Online marketplace Fredhopper search engine and trader reporting system added

The ongoing development of an online marketplace parallel to conducting business is much more complex than doing the same for a big online shop. A marketplace has to deal with typical tasks like search, product catalogue, security as well as finance and logistics which have to be implemented according to the shopping processes. Traders offering their goods in the marketplace add system functionalities for trader specific processes like e.g. de-central check-in of new goods to their marketplace shops. The growth of marketplace activities also leads to an enormous increase in data volume which has to be aligned with the requirement to keep the marketplace up and running even in a big data scenario.

The mgm e-commerce team has been responsible for the ongoing development of since the beginning of 2011. The technological basis of the marketplace is the multichannel suite of the company Hybris which has by now become mass data capable, allowing thousands of traders to offer millions of products. The introduction of Fredhopper added a search engine with support for systematic up- and cross-selling. A marketplace reporting system to inform marketplace operators as well as traders about sales processes, often in real-time, was also developed.


Increase in marketplace conversion rate after the introduction of Fredhopper

Experience shows that intuitive search (e.g. automatic correction of wrong search terms) and an intelligent recommendation system (e.g. “customers who bought this product were also interested in …”) increase conversion rates by up to double digit percentages. The mgm e-commerce team integrated the Fredhopper search engine into a marketplace for the first time in the project. One of the criteria in the decision to use the technology was that the Fredhopper editing functionality could be adapted to the needs of the marketplace environment.

The same product with different product information (amongst others price, descripttion, media) is offered for sale by different traders. Despite this, the search index has to find and display all relevant marketplaceoffers fast (loading time < 2 s). To ensure that data is fetched directly from the index. The ranking of the results also has to adapt fastaccording to the search rules. If a trader e.g. enters a higher price for a product in his shop, the search engine has to show the same but cheaper product preferentially. And the marketplace has to supply new data according to legal pricing regulations to price search engines in the short term at the same time. “Due to the marketplace character of and the complexity created by the high number of products, we have to check each new technology first for business side usability as well as robustness with big amounts of data”, comments Klaus Ebner, IT Lead at, the integration of the new search engine.

Introduction of a reporting system for online marketplaces

The information requirements of a marketplace are immense due to the breadth of tasks (e.g. traders, customers, products, mass data). So mgm extended the existing marketplace reporting system to help answering the following questions:

  • Identification of incomplete product descriptions:
    The need for an automatic identification of incomplete data on content, images and prices grows with the growth of the product range
  • Aftersales:
    Optimized fraud detection via detection of abnormalities in orders in real time
  • Presales:
    Identification of duplicate products within a trader’s shop
  • Sales Performance:
    Identification of promising product ranges and deduction of recommendations / campaigns aimed at costumers in Fredhopper

On the whole, the reporting system contains web analytics KPIs (Omniture) as well as more than 120 economic reports, 15 of which are generated in real-time with APEX (Oracle Application Express) on the Dashboard and supplied with marketplace transaction data.

* This reference has been officially confirmed by DHL.