Marketplaces from neural networks to fulfillment: where the market meets trends

According to the latest research conducted by Yandex.Market and GfK Rus, the number of buyers on online sites has almost doubled over the past five years. On marketplaces, customers can easily compare prices and thereby save time and effort that would have previously been spent on visiting offline stores.

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In parallel with the increase in the number of buyers in the market, the number of sellers is also growing. For example, if two years ago there were only 9,000 stores on Yandex.Market, today this figure has already reached 65,000. On Wildberries, by the beginning of July 2022, 840 thousand entrepreneurs are selling their goods – five times more than a year earlier. The number of sellers on Ozon increased 3.5 times, to 120 thousand, according to the results of the first quarter of 2022. That is why it becomes even more important for entrepreneurs to be aware of current market trends. Monitoring change dynamics and consumer preferences is becoming an integral part of a successful business.

It is important to note that market trends can change quickly, and successful entrepreneurs must be flexible and adapt to new realities. This can include analyzing data on purchases and consumer behavior, monitoring competitors, and following technological innovations and changes in legislation. From the evolution of sales models and the variety of products offered to the improvement of fulfillment processes, the marketplace market shows a continuous desire for innovation.

Customers prefer local brands

Since the beginning of 2022, the decline in imports to Russia has created the need to fill market niches with high-quality production goods at the local level. This prompted the development of local manufacturers and brands.

Marketplaces have become active sites for local brands that can offer quality products. This contributes to the support and development of local entrepreneurs and manufacturers. At the same time, consumers have adapted successfully to the absence of foreign brands in the market, which opens up new opportunities for a variety of less well-known local brands. Marketplaces, following this trend, are considering the possibility of creating their own product brands. This helps them monitor product quality and provide more competitive offerings.

Fast delivery

Fast delivery has become an integral part of the competitiveness of marketplaces and an important selection criterion for modern online buyers. Modern buyers expect efficiency and convenience in online shopping. One-day or two-day delivery has become the standard, and marketplaces that are capable of providing this level of service stand apart from competitors.

Marketplaces are actively investing in logistics and fulfillment to optimize order processing processes and speed up delivery. This allows them to provide rapid delivery to different regions. In the face of fierce competition, fast delivery has become an important element that attracts customers to marketplaces.

Marketplaces, not online stores

Today, customers appreciate especially the speed of delivery and convenience. That is why they prefer marketplaces over online brand stores. Buyers are more loyal to the sales platform than to the brand itself.

At the same time, many sellers believe that managing social networks and developing their own online stores requires significant costs and efforts. Therefore, for them, a more profitable option is a complete transition to marketplaces that have already optimized the processes of storage, packaging and logistics. And most importantly, they have active customers who are ready to make purchases. This trend is changing the business strategy in Russia.

Large brands that are actively operating in the Russian market are actively joining specialized trading platforms. Medium and small businesses prefer marketplaces, as this is a more economical and convenient option than supporting their own online stores and physical stores.

May neural networks speed you

Today, artificial neural networks are widely used to generate illustrations of goods. AI automates everyday workflows, which avoids the need for a large number of employees and simplifies the tasks of the remaining specialists. Large Russian marketplaces seek to provide users with the most relevant content. They use a special algorithm that forms a list of promoted offers on the platform. This algorithm takes into account not only the seller’s rate for promoting goods through marketplaces, but also the price of the goods. The result is a proposal that meets exactly the needs and interests of buyers.

Logistics outsourcing

Many sellers refer to specialized companies that provide fulfillment services for online stores. They manage commodity flows, have the skills to optimize many processes, and in case of emergency situations, they can find quickly alternative ways to deliver goods.

Fulfillment services are especially popular among newly created online stores when the budget is limited and there is no way to rent a warehouse for storing goods. For such entrepreneurs, outsourcing logistics becomes the most convenient option, given that the resources saved for logistics can be directed to business development.

There are many options for cooperation between the online store and fulfillment operators, and the choice of a certain model of work depends on the individual needs of the business and the initial conditions at the time of signing the contract. Let’s look at the main options:

  • Storage of goods in the warehouse of the online store. Upon receipt of the order, the operator undertakes the task of picking, packaging and delivery of goods to the buyer, and, if necessary, provides temporary storage services.
  • The representative of the online store delivers the goods independently to the warehouse of the fulfillment operator, where the goods are stored under responsible control until the order is received. After placing and paying for the order, the operator assembles and delivers the goods to the buyer.
  • Fulfillment company takes goods directly from the manufacturer’s or supplier’s warehouse and stores them in its own warehouse. In this case, the goods do not pass through the warehouse of the online store, which helps to optimize logistics processes.

By Konstantin Tyurikov, founder and head of Miniskladcompany

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