B2B eCommerce is growing and attracting new players making it ripe for transformation. Global accessibility to the internet and the dominance of mobile are challenging decades-old norms. Moreover, B2C’s success is inadvertently helping set new expectation for B2B commerce.
As a result, we’re starting to see more emphasis applied on values such as customer experience, quality of service and competitive pricing in the B2B sector. More B2B businesses are adapting to these challenges. A major part of that adaptation is embracing the online marketplace model. Here’s how:
1. B2B Commerce Growth Is Gaining Attention
A 2019 Forrester’s report estimates that B2B eCommerce transactions will hit $1.3 trillion by the year 2023. For anyone who has an interest in the B2B sector (or contemplating a future in it), this is the ideal time to take massive action.
There are tremendous opportunities in the manufactured goods, aerospace industry, professional electronics, and office supplies and equipment markets. B2B eCommerce is poised for rapid growth and marketers have to be ready in order to growth with the changes in buying habits (or be left behind).
As more players enter the B2B space, quality standards to go up which will further increase acceptance and adoption. All these trends point increasingly towards the rise of an online marketplace model in the B2B industry.
2. Changing Buyer’s Habits
Digitalization is definitely playing its part in transforming the B2B commerce. More and more B2B buyers are turning to the internet for research and online purchases. Businesses with an online marketplace are speculating that within the next couple of years nearly half of their clients will move to purchase online.
With this changing buyer behavior, B2B businesses will increasingly look to an online marketplace model for convenience. Buyers look for a wide range of options, competitive prices and easy delivery to simplify their buying process.
YoKart, mutli-vendor marketplace platform has provided a number of options that will help new entrants get started. Several businesses that started with this platform found it easy to tackle the disruption that the online marketplace model caused all over the world — namey in an effort to compete with Amazon.
3. The Amazon-Effect on B2B Commerce
Amazon has given a new definition to the customer experience. Even before the buyer has made contact with the seller to make a purchase, the seller should have some basic knowledge about the needs and habits of their buyer. This is best illustrated through the ‘customers who bought this item also bought’ section on Amazon’s website. Now the same kind of reception is expected by today’s B2B buyers.
This is easier said than done. At the outset, there is a need to expand the suite of products/services offered as well as maintaining quality. When done right, this is an effective strategy for customer acquisition and retention — as is competitive pricing. A marketplace model carries all three attributes.
4. More Value to the Customers
The whole online marketplace model is geared towards offering more value to the customer, which is the basis of marketing in modern e-commerce. With the changing buyer’s habits, B2B businesses will now have adequate reason to consider the online marketplace model.
The advantage that B2B enjoys here is that nothing is new and uncertain for them. The model has been sufficiently practiced in other B2B to forecast all the possible outcomes. All B2B players to do is identify practices that work well and are applicable in their business model.
In fact, some of it is already happening. Many B2B merchants have launched their m-commerce or e-commerce websites with features and functionalities that are known to remove obstacles from the shopping experience. Social Media’ role in bringing new customers to the B2B distributors is also signaling a shift towards a much familiar online marketplace model.
5. Safer Way to Product Assortment Expansion
Sellers today don’t like to have their hands tied. Here again the marketplace model delivers. It enables a risk-free product assortment expansion by bringing a whole community of sellers together that imparts flexibility and agility to the e-commerce process.
Another advantage that marketplace model has to offer is for small businesses. With the marketplace model, they’re suddenly looking at a huge throng of buyers interested in purchasing their products/services. And it works out quite well for the buyers as well. They have in front of them several supplier catalogs and lists of available products, which is something that’s usually expected in B2C e-commerce platforms.
Lack of choice and convenience is something that’s frustrated modern B2B buyers and it has been one of B2B e-commerce’s shortcomings. Spurred by the success of the B2C marketplace model, B2B merchants are beginning to deliver more digital commerce options and deliver a more convenient shopping experience. This is further growing customer acquisition and retention. Sellers are mindful of their target audience’s needs and working diligently to deliver on these new expectations. Today’s B2C models shows exactly how this will be done for B2B commerce as it continues to grow and prosper in the years to come.