eCommerce Insights

Why the B2B Marketplace Model is Catching On

Sara Matasci
February 27, 2020
Why the B2B Marketplace Model is Catching On
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Thanks to websites like Amazon, the average consumer is well acquainted with the benefits of the marketplace model: more products, at competitive prices, all available in one place. But those benefits don’t need to be restricted to the purchases you make when you’re off the clock. A growing number of B2B organizations (manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and group purchasing organizations alike) have discovered that the marketplace model can be a key driver of growth for their businesses.

Leading analyst firms are already seeing the writing on the wall. Forrester Research says that in 2020, “Marketplaces will gain momentum across multiple tech and industrial categories — boosted by adoption of eProcurement and overall B2B eCommerce sales.”

That momentum won’t slow once the year is over – in fact, B2B marketplace adoption will overtake B2C marketplaces in the next few years. In a report from late 2019, Gartner says, “By 2023, at least 70% of the enterprise marketplaces launched will serve B2B transactions.”

So why is it that B2B marketplaces are catching on now? Mirakl partnered with Optaros by MRM and Magento to develop 5 Reasons to Build Your Own B2B Marketplace – read on for a sneak peek, and download the infographic to get the complete picture.

Reason 1: Marketplaces can give you a competitive advantage

Marketplaces represent a market opportunity for B2B firms: move now, and you’ll future-proof your digital sales and get ahead of your competitors who don’t have their fingers on the B2B eCommerce pulse. According to research by McKinsey, 3-year revenue growth of companies that move first with digital strategies is nearly twice that of companies that play it safe.

There’s no better time than the present, especially because there are already digital players entering the space – and growing fast. Take Amazon Business as an example. Its sales are growing at 3X the rate of Amazon sales overall. They’re expected to reach a whopping $52 billion in gross merchandise volume by 2023, up from just $1 billion in 2015.

Reason 2: Discover more about your customers, to inform your business

B2B value chains are complex – and wherever you sit, you’re likely missing out on important customer data that can strengthen your business. For manufacturers, relying on channel partners instead of offering a direct sales channel makes it difficult to build relationships with end customers. It also prevents access to the critical transaction data that can inform long-term business strategy.

That’s a major pain point for B2B businesses: in a survey of hundreds of manufacturers and distributors, 76% of manufacturers cited a failure to build direct customer relationships as a pain point when selling through channel partners. 73% pointed to the failure to gain end-customer demand data as an additional challenge.

For distributors, B2B marketplaces can offer a path to digital sales – especially important considering that 65% of industrial distribution customers are already procuring from new digital-native leaders like Amazon and eBay. (For 34%, these digital leaders are actually their primary or secondary distributor.)

Discover the full B2B marketplace story

There’s more to the story than just competitive advantages and customer data – but you’ll have to download the infographic to get the complete picture. If you’re ready to be on the leading edge in B2B, discover the benefits with 5 Reasons to Build Your Own B2B Marketplace from Mirakl, Optaros by MRM & Magento. 

Written by
Sara Matasci
Senior Manager, Corporate Marketing at Mirakl

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