For the past few years, the adoption of B2B marketplaces has grown significantly. Businesses have recognized the benefits of the marketplace model and as such, the demand to create and join marketplaces is on the rise.
As we enter this new decade, we’ll see a rise in the standup of B2B marketplaces. The marketplace model will move beyond the well known B2C examples like Amazon and Wayfair to private models owned by B2B enterprises. Franchise networks, multi-location retailers, hospital systems and more will realize their unique opportunity to connect their supply side to their buy side behind the scenes.
In 2021, we’ll see B2B businesses faced with two opportunities when it comes to marketplaces: (1) Create your own private B2B marketplace, and (2) Extend your product catalog to existing marketplaces to reach new markets and customers you couldn’t reach before.
In 2021, marketplace adoption and expansion will continue to grow
B2B Enterprises will create operational efficiencies and generate new revenue streams by creating more private B2B marketplaces. According to research firm IBe TSD15, B2B online marketplaces will account for about 30% of all worldwide online B2B sales by 2024, up from 7.7% in 2020.
What is a B2B marketplace?
A B2B marketplace is an online location where businesses buy and sell goods. Businesses within the marketplace have three main roles: the buyers, sellers or sponsors, and suppliers. These open networks aggregate supply and demand and offer a seamless ordering experience created by a marketplace initiator (seller or sponsor) where orders can flow directly from buyers to suppliers.
For B2B business, marketplaces offer an efficient and effective way to reach existing customers online. We’ve seen the adoption of this B2B marketplace model growing for two main reasons:
- B2B buyers are used to using shopping on e-marketplaces in their everyday life. These preferences are seeping into the workplace and putting demand on businesses to deliver.
- Automation and the ability to connect buyers to suppliers directly creates operational efficiencies businesses need – especially today – to reduce staffing needs and to eliminate unnecessary processes that may be costing them unnecessary dollars and people resources.
Enterprises will use the B2B marketplace model to focus on going “omni-market”
The most drastic change in the B2B marketplace space is the expansion of the marketplace model. B2B-first enterprises and B2C-focused enterprises focused on omni-market will use marketplaces to extend their product catalogs. Creating a presence on existing marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart.com, and countless other industry-specific sites, will become commonplace.
Going omni-market and taking advantage of these existing marketplaces that have already attracted markets of buyers presents new opportunities to capture new bases of customers – and therefore new revenue streams, that have previously been unreachable.
Enterprises who do execute omni-market strategies, will want to make sure their e-commerce platform supports their ability to capture these new markets while still maintaining the ability to control product information, pricing strategy, and brand presence across the entire digital landscape.