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, though, are 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.
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.
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.
In fact, by 2025, 80% of all sales transactions between buyers and suppliers will be conducted through digital channels.
For example, Yclas integrates with many payment gateways to simplify payment processing for your online marketplace. These include trusted methods like PayPal, 2CO, Stripe, Escrow.com, and MercadoPago.
Ensure You Have 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.
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 ensure 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 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 study found that millennials make up about 59% of B2B buyers; 30% of them make significant purchasing decisions for their brands.
A 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 with Your Online Marketplace
Want to create your own online marketplace? 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.
Yclas includes everything from website building to advanced management and integration with mobile-ready and native apps. Get started!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a B2B marketplace?
A B2B (business-to-business) marketplace is an online platform that connects businesses to other businesses. It enables businesses to buy and sell products or services.
It serves as a digital intermediary, facilitating transactions and interactions between multiple buyers and sellers.
In a B2B marketplace, businesses can create profiles, list their products or services, and engage in transactions with other registered businesses. These marketplaces typically provide features such as search and filtering options, product catalogs, messaging systems, and secure payment gateways to facilitate seamless transactions.
These marketplaces typically provide features such as search and filtering options, product catalogs, messaging systems, and secure payment gateways to facilitate seamless transactions.
B2B marketplaces can cover a wide range of industries and sectors, including manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, and services.
They can be industry-specific, focusing on a particular niche, or general platforms that cater to various industries. Examples of well-known B2B marketplaces include Alibaba, Amazon Business, and ThomasNet.
The benefits of participating in a B2B marketplace include increased visibility and access to a larger customer base, streamlined procurement processes, improved efficiency in sourcing products or services, and the potential for new business opportunities.
These marketplaces often provide a convenient and centralized platform for businesses to connect and engage in transactions, making it easier to find suppliers, compare prices, and negotiate deals.
Overall, B2B marketplaces play a crucial role in digitizing and transforming how businesses conduct transactions, fostering collaboration and efficiency within the business ecosystem.
What are examples of B2B marketplaces?
Several examples of B2B marketplaces cater to different industries and sectors. Here are a few well-known examples:
- Alibaba: Alibaba.com is a leading B2B marketplace based in China that connects buyers and sellers from around the world. It offers a wide range of products across various categories and has a large user base.
- Amazon Business: Amazon Business is an extension of the popular e-commerce platform Amazon, specifically designed for B2B transactions. It provides business customers with a wide selection of products, bulk pricing options, and features tailored to the needs of businesses.
- ThomasNet: ThomasNet is a B2B marketplace focused on industrial products and services. It allows buyers to find suppliers, browse product catalogs, and request quotes. ThomasNet covers a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, engineering, and industrial services.
- Global Sources: Global Sources is a B2B marketplace that specializes in connecting suppliers from Asia with buyers worldwide. It features a wide range of products, including electronics, machinery, apparel, and more.
- TradeKey: TradeKey is a global B2B marketplace that connects buyers and sellers across various industries. It offers features such as product listings, RFQs (Requests for Quotations), and trade shows to facilitate business transactions.
These are just a few examples, and many other B2B marketplaces cater to specific industries or regions. The specific marketplace a business chooses to engage with would depend on its industry, target market, and specific requirements.
What is the world's largest B2B platform?
Alibaba.com is widely regarded as one of the world's largest B2B platforms. Alibaba.com, owned by Alibaba Group, is based in China and has a significant global presence.
It serves as a comprehensive online marketplace connecting businesses from around the world, offering a wide range of products and services across various industries.
Alibaba.com has an extensive user base consisting of millions of buyers and suppliers. It facilitates business transactions, provides product sourcing tools, offers secure payment options, and supports international trade.
Alibaba.com has an extensive user base consisting of millions of buyers and suppliers. The platform's prominence and scale have solidified its reputation as one of the largest and most influential B2B platforms globally.
The platform's prominence and scale have solidified its reputation as one of the largest and most influential B2B platforms globally.
It's worth noting that the landscape of B2B platforms is dynamic and subject to change. New platforms can emerge, and existing platforms can grow or evolve over time.
Therefore, conducting additional research and staying updated with the latest industry trends and developments is advisable to have the most current information on the largest B2B platforms.