Creating a Framework for Effective Marketplace Strategies in Retail

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Sagence designed a marketplace strategy framework that enabled a leading, national big-box retailer to effectively evaluate the addition of a marketplace product to their existing brick and mortar and e-commerce channels.


One of the nation’s largest big-box retailers asked Sagence to design an effective marketplace strategy framework. The retailer was exploring the possibility of offering a marketplace product along with their existing brick and mortar and e-commerce channels. The goal of the marketplace offering would be to attract new customers, deliver higher margins on existing products and increase selections and availability for all consumers. However, the retailer was uncertain about what aspects of a marketplace needed to be considered, dependencies that could impact the strategy and how this type of solution would affect current customers, team members, operations and financials.



To inform the marketplace strategy, our team constructed a framework that included an understanding of brand positioning, intended marketplace customers and planned product categories. The framework also incorporated an evaluation of available and necessary multi-channel capabilities and an approach to select and manage the merchants that would be selling on the marketplace.

We performed extensive primary and secondary research, which included analysis of customer retail sentiment, consumer use of marketplaces, the performance of different retail product categories and limitations of current marketplaces. It also included detailed assessments of current and former marketplace solutions to understand the company’s approach, whether it was successful or not and how it related to the client’s situation.


Sagence’s framework and our extensive analysis of existing retail marketplaces were crucial to surfacing core questions that the executive leadership would need to answer when implementing the marketplace strategy. Our analysis also provided much-needed information on successes and failures of others’ marketplaces efforts and similarities to the client’s situation.