Trends

B2B marketplaces: Growing market share with collaborative commerce

Sorana Gheorghiade
Sorana Gheorghiade May 3, 2021
B2B marketplaces: Growing market share with collaborative commerce

Collaborative commerce marks a new way of teaming up with customers, suppliers, channel partners, and even competitors to deliver more value to your customers. To businesses, it is a model that brings new growth opportunities, especially to large distributors, manufacturers and consumer packaged goods enterprises. 

Learn why it happens and how those companies are harnessing collaborative commerce and using marketplace technology to reinvent the direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model, create better customer experiences, and open new revenue channels.

From Monolith to Marketplace

Over the past several years, tightly integrated monolithic platforms supporting commerce initiatives have given way to a more agile approach. The world of online commerce is slowly leaving behind those commerce platforms and rapidly heading to multi-seller marketplace models that embrace a more collaborative vision to ecommerce. At the center of this modern approach is the B2B marketplace

Although Amazon would be the perfect example, B2B digital commerce technology platforms go beyond it, displaying many ramifications and complex configurations. Amazon Business platform features might get a complex B2B business halfway there — but that won’t meet customer experience expectations or put a B2B business ahead of their competition.

Using a Marketplace Model to Go Direct-to-Consumer

The great majority of B2B buyers are ready to invest in a digital self-serve buying experience, provided that they are also able to personalize it. But, unfortunately, very few distributors are able to respond to the many needs and expectations of the buyer, making it hard for business owners to keep pace with innovation, competitors, and customer expectations. That changes when using a marketplace model.

With the help of a marketplace, platform businesses can sell both their own and third-party products with lower cost and risk. When you set up a marketplace and equip it with the right tools, it enables you to revamp your business, adding value to the catalog and catering to the needs of your customers. Looking from the outside, as long as tick those boxes, you are on the safe side of ecommerce. Though in reality, this balance is scarce and fragile. 

What’s Driving the Shift Towards B2B Marketplaces

Buyers find that the marketplace digital experience is more convenient as a one-stop-shop for a large number of products, with lower prices and larger catalogs. Beyond buyer preferences, B2B organizations are shifting towards the marketplace model to recognize other benefits:

  • Capture greater share of wallet
  • Drive new revenue streams
  • Defend against Amazon
  • Disrupt industry
  • Gain deeper customer insights
  • Be more competitive
  • B2B pricing
  • Custom catalog
  • Multi-vendor order management
  • Advanced checkout and payment

Build or Buy a B2B Marketplace?

When prepared to digitally transform with a B2B marketplace platform, companies may first lean towards building their own solution. However, the cost and risk of a DIY marketplace are extremely high. 

Not only is it difficult to predict the cost, but the implementation is typically long as well. Most companies simply do not have the time or resources it takes to build their own marketplace; even those that do may be putting themselves at substantial risk. Creating a B2B marketplace from scratch is hard and you need a good strategy, to begin with. Otherwise, it might be detrimental to your business and impede its digitalization journey. Check out the three pillars we suggest to guide your way. 

Embracing the Marketplace Model

Your B2B online marketplace needs the right technology stack in order to achieve success, counting a scalable, flexible and customizable platform. This package of capabilities can enable B2B organizations to sell more. With a good commerce platform, you can reduce the time and cost of adding sellers and SKUs, automate approval of seller submissions, preview the catalog, have multi-currency and multi-language settings and deliver the best click and collect experience. 

At VTEX, you can find these business and developer tools. Find more about our marketplace solutions here.  

Download the whole study to find out why B2B enterprises are buying into the marketplace model and how doing so enables organizations to facilitate a more desirable customer journey where traditional ecommerce channels fall short. It will discuss why embracing marketplaces is now the greatest starting point for winning B2B commerce strategies, as well as the best approach for adopting and implementing a best-in-class B2B marketplace.

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