B2B, or business-to-business e-commerce, took off last year.
According to Digital Commerce 360, this industry generated 1.63 trillion dollars worth of sales from e-commerce websites, log-in portals, and marketplaces.
While Statista says that only a one-digit percentage of this amount could be attributed to marketplace websites, e-commerce marketplaces are nevertheless poised to see more growth as they offer more advantages than other digital procurement channels.
Alibaba from China, in particular, is leading all B2B marketplaces in the world in terms of website traffic.
And Asia ranks first all over the globe in gross merchandise volume.
North America and the US are not far behind.
In 2021, B2B e-commerce growth surpassed all manufacturing and distributor sales in the US by more than one percent.
If that doesn't seem impressive, that's a jump from about $11 trillion to more than $13 trillion.
By 2025, B2B marketplace sales will have reached 4 trillion dollars at a compound annual growth rate of 32%.
And even better: B2B buyers want marketplaces.
Here are five B2B marketplace features to include in your marketplace.
Comprehensive Pricing Options
Did you know that improving your B2B marketplace website's pricing strategy by just 1 percent can increase profits by 11 percent?
A good B2B marketplace should be able to offer several pricing tiers for its users.
Pricing is integral, and sellers on your marketplace will want to optimize it to ensure that they earn and, by extension, help you earn more.
With the rise of Big Data, businesses have many touchpoints to arrive at the best pricing approach.
Your marketplace should be equipped to support various pricing patterns.
One example is dynamic pricing.
In the simplest terms, it refers to being able to set different prices for a product or service based on changing market conditions.
Sellers might want to use this type of pricing strategy, and your B2B online marketplace should be able to provide them with this option.
Similarly, your marketplace could offer options such as bulk pricing, manufacturer's suggested retail pricing and tiered pricing by customer segments.
Security and Confidentiality
Two out of three B2B tech buyers consider data security before purchasing.
And just as well, security risks in e-commerce are not new.
The B2B electric equipment wholesale website Mitsubishi Electric saw private files lost after a security breach; personal information about applicants and retired and active employees were also compromised.
Similarly, ransomware attacks -- one of the most common cybersecurity attacks -- will cost over 265 billion dollars by 2031.
Ensure your platform has multiple authentication protocols.
Users, for example, should have access to two-factor or multiple-factor authentication to keep their accounts secure.
Multiple Payment Gateways
Another essential feature of a great B2B online marketplace is multiple payment gateways.
For instance, in less than five years, it is believed that half of the global population will have a digital wallet.
And people will digitally spend up to 6.7 trillion dollars by 2023.
In fact, by 2025, 80% of all sales transactions between buyers and suppliers will be conducted through digital channels.
As an example, Yclas integrates with 13 payment gateways to simplify payment processing for your online marketplace.
These include trusted methods like PayPal, 2CO, Stripe, Escrow.com, and MercadoPago.
Solid Inventory / Order Management
Tied closely to the success of a B2B online marketplace is its ability to handle inventory or orders.
71% of customers will check out a different marketplace if the order/inventory app for finding a product or service is too complicated.
Inventory management and knowing what is in stock are critical. Many systems are specifically designed to help B2B vendors handle inventory or orders; this industry is expected to generate 3.2B dollars by 2025.
Running an online marketplace requires understanding what your clients need in real-time so that you can readily adapt your solution to meet these requirements.
For instance, B2B orders cost higher in terms of customer acquisition and follow a different process.
While you don't have to worry about how your users' supply chains will affect their inventory fulfillment, you have to make sure that your online marketplace can give them the support they need to stay on top of orders and ensure their timely delivery.
Other Streamlined Functionalities for B2B Marketplaces
In 2015, Google discovered that about 90% of B2B customers start their buying process by searching online.
And seven years later, the trend has not changed.
Today, it is estimated that a customer conducts about 12 searches before making a purchasing decision.
With around a quarter of frequent B2B buyers opting to start their buying process through a marketplace, where do you start?
First, address some of the most common challenges that B2B users experience when using an online marketplace.
Statista found that among 1,200 B2B buyers located in the US, South America, and Europe:
- 44% struggled with order delivery and tracking
- had difficulty in building solid relationships with supplier
- had trouble seeing product features and accessing reasonable payment terms
- reported issues with repeat ordering, checkout, and product returns
Also, make sure that your platform's offered features target the buying preferences of millennials.
A 2019 study found that millennials make up about 59% of B2B buyers; 30% of them make significant purchasing decisions for their brands.
Your online marketplace should come packed with functionality that makes it easy for your users to target this demographic and generates interest from them.
TrustRadius says that the most trustworthy resources for this generation include free trials, product demos, and user reviews.
How to Get Started
Yclas offers an easy-to-use platform that allows you to build and customize your online marketplace according to specific requirements.
Whether you have a full-stack dev team or no prior coding experience, this out-of-the-box solution will get your website up and running in no time with comprehensive support.
These include everything from website building to advanced management and integration with mobile-ready and native apps.