Guide to Develop Online B2B Marketplace in 2021

By Ronak Patel   |   18 December, 2020
Guide to Develop Online B2B Marketplace in 2021

Do you want to start an online B2B marketplace in 2021?

Do you know how to develop B2B online marketplace in 2021?

If you have these questions in your mind. You jump on right place because in this blog we discuss about what are steps to build your B2B marketplace in 2021.

What is a B2B Marketplace?

B2B refers to an online marketplace where one company sells good and services to other companies. It is similar to the B2C online marketplace but they have many elements that differ as well.

Business in B2B online marketplace is as similar as B2C business marketplace but it may face many of challenges and shares precondition which are necessary for successful business.

The global B2B eCommerce market valuing US$12.2 trillion in 2019 is over 6 times that of the B2C market. – Statista

In B2B online marketplace, web shop is basically used for placing the orders and payments are carried out by other B2B transaction like via bank transfer.

What is B2B Marketplace
Example of online B2B marketplace:

  • Alibaba (for both B2B and B2C)
  • India mart
  • Amazon (for both B2B and B2C)
  • Rakuten
  • Mercateo

What are the Types of B2B Marketplace?

Types of B2B marketplace is depend on products and services sold.

There are two types of B2B marketplace:

Based on business types:

Vertical B2B Marketplace:

B2B marketplace allow you to buying and selling products in all segments in particular industry only while other marketplace allows you to buying and selling products in only one particular segments.

For examples pharma, automotive, construction, etc.

Suppose you are in construction business then that such a marketplace can help you to connect with the businesses that are provides construction related products and services.

Horizontal B2B marketplace:

Horizontal B2B marketplace is opposite of the vertical B2B marketplace where it can helps you to sell and buy products & services from different industries and segment.

Suppose you are in construction business then besides construction products and services such marketplace also connects with you who supplies furniture for your business.

Based on Business Model:

Product based B2B marketplace:

In product based B2B marketplace, there are one business sell their physical products to other businesses. This business act like supplier and sell customized products to different other businesses.

You must know that product based B2B marketplace serves only other companies and enterprises, not serves for consumers or individuals.

Product based B2B marketplace
Businesses in product based B2B marketplace have physical or online or presence or have both.

Product based B2B marketplace businesses required high initial investment and overhead costs compare to other B2B types.

An example of product based B2B marketplace is would be one that sells computer hardware to other businesses.

Service based B2B marketplace:

Service based B2B marketplace allows to business to offer different services to each other.

One business helps other businesses by providing their services.

Service based businesses are generally can exist online or they have store like physical store. This is depend on what type of services are you provided.

Service based businesses may require lower overhead cost than product based marketplace.

Marketers, graphic designers, developers are example of service based B2B marketplace.

Few examples of service based marketplace:

  • Consultancy services
  • Marketing agencies
  • Employee training services

Hybrid B2B marketplace:

Any marketplace who offering more than one marketplace is Hybrid B2B marketplace. It is may be B2B, B2C, or C2C.

Hybrid marketplace is the complex network because it involves both B2B and B2C relations. It also involves products, services, and more.

For examples urban cap is B2C service marketplace while Freelancer is B2B service marketplace.

Amazon and eBay is B2B and B2C marketplace.

eBay is a combination of B2B, B2C as well as C2C product based marketplace

How to Start a B2B Marketplace?

How do you start successful B2B marketplace?

Here are some steps required to start B2B marketplace.

Research of your Idea:

This is the first step before you find company to create your B2B marketplace website.

You need detailed research about which type of website you need which is in demand or not.

Determine value of your marketplace. What problem can you solve? When you get enough data about it then you should analyze the market and competitor.

It may possible that your niche is already occupied by other companies. But don’t worry about that,

You just need to know your audience and try to focus on more specific niches.

As an example if you want to start an ecommerce business like amazon then you have to offer some unique and interesting something to your targeted audience.

Planning:

Planning is an essential part of creating successful B2B marketplace.

It includes requirements list, market research report, technical requirements, user stories, detailed estimate where each features can indicate with development.

Development process of your marketplace website:

There are two ways you can select to develop your marketplace website:

  • Build it from scratch
  • Customize readymade platforms

Selection of development process of your marketplace website is depend on your requirements and your opportunities.

If you have tight budget the use of customize of readymade platforms is better for you and you don’t you to spend money on UI/UX.

If you want to create innovative B2B marketplace then you can spend more money on development from scratch.

Top feature of your website:

Your marketplace website should require following MVP features:

User profile:

Your marketplace website should provide both user and seller profiles.

Customers should have effortless navigation, search filters, info about sellers, can see their orders, track their given order, see their history, etc.

Sellers also have features in their profile to customize their profile, add/remove product, etc.

Search and filters:

Filter and search feature help and assist to buyer to find products they need by location, price, type and other requirements.

Chat:

If buyer have any question about that product they like then they can ask the seller and get their answer.

Payment system:

You have to choose how buyer pay for product they order.

You can add cash on delivery, Paypal or other option.

Feedback system:

Feedback system in your website can help you to know whether your like your platform or no

If you want to enhance your website, you can add some advance features for buyers like price and product comparison, advance filters, wishlist, sharing on social media, push notifications.

You can also add advance feature for sellers like advance statistics of buyer behavior and product management that they help sellers.

Required team to build your B2B marketplace website:

You should require some specialist to make your website more specific:

  • Project manager
  • Qualified web developers (both back-end and front-end)
  • UI/UX designers
  • Requirement analyst

Marketplace website development cost:

An average cost of marketplace website development is $30000 – $150000.

But it is hard to estimate the cost of marketplace web development because each website have specific requirements.

Marketplace website include time required for integration of features, UI/UX design and non-development time which is spent for meetings, research, etc.

To calculate development price, you just need to multiply number of hours by hourly rate of development company you work with.

However, as we all know that hourly rate depends on where development company is located. For Example, In USA hourly rate is $150 – $175 while in UK it will cost you around $100 – $150, While if you consider South Asian like India, an Average Web developer cost will range from $15 – $50 depends on the skills and expertise.

Website Promotion:

When your marketplace website is ready to use, you have to promote your website.

First you need to create a database of potential seller which are use your platform to sell their products or goods.

But seller also know that this will take some time before they can sell something from your marketplace.

You need to explain them that your platform good for them to selling their products.

To discover more sellers, you should find more sellers on different platforms and contact them.

You can use influencer to promote your marketplace which can attract lot of peoples.

You can also launch your blog or community about your Marketplace.

If you do this thing on a right way, you will get more interested users for your marketplace and your marketplace gain popularity.

Common Challenges for B2B Online Marketplace:

Maintain relationship with client:

A good relationship with clients is most important part for any businesses and more important in B2B businesses.

B2B businesses can easily survive and grow with handful clients and you don’t need to constantly to lookout more customers.

If you can manage to good and long term relation with your clients so then just few of them would be enough for your success.

You can use CRM software to interact and overall communication with clients.

User experience:

You need to make sure that your site will user friendly.

Customers and potential clients are using computer when they placing order for their businesses in B2B marketplace.

However, the majority of research starts on the mobile.

That means your website is responsive and easily access form mobiles.

If you have mobile optimized website and elements in your website that will help you to stand out from competitor.

Handling huge orders:

If you are run a B2B business, then you might ready for bulk order delivery.

Client may look for huge delivery order from you.

In one hand there would be smaller orders and in other hand there would be bulk order from large corporation.

You must be prepared for them.

Your website may look like professional web site and able to manage large orders.

Payment services:

Biggest challenge in B2B marketplace is how your client pay you.

Compared to B2C marketplace, the frequency of purchase and order value is high in B2B marketplace.

The other problem is various payment method used in each country.

This often may lead to delay of several weeks in purchase and payment.

Technological development:

The biggest challenge in B2B marketplace is facing is technological development.

Marketplace should be more seamlessly integrated for both buyer and seller.

Search engine should have more efficient and product description should have more detailed.

May buying and pricing process more clearly.

In 2019, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) of B2B e-commerce transactions amounted to nearly 22.56 U.S. dollars. In 2020, the value is expected to increase to over 31 billion U.S. dollars. – Statista

Important B2B Marketplace Features for Successful Business

Sign-up page:

Sign-up page is the landing page where buyer and vendor can register themselves.

It is considered as most important for every businesses and the main purpose of the sign-up page is drive registration on your platform.

SignUp-Page
Sign-up page is the last step in the purchase funnel after lead generation and nurturing.

When designing landing pages, main goal is providing smooth experience to users.

Sign-up pages are simple and have benefit oriented headlines, smart call-to-action button and few fields to fill in.

You may consider social accounts autofill which is increase your conversation rate.

Call-to-actions (CTAs):

Call-to-action is also essential part of lead generation effort for every company.

With landing pages the main purpose of call-to-action is to drive conversations.

CTA Call To Actions
In the starting point, you need to choose your conversation goal to so you can easily make call-to-action.

As an example, a webinar required different call-to-action than a product purchase.

Designing attractive CTAs requires an improvement in terms of message copy and placement on landing pages.

A/B testing can help you to choose right and attractive CTAs for various response from users.

Call-to-action should be very clear and specific so your users can understand what they need to do to achieve the desired action.

Vendor management:

If you want to grow your B2B marketplace, then you have to do lot with effective vendor engagement and retention.

You have to identify which vendor perform best in your marketplace and appreciate them and invite more and more vendors on your marketplace.

Knowing and managing your all vendor’s data is only possible by well integrated CRM system which is great benefit for your marketplace.

Using CRM software your vendors can continuously improve their relationship with customers.

Pricing & discount:

B2B pricing might be complicated and differ based on various country, region, and account type.

If you have subscription based product so that will be price may differently.

To handle this differential, you need modern B2B ecommerce that gives you flexibility to control pricing rules.

This platform also be capable to applying discounts.

A great B2B marketplace let you reflect common promotion strategies depend on bulk purchase and grouped products.

Integration:

You might have already CRM, ERP, marketing automation and other software to run your business.

Find a solution to integrate and connect this all system seamlessly to streamline your business operation and allow all these different functionalities to be performed on single place easily.

This is all resulting in an enhanced experience for your users.

Multilanguage and multicurrency functionalities:

This both features help you to run your B2B business at global level.

This integration helps buyer to find their products and requirement in their native language and also pay in their country’s currency.

It provides flexibility to the users.

Product management:

This features help in avoiding problems like incorrect product description, low quality images, wrong pricing and other more attributes.

Product review management helps you to drive more sales by help of positive product review on your website.

Easy vendor & buyer registration:

A good B2B marketplace website have simple, easy and free registration system for both vendors and buyers.

They also must have excellent profile to showcase their listed products to their customers.

If your vendor or buyer have registration issues on your website then they must go on other platform.

Tax management:

There is necessary to better tax management because there are different tax rates in different categories and different regions.

This feature integrated with your platform enable for the vendors to input the correct tax details for all the products.  

Self-service functionality:

Your customers want to be able order at any time and not tied to when sales man answer their call.

B2B sellers wants full control over their products pricing configuration like they do all things on their own portal.

Top B2B Marketplace Practices:

Your site must be attractive and user friendly:

Design of your site must be attractive and eye catching and should also be navigable with clean and clear layouts.

Your product must be arranged in well define categories and well listed so buyer can easily view products and easy to purchase for them.

B2B Marketplace Design
A structured menu with product carousel, search bar and filters should provide positive user experience to your customers.

If you require sigh up before your customer purchase in your website, make sure that this process is quick, easy and smooth and also ask only necessary information to be filled.

Define your brand value proposition:

First thing, before you driving another visitor on your website and confusing them with what your offer them – clearly define your brand’s value proposition.

Your brand value proposition refers to the value a company promises to deliver to the customer should they choose to purchase their products. It is clearly that what you offer to your customer and how you stand out in the market.

Having well defined brand value in your website help your users to understand what offers you provide them and how they get benefit from them.

Remember in the B2B marketplace, someone only visit on your website if they searching similar products/services you offering.

Make sure that your users don’t have search anywhere once they visit your website.

Understand your customers:

Once your brand value defined, you must need to know your customers.

Your website is only for your customer and if you want to turn visitors into customers then you have to provide clear information about your product they want to know.

In B2B marketplace, your visitors must be executive and managers so you must have to show them how you can resolve their problems.

Every executive and managers have set of question and make sure that they will get their answer before they leaving your website.

Be strategic to CTA placement:

User of your website don’t want to share their any information unless you guide them by strategic channel.

You must have to understand that no one wants to share their information if they are afraid of misuse of their information or being spammed.

In recent times everyone should be on internet so make sure your CTA has been convincing enough to win your user trust for sharing their information and make sure they should not be spammed.

The best way to generate lead is providing gated content which is only access after filling form or logging.

Provide educational content:

When a visitors visit your website they looking for information of their problems.

By providing informational content you can addressed both information and past performance in one fell swoop.

Remember keep your all content in a well arranged library that is accessible from home page.

Keep in mind that you should never include promotional content, sales page links, etc. in this section.

Make sure that your content should be professionally and self-produced that is determine your expertise in your fields.

Highlight premium content to generate leads:

An educational e-book is more premium content than a blog post.

Blog post should be freely accessible for anyone.

You can ask your visitors to get premium content of e-book exchange of their name and email address.

This method is known as gating content.

Gated content need form submission. If you ask too many personal details to your visitors, then they don’t willing to share their contact information they are willing to exchange their name and email address for premium content of e-book.

This method is very useful for making more engagement with your visitors.

Make your site mobile friendly:

In recent times, there are number of mobile users are increasing compare to desktop users.

This is also make impact on B2B businesses,

Now in this time most of people are accessing B2B website using their mobile phone.

If you want to give best possible experience to your visitors, then your website must be mobile friendly.

If your user gets bad experience of using your site in mobile, then he quickly leave your site and might never come back to your site.

Google also adjusts rankings based on mobile friendliness.

The global business-to-business e-commerce market size was valued at USD 5.7 trillion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5% from 2020 to 2027. – Grand View Research

Top B2B Marketplace Platforms to Study in 2021

The Business-to-business industry growing exponentially in the world. The trend of B2B portal in not new but the revolution of technology has change the way they perform. New digital trading features and branding takes place of traditional methods to get in touch with targeted customers.

China is become the top B2B marketplace country in the world. China has highest

Here we reveal top leading B2B marketplace that can help you to grow your business.

Alibaba

Alibaba is one the leading B2B marketplace in the world of trading tha offers wide range of B2B services in all over the world. Not only that but it also stand as a platform for B2B, B2C, C2C and more trading services. Alibaba also offers ecommerce, digital auction, online fund transfer, mobile ecommerce and online shopping.

Alibaba with a share of about 30% in China is now expanding its operational base to India, Europe and the U.S.

Amazon

Amazon is one of the top B2B marketplace in the world with one of the biggest online trading platform that supports B2B wholesale operation. In amazon you can’t just buy good or products but you also sell your products to your buyer. Amazon is also known for retail titan.

Amazon rebranded its B2B eCommerce operations from AmazonSupply to Amazon Business in 2015 and achieved sales of over US$1 billion in just a year.

Maker’s raw

Maker’s raw is the biggest platform for businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. This company has tagline stated “where idea become product”.

Global sources

Global sources is also one of the leading B2B company which is offers exclusive import and export services. The company currently offer trading in prime countries. Global sources make record for providing excellent services.

DHgate

DHgate is great B2B platform form china. It offer 40 million product listing from more than 1.2 million Chinese suppliers along with 10 million buyers from more than 230 countries.

Eworld trade

Eworld trade Is largest ecommerce platform offering broad range of ecommerce services. It is rapidly expanding its clients, buyers, helping users to enjoy reliable and secure experience.

Tradekey

Tradekey is an extensive B2B marketplace to connect suppliers with buyers. This company has strong focus on Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Malaysia, etc. trade key offers three services to its visitors.

Made-in-china

Made-in-china is popular B2B platform which is developed and operated by focus technology from the country of china. This company is leader in electronic businesses. All of their products are made in china or Taiwan.

Etsy

Etsy has one of the largest marketplace in business of art and crafts. It is becoming the best platform for an artists and ambitious businesspersons who can’t find valuable and worthy arts and craft anywhere else.

ECVV

ECVV is fastest growing online trading platform for B2B activities. This website is assisting the buyer and supply each other.

marketplace app development

Common B2B Business Models for Revenue Generation 

One of the most common question from every company is “how my company generate revenue?”

With the right knowledge anyone can unlock various type of revenue for their company which is directly or indirectly impact on company.

Here we discuss about some common revenue models which can actually generate revenue.

Commission model:

This is most popular and most common revenue model in B2B as well as B2C marketplace. Marketplace owner can earn money on every transaction happen on his site.

Marketplace earn commission from sellers on every sale they get from website. This commission is may percentage based or fixed amount based. This is the depend on type of business.

This revenue model is known as investment less approach. The main advantage of seller is they don’t have to pay any type of cost to the marketplace until they make sale.

Amazon, eBay are example of commission based revenue model. The transaction of this model is huge.

The more you have sales on your website the huge commission you get.

Subscription model:

Subscription model is applied on both sellers and buyers. Marketplace owner can ask sellers to pay monthly subscription for listing their products on their marketplace well as marketplace can also ask to the buyers pay monthly subscription.

In this model marketplace can offer different services and value in different subscription model.

Lynda is a best example of subscription model.

Featured list model:

This model is most like as an ad-model where marketplace charges on sellers and help them to get better leads and sales from featured list.

In B2B marketplace there is dedicated space on homepage for listing some highlighted sellers or products besides the original listing.

Google shopping is the perfect example of featured listing.

Freemium model:

The best and scalable model for B2B marketplace is freemium model. In this revenue model offer something for free and then ask users to pay for more features.

Amazon B2C model is best example of freemium model.

A regular customer but products from amazon everyday as everybody does.

However, an amazon prime customer can enjoy more features like speedy delivery, prime video and prime music.

Lead fee model:

Lead fee model is one of the best revenue model which is lies between listing fee and commission fee. In this model sellers pay marketplace when they make sale or get lead.

This revenue model is not popular in C2C but most popular in B2B and B2C marketplace.

What are Online B2B Marketplace Trends in 2021?

According to Forrester analysis report, B2B marketplace currently at $1 trillion mark and is expected in 2021 is $2 trillion mark.

That means B2B sellers are more important than ever to and quickly changing surroundings. Below we should discuss about B2B marketplace trends for upcoming year and beyond that you should implement in your B2B business.

Technology investment:

The latest technology development trends in B2B marketplaces have make them more successful option for wholesalers than, retail store.

B2B marketplace have become very adoptable to changes them with new technology trends.

Virto commerce is the one of the finest example. It is very affordable and easy to use.

Customer’s experience:

Customer experience is the crucial part of every B2B businesses.

If your website is not design perfectly for your customers, then your customer quickly leave your website and find other platform similar to your platform and he never come back to your website.

Your website must be well designed and mobile friendly because most of all B2B customer like to access your website from mobile rather than desktop.

More payment option:

Processing a variety of forms of payment for business sales can be more complicated especially for ecommerce companies.

If you not offer more payment option to your buyer this will be convert into sale loss.

B2B platforms offer many of payment option like paypal, e-checks, physical checks, etc.

Now B2B goes on mobile:

One of the biggest trend in B2B marketplace is accessibility of marketplace from the mobile.

It is easy to use and your client can quickly access your website and place orders from anywhere and anytime from mobile.

About 52% of B2B buyers prefer to buy their product from mobile phones.

To provide best experience to users, make sure your marketplace must be mobile friendly.

Personalization:

Dynamic personalization can help you to increase online revenues. Marketing technology innovators developed marketing personalization tools.

Dynamic personalization arrange content on your website according to visitor’s need.

B2B marketplace offer personalization techniques as a package of services as before push notifications on mobile phones, email messaging, can be all customized.

They are personalized for all customers using machine learning.

Top B2B Marketplace Ideas for 2021 

  • Drop shipping
  • Brand consultancy
  • Marketing consultancy
  • Social media consultancy
  • Event management
  • Analytics for business
  • Graphic design
  • Information technology services
  • Business consultant
  • Venture capital brokerage
  • Web designer
  • Copywriter
  • Online course creator
  • SEO services
  • E-commerce solution
  • Food delivery
  • Taxi firm
  • Real estate agency
  • Security services

FAQs:

What is B2B marketplace?

B2B marketplace refers to that marketplace where one company sells goods and services to other companies.

How much does it take cost to build B2B website?

An average B2B marketplace website cost is $30000-$150000.

Can we work with worldwide clients?

Yes, web work with worldwide clients.

Which revenue model can we use in our B2B business?

Its depends on your business. If your business is E-commerce then you can use commission model. If your business is provide services then you can use freemium model.

Is there any registration fee for create account on B2B marketplace?

No, there are no any registration fee for creating B2B marketplace account.

Still in dilemma and looking for a marketplace development consultation? Get in touch with our expert Marketplace Developers. They will guide you with the best marketplace solution to boost your business.

Marketplace App Development

Ronak Patel

Ronak Patel is a CEO and Founder of Aglowid IT Solutions, an ever-emerging Top Web and Mobile Development company with a motto of turning clients into successful businesses. He believes that Client's success is company's success and so that he always makes sure that Aglowid helps their client's business to reach to its true potential with the help of his best team with the standard development process he set up for the company.

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