Expanding Your E-Commerce Site into B2B Marketplace
Launching an e-commerce site is not just an option; it is a required move for many businesses as buyers are shifting to online procurement practices at an increasing rate. Not only the large manufacturers and suppliers are now online but also small and medium-sized businesses that service a very specific market or operate at a local level only.
Expanding your business model to online sales eliminates geographical restrictions and enables you to consider growing your e-commerce operations from a B2B e-commerce website into a B2B marketplace.
Running an online B2B marketplace offers a number of unique advantages, especially if you are selling a product in a competitive market niche that is crowded with similar products from other vendors.
Start by Validating E-Commerce Opportunities
A logical move for a manufacturer, a merchant or a service provider is to start small by launching an e-commerce website in order to test the market and validate any viable e-commerce opportunities.
An e-commerce operation takes time to nurture and expand at local and international level but during the process of expansion, you become aware of what sales tactics work, how to attract and retain B2B customers and how to integrate your e-commerce software with other platforms.
Once you have a working e-commerce website, you can consider further expansion by growing from a B2B operation to a B2B marketplace and taking advantage of mixing together product offerings by competitors.
Advantages of Developing as B2B Marketplace
A successful B2B e-commerce site enables you to know your customers as never before but it also enables you to profit from similar or competing for products/services. This is a logical move once you realize that transforming into a B2B marketplace has certain advantages.
The specific transition process is easy to complete as platforms like Uppler can transform a B2B e-commerce site into a B2B marketplace without much hassle.
What is more important is to realize the growth potential of turning an e-commerce website into a B2B marketplace that is open for competitors’ products and partnering services. Let’s look at these specific business growth options.
- • Expand through traffic from competing products
- Enabling competing or complimentary products by other vendors on your website serves as a booster for your own products and services. Having a wider choice of products attracts more buyers and builds trust with clients who can compare and select products by different vendors. This in turn expands the market reach of your own product despite the presence of competing products.
• Profit from every deal on your B2B platform
A time might come when your proprietary product will make less sales on your B2B marketplace as compared to products by competitors. This should not result in decreasing revenue, though, as a well-established B2B marketplace generates profit for you from each and every sale by any merchant listed there, not only from deliveries of your branded products.
Mixing B2B product offerings from various vendors can be as profitable as running a proprietary B2B e-commerce operation that sells one-brand products only.
Turning a single e-commerce operation into a B2B marketplace works best for companies operating within a fragmented market. If you are a well-known brand or if you are operating in a market niche where only a few competing products are available, it does not make sense to allow competitors on your e-commerce website.
On the other hand, having a choice of competing products on offer in a fragmented market enables you to benefit from greater sales volumes generated by competitors’ products on your B2B marketplace. It is also an opportunity to showcase the advantages of your own product by enabling product comparison by price, delivery terms and other product properties.
Furthermore, it expands your overall market reach by bringing together sellers from different locations and by offering a mix of similar yet diverse products that appeal to a greater number of buyers.