What is a B2B Marketplace? Types, Pros & Cons, How to Succeed

 According to an estimate by Statista, the online B2B global marketplace has reached roundabout 12.2 trillion US dollars. Business-to-business e-commerce is one of the world’s leading growing trends with a great impact. Today, we’ll discuss what is a B2B marketplace; its various types, advantages, and disadvantages, and how to achieve success in a business-to-business market.

What is a B2B Marketplace? 

The B2B marketplace is a form of online eCommerce platform that connects business-to-business buyers and sellers; it allows businesses and companies to conduct their business online. The business-to-customer market is where companies sell their products in bulk quantities along with other value-added services.

However, the business-to-business is a bit different where the sellers are wholesalers, suppliers, manufacturers, and brands; the buyers are other businesses and companies. They conduct and process their transactions online through market operators.

There are different types of business-to-business sales and so is their nature; the business-to-business market goes by many names like B2B directories or catalogs, multi-vendor marketplaces, B2B portals, B2B sourcing websites or procurement, and B2B trading platforms.

Some of the leading online business-to-business marketplaces are as follows;

  • IndiaMart
  • EC21
  • ThomasNet
  • Global Sources
  • eWorldTrade
  • Amazon Business
  • Alibaba.com

Type of B2B Marketplaces 

Some of the main types of business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces are as follows;

Local versus Global Marketplaces

Geographically speaking, you can differentiate between the global and local business-to-business marketplaces. In the local market, businesses and companies supply their goods locally; where the global market allows businesses to exchange goods and services without the restriction of geographic boundaries.

When it comes to running a business globally, then it presents a lot of challenges and risks. They have to face different types of issues like communication barriers, language, logistics, cross-border trade, and international payments.

One-to-Many versus Many-to-Many Marketplaces

A single buying company manages and deals with one-to-many marketplaces. For instance, the world’s leading automotive brand “Nissan” launches an online store or e-commerce marketplace or platform; where it allows suppliers access to send quotations and bids for whatever they’re requesting.

On the other hand, you may be familiar with the many-to-many marketplaces; it is where suppliers and buyers are different and separate entities; the 3rd party manages the marketplace. Ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Alibaba fall under this category.

Vertical versus Horizontal Marketplaces

The vertical marketplaces also go by the names of vertical portals or vortals; their specialty is in a particular industry and a specific single product category. Horizontal market places offer goods and services of various types that target the needs and wants of buyers of various segments of the market.  

Advantages of B2B Marketplace 

Some of the key benefits and advantages of the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace are as follows;

Higher Market Potential

The business-to-business market platform helps businesses to easily target the greater sellers and buyers audience from a diverse range of industries. It is only the business-to-business e-commerce platforms that provide such flexibility because they have got expertise and capability in their relevant field.

Sense of Security

Businesses and companies place their orders based on their well-established history and already-signed contracts. This type of connection provides a sense of security to both the buyer and seller because both parties have agreed to satisfy each other promises. However, some of the business-to-business platforms are completely digital, and they allow you to digital track down your order or shipment. It offers a transparent picture of the entire processing process.

Increased Profitability

Since business-to-business companies process their orders in bulk quantity, it amplifies the company’s profitability. Higher and bigger orders mean an increased quantity of products at a wholesale price, and it increases the revenue fast. When you have got a lot of buyers and sellers on a single e-commerce platform, then it lowers the marketing and advertisement cost.

User Friendly

It is easier for businesses and companies to do business with other companies in the business-to-business marketplaces. The business-to-business market allows buyers and sellers to promote their products and services and earn bigger orders. Automation tools and digitalization have made the whole process much easier.

Disadvantages of B2B Marketplace 

Some of the main disadvantages of business-to-business marketplaces are as follows;

Lower Sales

It is no doubt that the orders of business-to-business deals are bulky, but the market size of B2B clients is very limited even on the e-commerce platform. When you remove the individual customers from the market, then the remaining numbers of buyers are very low.

High Competition

Speaking of discussing the nature of the business-to-business market; sometimes the total numbers of buyers are very high and sellers are very few. The competitive market gives the negotiation power to the sellers and they decide the price and other terms and conditions.


In the beginning stage of generating the lead in the business-to-business, companies face the challenge of time consumption and higher cost. The higher cost of joining the platform or network would tighten their marketing budget.

Difficult Processes

When you join any of the business-to-business platforms, then you don’t know how to attract or maintain customers at first. It takes them a lot of time and market research to understand the needs of customers and appeal to them rightly.

How to Succeed in a B2B Marketplace 

Some of the key tips on how to achieve success in a B2B marketplace are as follows;

  • Select the right business-to-business e-commerce platform that should be composable, headless, or API-powered
  • Allocate sufficient time and resources for good design and experience
  • Consider monetary strategies like marketing fees, transactions, or the subscription
  • Create internal methods and strategies for onboarding the partners and how they should use the platform
  • Verify the authenticity of buyers and sellers to make sure their accountability
  • Using a reliable shipment provider
  • Collaborating with the 3rd party system
  • Offer a variety of payment options like trade financial options
  • Pay heed to the feedback to amplify the efficiency of the platform or the market
  • Be adaptive and flexible toward the changes in the market

Conclusion: What is a B2B Marketplace? Types, Pros & Cons, How to Succeed 

After an in-depth study of what is a B2B marketplace; its various types, advantages, disadvantages, and how to achieve success; we have realized that the business-to-business market plays a significant role in the growth of your business. If you’re planning to join it, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned tips and guidelines.

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