Steps to Create a Highly Successful Online B2B Marketplace

18th Oct, 2017

A lot of medium sized B2B marketplaces are finding their business stagnant and they have no idea how to globalize their operations. Growing your business is actually easy. Just like any other type of business, the fusion of internet with many other technologies has made it really easy to start a wholesale business. If you are looking for opportunities as a manufacturer to quickly distribute your products or enhance the sales as a distributor, an online B2B marketplace is just the perfect place for you. With the help of a reputed online B2B directory like ECpages, sellers can easily form a homepage for showcasing their products, the services, locate and connect with global buyers and contact them instantly.

What is an Online B2B Marketplace?

A global online B2B marketplace is just like a forum where different manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, wholesalers and also the customers under a single roof. The simple meaning of B2B is business to business. This process involves the selling of products which will be utilized as the raw material for the manufacture of other products. Apart from this, it also involves the selling of different services and operations for other business which needs them. With a global online B2B marketplace it will help the globalization of any business. A business organization can excel in its business and earn a huge amount of revenue.

An online B2B marketplace is especially useful for the retailers because they won’t have to go out and search for the best wholesale price available. The retailers can get a consolidated list of the price at a single online marketplace. Also, the chances of getting cheated by a fraud wholesaler are reduced a lot. This is why an online B2B marketplace is a safer option.

Importance of an Online B2B Marketplace

The online B2B marketplace connects the suppliers and buyers from different industries around the world. This is why it helps in creating new business partnerships. So, in case you are not using the online B2B marketplace portals, then you are missing out the following opportunities.

It needs a small investment but offers high returns. Once you become a member of a renowned online portal like EC Pages, you will get full access to the trusted and verified contacts of buyers and sellers. Along with it, you will also get a lot of other features which will simplify the process of online trading. By using online B2B marketplace portals, you are not only saving thousands of dollars in a year, but you will also get a much deeper insight about your target customers and also their requirements.

This is the best way to automate the sales. You will be exposed to an endless database of buyers and suppliers in a B2B marketplace. With a plethora of opportunities, it might be a bit difficult for you to identify the right business contact. This is where you can use the online B2B marketplace to automate the sales process. You will be able to filter out the buying and selling leads which are irrelevant to your business. It will also help you in focussing on the opportunities which might offer you the best returns.

An online B2B marketplace is the best way to boost the search engine rankings. No matter what business you are doing, if you have a website for your business, you will need search engine traffic. In the recent years, it has become difficult to get traffic from the major search engines. It is necessary to make substantial investments in the varied online marketplaces, online marketing techniques and a lot of patience to get a good rank in the search engines for your website. With the online B2B portals, it can be really easy for your website to get a first-page ranking in Google Search. Most of the B2B portals have a heavy investment in the SEM and SEO campaigns which will allow your website to get good ranks depending on the range of competitive keywords you use.

Any online B2B marketplace is a great platform for research. The reason is you will get the chance to study your competitors in details about the services and products they offer. Apart from studying other businesses in your industry from different angles like the product features and pricing, you will also get to know about the research strategies they adopt.

Steps to Create Online B2B Marketplace

The B2B online marketplace is a perfect way for both the buyers and sellers to interact directly without any middleman. But, to create an online B2B marketplace, it is imperative to have a well-defined business plan. Before you start to create an online B2B marketplace, the firms need to consider the following questions:

  • Who are the target audience/key players in the e-marketplace?

  • What will the e-marketplace offer to the audience/key players?

  • How will the e-marketplace owner capture the value from the market and from whom?

  • How will the prices of products be determined?

  • What are the restrictions of e-marketplace access?

  • Who is having the tactical and strategic control over the laws and regulations of the e-marketplace?

Step 1: Create a value net and comprehend the roles of different e-market players. It is imperative to know “Who do we serve and what market segments are we addressing?” A developer could address these queries by creating a value net for the B2B marketplace. The major constituencies in the value net who impact the marketplace are competing marketplaces, buyers, sellers, transaction influencers and service providers. The key players in the online B2B marketplace are classified into three categories. They are:

  • The core mass players are the primary value delivering players. For instance, in the stock market, the buyers and sellers of the stock are the major players. If there is a perfect blend of core mass, it will create enough buyers and sellers for creating liquidity in the e-marketplace.

  • The mass attractors are the second set of influencers of the B2B marketplace. The large buyers and sellers in an industry are the mass attractors due to their huge transaction volumes.

  • The mass followers are the third set of influencers who join the marketplace once the trading has begun. The mass followers are attracted either by liquidity or the number of players present in the marketplace.

Now that you have categorized the major players, it will help you in determining where you need to focus the marketing efforts throughout the phase of the e-marketplace development.

Step 2: This is the step where you can create valuable service offerings for attracting and maintaining customers. Here is where you ask “what are we offering and what value can it bring to the target audience?” In this step, you have to figure out how to offer standardized and comparable information about different products from multiple sellers. Search for the guaranteed and qualified business partners who are creditworthy buyers and suppliers and maintain an inventory of the high-demand products. In any industry, it is essential to remember that you have to meet the deadlines. This is why the e-marketplace should not only match the trading partners, but they should also facilitate effective and fast transaction process.

Step 3: In this step, you have to consider the sources of generating revenue. The revenue sources can be many. It can be the third parties who are interested in selling high-value products or the services in conjunction with the original transaction. Being a firm, you can capture value in the form of immediate and future reference. The proxies who can act as potential future revenue sources are:

  • The number of members

  • The transaction volume

  • The number of product types

  • Opportunities for expansion in the related industries

  • The number of web page views

The other sources of revenue include services which complement the transactions and the firm might also receive commissions or the referral fees from the service providers who are receiving the business from the e-marketplace. The mainstay of consumer portals can also act as a good source of income in the e-marketplace. To keep customers satisfied, the e-marketplace must focus on fast and efficient online transactions.

Step 2: The fourth step is to consider a pricing mechanism according to the requirement of buyers and sellers. The options for setting the transaction price between seller and a buyer are as follows:

  • Posted Prices: These are openly posted prices in catalogs which are fixed. These prices do not vary depending on the function of individual trades.

  • Negotiated Prices: This is suitable when the sellers do not want to expose the inventory to everyone in the market. With the help of this efficient online medium, the buyers and sellers can communicate privately to agree on a certain price.

  • Auctions: Generating liquidity by attracting the buyers is the way of generating income and since this is the complete responsibility of the e-marketplace, it creates a good source of earning.

Step 5: The final step is determining the participant and considering whose interests to prioritize. The e-marketplace is capable of controlling who has the access to the site and create a desirable traffic through customized service offerings and screenings. Because of open access, anyone can participate in the online B2B marketplace. It is also important to ask whose interests should be prioritized in the transaction. The choices for control structure are seller controlled, neutral and buyer controlled.

The control can be active if the controlling party is involved in the daily operations of the online B2B marketplace. For the fragmented and inefficient markets, the neutral e-marketplaces are valuable because of its ability to unpack and reform the traditional activities. When the brand name, differentiation and the key skills are valued, the seller controlled e-marketplaces are successful. To create a successful online B2B marketplace, it is essential to re-examine the relationships along with the traditional competitors to get an insight about how your firm can attain increased returns.

While creating the online B2B marketplace for certain industries, it is essential to remember that the new online B2B marketplace should challenge traditional industry practices and adopt the new ones. The industry experts are used to designing an effective online B2B marketplace and in the process, they can identify which practices are problematic for the industry. But remember, in this overall online B2B marketplace creation, you should be sensitive to the practices and norms of the industry. If you want to get in touch with the best B2B and B2C business directory to create a successful online B2B marketplace, contact ECpages now. You can also check out your options here once you get your hands on the best-in-class online B2B directory.

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