April 2, 2017
Following in the footsteps of Alibaba, several marketplaces came into existence. Some of them building on an already solid network of both sellers and buyers, some of them starting from scratch...
ThomasNet is the best example of the first kind, they leveraged their extensive knowledge of American manufacturing suppliers. Indeed the firm dates back to the early 20th century, at a time when its core business was publishing a registry of all American manufacturers.
Others tried to surf on the potential of newly opened markets, like EC21 in South Korea, or India Mart and Trade India for the eponymous market... Most of them managed to make it to today, some others didn’t. And the spectacular failure of PEP market and Commerce One are here to remind us that B2B marketplaces are a very competitive playing field.
However diverse they may seem, first generation B2B marketplaces followed a rather simple pattern; they focused on a specific geography and/or on a specific product.
Indeed, the B2B universe has more constraints embedded; sales cycles are longer, quantities are larger, expectations are higher. This makes it difficult for a single player to emerge as dominant, unlike in B2C marketplaces where the duopoly Alibaba Amazon crushes down competition. In the B2B world, there is room for various actors.
If we were to further divide first generation B2B marketplaces, we could differentiate between generalist B2B marketplaces, vertical marketplaces (industry specific) and service marketplaces.
Their product assortment and their customer base is really broad. You can find pretty much everything you want, and since the onboarding process is not tightly monitored, you don’t need to be a pro to join the marketplace. The lack of confidentiality and industry specific features explains why price is a key differentiation element on those platforms. Proven leaders are:
These marketplaces are more recent. They have been created later (after 2010) because their level of complexity is much higher than in generalist marketplaces. Indeed they adapt to the specificities of each sector, and enforce a stricter onboarding process. Companies willing to join need registration and approval from the operator before accessing products and prices. Most of the time, suppliers can adapt their price and product categories to each client browsing their shop. Emerging leaders are:
Services B2B marketplaces are most of the time global and public. The buying process is very different from physical goods marketplaces. Most of the time you do not choose a supplier or an offer, but send a request for quotation through the system, and receive offers from all the service providers. Hence buyers generally can not browse seller profiles.
Every year, thousands of trade shows and professional events around the world welcome visitors curious to discover the world of brands. As key players in the exchange of international products and services, trade shows pave the way to a new channel of communication.
January 10, 2021
As the B2B e-commerce industry grows, it becomes vital to get involved. Managing these online stores can be new but does not pose any difficulties if it is an obstacle that holds your back.Therefore, it’s time for you to harness the potential of a B2B e-commerce site to offer your customers the best and stay up to date.
December 23, 2020
The digital economy us disrupting the world as we know it. The rise of retail e-commerce between businesses and consumers is upsetting industries. Now, the impact extends beyond Amazon and eBay to reach B2B companies around the world.
November 1, 2020
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