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We have our fingers on the pulse of global retail


14 June 2016

With innovation and reinvention being at the heart of all online businesses that want to stay competitive in today’s fast paced ecommerce landscape, we take a look at the most significant innovations introduced by global marketplaces over the past year.


With omni-channel shopping becoming increasingly popular, integrating online and offline by improving the shopping experience on mobile, desktop as well as in brick-and-mortar stores, is a must in 2016!

With its strong cross-channel network of physical stores, website and dedicated marketplace site, the leading French marketplace, Fnac, is a good example of how online marketplaces are successfully starting to integrate omni-channel into their overall strategy.

For example, if Fnac is out of stock, customers are always redirected to the marketplace offers, and vice versa, while connected terminals in physical stores allow shoppers to self-serve and easily reach online offers at any time.


Founded back in 2008, today, Bitcoin is the most widely used crypto-currency in the world! Similar to a mobile app or a computer programme, Bitcoin offers a number of benefits other types of currency can’t provide, such as payment freedom and efficiency of transactions.

It’s no surprise then that an increasing number of online marketplaces are starting to accept Bitcoin as a viable payment method, looking for ways to keep up with the growing needs of online shoppers.

Amazon, eBay, Etsy and Rakuten are just some of the global marketplaces that already accept Bitcoin, with more marketplaces coming up soon.


With ecommerce sales via mobile devices expected to overtake desktop revenues for the first time in 2016, shopping apps are becoming an increasingly important part of online marketplaces’ sales strategies.

Some marketplaces, like India’s leading fashion marketplace Myntra, for example, made the strategic decision to move all their online activities to their app, closing down their desktop website and becoming the world’s first app-only marketplace!

Although Myntra has eventually re-considered its plan, recognising that even a mobile-first country like India isn’t yet ready for a mobile-only service, this is an excellent example of how marketplaces sit in the front row when it comes to embracing ecommerce innovations.


Now that social media channels have evolved beyond networking, online marketplaces have started investing more time and resources in social media presence than ever before.

Spain’s leading fashion outlet Privalia, for example, has become the first company in the online private sales industry to market its products online through Facebook. The initiative, called Fan Shop, is a concept created exclusively for Privalia’s Facebook page, where the marketplace allows its customers to participate in pre-opening campaigns, to buy in advance and to access exclusive events that are just for social media fans.


From self-driving vehicles and 3D printing, to one-day and same-day delivery, Amazon has been the clear leader in ecommerce innovations for some time now.

However, as the ecommerce landscapes becomes more and more competitive, global marketplaces are setting their eyes on ways to cater to the growing delivery needs of online customers.

While Russia’s is gearing up to expand its logistics network of 2,000 physical pick-up points and 600 postomats, China’s Alibaba Group is in the process of testing the use of commercial drones for their marketplaces delivery needs, and eBay is just about to introduce a three-day delivery option called ‘Fast & Free’ as a way to take on Amazon Prime.

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