Why is the catalog key to a marketplace?

Expert advice
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The expert sharing his insights today is Guillaume Conrate, operational marketplace consultant at Marjory. Having participated in a large number of marketplace projects, among which La Redoute and Auchan, Guillaume would like to bring your attention to the importance of the catalog in marketplaces.

First of all, what’s the difference between a product and an offer on a marketplace?

In marketplace management, differentiating between the concepts of offer and product is essential. Product data includes the description, title, image and navigation attributes. Offer data, on the other hand, provides information on price and availability.

On a marketplace, product data can be shared between several sellers, while offer data is always proprietary to one seller.

A marketplace can therefore present a catalog of 10,000 products, with 100,000 offers.

With that many offers, consistency becomes crucial to avoid complicating the user experience. Indeed, on a product marketplace, be it B2C or B2B, the presence of millions of different products can easily complicate the user experience.

Therefore, it is important to properly categorise products and to publish quality product descriptions that include regulatory information. When launching a marketplace, you must establish clear specifications and expectations, and set up an organisation capable of delivering and following up on these expectations.

Then, the marketplace’s next major challenge is product volumes.

One of the main advantages of the marketplace model is its ability to offer clients the widest and most relevant product or service catalog for its audience, in order to keep clients coming back.

The marketplace model ensures a depth of range impossible to achieve in other business models, while maintaining a controlled cost structure.

In fact, it is the marketplace model that has allowed Amazon to become the top search engine in the United States, ahead of Google!

It all makes sense in theory, but how do you handle millions of data points coming from different sources?

Using a Product Information Management (PIM) system is a good way to aggregate data from different sources, in order to extract the best information to display for the end user, the buyer.

Things to remember:

  • The concepts of offer and product refer to different types of data, and should not be confused.
  • Since a marketplace presents a very large number of offers, establishing standardised specifications is important to categorise them correctly.
  • One of the main advantages of the marketplace model is the volume of products on offer.
  • Using a PIM makes it easier to manage data and display the most relevant information to the end user.

Do you have a question about your marketplace project? Don’t hesitate to contact the teams at Marjory!

See you soon for more advice,

The Marketplace Experts

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