TOP 10 FEATURES OF AN ONLINE B2B MARKETPLACE
Over the past few years, B2B marketplace is catching on the digital trend by placing itself to be the main storefront. Although retail space has quickly picked up e-commerce business, the B2B food marketplace is gradually following their footsteps. When it comes to innovation, there is so much scope for B2B marketplaces to thrive. An increasing number of B2B businesses (manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers etc) have uncovered that the digital marketplace business model is crucial for their expansion.
There is a cut throat competition with all the business owners shifting towards digital platforms, businesses are in a dire need of someone who can narrow the gap with distributors, negotiate commercials and place orders. If you are thinking of expanding your B2B business digitally, you are in the right place.
DECODING B2B MARKETPLACE
B2B marketplaces is an online marketplace trading of products and services between businesses. They provide a platform over which manufacturers, distributors and suppliers deal with buying and selling of raw materials, end products or services. They simplify everything related to purchasing.
Typically there are 3 principal actors in a B2B marketplace: Buyer, seller and marketplace owners. All the actors leverage on benefits such as greater market reach, cost savings and streamlined workflows.
WHY THE NEED TO GO DIGITAL?
Going digital gives buyers the power over a wide array of products, lower transaction costs, price transparency and comparison to make better financial decisions, simple and easy buying process, and of course better purchasing experience. A streamlined digital platform elevates collaboration between buyer and sellers and forms better relationships with clients. By going online, businesses can showcase their products and customize according to customer segments and demand requirements.
It is imperative to establish strong relationships on e-platform so that businesses can increase procurement, enhance delivery speed and scale down costs involved.Manufacturers and suppliers upsell products to their buyers. When the system is transparent, there is clear visibility with real time tracking to guarantee on-time delivery. Even after the order has been delivered, customers can report any discrepancy or quality mismatch.
How to Start an online B2B Marketplace?
We have outlined few of things you need to know to establish an Online marketplace:
This is the core step to get your B2B to trend online. You need to decide what type of online platform whether a website or app or both meets your business model. Determine how you can be the solution provider by going online. Additionally, evaluate market trends and your competitors. Secure your strong points and innovate how you can better serve your customers.
Do the groundwork of market research reports, industry needs, technical requirements, customer’s insights ,the features you want to integrate, whether you want to go digital using an internal team or outsourcing to industry experts.
It entirely depends upon your business requirements, either you can develop the platform from scratch or leverage on customizing ready to use platforms.
TOP 10 FEATURES OF AN ONLINE B2B MARKETPLACE
- Product management:
This feature aids in generating more sales and eliminates common issues like erroneous product description, pricing mismatch etc.
- Managed Profiles
The platform should give easy registration options to buyer and seller. It should be able to manage profiles of both users and sellers. Both of them should have access to easy navigation, search filters, detailed information about buyers/sellers, orders placed, history and shipment tracking etc.
Additionally sellers should be able to modify, add or remove any item and customize according to the needs or availability.
- Call to Action button
It is a vital option for lead generation to drive better conversion rate. Achieve desired results by artfully placing CTA buttons
- Intelligent filters
Advanced filters help ease the buyer’s journey to better search products by bifurcating search parameters on the basis of cost, location, type etc.
- Vendor management
With the help of the system, gather all your vendor’s data on the same system. Use a CRM system to build a good relationship with them.
- Blending with all system
Every business has multiple systems taking care of their various business operations. Your platform should blend with all those systems and give enhanced experience to users.
- Instant Communication
For faster operations, there should be an option of buyers directly communicating with sellers or vice-versa for better communication and negotiation. This not only ensures smooth processes but also better collaboration and a transparent system.
- Streamlined payment options
Ensure integration with multiple payment gateways options. Users should be able to pay instantly and at the same time in a safe and secure manner with a mutually decided payment option. Don’t just restrict them one mode, think big!
- Consolidated Data
It goes without saying that with an online platform, all your data needs to be consolidated and managed on a single platform. It is important to drive insights from those data points to know advancement of your business.
- Scalable Solution
Keep the future projections in mind, there should always be a scope for adding advanced features.
CHALLENGES FACED BY ONLINE B2B MARKETPLACE
Few of the challenges faced are:
- Tie up with clients
Your business is nothing without maintaining cordial relationships with your clients. One mistake and you can lose potential customer base. To avoid this, integrate your digital platform with the CRM system for better association with your clients.
- Order management
Be prepared for order of any size, whether small or huge. Manage your inventory accordingly, use a proactive approach.
- Technological development
Invest in any technology that is adaptable to any business changes that you can face even in the future.
Every benefit of going digital, comes with its unique challenges, however choosing the right partner for your online B2B business can help overcome these challenges.
B2B marketplaces are not one size fits all type of business. NestorBird understands every business has their unique way of operating even in complex business situations. Get a free consultation from us, and kickstart your B2B business. All you need to do is fill in the form, and we will do everything for you.