Home Business Insights & Advice Are B2B marketplaces the future of B2B e-commerce?

Are B2B marketplaces the future of B2B e-commerce?

by Sarah Dunsby
19th Dec 22 4:54 pm

If you were asked to name the most important retailer online, you would probably say “Amazon.” But this company is actually a B2B marketplace, where transactions take place between a consumer and the reseller. When you buy an object on Amazon, you actually acquire it from the manufacturer, at least most of the times. Is there space for other B2B marketplaces? It would seem that the answer is not only yes, but also that it is the future of B2B e-commerce. Here is more on the subject.

The fastest-growing channel in B2B e-commerce

If you would have said that B2B marketplace would be the way to go for e-commerce in 2022, still ten years go, you would have been laughed at. That is because, the connection of buyers and sellers tried to happen twenty years ago, but it turned out to be a disaster. However, the numbers don’t lie, and it is clear that this is the way of the future, at least in the foreseeable one, today. There were important reasons why it did not work out, though, at the time, and the fact that they have been solved clearly explains why it is making such a strong return.

If you go back by twenty years, you will realise that the technology at the time was minimal. And if you want to run a B2B marketplace smoothly, you definitely need lots of it. It is not an easy task to place so many different vendors on one site and make sure that each transaction takes place in the best way possible. It implies that the product is positioned perfectly well on whichever platform it is meant to be sold, and that once the transaction happens, the stock exists and the product is ready to be shipped. Behind all this, is the relationship between manufacturers and the online retailer platform, which is not to be forgotten. In other words, many things could go wrong, if the existing technology wasn’t sufficient. But today, everything is in place to make the turn-over of products run as smoothly as can be.

A better world for B2B buyers and sellers

From the very beginning it seemed like the perfect win-win situation between buyers and sellers. But the coordination was simply too complex, then. Now that all is in place, it only makes sense that both of them are happy to renew with B2B marketplaces. What do buyers want more than anything? Having products that they don’t have to manage themselves. And sellers? To be visible by as many potential customers as possible. That is the case in this type of e-commerce. The sellers are able to introduce their products on the buyers platforms, by themselves, which takes away from the work of the second. All the while they get their wish, which is simply to be present and available for sales to consumers.

Will there be another Amazon? The new B2B marketplaces are not really looking in this direction. What buyers want is to be the best in the field that they specialise in, not in general products.

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