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Owning and operating B2B eCommerce marketplaces

by Salman Hashmi
Marketer, i95Dev

As you have undoubtedly noticed, most B2B buyers have embraced shopping online, and their business requirements are becoming more sophisticated with every passing day. If your organization does not modernize their marketplace plan now, there is no doubt the market will do it for you.

For a wide variety of B2B businesses, including distributors and manufacturers, owning and operating a marketplace can be a game-changer. For instance, if you are a manufacturer, you could leverage a marketplace to provide your end customers with a richer shopping experience while allowing your distributors new opportunities to quickly fulfill orders.

The intent behind launching a B2B marketplace

Undoubtedly, marketplaces represent the future of B2B eCommerce. According to research by Digital Commerce 360, over 250 industry-specific B2B eCommerce marketplaces are in operation. Through their marketplaces, B2B companies have decided to grow their businesses and prevent their customers from shifting grounds to mega marketplaces such as Amazon Business or Alibaba.

Around 75% of B2B companies are actively developing marketplace strategies.

What benefits do they expect to realize from it? 

  • Streamlined business operations: Marketplaces enable B2B businesses to automate sales, order fulfillment, and payments, increasing efficiency and profit margins.
  • Enhance customer satisfaction and engagement: Marketplaces enable customers to find what they need easily, quickly, and complete transactions seamlessly. 
  • Faster growth and higher ROI: Marketplaces eliminate limitations to growth by enabling B2B companies to offer more products without having to maintain additional inventory.

However, your growth and revenue generation will vary considerably based on your industry, customer base, and business model.

If that is the case, you must wonder: how do B2B organizations with different business models gain from marketplaces? Let’s explore a few different models.

Industrial manufacturers - Direct-to-customer marketplace

A direct-to-customer marketplace enables B2B manufacturers to provide buyers with a frictionless buying experience. Unlike the conventional approach of redirecting customers to a dealer locator site to complete a transaction, the direct-to-customer marketplace allows buyers to search and buy from the same web portal. After that, the orders are processed to the favorable channel partner for fulfillment.

Essential capabilities:

  • A direct-to-customer marketplace should provide a consumer-like buying experience, including intuitive product search and recommendations.
  • In addition, it should streamline marketplace workflows like remitting distribution partners and collecting payments.
  • Furthermore, it should be simple enough for non-technical teams to implement and use.

Top benefits: 

  • A direct-to-customer marketplace enables industrial manufacturers to provide customers with a rich shopping experience and access valuable data on buying trends. 
  • Moreover, it paves the way for local distributors, having no digital presence, to reach out to new customers and sell online, thereby boosting overall sales.

Wholesale distributors and manufacturers - Range extension marketplace

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About Salman Hashmi

Salman Hashmi is a Content Marketer at i95Dev. i95Dev is an eCommerce and integration technology partner that empowers businesses across the globe with Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce and its Microsoft Dynamics & SAP ERP integration products. A Magento certified partner, i95Dev has uplifted over 200+ B2B and B2C merchants to flourish in the eCommerce space with 100+ seamless ERP integrations. Based out of North America, Australia, and India, i95Dev is enriched with more than 170+ Magento certified developers, backed by a strong global partner network and recognized by leading industry experts.  

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