Grégoire de Briganti, SaaS and e-commerce expert. He leveraged this experience to take over managing Solutions Services at Octopia. His team’s mission is to support customers throughout their integration projects with Octopia, from signature to project launch, on all technical, functional, and operational aspects.
Today, retailers such as Casino and Ocado have only one watchword: accelerate!
In the world of marketplaces, where competition is heating up, reducing time-to-market is essential. Octopia’s strength lies in its ability to open marketplaces that are 100% operational on day one. A challenge made possible thanks to the simplicity of our marketplace onboarding. Grégoire de Briganti, Head of Solutions Services, tells us more.
What are the challenges of the marketplace for a retailer, in a very competitive world?
Standing out to survive is the key in retail.
How do you do this? By providing the best offer. The marketplace is the most efficient tool to achieve this quickly. It provides a way to quickly expand a catalog of products and services with very few restrictions. It is a great tool for increasing traffic, converting customers, and building loyalty. It helps the retailer be active in verticals where its competitors are not, be more competitive on price, and boost its organic SEO ranking.
Why is time-to-market so important for the marketplace?
With marketplaces on the rise and competition heating up, it’s important to get to market as quickly as possible and launch your offer.
How you onboard marketplace sellers and the speed at which you execute your processes give you a major competitive advantage. You have to move fast but be properly supported from the outset.
This is the central argument that British e-commerce solutions provider Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) uses when explaining its partnership with Octopia.
What is the partnership between Ocado and Octopia?
Ocado is well known for the technology solutions it markets through its Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) to other retailers to accelerate e-commerce. Examples include Kruger in the US and Casino in France.
The memorandum of understanding signed recently by Ocado and Octopia aims to integrate Octopia’s marketplace solution into Ocado’s services platform, OSP. This effectively makes Octopia Ocado’s number one technology partner in the marketplace.
The idea is to offer each OSP customer a near turnkey marketplace solution, encompassing everything from the technology platform to the operational aspects. Ocado customers can also partner with Octopia sellers to add products to their own site if they wish. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to launch a fully operational marketplace very quickly.
Can you describe the ease of integration and scalability offered by Octopia’s solution?
Speed of integration is one of our platform’s major assets. We give our customers the ability to move faster than their competitors by making it easier for them to create their marketplace. This starts with seller onboarding, considered as one of the trickiest phases by merchants: at Octopia, simplicity and efficiency are our top priority.
Octopia offers a plug-and-play marketplace onboarding solution, as most sellers are already qualified and registered in our system. This means that we already have their Know Your Customer (KYC) information in our databases through our native payment service provider, Cnova Pay.
This process saves marketplaces the trouble of having to verify the identity of merchants who register on their platform. Shortening this step drastically reduces delays and therefore accelerates marketplace launches.
How does a payment service provider (PSP) make integration easier?
A real time saver
Our marketplace solution comes with an integrated payment service provider. This allows our customers to pay their international merchants in multiple currencies without the need to create additional contracts. Again, this is a real time saver.
But we leave it up to our customers to decide whether they want to use it. We have actually forged partnerships with the biggest players in the sector.
The faster merchants can grow their business, the faster retailers can turn a profit from their marketplaces. It is therefore in our interest to simplify their procedures and offer them as many services as possible so that they are 100% operational.
Simple currency management
Along the same lines, we offer them our “Currency” service. This feature allows sellers to pay in the currency they want, at a preferential exchange rate. For example, a person based in the UK but selling in France can choose to receive payments in pounds sterling rather than euros.
Can your retail customers integrate sellers from both within and outside the Octopia Community just as easily?
Of course! Our technological solution simplifies onboarding for all sellers, whether they are part of the 15,000-strong Octopia Community or not.
Thanks to our integrator partners (Shoppingfeed, Lengow, Iziflux, etc.), sellers outside the Octopia Community do not need to map their product catalog to the marketplace catalog.
Through our ecosystem of aggregators, we can onboard them in a few hours or days, instead of the several months it takes with other solutions on the market.
What ultimately sets Octopia apart from other marketplace solutions?
Octopia is much more than a software solution. It covers the entire sales cycle, starting with setting up the technology platform.
This was developed by an industry expert, Cdiscount—the only large marketplace in Europe to have held its own against Amazon. For each project, we strive to meet three key objectives:
- the speed of execution of the project,
- the quality of support given to customer teams,
- and customer satisfaction.
This last objective is monitored every month through a Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is an assessment of how well we are meeting our commitments over the long term.
But Octopia’s value proposition goes much further. We provide our retail customers with a qualified network of 15,000 sellers. This is equivalent to a catalog of 100 million products across hundreds of categories:
- handmade or second-hand products, etc.
“By giving direct access to a wide-ranging, qualified offer, Octopia’s customer marketplaces are operational from day one.”
For example, Casino’s marketplaces launched on day one with no fewer than 170 sellers. For the retailer, starting right from the get-go with an extensive offer guarantees a quick return on investment.
Offering its professional customers the ability to connect a selection of third-party sellers to their websites makes Octopia a valued partner. Capitalizing on this advantage, Octopia has recently developed a replatforming offer. What does this involve?
Marketplace software solutions have been developing for about ten years now.
To keep growing, some retailers now want to migrate to a solution like Octopia, which, in addition to the software, offers them a network of marketplace sellers, a plug-and-play product catalog unrivaled in the market, a logistics solution through Fulfillment, an integrated solution for paying their merchants, and so on.
We have therefore developed a combined technical and business strategy to support our customers in these projects. This involves migrating product catalogs and sellers using proprietary APIs developed and maintained by Octopia. This means that Octopia “naturally” takes over from their former marketplace solution.
Do you have any examples you can share with us?
I can tell you about a very large retailer in South America—our first customer on that continent.
The company is a major retailer, with a turnover of just under $20 billion and $50 million in business volume on the marketplace. They wanted to accelerate their marketplace business with Octopia.
To achieve this, it swapped its existing solution for Octopia. By migrating to Octopia and growing from 1,200 to more than 3,000 sellers, it aims to triple its revenues by 2025.
Your customers have ambitious goals. What are yours?
We are obviously traveling the same path.
We face a major challenge: launching a marketplace in a few weeks. It is this speed of execution (especially in onboarding) that really sets us apart.
This is why we are ramping up our replatforming service. We have proven to operators that it is the best solution not only for providing them with a marketplace management tool, but also for providing them with an extensive seller catalog from day one.
We are firmly focused on our international growth and have the largest community of sellers and retailers in the industry.