The online B2B buyer is transforming — but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If anything, today’s B2B inventory managers are becoming more like B2C consumers. The way they shop, research products, and order is all streamlining. Sites like Amazon Business are raising the bar for B2B shopping, and as a result, B2B buyers are expecting a much more fluid experience.
How can you keep up? Read on to discover key B2B marketplaces that can drive more sales.
B2B Marketplaces for Buyers and Vendors
A B2B marketplace is a venue or platform for matching buyers and sellers, especially for bulk and complex business orders.
Some marketplaces, like Amazon Business, can handle multiple vendors. But these sites also delineate between B2B and B2C marketplaces for obvious reasons, including:
- Sell orders. B2B buyers often require bulk discounts because they have a lot of buying to do — and know their business is more significant than an individual purchase if they were an ordinary consumer. Substantial orders have to reflect the incentives for bulk inventory requests, as well as the complexity of handling these orders.
- Interaction. Business buyers often require more back-and-forth with salespeople before making an order, especially with new brands.
Marketplaces like Oral Marketplace help increase the speed of the sale with specific buyer and vendor accounts, dynamic pricing capabilities, and by tracking bids, quotes, and orders. They also wrap everything up in a simple, intuitive navigation and user experience, making the overall customer journey feel more like a B2C shop than a B2B marketplace.
Pros and Cons of Selling to the Top B2B Marketplaces
One key difference between B2C and B2B online marketplaces? Complexity. Businesses have larger and more complicated orders than individual consumers. The marketplace you work through will have to facilitate those advanced orders, especially when handling heavier demands on your inventory.
Consider some of the following popular B2B marketplaces:
What do they have in common? They’ve built the infrastructure to cater to the specific needs of businesses that have to sell to other businesses. That’s why shifting to selling on B2B marketplaces can include all sorts of advantages, including:
- Low entry costs
- Easy setups
- Accessing a new audience of B2B buyers
- B2B-specific features, including bulk order calculators and editing purchase orders
- Brand credibility through top online marketplaces
What are the disadvantages?
- Complexity. Yes, B2B marketplaces can make it easier to sell, but managing multiple avenues and channels can also require more systems to ensure everything runs smoothly. Complexity can potentially add buying friction for buyers or require more time/investment on your end.
- Inventory management. More sales, more problems. While selling out of inventory seems like a “high-quality problem,” it can also cause headaches with buyers and dull your reputation with buyers, who have higher expectations as B2B buying becomes more like B2C buying.
The Mirakl B2B Marketplace Platform
Mirakl makes it possible to build a partner ecosystem and accelerate B2B eCommerce in a way that will feel intuitive to anyone who’s ever shopped online. Mirakl is especially good at the following:
- Giving business buyers what they want — including a more “consumerized” shopping experience, even for those with large budgets.
- Driving better buyer insights. Mirakl’s customer community events and insights help business sellers find out where the trends are heading.
- Increasing revenues without high costs or heavy risks.
Mirakl’s B2B marketplace platform can support your sales strategy, even if you think it’s too complex to migrate to a specific platform. Mirakl employs a team of experts who help you implement wholesale, manufacturer, and procurement strategies into your platform. In other words, they can take a complex B2B experience and deliver a buying journey for your customers that feels more intuitive.
Despite the emphasis on a consumer-like experience, Mirakl’s B2B marketplace is built for business selling, aimed at driving new business, and streamlining the selling process from your end. Through it, you can launch your B2B marketplace and build stakeholders’ value — especially for heads of eCommerce, Sales, and Marketing.
What Are the Best B2B Marketplace Platforms?
G2’s reviews of B2B platforms reaffirm the rising popularity and value of leveraging a B2B marketplace for reaching customers. Today’s B2B customers expect robust B2B buying options with the convenience of modern B2C-style convenience. If you can’t work with today’s B2B marketplace platforms to deliver that experience, your competitors might instead.
Look for marketplace platform features like appointment scheduling, the ability to create customer profiles, robust analytics, subscription options, and marketing tools. These will help you get the most out of your inventory as you take your B2B orders to the next level. It also doesn’t hurt to have a platform that helps you handle B2B selling, either.
For an inclusive B2B platform experience with order management, customizable virtual showrooms, a vast retailer and brand marketplace, and data insights, check out NuORDER. See how we can be your marketplace solution and so much more by scheduling a demo today.