Decathlon Belgium is rapidly developing its online marketplace to host and secure transactions of products and services between its customers and 3rd party sellers (partners). The marketplace is unique for its selection of partners and advocacy of the company’s mission and Vision. It aims for better products, better people, better planet and fair prices.
Partners are selected for the same Vision
The commercial partners chosen illustrate the Decathlon Vision. Apart from the renowned brands like Adidas, Santini and UCI, the team also reaches out to the growing companies and startups who share the same Vision on people and planet, which is equally important to Decathlon as making turnover and profit. After one year of launching the project, 3000 partners are contacted and over 150 of them are confirmed.
To become a partner, the first criterion is to be in the Vision and relevant to the customers by linking to sports, well being, outdoors, active lifestyle, healthy minds and healthy bodies. The second criterion is to be “better than us”, which means they can offer a broader product range, higher quality and more durable products to add an extra layer to our ecosystem. It requires a deep mutual understanding between the Marketplace team and the partners.
Products are rewarded with special labels
The high-quality products are given different labels on the Marketplace. For example, there are labels like “Durable”, “Made in Belgium”, “Inclusion” and “Active City”, which correspond to the Vision targets of Regenerative, Local Living, Inclusive and Transport. It is interesting to discover that the labels create a sort of gamification to the partners. They are inspired to improve their product design and production process in order to get those labels and achieve the targets.
The most recent partnership has been confirmed with COCO-MAT.bike. It is a Greek company which produces bikes with sustainable wood to preserve biodiversity. For every bike sold, bike tour and bike rental, the company contributes to planting new trees. Another partnership is with Pierre Sports, a Belgian start-up which produces yoga mats with 100% organic cork and recycled shoe rubber. The mats are designed for all forms of yoga and targeted to provide a sustainable and fun yoga experience. A customer feedback that the yoga mat was exactly what she has been looking for regardless of the higher price. It reflects that the customers are also connected with the Vision of Decathlon and the partners.
The “1 + 1 = 3” solution
Wim MATHUES, Commercial Leader of the Marketplace, believes that they are entering a new era to make bridges between other great brands and the customers. He describes Decathlon as a big boat to get partners on board and sail in the same direction in the blue ocean. They support each other on the same boat and bring added value to all the stakeholders.
To the partners, being included on the platform of the largest sporting goods retailer in the world enables them to reach and sell to many sports fans and enthusiasts across the globe. To the customers, they will enjoy a 360-degree shopping experience with more comprehensive and high-end products. Benefited from the decentralisation and subsidiary structure of Decathlon, the Marketplace also has its capacity to expand to other countries and discover local gems. The new business model can scale up and grow faster than ever before.
“We need to have the right product for every layer, every sport, every kind of vision and every budget. And I think that building bridges is for us the future instead of trying to compete with others because we have the advantages that they don’t and the other way around. We can complement each other.”
– Wim MATHUES