Mirek Drab, Empik: the Marketplace platform has very high growth potential

Currently, the Marketplace platform is responsible for about 20 percent of Empik.com sales. The short-term plan anticipates that in 2022, revenues from this activity will already account for approx. 50 percent of online sales - says Mirek Drab, Head of Marketplace at Empik, in an interview with Retailnet.pl / SCF News editors.

The Empik Marketplace platform was launched in 2017. What have you managed to achieve over the past 3 years?

The Marketplace plays an important role in the development strategy of the entire Empik Group. This is best proved by the numbers. Currently, this platform is responsible for approximately 20 percent of Empik.com sales. And it is worth noting that e-commerce and digital sales this year will probably exceed half of the entire Group's revenues. The coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated this process. We are gradually recording further records in this segment - in May we exceeded the first million orders for the Marketplace, and in August we exceeded one million sales offers. Around 120,000 orders per month, i.e. six times more than in the same period last year.

How much revenue has the Marketplace increased compared to last year?

Analysing the level of sales year on year, this has already doubled since the pandemic. This shows the dynamics with which this project is developing.

At this rate, the Marketplace may soon be one of the main sources of revenue for Empik Group...

We assume that within a few years, revenues from the Marketplace platform will constitute a significant part of sales of the entire Group. The more short-term plan is that in 2022, revenues from this activity will account for approximately 50 per cent of online turnover. There is no denying that due to its favourable business model, the Marketplace platform has a very high growth potential and is easier to develop in the long term than Empik.com's own sales. This trend is visible not only in Poland. Looking globally, we can see that this type of sales platforms - bringing together thousands of sellers under a common brand name - are increasingly successful.

However, a dynamic increase in sales would not be possible without an increasingly wide product range available on your platform. 

Of course. The Empik Marketplace is gradually attracting trade partners, i.e. medium and large companies selling their products here. The dynamics of their growth year on year exceeds as much as 400%. The partners are constantly verified in terms of the quality of offered products, reliability or the level of customer satisfaction and service.

Currently, over 1200 companies operate their online shops here, including brands such as: Dr Irena Eris, Tchibo, Lavazza, Intersport, Foods by Ann, Vobis, Miele, Inglot and Duka. In total, their offer already includes approx. In total, their offer already includes about 1 million different products. 

Is it easy to encourage new brands and companies to enter the Empik Marketplace?

There is no one rule here. Some companies know in advance that they do not want to sell products outside their own distribution channels - this is their strategy. Others, on the other hand, consider that joining our platform is an excellent way to strengthen their online presence, reach out to even more customers and grow their business. There are also brands that need to be persuaded to do so, but we have strong arguments to do so: millions of loyal customers benefit from Empik.com's broad offer. The Empik.com store records 250 million visits per year.

There are not only partners, but also product categories...

We want to meet the expectations of our customers, and those - as confirmed by market reports - are more and more willing to buy products from various categories on the Internet. The KPMG report indicates that as many as 1/3 of Poles have recently bought a product online, for which they have so far gone to stationary stores. This proves that recipients trust e-commerce more and more and more and open up to this sales channel. They are also more likely to reach for local brands. This must also be taken into account when developing our offer.

What can you buy now at the Empik Marketplace?

Currently, customers will find here products in 16 categories, among others: House and Garden, Sports, Electronics, Home Appliances, Health and Beauty or Toys. Many of these categories recorded 3 digital sales increases in 2020. - For Sport it is almost 200%, for household appliances almost 150%, and for categories such as Health and Beauty, Stationery or Toys over 100%.

We are still developing our platform with other industries - the last novelty is for example Automotive. We are also expanding our offer in already existing categories. Textbooks and books for learning foreign languages, which used to be sold only through Empik.com's own sales, are now also available as part of the offers of external partners. We can safely say that we are open to all product categories that correspond to the broadly understood lifestyle or allow our customers to develop various passions and interests, i.e. are consistent with the image and vision of the Empik brand. 

Interviewer: Łukasz Izakowski