Marketplaces have been around for centuries. Recall “The Merchant of Venice?” In the digital age, buyers and sellers still come together but instead of sprawling town squares, everyone meets online at any time convenient for them, 24/7. In fact, using just one eCommerce platform can align millions of buyers with an equal number of sellers.
Typically, these online marketplaces targeted B2C buyers in a retail environment. However, B2B buyers are flocking to digital marketplaces in droves, especially if it’s a wholesale B2B marketplace. According to Gartner, around 70% of online transactions will be in the B2B space by 2023. Two popular examples include Alibaba and Amazon Business. What are we talking about? Well, we’re discussing the future of digital selling ecosystems.
Learn more about different types of marketplaces
If you can picture it, there’s probably an online space to sell it. Concerning B2B, there are a wide variety of global hubs that offer a similar number of products based on niche such as Carenet for medical supplies, Staples for office supplies, and Amazon. Why are buyers and sellers making the return to marketplaces? In a word, convenience.
The Internet is massive, but business buyers don’t want to spend hours searching for what they need. If time is money, then marketplaces save time. Further, what’s more convenient than finding everything you need for your organization on one hub?
Benefits of marketplaces for buyers
Marketplaces offer versatility, and buyers eat this up. In addition, the jobs of purchasing agents, procurement managers, and product researchers are quite straightforward. For instance, most marketplaces utilize a single onboarding process to optimize purchase orders from new vendors and suppliers. Also, it helps to centralize digital records of quotes and purchases for the purchasing team so they can streamline reporting. Instead of poring through countless emails and other sites, they get almost everything they need from one portal.
Benefits of marketplaces for sellers
Marketplaces can provide add-on benefits or replace digital selling channels entirely. Additionally, sellers enjoy the opportunity to meet their target market in places they did not know existed previously. Therefore, they can create new revenue streams quickly.
Benefits of marketplaces for operators
Operators can leave behind the expenditures it takes to invest in shipping and warehousing. Money saved can be reinvested in products, services, and new features. Thus, digital marketplaces can help operators optimize limited resources.
Build a wholesale B2B marketplace to attract B2B buyers
You don’t need experience in digital marketplaces to launch a new B2B marketplace. Yet, by doing so, you can create various revenue streams, enhance your customer experience, and future-proof your organization. How? We share more below.
Enhance the customer experience
Create a prominent ecosystem aligning financial service providers, technology vendors, and nich sellers to offer a massive hub for your target audience to shop on and visit. When you expand your offerings, you build value, loyalty, and trust with your consumers. They will see your marketplace not just as any other site, but as a destination for seamless shopping. What happens next? Well, your marketplace will be the first one they visit because shoppers know you provide almost everything they need.
Add scalable revenue streams
Invariably, you can use your wholesale B2B marketplace to attract and serve third parties. It does not have to be walled against specific suppliers or customers. Also, you can diversify your revenue streams by adding payment processing services, commissions, service fees, listing fees, advertising, and more. Adding any of these types of revenue streams will not cause a dent in your overall costs.
Further, if you provide your own goods and services, you might open opportunities for new markets and niches. Still, you can always expand upon your current product and service lines.
You can also help out your suppliers by helping them with sales. If you decide to open your marketplace to your competitors, you can take commission from every sale. Undoubtedly, when you simplify the sales process, you make it easier to increase profits.
Future-proof your business
Consider the market 10 years from now. Most enterprise marketplaces will focus on B2B. These marketplaces will also offer their own niche products, as well as bringing their competition on board. As such, there is no time like the present to prepare.
Marketplaces can help your organization achieve goals around optimizing buying processes while mitigating procurement costs. Imagine the marketplace of the future, and you’ll see the opportunities fall into place. Your job is to help OEMs get their tasks completed faster–say in minutes rather than months.
If you work with government agencies, then focus on ensuring they can achieve compliance. Also, add value by offering complementary products and services.
By creating your strategy today, you’ll see there are numerous approaches for future-proofing your business.
What is the difference between a B2B and a B2C marketplace?
Marketplaces add value in both the B2C and B2B marketplace. Nonetheless, both B2C and B2B shoppers have similar demands around the buying and customer experience. However, they have a need for different types of products. To illustrate, a B2B transaction may involve more stakeholders, involve larger margins, and probably require approvals throughout the process. The more frictionless the B2B buying process, the better.
On the other hand, a B2C shopper may purchase on impulse and typically does not require an approval or purchase order. They don’t have to coordinate with other stakeholders either. They see something they like, they buy it, and it might be a one-time purchase as opposed to a recurring purchase.
In contrast, a B2B buyer does not buy on impulse and frequently researches several vendors before selecting one. Additionally, they often need to purchase the same items repetitively.
Since B2B buyers have different needs, then wholesale B2B marketplaces also need to meet their expectations. Thus, they need to have the following features, including:
- Bulk ordering options
- Purchase order acceptance
- Customized pricing for each customer
- 30-day net and financing
- Quotes and contract negotiations
Take time to explore the benefits of wholesale B2B marketplaces
If you’re ready to launch a B2B wholesale marketplace, remember to ensure you meet the current demands of your target B2B audience. It might be improving the purchase workflows or scaling your offerings. Don’t forget to understand how the technology works. Next, create a strategy to future-proof your marketplace. By doing so, you will prime your organization for success in the digital age.
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