E-commerce is constantly gaining importance. Between 2016 and 2017, it witnessed a 7% rise in overall order volumes. This figure encompasses all types of online sales, commercial websites and BtoB marketplaces. Yet how do marketplaces and traditional channels differ?

A larger audience

A BtoB marketplace can potentially affect a larger audience. Depending on how popular the platform is, traffic can be counted in tens of millions of visitors every month. Additionally, buyers do not generally have a brand in mind when they start looking. It is therefore a golden opportunity to attract their attention!

A larger number of references

The largest BtoB marketplaces (Amazon Business, Cdiscount Pro) offer several million product references. A BtoB vendor can therefore combine all their product catalogues in a single place. And order them however they wish.

Lower costs

A marketplace is freely accessible, whereas the implementation of an e-commerce website requires major financial resources. In addition, there are fewer intermediaries with a BtoB marketplace, which cuts costs even more.

A dedicated purchasing process

BtoB marketplaces impose purchase processes that can sometimes be rather complex. For vendors:

  • prices are considered according to buyer segments;
  • specific user rights must be considered (multi-user accounts for instance);
  • trade rules are more demanding (calls for tender, quotes, discounts, etc.);
  • payments are exclusively computerised (bank details, transfers, PayPal payments, etc.).

Reinforced security

A BtoB marketplace distinguishes itself from traditional channels because of the level of security provided. Going through a marketplace helps avoid fraudulent transactions – emanating from both vendors and buyers. Security is generally managed by the distributor, who makes sure any stakeholders using the platform are secure. Failing that, they would in any case cover any damages owed.

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