Using a marketplace is no longer an ‘if’, but ‘when and how just like keeping 1.5 alive to address climate change

Kiran Bhagotra
CEO/Founder, ProtectBox
Nov 26th, 2021

When? The pandemic has increased use of technology, involving unprecedented levels of collection, sharing and use of personal data. This pattern is here to stay with growing online interaction with governments and health services than ever before. Technology should continue to evolve post-pandemic to help stimulate interactions. Online marketplaces offer an exciting opportunity for governments, agencies, and companies to connect and engage with communities.

What? An online marketplace brings together product/service information from a variety of providers. It provides an ecommerce opportunity where the buyer is empowered with comparable information to help them make an informed buying decision. Purchase options are curated and presented according to individuals’ requirements, improving customers’ experience whilst managing costs and compliance.

How? Marketplace potential is growing fast. Here are some of the latest trends emerging which have been highlighted via our partners and recent conferences such as COP26 and the WIRED Smarter Festival. They show how marketplace technology offers impressive opportunities, with interesting evidence of ecommerce initiatives in action.

5 ways marketplaces can help governments and companies

1. Procurement Efficiencies

Put simply, the future business buyer will look more and more like a consumer. McKinsey reported last year that US e-commerce penetration doubled in three months during COVID-19 — driving 10 years of growth in one quarter.

Online marketplaces provide a cost-effective, compliant purchasing process for companies, government departments and agencies. Also, it becomes easier to collect and share data relevant to all aspects of the procurement process, understanding best practise and accessing detailed spending analysis

2. Ethical Data Sharing

Data security is a hot topic and online marketplaces used by governments must have rigorous security plus adhere to stringent data sharing policies. The health sector has seen new heights of online data sharing however the potential this offers is in danger of being undermined… by trust.

“Both supply and demand for data are at an all-time high, we are missing out on opportunities to use data for better outcomes. Why? Because the data ecosystem is a complex, fragile network of relationships and stakeholders, and like any strong relationship, these connections require trust.” World Economic Forum

At WIRED Smarter Festival last month, Eleni Sharp of BBC R&D confirmed the audience opportunity for all organisations, stating that 82% of people don’t know what personal information companies hold about them. She explained that there is:

  • a low level of public trust about how organisations use data,
  • an appetite for alternatives that offer greater control, and
  • an interest in the idea of personal data store (PDS) to control who collects, shares and uses personal data, interfacing with health sector amongst other areas.

This offers huge potential for public sector departments. Further analysis and forecasting can be achieved by separating identity from data via pseudonymisation functionality, reinforcing trust and complying with GDPR requirements.

3. Sustainability / Net Zero

With an online marketplace, it’s possible to develop a curated catalogue that features preferred suppliers, brands, and models for greater compliance across the agency. One of the possible data elements involved is the green credentials of each supplier. This enables government procurement to become more environmentally friendly.

With net zero in mind, online marketplace ProtectBox goes further, offering buyers the chance to offset the carbon impact of their purchases. This helps our suppliers to improve their Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) rating by addressing the environmental element.  A key strength is our ability to augment information already in place, comparing providers and introducing alternative packages. This process and technology have been successfully applied to the cybersecurity sector and is easily adaptable to suit other sectors such as finance and insurance, health and agriculture.

Inspired by our attendance of COP26, we’ve just launched a new plan for sellers of carbon saving or sustainability services, watch the below video to find out more

The UK government intends to make the birthplace of the industrial revolution the home of the new Green Industrial Revolution, eliminating emissions to become a net zero nation by 2050. Eg Scotland if we get this industrial revolution right then it could be green. Former shipping country that now has huge hubs for windturbine management

As part of national plans to cut carbon emissions, the UK Cabinet Office released a Procurement Policy Note in June 2021 mandating the assessment of Carbon Reduction Plans by UK central government departments as part of the procurement of large public contracts. Organisations likely to be bidding for large public procurement must now meet these requirements, and be prepared to implement a Carbon Reduction Plan, with processes in place for annual review. Marketplace technology facilitates easy collation and comparison of CRP standing.

4. Democratising economies & welfare / better curated choices for your customers... Job Opportunities

According to Forrester, one-third of all US business now flows through e-commerce, and 63% of that is through marketplaces.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and supported by the World Economic Forum (WEF), over 60% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Despite the importance of agriculture, many rural and agricultural households lack access to financial products and services that would allow them to build assets, invest in technology, increase productivity, and cope with shocks such as droughts.

5. Sustainable Economy

Online marketplaces are an ideal way of ensuring that governments’ investment policies can be driven by sustainability factors.

“Combating climate change is not just your generation’s life of death struggle but also the single biggest investment opportunity in history,” Al Gore, former US Vice President, 2020.

Governments can proactively invest in environmentally impactful options, creating long term sustainability potential whilst raising awareness of this important opportunity.

How our marketplace can help you

If you’re excited to explore how online marketplaces can help your organisation or communities, see how we can do that in the video below and please get in touch. We’d love to discuss this with you.

Other ways that we’ve worked out with our partners, are shown below. But these use cases are not exhaustive, especially as we iterate our NetZero-driven AI marketplace into agriculture, health and more… saving 10% of global GDP (/15% of emissions) – cf aviation sector’s 12% emission reduction. But if you have more get in touch and let’s protect our planet together!

Use Cases

We're building trust and confidence with our responsible AI across the following use cases and industries