As technology evolves, it also brings changes to different aspects of our life. Today, there’s no need to go anywhere to buy something – you can easily do it online. In this insightful review, we’ll discuss the main peculiarities of B2B marketplaces. We’ll find out what it is, what features it offers and how to create an effective B2B marketplace.
What is a B2B Marketplace?
The main thing you should know about the B2B business model is that this niche is rapidly developing. Therefore, you have chances to disrupt it by creating a powerful marketplace solution for the area you work in. But first things first, let’s begin with the basics.
A B2B marketplace is a platform connecting sellers and buyers. All in all, it is like any other marketplace, but there’s one difference – clients are companies. Therefore, products and services that can be bought at B2B marketplaces can be used in companies.
It is a huge platform, which has one mission – to connect wholesale suppliers with their customers in different areas.
The main goal of a B2B marketplace is to automate all the processes. Selling and buying should be simple, fast and convenient. Moreover, the whole process should be transparent. Though this niche is popular today, still, there’s a space for improvement. The main issues are related to controlling the process.
The main distinctive feature of B2B marketplaces is that each of them has its own rules and laws. Moreover, prices can also be different for any customer. Those clients who order more can have huge discounts.
Marketing campaigns are also different as compared to B2C business model. Their main goal is to inform their potential customers about the products or services they offer, striving to win more clients with the help of arguments and other facts. It is a long, time-consuming process that requires human resources and investments.
It is safe to say that this area is developing very quickly. Today, it is easier to surf the net and find the necessary services online than to ask your friends to recommend a company.
Why You Should Launch Your Own B2B Marketplace?
Well, you are a successful B2B company with a big customer database and an established name on the market. Simply put, you are a reputable provider of certain services or products. However, sooner or later comes a moment, when you understand, you need to move forward and scale your business. What can you do to achieve that goal?
- Increase the product line;
- Develop new products for new client segments;
- Increase the number of distribution and revenue channels.
However, the most effective thing you can do is to develop a B2B marketplace. You can either do this from scratch or use your own B2B e-commerce as a basis. Very soon, marketplaces will account for 40% of the world retail market.
The main reason why you should think of the development of your B2B marketplace is that this business model allows you to gain full control over the journey of your clients. To put it simply, you’ll see what kind of products or services they consume, why they do this, what kind of services is the most popular one, etc. It is impossible to keep track of this data when you try to sell your products on the external channels. However, if you are the owner of a marketplace, you’ll have this information at hand.
Those who are interested in interacting with their customers, monitoring customer data, connecting clients and suppliers in a few clicks should definitely think of the opportunity to develop a B2B marketplace.
B2B Platforms: The Difference Between Direct and Marketplace
It is safe to say that both platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, a marketplace B2B platform offers greater visibility. This platform is exactly what it sounds like: different companies sell their products or services in one marketplace together with their competitors. The most popular examples of such marketplaces are:
- Alibaba – One of the best Chinese companies, serving millions of suppliers from all over the globe.
- eWorldTrade – The fastest growing B2B US-based platform, serving more than 200 countries.
- Amazon Business – A professional B2B platform, serving sellers from Amazon.
- Joor – The best B2B marketplace for fashion.
However, you should keep in mind that the competition is very high in any B2B marketplace. The ability to stand out of the crowd is too low because of the number of competitors in one place. However, one can build successful marketing strategies in order to out-position competitors. As compared to direct B2B platforms, we should add that they require more services from the wholesale market entity. But this business model allows business owners to have more control over their clients.
It goes without saying that when you have an eCommerce store, it is easier to reach your potential clients. They only see your brand. But on marketplaces, you can reach more customers.
When choosing an eCommerce store, it is also easier to market to customers. Simply put, customer relationship management will be under your control. With a marketplace, the relationship with your customers can be more transactional.
Another aspect, which should be also mentioned is user experience. On marketplaces, it is easier to find the necessary products or services. Your potential customers, searching for specific goods more likely will find you on a marketplace.
Moreover, prices on marketplaces play a bigger role in the competition. Your potential clients can easily compare them. You can win out by lowering the cost of your products.
So before you choose the most convenient option, you should consider everything!
Basic Features You Need for a B2B Marketplace
There are lots of reasons why the majority of B2B startups fail, but the main one is that business owners couldn’t properly define the value proposition. If you want to create a top-quality marketplace and build good relationships with future customers, your platform should have the following features:
- Every product or service should come with a detailed description. Simply put, when a client reads this section, they shouldn’t have any questions related to shipping, product peculiarities, etc. Make your descriptions as detailed as possible. You can also upload HD videos. Your goal is to convince a client to buy. So your customers shouldn’t have any doubts about whether they need a product or no.
- Product catalogs. Develop a bright and informative catalog and provide your clients with an option to download them. Depending on the products or services you offer and the type of customers, you can also add multiple catalog views. In other words, you can provide them with the capability to choose a budget or niche and see the results in accordance with their needs.
- Advanced filtering. Filter navigation is a must-have tool for any B2B marketplace. Provide your users with an opportunity to filter products or services by color, size, industry, budget, etc. You can also learn about their behavior and offer autosuggestions.
- Automated invoice processing. When adding this option, you’ll also provide your users with an opportunity to process a variety of product invoices.
- Personalized prices. It goes without saying that the pricing policy in B2B differs from B2C one. If you want your marketplace to deal with different businesses, you can customize the pricing policy to different segments.
In fact, building an online marketplace is not as difficult as it seems to be. What really matters is to focus on the needs of users. Your platform should be useful and meet the needs of your customers. Make research, explore your target audience, find what they are interested in and focus on the development of a useful B2B marketplace, which will help suppliers and customers find each other.
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