Online Marketplace: A Threat Or A Chance For B2B Companies?

B2B Companies

Collectively, these marketplaces are open about wanting to be in charge of every step of the customer journey, including purchase, inspiration search, transaction, and fulfillment.

In addition, they have a sizable and still expanding proportion of e-commerce, both B2C and B2B.

Throughout the previous five years, their success has led to the emergence of hundreds of international B2B marketplaces. Industry-specific consolidator websites have debuted in fields as diverse as chemicals, technology, electronics, food, and aerospace. B2B commerce includes anything from office supplies and stationery to raw materials and sophisticated machinery.

An Overview

Nobody was shocked to learn that buyers preferred marketplaces to individual supplier portals, according to the most recent B2B Vendor Series guide. However, the magnitude of that preference was startling 96% With 3 out of 4 B2B buyers anticipating doing their future shopping.

Should B2B companies be concerned about the competitive threat posed by these behemoths that are upending conventional vending patterns and global industries as a company wanting to expand in digital commerce?

Or are they a chance, another kind of trade, which is establishing the standard for what internet commerce can accomplish?

Increasing Standards For Commercial Encounters

Leading marketplaces set the standard for e-commerce across the board and create expectations for receiving a comparable experience elsewhere. Including B2B procurement, thanks to their simplicity and convenience, which consistently rank at the top of customer surveys on every performance metric.

Visits to supplier portals are frequently abandoned by customers. They provide the following reasons: lengthy delivery delays, a lack of product information, and out-of-stock items. Additionally, they want more options for products and simpler return processes.

The combination of a robust platform and numerous vendors that online marketplaces provide enables businesses to easily get around obstacles and meet the demands of current consumers.

Favored During The Purchasing Process

Marketplaces thrive in the transaction and fulfillment phases. But B2B customers are increasingly favoring them as locations to get buying inspiration at the beginning of a journey.

For instance, the Chinese B2B platform is used by 51% of consumers for inspiration and searching in the countries where it is offered. A significant 81% of Chinese consumers begin their shopping trips on Tmall and Taobao.

These high numbers frequently result in purchases, especially in China, where 78% continue to make a purchase, attesting to the ease of the market experience.

A Remedy For The Pandemic

Unsurprisingly, throughout the past two years, supply chains have been disrupted as companies hastily changed vendors to continue doing business despite the pandemic.

Once more, huge internet markets filled the void because they are accessible and practical. Due to their economies of scale and a large number of smaller vendors, they were able to maintain high overall stock levels throughout.

There has been a partial recovery to pre-pandemic purchasing patterns. The increased exposure to markets during a crisis has also resulted in long-term changes in B2B purchasing behavior.

Many purchasers claim that having improved access will make their life easier. Over half of the buyers believe they won’t revert to the old practices.


Marketplaces are crucial to a vendor’s commerce planning because unbeatable B2B buyers have used sites for years. They are not a perfect answer, though, and using them has drawbacks as well.

They give merchants access to a sizable audience and a ready-made, simplified purchasing experience. Let’s not forget that they achieve this at the expense of vendor margin and by controlling all information about the client and their behavior.

We are all aware of how crucial CRM is for B2B to track where a client is in the purchasing process. Also, the importance to make timely and pertinent connections with them.

We lose consistency when we switch to a marketplace because that chain usually breaks.

Utilize Your Strengths

In addition to offering a smooth, end-to-end purchasing experience through owned commerce channels, the key to snatching up a portion of this market will be to cater to demands that general marketplaces are unable to fill.

B2B buyers rank the capacity to locate, define, and order complicated, customized products as the most crucial skill when it comes to online shopping. However, it is far ahead of a simple checkout process or quick delivery. A specialized vendor channel may easily supply this.

A vendor cannot create an offline human relationship to influence brand values or counsel buyers. They cannot help purchase teams the way they can when selling directly due to the sheer size of the major marketplaces.


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