Five Reasons B2B Companies Should Launch Online Marketplaces
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B2B eCommerce is a short form of business-to-business electronic commerce is selling products or services between two or more businesses through the internet. In general, it is used to upgrade capability for companies. With ecommerce website, orders can be processed automatically, instead of processing orders manually by telephone or e-mail. B2B Marketplace is an online marketplace, which acts as a center for business community where various businesses and companies such as seller and buyer companies, suppliers, importers, exporters, retailers, wholesalers, etc. Will be able to connect with each other for selling and buying the various products at one platform. In a simple terminology, it is a digital marketplace where a business is operated with another business in terms of a commercial transaction.
According to Forrester Research’s Andy Hoar wrote April 12, 2015, report Death of a (B2B) Salesifan and noted that “1 million US B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service eCommerce by the year 2020.”
According to statistics, almost 90% of product researchers on B2B level start with search engines. This shift began with the websites like Amazon and Alibaba has changed the significant way of operating any B2B Online Marketplace.
According to Statista, In 2017, the gross merchandise volume of business-to-business e-commerce transactions is projected to amount to 7.66 trillion U.S. dollars, up from 5.83 trillion U.S. dollars in 2013.
What is B2B company?
A B2B company is essentially a business relationship manufacturer and a wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer. A supply chain usually involves more than two companies. Such goods as plastic, grain, or chemicals don’t always have a practical use for consumers but are important for wholesale distribution, which is the base of the business-2-business model. Products and resources may be provided from a number of suppliers; and careful planning is vital to performing-efficient transactions, considering complex integration schemes.
So, B2B companies will be able to gain very good opportunities through the online B2B marketplace strategy to expand their business, and thus increase their profit.
What’s driving this explosion in growth of Online Marketplace?
According to Archana Vidyashankar, senior research analyst for Frost Sullivan’s Visionary Research Group, the main driver for the growth of B2B eCommerce is the online marketplace model – bringing together large numbers of buyers and vendors onto one platform.
Below are five reasons B2B companies should expand their business into their own Online Marketplace:
- Remarkable growth forecast
- Shifting B2B buying habits
- Changed customer expectations due to Amazon
- Increases customer value
- Risk-free product variety development
Remarkable growth forecasts
In addition to this $7 Trillion global forecast by Frost & Sullivan, Forrester Research estimates that B2B Online Marketplace will exceed $1 Trillion by 2020 in the US market alone. The firm also found B2B Online marketplace sales in the US in 2015 to total $780 Billion, more than double those of B2C eCommerce, which “only” reached $305 Billion.
B2B Online marketplace will be mainly growing strongest in manufactured goods, such as spare parts in the automotive and aerospace industries, electronics, industrial machinery, and office supplies equipment. This represents a huge market opportunity for vendors and customers both.
Shifting B2B buying habits
B2B buyers now conduct research and purchasing online, changing the dynamics of how B2B commerce works. Nearly 50% of companies with an Internet storefront estimated that more than half their client portfolio would fully or partly migrate to the Web channel over the next three years.
According to the Accenture survey 2015 B2B Customer Experience B2B companies that consistently and significantly outperform their peers stand apart by having both strong strategies and execution capabilities. B2C sites tend to offer a wide range of products at fair prices and convenience. This will provide buyers with the various option such as if buyers cannot find what they want on one site, they can easily and quickly move to another.
The keys to acquiring and retaining professional customers are the same as the benefits offered by a Marketplace:
- Wide variety of product and service choices
- Reasonable and economical pricing
- Good quality of service
Changed customer expectations due to Amazon
Given the changes in B2B buying behavior, distributors must optimize the online buying experience by following best practices of B2C. Amazon is the reference model for all B2B players investing in the eCommerce channel, so much so that companies aspire to recreate the “Amazon experience” on their own websites (according to a study conducted by SAP Hybris and Forrester.)
Doing so requires increasing the breadth of products offered while keeping Quality of Service (QoS) high. These are two essential levers (the other being price) of an effective strategy for acquiring and retaining professional customers. The Online Marketplace model is the only one that addresses all three levers. Amazon changed the game in B2C retail and is having a fast impact in B2B, with
Increases customer value and trust
The best way to create customer value is to gain and maintain the trust of that customer. When a customer decides whether to buy any product from one company or any competitor company then he will basically compare the price and quality of the product and on the basis of that his trust will increase. This will help customer and sellers both to make the decision and his trust will remain. There are very few companies in the market that can be trusted by the customers. Therefore, whenever a customer finds a company that can be trusted by him, he finally realizes that this company is worth his investment and ensures to maintain the business relationship.
Risk-free product variety development
In general, every business wants to gather more and more customer as possible. Online Marketplaces have their advantages in this area as they already have an established customer base. Online Multi vendor marketplace will have many vendors and product varieties. So, as many vendors will get connected to it, more customers will get attracted to that marketplace. With the Multi-vendor Marketplace model, vendors with even small businesses can also come into an audience of buyers that were previously inaccessible. Buyers also win, gaining access to an extremely wide range of supplier catalogs and products, with a customer experience that rivals B2C standards.
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