With Marketplaces redefining the way of functioning of the E-commerce giants, the key is to unlearn legacy and embrace this new form B2B Marketing 2021 diva.
For individuals who remember when consumers initially started utilizing digital marketplaces, the realization that the oldest of those platforms are presently over two decades old can come as a surprise. Even B2B platforms have been around for almost 20 years, becoming an almost invisible engine of commerce at numerous small and medium-sized businesses.
Discussing B2B E-commerce, without naming Amazon is not at all possible, Amazon Business is a genuine phenomenon. It grew from $1 billion to $10 billion in sales in only 3 years. And over 70% of business buyers use it to research products and prices.
Understandably, the increasing number of B2B companies are choosing to sell their marketplaces on Amazon. But what is more astonishing is that an increasing number of businesses are opting to build their own B2B marketplaces. At least 70% of enterprise marketplaces launched will serve B2B transactions by 2023, as per Gartner.
What do B2B Marketplaces look like?
B2B online marketplaces build self-service, digitally-sourced environments where multiple vendors can offer products or services to business customers. As with online websites of B2C businesses, B2B marketplaces claim to make it easier to recognize the right supplier, improving the customer experience by making transactions simpler and more transparent.
A marketplace is an E-commerce sector where customers can select from many products from multiple third-party sellers. Iconic examples of B2B marketplaces include Amazon Business and Alibaba.
What are the Marketplace Trends for B2B Marketing in 2021?
The new generation of B2B marketplaces is not “one size fits all.”
Broadly speaking, new B2B marketplaces fall into one of two main categories, niche players and market leaders. The niche players are businesses that concentrate on a particular niche market or community of users. The market leaders are businesses that already have a large customer base, have a lot of organic web traffic, and want to grow even bigger by offering more options to their existing customers.
Thrive in the Competition
One of the main reasons businesses are building B2B marketplaces is to get ahead of their competitors. In 2019, only 56% of B2B businesses had an E-commerce website and only 11% had a marketplace. Many companies recognized this window of opportunity and took action, hoping to be one of the “first movers” in their industries.
This window still remains, particularly in sectors such as wholesale distribution and manufacturing, where organizations have been historically delayed and slow to adopt new digital strategies. As per the research by McKinsey, innovative business strategies tend to deliver higher ROI than risk-averse strategies. The 3-year revenue growth of businesses that move first with digital strategies is nearly twice that of companies that play it safe in response to digital competition.
Fulfill The Need of Customers
An important reason why businesses are launching their B2B marketplaces is to retain their existing customers and also attract new ones by providing them what they want.
And what they want depends on their ability to purchase multiple products on a nicely designed, highly secure, and easy-to-use marketplace. As per a 2019 survey of B2B buyers by B2BECNews, over 50% of B2B business buyers reported they did more than 10% of their B2B buying on Amazon Business.
Another reason why B2B buyers often prefer marketplaces is the transparency of price. Historically, B2B buyers have worked very closely with sales executives to get custom quotes from numerous vendors for similar products. Comparing costs was often a big, time-consuming challenge. In the majority of the marketplaces, comparing prices is very easy.
Help Channel Partners
On the websites of many B2B manufacturers, visitors can check detailed product information including specs, case studies, and analytics reports, but they cannot complete a transaction. Rather, they must leave the site and contact an authorized channel partner through the partner’s website, phone calls, or emails. Because of the additional friction, many interested buyers don’t actually make the leap from interest or purchases.
When you set up a B2B marketplace and hire your channel partners to act as sellers you can very easily turn interested website visitors into buying customers. Instead of having to contact a channel partner independently, visitors can navigate to your marketplace and compare the offerings of partners. As a result, your channel partners sell more, which means, there is more demand for your products.
At this stage, it’s difficult to foresee how far and how rapidly B2B online marketplaces will develop. As with most of the digital things, the crucial mass of users, the playing field can explode. The biggest payoff will come to those who approach this new channel not only in terms of transactional convenience but also as a strategic opportunity.
If you think that building a B2B marketplace might benefit your business, then now is the time to get started. As many companies launch marketplaces, it will be difficult to attract high-quality sellers and make the marketplace a great destination for businesses. If you can develop a B2B Marketplace before your competitors, you will gain rewards in the form of higher earnings, and the chances to lead your market will be higher.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chandrima is a Content management executive with a flair for creating high quality content irrespective of genre. She believes in crafting stories irrespective of genre and bringing them to a creative form. Prior to working for MartechCube she was a Business Analyst with Capgemini.