Retailers continue to navigate an ever-changing online retail environment and rising consumer expectations. With marketplace development platform technology, it is possible to simplify your 3P e-commerce operations, expand product selections, and grow business through a single connection. Rithum (formerly CommerceHub) provides this connection and was named among notable vendors in Forrester’s “The Marketplace Development Platforms Landscape, Q4 2023” report.

Marketplace development platforms allow retailers to enhance their offerings and streamline distribution networks. The report highlighted how marketplace opportunities connect buyers, sellers, and their partners in a specific market space or via a specific model that optimizes their collaboration. As consumer demands continue to evolve, so too must the technology powering marketplaces.

In the report, Forrester notes that tech leaders can leverage marketplace development platforms to achieve several key objectives including:

  • Expand catalog offerings by integrating products from third party sellers, tapping into diverse sales channels and revenue streams.
  • Digitize, unify, and govern distribution networks, modernizing outdated agreements and enhancing digital maturity to better serve customers.
  • Use SaaS marketplaces to streamline procurement processes.

Importance of supporting dropship, marketplace and future models

Forrester’s report says the modern take on a platform business model shifts the division of listing and merchandising responsibility off the merchant and onto the vendor.

This is true for Rithum as we are seeing this shift across both dropship and marketplace models, said Ellie Williams, vice president of product management.

“I think this is really just the start of what’s to come. At Rithum, we anticipate our customers wanting to mix and match across models and even invent new ones, so we’ve built flexibly to support this. The real innovation here is being able to switch between models to optimize for margin,” Williams said.

In addition to flexibility, the ability to source, incentivize and recruit high-quality sellers is complicated, according to Forrester. Marketplaces must provide value to suppliers and customers alike and adjust as changes occur over time, according to the report.

“As a marketplace operator, you are only as good as the quality of your supply,” Williams said.

Using AI to help bring product content data channels into compliance

Going forward, Forrester’s report notes that businesses are looking to expand revenue sources and leverage technology like artificial intelligence.

Rithum is already seeing an emergence of additional ways to monetize your marketplace, including through retail media, Williams said. Rithum is also using AI to help suppliers quickly bring product content data channels into compliance, she said.

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