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The Ultimate Guide to B2B eCommerce Marketplace

By 2026 it is predicted the global B2B eCommerce market will reach $18.57 trillion. So, if you are thinking of starting a B2B marketplace, then it’s the right time. 

However, you might be wondering, what are the steps to start a B2B eCommerce marketplace? Or what could be the challenges of developing a B2B marketplace? 

Read our article, and you will discover the following topics:

  • What is the B2B marketplace?
  • What are the steps to start a B2B eCommerce marketplace?
  • What are the challenges of the B2B eCommerce marketplace?
  • What are the benefits of the B2B marketplace?

Let’s quickly first understand the meaning of a B2B marketplace.

A business-to-business marketplace where buyers and sellers of businesses perform trading with each other.

How to Start a B2B Marketplace?

When you want a B2B marketplace, it’s a complicated process. It involves several things to consider while creating your multi-vendor marketplace software. This type of software is not similar to B2C eCommerce platforms.

As B2B buyers’ concern is more concentrated on their business, they make purchases with the primary concern of whether that purchasing is beneficial to their business or not. 

To start a B2B marketplace, you first need to identify your target audience.

Step 1. Identify Your Target Audience

When thinking of developing a marketplace application, you get two options; either you can target a broader audience or target a specific niche. 

If you choose to target a single niche, it should be good enough to provide good growth. Your target niche should have a good scope of growth, so you are able to make a brand in that area.

In addition, make a list of pain points that you want to resolve. If you are able to address them in your marketplace, your app would be different from the competitors.

Decide from which companies you want to collaborate? It helps to know your target. For example, if you are going it target Fortune 500 companies or mid-level companies.

Research your competitors and analyze the strategies they are performing. Knowing their target audience helps you to find your customer segment.

Step 2. Decide Your Business Model

Once you are clear with your target audience, decide on your business model. For that, you prepare a complete document that helps you to know what factors you need to consider.

To make it easier for you, we have listed down some of the most related questions for preparing a business model.

  • What is your value proposition in your marketplace business?
  • What are the key factors of your marketplace business?
  • Who are the potential partners with whom you will collaborate?
  • What is your customer segment for this B2B marketplace business?
  • How to earn revenue from the marketplace application?

Answering these questions helps you decide on your business model. It is advisable to write down precise information about your business model.

In addition, we have elaborated two models that should you can consider while creating your marketplace.

  1. Subscription Model 

Using a subscription model you allow retailers access to premium functionalities from which they are easily able to manage the whole purchasing of their account.

For example, NuOrder is a leading marketplace platform in the wholesale industry. NuOrder uses a subscription model. For retailers, this platform is free. But, it charges brands based on the volume of selling made on the platform.

  • Commission-based Model

In this model, you charge some amount of commission for every transaction that happens on your platform. It is one of the most used business models for the business-to-business category. 

Using this model, you charge a fixed amount of commission to your customers and make money. 

For example, One of the most successful examples of this model is Upwork. Upwork has two sources of making money via this model. It charges a service fee as well as takes commission from each transaction. 

Step 3. Decide Features for Your Application

As the B2B marketplace will be different from the B2C platform, the functionalities would also be different. So, while designing your B2B marketplace platform, you need to take several things are must take care for the ease of your users. Below we have mentioned that you must know.

  • Decide the minimum quantity limit
  • Integrate several payment gateways
  • Provide high-security for sensitive data
  • Discount functionality for different order sizes

While making a B2B marketplace, there are two portals you need to design. One is for sellers/vendors and another is for customers/clients. Here’s a list of features of clients and admin applications.

Features of users app and an admin app.

Business User AppAdmin App
Sign up/ login Login
Document managementDocument management
Order placeOrder management
Order trackingLogistics management
In-app chat  or callingPricing management
Loyal programsCustomers management
Flexible checkoutAnalytics Reports
QuotePayment management
Payment integrationCatalog management

Step 4. Develop Your B2B Marketplace Application

To develop a marketplace application, there are two options; either using an eCommerce app builder or looking for custom development from scratch. Both have their own positives and negatives.

But, if you are looking to start a B2B marketplace platform, it’s advisable to choose an eCommerce app builder. The reason is that it allows you to spend less money compared to custom software. Using an eCommerce app builder helps you create a customized B2B eCommerce software

The benefits you get by using eCommerce app builders are:

  • Save your budget for app development
  • Ease to scale from the basic version to advance
  • Speedups your app development process
  • Easy to maintain your mobile application

What are the Challenges Associated with B2B Marketplace Development?

Costing and Resources

When developing a marketplace application, at the initial stage, you need to invest your money and make a budget. Preparing a budget helps you to manage your expenses properly. So, in the long run, you are able to make your business successful by earning profits.

Competitor Analysis is Difficult

As you know, the B2B eCommerce industry is growing so it has competitors as well. Therefore, performing a competitor analysis is difficult on your own. Either way is to hire an experienced B2B eCommerce marketplace solutions development company

With the expertise of their team, it reduces the burden of performing core market research on your competitors. So, you can focus on preparing business strategies.

Compliance with International Payment Rules and Regulations

It’s really essential to have a payment gateway into your B2B eCommerce marketplace. But, at the same time, you should also be knowing about the international rules and regulations on online payment systems. 

The reason is that your marketplace would be available globally for the people, and there will be fluctuations in the currencies. Therefore, it is essential to deal with a stable currency to make the transaction processes streamline.

Scaling Your B2B Marketplace with Quality

When you are scaling your marketplace, it is essential to scale sensibly if not it might affect your business. Scaling your business properly helps you to get the benefit from the process.

For example, you can work on the reviews and ratings of users. But, also start improving your B2B marketplace on the valuable feedback of users. On another hand, you can conduct a private survey to get feedback from users on improving your services.

Branding of Your B2B Marketplace

To establish your business worldwide, you need to focus on the branding of your marketplace. As your marketplace becomes a brand, it increases the customer retention rate.  It seems easy, but it is not. 

You require to put the right actions in the right direction then only your marketplace over the period becomes a brand. Some of the challenges you might face while branding are:

  • Making your brand creatively different from the other brands
  • While making your business a brand, don’t forget about your core quality
  • Follow the step by step process of brand don’t speed up the process of growing 

Moving further, let’s check the benefits of the B2B eCommerce marketplace platform.

Benefits of B2B Marketplace Platform

  • You get to target a larger audience for your business.
  • You have the opportunity to get tons of clients from worldwide.
  • You are establishing your brand digitally, and it helps you to grow your business.
  • It helps you to reduce the operational costs as you don’t need to invest in the infrastructure and operational positions.
  • It is really easy to set up customized B2B eCommerce solutions.
  • You get analytics reports that help you in investment decisions for your B2B marketplace business.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed the process of creating a marketplace application, its challenges, and its benefits. Following these steps of the process will help you to create a marketplace that makes money. The details written in this article are described after the discussion with our experienced technical professionals. Get in touch with us today. 

We will help you to develop a customized B2B eCommerce marketplace application. We have experience in developing eCommerce applications and helping business to streamline their operations.

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