B2B Marketplace: what are the opportunities?

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Although we hear less about B2B marketplaces, they have been booming for six years now. According to the consulting firm iBe TSE Ltd, forecasts predict an increase in transactions of more than 400% for 2024 compared to 2018 with an estimated turnover of 3.6 trillion dollars. The B2B marketplace is therefore expected to account for 30% of all global B2B online sales by 2024. So why the marketplace craze? What opportunities can B2B marketplaces bring? Here are some explanations.

The different types of B2B marketplace   

The interest in B2B marketplaces can be explained by the fact that they respond to various challenges that companies may face. We have identified 5 of them.

#1 Transforming your e-commerce site into a B2B marketplace

The first good thing is that by having created your e-commerce site, you have already made the shift to online sales. But while your site is limited to your offerings, you could take advantage of similar and/or complementary products or services through the B2B marketplace! Not only will this allow you to expand your current offering, but thanks to your sellers’ commissions, you will also benefit from their transactions to generate revenue. Presenting complementary offers or services on your site can allow you to benefit from significant sales volumes, serve as a showcase for your partners and highlight the advantages of your own products, by playing on prices or delivery conditions. 

#2 Expand your distribution channels with the B2B marketplace

For brands that do not sell online, the creation of a B2B marketplace is a new distribution channel alongside subsidiaries and physical shops. The products or services offered revolve around the same vertical, making it easier to control distribution. Using a marketplace model allows you to reach new market segments, expand your catalog and offer your B2B customers a user experience that is both enjoyable and tailored to their needs. For example, taxonomy – the art of categorizing products or services – makes the user experience smoother by simplifying searches. Another argument in favor of creating a marketplace concerns the internationalization of your platform, which makes it possible to win new customers outside your borders and thus to develop your market by including multi-currency management.

#3 B2B Marketplace: digitizing commercial transactions with e-procurement

The e-procurement marketplace allows purchasing departments to digitize transactions and improve team satisfaction by allowing them to focus on people. This online space will allow you to bring together suppliers, retail chains and external partners and facilitate transactions. Indeed, the platform will be available 24 hours a day, allowing buyers to place orders at any time, according to their needs. For example, the Accor hotel network has launched its own e-procurement platform, the Astore marketplace, which allows different hotels to purchase directly from the site.

#4 The B2B marketplace to unite around a commercial network

This type of B2B marketplace concerns the heads of networks such as franchises, federations or central purchasing bodies. Its advantage is that it allows different offers and services to be grouped together within the same platform, which manages the distribution of a catalog. This win-win concept makes it possible to offer a new sales channel for the franchisor (marketplace operator), for example, and to reduce logistics and storage costs for franchisees. 

#5 Promote the circular economy via a B2B marketplace

The circular economy is not just a B2C or C2C issue. Professionals too are getting into the refurbished business. Indeed, companies offer second-hand products, or spare parts and materials that were no longer used by their original companies. This strategy can improve your customers’ CSR or lower their costs. For example, the Organix marketplace of the Suez group offers producers the opportunity to sell their organic materials to methanisation plants. This makes waste management much easier.

The advantages of the B2B marketplace model

Improving the customer experience 

For manufacturers whose distribution networks are not yet very digital, the creation of a marketplace gives them the opportunity to open up to a new sales channel and to adapt to new consumer habits. Thanks to the marketplace, the service can be available 24/7.

Expand your B2B product or service offering

For the marketplace operator, the advantage is therefore to extend its catalog and improve customer satisfaction by presenting not only its own offers but also those of third-party sellers. This way, you can delegate the logistics and after-sales service to the sellers and focus only on finding new partners and driving traffic to your platform. You don’t have to bear the cost of storage and shipping, but earn a commission on each product or service sold.

Offer buyers opportunities to reduce their costs

From the buyer’s perspective, the B2B marketplace streamlines procurement processes by introducing them to new partners on a single site. By displaying prices and delivery terms, buyers can easily compare sellers with each other, select the ones that best suit their needs and interact with them. With the same agility as a B2C shopping experience, sourcing B2B products is just a few clicks away.           

Collect customer data

Launching a B2B marketplace allows its operator to collect data on end-customer consumption habits and analyze the trends that emerge. You can then more easily put forward personalized offers that are likely to suit them.

Offer a model with strong development potential

The B2B marketplace model is still in its infancy. The potential for growth is significant and giants like Amazon Business are constantly introducing new features for business buyers. The circular economy B2B marketplace model alone can be applied to all sectors. But to be successful, you obviously need to work on your business model and surround yourself with experts in marketplace creation.

As an integrator of marketplace tools, Marjory supports companies that want to start a B2B marketplace project at a lower cost. Marjory provides full support on all dimensions of the digital platform, from strategy to technical implementation of key services. Would you like to create your own B2B marketplace or simply discover our solutions? Contact us now!

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