8 Reasons B2B Companies Should Launch Online Marketplaces

Since the dawn of ecommerce, we’ve been trained to think of businesses as destinations – buy here and be done. This approach mirrors our real-world shopping experiences: Go to Macy’s or Best Buy and you won’t (generally) return with anything else.

But when it comes to B2B commerce, business buyers are looking for an entirely different experience.

This shift is changing how companies need to sell online. While some things will always remain true about being a destination website, there are many reasons why today’s B2B leaders are creating new ways for their products or services to intersect with customers’ purchasing journeys in more accessible, innovative ways that drive greater value into their offerings.

Here are 8 reasons why B2B companies should think seriously about creating online marketplaces.

1 – Your customers want it

Online B2B marketplaces are not just another shiny object that marketers should test to see if they can drive revenue.

Buyers today are actively looking for new ways to discover and purchase products and services, whether through a broker or directly from the Kn95 face mask provider, with digital platforms that balance both approachability with ease-of-use.

Customers have indicated an interest in marketplaces through their buying behavior: According to Magento’s 2017 global commerce survey, nearly half of business buyers say they’re more likely to buy from a supplier website offering a marketplace.

In addition, 78% of respondents expect their company to provide them access to at least three different suppliers on one platform.

2 – You gain a digital advantage

By marrying the ease-of-use of a brand’s ecommerce website with the opportunity to buy from multiple vendors in one place, marketplaces provide buyers with an all-inclusive destination that extends their newfound preference for convenience into their professional lives.

In turn, suppliers get more touch points with each lead and will see greater revenue from loyal customers returning time and again to make purchases from their favorite partners.

This, in essence, is how online marketplaces create a better customer/supplier relationship while leveling the playing field between smaller suppliers and larger companies.

3 – Your margins benefit

While this isn’t true for every marketplace model, it’s important to understand why margin sharing works so well for both buyers and suppliers.

Margins are being squeezed across the board, forcing companies to choose between sacrificing margins or passing on cost increases to customers who want access to their favorite products regardless of price.

Online marketplaces can help reduce costs for both parties while ensuring that everybody wins. If you’re a supplier, you get paid based on actual sales instead of inflated list prices.

If you’re a buyer, you have access to great products at fair prices because there’s no middleman taking an extra cut out of your pocket.

4 – Your company gains agility

An environment where buying decisions are made quickly means more opportunities for fast-moving markets like semiconductors and wearable technology, but even slow-moving industries such energy management and medical equipment need to be agile to keep their revenue streams flowing.

The proliferation of online marketplaces eWorldTrade means more options for suppliers and buyers alike who are looking for flexible commerce solutions that can be customized to their individual needs.

Even if you’re dealing with a slow-moving industry, the customer may not care – they only want what works best today .

5 – You can improve your SEO rankings

What’s driving most online business is organic traffic, which currently accounts for about 70% of total website traffic.

That number will continue to climb as more businesses embrace digital marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

Companies that build strong SEO foundations will see their websites rise in ranking on Google.

One way to generate enhanced results is by creating online marketplaces that promote unique content and attract relevant backlinks to your website.

6 – Your business is customer-centric

Customer convenience has become a key factor in building brand loyalty, which means post-sale service needs to be top of mind for both buyers and suppliers.

Without servicing the customer, you risk losing them as they turn elsewhere for better offerings.

Marketplaces give your company another way to interact with customers beyond ecommerce through open dialogue on product features, industry trends or even topics like education or security.

That’s why investing in an active marketplace with regular activity can help brands stand out among their competitors.

7 – You’re adaptable to changing buyer behaviors

Even if you’re confident that your products are selling strong today, you need to think about tomorrow. Tomorrow’s buyer may be buying something else entirely or not buying at all.

A marketplaces strategy helps brands reach new buyers by giving them access to an audience that they might not have had access to before, while also providing a pipeline for future leads based on customer interactions within the marketplace itself.

You can’t predict what your buyers will buy tomorrow, but if your business is adaptable enough to make adjustments based on their behavior today, you’ll be ready when they’re looking for something new tomorrow.

8 – It’s better than ever

According to Gartner , 82% of online B2B purchases are influenced by online marketplaces . For companies that want to get in front of this massive audience, it’s time to embrace the power of online marketplaces by engaging in co-selling and peer networks.

Though establishing a marketplace can seem like a daunting process, there are plenty of tools on the market that make the entire process easier than ever.

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Setting up your marketplace is just step one; you’ll need to maintain it with regular activity if you want to see long-term results. Marketplaces may be here to stay, but only companies that actively engage in them will succeed.