As business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce grows, sellers must decide how marketplaces fit into their digital sales approach. While high traffic and demand can expose B2B suppliers to new audiences and opportunities, marketplaces can also be a competitive threat without the right strategy.
What is a B2B marketplace?
A marketplace is an ecommerce platform that lets third parties sell directly to customers. Unlike a distributor, marketplaces don’t own inventory. B2B marketplaces facilitate complex transactions for business buying needs like wholesale, bulk orders, invoicing, order approvals and more.
How do I decide which marketplace to work with?
When starting to build or assess a current marketplace strategy, B2Bs need to understand the different options. Amazon, Alibaba and Thomas are the three biggest with wide assortments across commodity and custom goods. Niche marketplaces for specific industries—healthcare, auto parts, office supplies, building materials, food, industrial machines, entertainment and real estate—are also available. Products sold, target audience and price point are factors impacting which marketplace is best for your company.
How do I open an Amazon Business account?
Amazon Business and other marketplaces are actively courting new sellers to diversify supply. Amazon Business offers a self-service option for business sellers, Seller Central. And Alibaba has an accounts team to help onboard new sellers in the US.
What are the best practices for developing a marketplace strategy?
Marketplaces are a good testing ground to begin selling online or supplement a direct website. Understanding margins is essential for profitability. Product content is also a strong marketing tool, which must be accurate and optimized for search. Conflict between other sales channels should be avoided.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? In an effort to expand their online sales channels, B2B sellers look to marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba and more. This report will explore how and why sellers use marketplaces and how these platforms are innovating.
KEY STAT: Amazon Business is the top B2B marketplace, according to June 2018 findings from B2BecNews. Roughly eight in 10 US B2B buyers used Amazon to research and buy B2B products.
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