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Meet the Niche Platform of Tomorrow

Interview with Benjamin Höhner, Co-Founder, Melagence Local
Why do you think platform business is the future of online retail?

I don’t necessarily see platform business as the one winning formula in e-commerce. There are many ways to successfully sell products online. Instagram for instance has become an important tool for many stores to reach not only existing customers but also approach a new clientele outside of their local reach. 

It is however a fact, that it gets harder and  harder (and more expensive) to guide potential customers to web destinations like self-run webstores. The synergies that come with platforms that bundle many functions are therefore quite obvious.

There are big marketplaces that give access to a huge crowd of consumers and drive a lot of traffic. The broad assortment of such platforms however also brings the disadvantage that the visibility of the single player decreases and they risk to drown in an ocean of options. Melagence Local is more like a boutique platform or imagine a very well curated design market with only a limited number of stands. 

The frontend is quite similar to other beautiful, well curated and niche online shops for high-end and contemporary design, always making sure to underline the exclusive nature of the products on display. Our slogan is „Entdecken ist der wahre Luxus“ (discovery is true luxury) so we definitely refer to a design interested, informed, self confident and creative hunter for designer fashion (similar to the Melagence Portfolio). In comparison to others we intend to also introduce the people behind this creative selection of designer pieces to the consumers - so the faces behind are a very important aspect of our platform. 

What do you like most about Melagence Local?

The idea behind Melagence Local is quite simple and that is also the beauty in it. Combining the strengths of both parties means obtaining a result that is bigger and better than what each single one could achieve.

Our local retailers have all the experience in creating a beautiful and most importantly individual selection of each collection. Compared to the big online players who build their program mostly on data, the products you’re able to shop at Melagence Local are all chosen very thoughtfully and with a lot of passion. But most of them have little or no experience nor the time and capacity for building and running an online business.

We offer a very professional online stage where our partners can showcase their selections to a wider audience than the one they would normally reach. It‘s a service like PR or a Kassensystem that helps to successfully run a business without being professional in that field. 

Why do retailers decide to go online on Melagence Local and not launch or run their own online store?

There is no either or. Some of our Melagence Local partners also run their own independent online stores. But as mentioned earlier, for most of the retailers launching but most importantly running an e-store is not only very time consuming but also requires a lot of investment and know-how. Many retailers have experienced, that this can be quite overwhelming so they rather put it in our hands to be able to focus on what they do best.

In the end it is all about creating a powerful WE.

What is your personal idea of Cin Cin to tomorrow for Melagence Local?

Creating a) a thoughtful community on both ends - retailers and consumers and b) synergies and win win situations. 

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About Interview with Benjamin Höhner, Co-Founder, Melagence Local
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This article was published Feb 13, 2024 as part of the Melagence Paper Issue #1