operations, and organizational structures was integral to the businesses growth.”
Levinger’s exceptional expertise led him to set up his own company, FAV Solution, in 2019.
Just two years in, with him at the helm, they now support over 25 brands on an ongoing basis with revenues of over $100m.
His success has resulted in FAV Solution being granted the accolade of a Shopify Plus Partner.
One of the world’s most successful eCommerce platforms, it has only granted this much sought-after partnership to 300 businesses worldwide. And less than 150 in the US.
Levinger is justifiably proud of: “The fact that we achieved this in less than two years, I think proves that we have amazing momentum and we’re uniquely positioned.”
Rachel Clark, Design & Development Partner Manager for Shopify Plus, North America, agrees that companies need to be aware of the benefits of what is necessary to succeed in the online marketplace environment: “We were lacking professionals in the Florida area and he had the skills and geography that we needed to support our merchants and brands.
“Adrien has experience setting clients up for long-term success and can assist with everything from updates and enhancements to a full redesign of their website.”