B2B Marketplace is a sales channel that allows users to build their own store within some of the largest e-commerce platforms in the country. High business scalability, coupled with the best technology platform, higher traffic and sales volume, broad audience profiles, and partner in delivery, contributes towards revenue generated by the B2Bs e-commerce marketplace. It offers several benefits, some of which are listed below:
- Comparing products and prices from a single source is more convenient than spending time contacting each individual supplier
- There’s a level of trust as buyers transact exclusively with suppliers who are members of the platform
- Suppliers get an opportunity to advertise their products to a pool of relevant customers
- Searching for e-mails and e-stores to find and compare products and their respective suppliers entails a significant expense for buyers
A significant number of start-ups are entering into the B2B e-commerce space to leverage the opportunities and profits provided by these marketplaces. B2B is considered the fastest-growing e-commerce platform and presents a high potential for small and medium businesses. For instance, Moglix, a start-up for B2B e-commerce transactions, primarily focuses on digitally transforming the manufacturing sector’s supply chain in India. The company is supported by International Finance Corporation, Jungle Ventures, Accel Partners, and industrialist Ratan Tata.
Based on type, the market is segmented into:
Buyer Oriented E-Commerce- This business model is used by large business houses that make large volume purchases and possess an exceptionally high purchasing capacity. As these marketplaces support transactions and procurement processes, they offer significant potential in cost savings. Mostly, buyer-oriented marketplaces are prominent in industrial sectors with a few eminent buyers.
Supplier Oriented E-commerce- A supplier-oriented marketplace is operated by a large number of suppliers who seek to establish an effective and efficient sales channel and, subsequently, cater to a large number of buyers.
Intermediary Oriented E-commerce- In intermediary oriented e-commerce, an intermediary company establishes a marketplace where business buyers and sellers meet. Here, both buyers, as well as sellers, organize auctions. There are two types of marketplaces in intermediary oriented e-commerce, namely
- Horizontal – Provides services to all industrial sectors
- Vertical – Provides services to only one industrial sector
Based on sector, the market is segmented into:
The fashion and apparel sector, the fastest growing e-commerce sector, is a prominent segment in the B2B e-commerce market. Fashion and apparel distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers have specific requirements for e-commerce. According to Cloudify, 49% of the B2B buyers in the fashion sector make half to three-quarters of their purchases online, which is attributable to B2B platforms’ user-friendliness and availability of real-time inventory.
In the automotive sector, B2B e-commerce is primarily used by car manufacturers to buy raw materials from suppliers. For example, Ford uses a system to classify suppliers for various levels based on the components used in the car manufacturing process. When the company needs to buy seats or systems, the firm informs first layer suppliers via its e-procurement platform. With this system in place, the company enhances its relationships with suppliers, reduces inventory, and saves transaction costs.
An increasing number of suppliers in the food and beverage sector is shifting to e-commerce platforms with the goal of enhancing customer relationships with customized promotions and pricing. Such as, TradingTable: A B2B e-commerce platform for restaurant operators that connects distributors, operators, and suppliers and helps simplify and speed up the process of buying and selling
B2B e-commerce is gaining traction in the healthcare industry as healthcare providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, and insurance companies are promoting digital platforms to enhance efficiency, lower transaction costs, and provide real-time inventory across the supply chain. A research study by the Health Industry Distributors Association estimates that by 2020, 85% of the total B2B buyer/seller relationships will take place without human interventions.
Rising demand for high-quality consumer electronics products at reasonable prices is compelling most business organizations to shift to B2B e-commerce platforms. According to a research study by PFSweb (Priority Fulfillment Services), B2B e-commerce is growing 19% per year, and 74% of B2B buyers stated that buying from a website is more convenient than buying from shops and sales representatives.
The others segment considers furniture, toys, hotels, interiors, and reservations. The furniture industry is a significant adopter of e-commerce in both commercial and residential sectors globally.
North America is expected to dominate the global market during the forecast period due to large number of vendors present in the region
Some of the key B2B marketplaces in the U.S. include Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Global Sources, and Made in China. A recent survey of B2B vendors revealed that 57% of B2B organizations believe that e-commerce is shifting from offline to online, which is validated by the significant investments made by B2C giants such as Amazon, eBay, and Google. B2B e-commerce is a billion-dollar industry, and various companies are generating a significant amount of revenue through the marketplace. The below graph shows the revenue generated in 2015 by some of the key B2B companies located in the U.S.
Figure: 1-Revenue Chart of some of the major B2B companies based in the U.S.
Europe is a prominent consumer base for the e-commerce sector with its 20 national commerce associations. It includes the Greek e-commerce Association (Greece), e-Commerce Poland Chamber of Digital Economy (Poland), and KAUPPA.FI (Finland), among others. According to export.gov, in France, 20% of French business firms purchase via B2B online marketplaces. The below figure depicts the segment-wise share of B2B e-commerce in France.
Improving infrastructure facilities and the rising number of internet users are envisaged to propel the market growth in Asia-Pacific. The ubiquity of smartphones in the region contributes to the growth of the B2B e-commerce market. According to GSMA, smartphone users in Asia-Pacific reached 2.5 billion, and this momentum is expected to remain strong in the coming years.
Latin America is projected to witness significant growth in the global b2b e-commerce platform market during the forecast period, owing to the increasing number of internet users and rising social media user base. According to Internet World Stats, the number of internet users in Latin America was around 417 million in 2018. B2B online transactions in Latin America have been growing considerably on account of the increasing shift of wholesalers and manufacturers from traditional systems to online platforms.
The Middle East and Africa region are expected to witness considerable growth in the B2B e-commerce market, owing to the region’s high spending potential as a result of a high per capita income. Additionally, constructive regulations related to e-commerce in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are likely to encourage the growth of the B2B e-commerce market in progressive economies.
- There is intense competition among the notable vendors in the market. Some of the prominent players in global B2B Ecommerce are: Alibaba, Amazon, B2W, ChinaAseanTrade.com, CuteStat.com, DHgate.com, DIYTrade.com, ECPlaza Network Inc, eworldtrade.co, Flipkart, Focus Technology Co., Ltd, Global Sources, IndiaMART, iOffer, KellySearch.com, Kinnek Business Solutions LLC, KOMPASS, Naruvis.com, ShopKirana E-Trading Private Limited, and TradeKey.com
- Alibaba grabbed a significant amount of share in the global B2B e-commerce market, with an estimated figure of more than 18 million buyers and sellers residing in more than 240 countries, with around 40 industry categories. Alibaba’s Market value in a recent poll was at around USD 140 billion and the value of the IPO at USD 15 billion
- Global Sources is also one of the major companies serving the B2B e-commerce platform with more than 1 million international buyers and services offered. The company had recorded a revenue of USD 350 million in 2016
In the U.S., customs regulations and licensing, taxes, and duties are applicable to e-commerce, which is the same as for offline exporting. There are no legal variations for e-commerce and other transactions. Nowadays, e-commerce-specific rules and regulations pertaining to customer privacy are affecting the U.S. exporters. Recently, the International Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued a recommendation for e-commerce best practices guidelines to understand customer privacy. These guidelines primarily focus on the following factors:
- Company/Site transparency
- Online disclosures
- Marketing practices
- Confirmation process
- Dispute resolution
B2B Ecommerce Market Segmentation
- Buyer Oriented E-Commerce
- Supplier Oriented E-commerce
- Intermediary Oriented E-commerce
- Apparel and Fashion
- Automotive Parts
- Food and Beverage
- Health and Beauty
- Consumer Electronics
- Rest of Europe
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia-Pacific
- Rest of LATAM
- Saudi Arabia
- Rest of Middle East
- South Africa
- Rest of Africa
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Increasing High business scalability, coupled with the best technology platform, higher traffic, and sales volume, broad audience profiles, and partner in delivery are the key factor expected to drive the B2B Ecommerce Market during the forecast period.
Fashion and Apparel Sector Segment is expected to be leading segment in B2B Ecommerce Market during the forecast period.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share in B2B Ecommerce Market.
Alibaba, Amazon, B2W, ChinaAseanTrade.com, CuteStat.com, DHgate.com, DIYTrade.com, ECPlaza Network Inc, eworldtrade.co, Flipkart are the top players in B2B Ecommerce Market.
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