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Which e-business platform is made for you?

Zoé Kahn

The potential of development using an e-business platform is huge, not only in Europe and North America but China, India, the Middle East and any country with a propensity for completely integrated online business models. The number of both buyers and vendors is increasing dramatically and any business that wants to keep up with the times must distinguish which type of marketplace serves their needs best.

This rings true in a vast array of different sectors (electronics, luxury goods, workplace appliances, and equipment, etc.) Digital marketplaces have seen an exponential increase in the last decade for both buyers and sellers. This article will break down both buyer and vendor numbers by analyzing some of the fastest growing B2B platforms. To do this we have to differentiate different types of platforms which are divided in three distinct categories:


E-Procurement platforms

These are purchasing platforms that match buyers and suppliers allowing and facilitating the procurement of anything from supplies to services and even employees for businesses through digital means. E-Procurement platforms adhere to a complex set of procedures and standards that encompass e-commerce software utilized in B2B, B2C (business to consumer) or B2G (business to government). E-procurement platforms have the advantage of grouping all potential suppliers in one place, streamlining and simplifying purchases. Businesses that use such platforms will be the only buyer effectively controlling the flow of purchases as well. The advantages of automated, online procurement bring increased autonomy and flexibility to work with a global base of suppliers. Other advantages include reducing costs by implementing structured supplier relationships and integrating continuously updated and improved systems which not only reduce spending but substantially improve quality performance and supplier performance. Productivity is also enhanced as internal customers can easily attain items on catalogs through online requisition and ordering systems.


B2B E-Commerce Website

This is a website of a company or brand that wishes to digitalize and sell its products online on its single website. B2B E-Commerce websites foster improve your B2B sales and increase the notoriety of your brand. This online platform could welcome a large range of business customers and so keep develop the presence of the brand's visibility inside companies through the web.

As the only vendor on your website, it is very easy to manage and to keep updated. All the data will also be captured at the same place. It will be for you a continuing process to regularly increase your sales.

When your B2B e-commerce gets enough success, you can think about turning it into a B2B marketplace and invite partners and competitors to sell their product through your platform.


B2B marketplaces

Platforms that link numerous buyers and numerous vendors related to the purchase of products and services, usually in order to get a presence online. We can have a marketplace dedicated to one industry or more global marketplace, such as Amazon Business or Ali-Baba.

The creation of a B2B marketplace is now an integral part of businesses in the digital age and is the perfect way to optimize the supply chain in most of the industries (automotive, food & beverage, etc.). Buyers could connect to one website and purchase every product and service they are looking for.

Vendors would also enjoy it quickly as it will gather a lot of potential clients, and it ensures the financial transactions in a safe place. This makes financial interactions more intuitive and transparent taking customer satisfaction to new levels.


Concluding words

With relation to users and vendors, E-business platforms are the most used by far but as we have seen choosing the right one that suits all needs is key. These factors include utility, accessibility, sector, geography (the most suitable platform by location) and commodity. For companies nowadays, without a constant presence on B2B marketplaces, it is impossible to gain visibility and so it becomes fundamental to invest significantly in digital marketing to achieve success.

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