What are the Key Features of a B2B Marketplace

September 12, 2022

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many B2B buyers and sellers had to embrace digital transformation to sell their products and services. With significant repercussions for how buyers and sellers conduct business, digital selling has taken a new leap. Now, digital businesses are paving the way for their success and will continue to do so.

In fact, according to Gartner’s Future of Sales research, by 2025, digital channels will be used in 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and customers. This is due to the preference for a seller-free sales experience, which is held by 33% of all purchasers overall and 44% of millennials.

Thus, to drive your customers’ attention and to remain in the competition, many B2B businesses have started investing in e-commerce channels to sell their products and services. It does not matter if you’re an established organization or a startup; the B2B marketplace must be considered.

In this article, we will discuss the B2B business and its core features that can help understand the customers’ demands and take advantage of the growth accordingly.

What is a B2B online marketplace?

B2B online marketplace is a self-service for customers letting customers check from an online store and buy round the clock digitally.

In order words, an online marketplace, known as a “business-to-business” (B2B), is a hub for bringing together various firms and sectors for trading goods and services. Another name for it is the B2B commerce marketplace.

Here, suppliers, retailers, exporters, importers, and wholesalers connect to acquire goods for their corporate infrastructures. It is a digital marketplace where businesses may connect to purchase things in large quantities.

Customers purchase products from the vendor in bulk on B2B marketplaces and receive them after paying a fee. You will enter into a contract with a supplier of computers in a marketplace if you need a lot of computers for your employees’ use in the office.

B2B marketplaces enable numerous companies to deliver their goods to clients through a single channel. They are referred to as multi-vendor B2B online marketplaces for this reason. These markets include Alibaba, eBay, and Amazon Business, for instance.

Talking about the major players in the global B2B eCommerce market, these vendors have made buying and selling easier while improving the customer experience by making online simpler and more transparent.

What is the key difference between B2B and B2C?

B2B marketplaces are more specialized than B2C marketplaces and offer a single product, which ensures that the products are of good quality and limited to a smaller number of customers.

Moreover, businesses in the B2B eCommerce sector use either the direct or marketplace models to conduct business. Businesses that use the direct model build their own platforms and market to customers directly. Thus, B2B eCommerce has recently evolved and grown, and this is what is grabbing the interest of buyers, sellers, and investors globally.

B2B market statistics

Size, location, and application

By 2027, the B2B ecommerce industry is anticipated to reach a value of $20.9 trillion trillion with a CAGR of 17.5%. 2027, estimates indicate that the B2B ecommerce sector will surpass B2C ecommerce revenues.

By 2027, the B2B ecommerce industry is anticipated to reach a value of $ trillion with a CAGR of 17.5%. 2027, estimates indicate that the B2B ecommerce sector will surpass B2C ecommerce revenues.

B2B marketplaces

Industry and brand marketplaces are becoming more popular. Yet, B2B marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba continue to be the most well-known and provide a one-stop solution for many purposes.

The number of B2B marketplaces has doubled in the last two years. It is predicted that transactions on commercial trade and industrial marketing platforms will rise by 130%. By 2023, 15% of mid-to-large B2B firms are expected to build their marketplaces, and 70% of marketplaces are expected to offer B2B transactions, according to Gartner.

Hybrid and omnichannel selling

Hybrid selling is a key competency in the omnichannel ecosystem since it orchestrates the customer journey across several touchpoints. 90 percent of B2B sales companies agreed that the ability to reach and serve clients through B2B omni channel reality today is as effective as it was before COVID-19.

3 seismic shifts

B2B sales organizations must undergo three fundamental changes to flourish in the current environment: they must become omnichannel orchestrators, embrace a value-creation attitude, and enable continuous change management.

Types of B2B Marketplaces

B2B marketplaces are of two types: vertical and horizontal B2B marketplaces. Vertical marketplace. Vertical B2B marketplaces offer services to a particular type of business, and horizontal B2B marketplaces offer services to multiple types of businesses.

Talking about business models, there are three types of B2B marketplaces.

1. B2B services marketplaces

It solves business problems by providing you with the necessary services.

2. B2B product marketplaces

It connects businesses to sell goods.

3. Hybrid marketplaces

provide services and products to commercial and retail customers.

Key Success Factors for B2B E-Commerce Platforms

Here are the key B2B e-commerce features you must consider when evaluating a platform.

Payment, acquisition, and monetization

You must incorporate payment gateway, pricing and discounts, product cart, installment payment, tax management, and other payment-related features into your marketplace because your customers primarily utilize your services to make money. For consumers of your platform, having these features on your marketplace makes money collecting simpler.

Bulk purchase

B2B sales sometimes involve large orders and bulk purchasing. Thus, B2B e-commerce platforms must be easier for customers to buy in bulk. Important components of the bulk order UX include quantity, pricing, availability, and delivery estimates. In addition, solutions like wholesale order management software have B2B e-commerce features that simplify wholesale workflows from beginning to end, making them easier to use.

Catalog and contract pricing

In B2B e-commerce, contracts mean the party who will pay for payment, shipping, and pricing terms. B2B product catalogs are frequently big and may contain SKUs that not all clients can purchase. As a result, the ability to offer tailored catalogs and custom pricing becomes one of the most crucial fundamental aspects of B2B e-commerce platforms.

Data protection and security

This consists of tools that support users in protecting and safeguarding their data. This feature should be able to stop unauthorized users from accessing or modifying data. The database backup and data logging features are covered in this section. While the data log tool displays a history of changes made to your data, the database backup feature protects users’ data by automatically preserving it at regular intervals.

Restricted access

Contract-based pricing presents particular difficulties for B2B e-commerce platforms. A balance between SEO and customer-specific pricing is required of merchants. Public product catalogs are a significant component of e-commerce SEO, but B2B vendors cannot show the same prices to everyone. Thus, B2B companies can hide or alter pricing using restricted access control dependent on the user.

Quick reordering

E-commerce innovations like Amazon’s 1-click patent, which made the company billions, show the advantages of reducing friction in the purchasing process. Reorders are one of the most frequent B2B buyer workflows; reducing reorder friction can improve customer experience. As a result, the most crucial aspect of B2B e-commerce is quick and simple restocking.

Make the ideal call to action.

You need a call-to-action (CTA) on your B2B online marketplace. Call-to-action buttons encourage people to take action after reading a webpage, whether “Buy Now” or “Login.” It promotes trust and provides potential clients with an opportunity to look around.

B2B portal customization

Workflows for business-to-business purchases sometimes involve several partners and might differ greatly between organizations. Additionally, B2B product selections are frequently vast, making it difficult to traverse catalogs.

Roles and permissions can be given to users by administrators. Then, after logging in, individuals only see content and features pertinent to their professional requirements. An engine for promotions goes beyond customization by enabling businesses to offer customer-specific discounts.

Sharing shopping carts

Different people may be responsible for the product selection and checkout processes in B2B commerce. One user can add things to a shared shopping cart for another user to inspect and approve. Another crucial aspect of B2B e-commerce is the capacity to construct several shopping carts in addition to sharing a single one.

Communication portal

Users must interact before buying or selling products and services. Because of this, a communication component in a B2B marketplace is crucial. Messaging Center, live chat, and chatbot are just a few examples of communication tools you can use. In contrast, to live chat, which allows the vendor to speak with the customer directly, the messaging center enables communication between the administrator, seller, and buyer. Additionally, the Chatbot feature is set up to automatically react to questions that customers ask regularly.

Quote management

Manual quote workflows can be very inefficient for the purchasing process. Platforms for B2B e-commerce should aid vendors in streamlining and automating the procedure for their clients. For instance, a B2B e-commerce portal that enables quick access to RFQ forms might hasten the quotation procedure.

By integrating the procedures, merchants can lower the chance of human error and speed up fulfillment.

Product information management (PIM)

Product information management (PIM) In fact, 98% of buyers were deterred from purchasing by inaccurate or inadequate product information, according to Episerver’s “Reimagining Commerce” research. PIM software assists B2B retailers in maintaining product data, price, and photos across numerous omnichannel touchpoints.

How to start your B2B marketplace development?

  • Determine the marketplace’s requirements by identifying your potential clients’ issues and accordingly offer effective solutions to them.

  • Next is to find a B2B marketplace partner who will help you easily develop your marketplace, or you can hire a professional IT company to help you build your B2B marketplace website.

  • Then the next step is MVP. Creating a basic version of your marketplace. It will help you save money and time. Thus, you have the time to analyze how your marketplace will perform once it is launched.

  • After the release of your MVP, you can easily determine the features to understand which features are required in your products to be successful. This will help you create a product that will be as per market needs and demands.

  • The last step in the marketplace development process is adding advanced features to increase your user base and revenue.

How much does it cost to build a B2B marketplace?

Various factors contribute to the development cost and influence the money you require to develop your B2B marketplace. These include design complexity, size and market complexity, development company location, hourly rates of developers, and features you want to include in the tech-stack.

After considering all this, you can determine the cost of developing a B2B marketplace. Thus, it will vary as per your product. However, if we take an approximation, it will be around $100,000 for a basic product and varies depending on region and other factors.

Conclusion

A B2B marketplace requires a lot of work. However, the sector has enormous potential, given the trend of enterprises converting to online sales. Thus, if you are planning to enter this market, it is the right time to take control of one of the busiest marketplaces by hiring a top development company to help you in business success.

About the Author Sandeep Kumar is a Director at RV Technologies. Having an inclination towards software development, Sandeep always ensures to stay on top of the latest development technologies and how to implement them in real-world projects. He is always ready to share his insight with the developers so that they can also leverage the modern-day tech stack and build futuristic digital solutions for clients. Apart from overseeing all the development projects, Sandeep also likes to write down and share his insights with the world to familiarize people with the latest technologies and their potential in our everyday lives.

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