Marketplace Best Practices

Everything You Need to Know When Launching a B2B Online Marketplace

Angela Troccoli
February 10, 2022
Everything You Need to Know When Launching a B2B Online Marketplace
Back to blog

The professional buyer is evolving, increasingly turning to eCommerce channels to meet their business needs. In this shift, online marketplaces have become the preferred solution – B2B online marketplaces are currently growing at twice the rate of traditional eCommerce and are expected to double their current proportion of B2B eCommerce sales by 2025.

The marketplace model affords businesses more than just a way to fulfill a buyer’s immediate order. Instead, it offers an entirely new, improved solution for the whole purchasing process: One that puts the customer at the center of the business while also protecting the marketplace operator from unrelenting outside “squeezes” that are putting stress on B2B businesses across the globe, such as ongoing supply chain struggles, growing competition from digital-disruptors, and increased margin pressures.

The Blueprint for Building & Growing a Best-in-Class B2B Marketplace, created with Deloitte Digital, is a groundbreaking eBook containing everything you need to know for establishing the vision, technology, and marketplace team needed to build and launch an online B2B marketplace at scale. Using the tools and best practices outlined in the eBook, businesses can develop B2B marketplace strategies that will unify a previously complex or fragmented buying process and deliver a superior buying experience - resulting in more scalable and profitable eCommerce growth.

B2B online marketplaces contribute to improved engagement for buyers and sellers, better efficiency in the buying and selling processes and supply chain, and better financial results for the organization, with increased and new revenue sources. Gartner, 11 Imperatives When Building an Enterprise Marketplace, refreshed 7 April 2021, Sandy Shen, Jason Daigler

1. Defining your vision

A successful B2B online marketplace starts with a vision: an introspective look into how the platform can complement and enhance core organizational objectives. At the center of this vision is your minimum viable ecosystem (MVE): an initial critical mass of sellers and customers which, taken together, optimize network effects from day 1 of marketplace launch, ensuring that you’re providing optimal value for all stakeholders. In the eBook, you’ll learn how to define your MVE, use it to create measurable goals, process marketplace insights, and learnings, and ultimately fine-tune your long-term B2B online marketplace strategy.

2. Selecting the right technology

An enterprise marketplace is only as good as the technology powering it. You need a robust suite of features, capabilities, and APIs that will allow you to launch and operate your marketplace effectively with quality, security, and scale. The Blueprint for Building & Growing a Best-in-Class B2B Marketplace dives into the foundational technology tools critical for driving this success. For example, can your technology support frictionless seller management – allowing you to define KPIs and SLAs, then track protocols and seller performance? And does it include end-to-end offer management – granting you full control over all aspects of an order’s journey from purchase to fulfillment, even including returns and refunds? A complete enterprise marketplace solution should deliver these robust capabilities and more.

3. Creating your marketplace team

As you work on getting the right vision and technology in place, you should also start assembling your B2B online marketplace team. When doing so it’s important to remember that marketplace responsibilities shouldn’t fall solely on the shoulders of a single individual or department. Instead, you need a structure that will engage all shareholders, across the organization, to ensure everyone is working towards its success. In this eBook, you’ll find tips for building and implementing this structure, as well as when partnering with industry experts may make sense.

Download the eBook

Building and operating a successful marketplace is much more than just expanding an eCommerce site. Rather, it’s adopting an entirely new business model: one that will require planning, strategy, and innovation. With The Blueprint for Building & Growing a Best-in-Class B2B Marketplace, developed in partnership with Mirakl and Deloitte, you’ll have everything you need to get you started on your B2B online marketplace journey.

Written by
Angela Troccoli
Senior Director Product Marketing, Global B2B at Mirakl

Get weekly insights and strategy for your online marketplace