eCommerce

B2B Marketplace

Tradeshift covers over 160+ countries, giving us the largest global reach of any online B2B platform. Giving you access to collaborative tools, expanded connections, and insightful analytics, our network is the one solution you need to connect with hundreds of buyers and sellers. Not only do suppliers gain instant access to potential new buyers on our platform, but our seamless, digital interactions showcase clear value for both parties.

What is a B2B eCommerce Marketplace?

A B2B eCommerce Marketplace is an ideal solution for organizations to easily network and trade with other companies. It also delivers the ability to consolidate and streamline their communications and business transactions onto the one online platform. 

With digital platforms and tools that support B2B eCommerce functions, a B2B marketplace processes orders and transactions entirely online, creating a simplified and streamlined transaction process.

Consolidate &
Organize

Conduct Business On
One Online Platform

Network & Trade with
Other Companies

A B2B marketplace is defined by its digital eCommerce platform or software, that enables companies to securely connect with other organizations and conduct business all in one place. Similar to a traditional B2C platform, B2B eCommerce marketplaces are where companies buy and sell products, usually in bulk. 

However, the main difference between a B2B vs. a B2C platform is that the buyers and sellers in a B2B marketplace are brands, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, and other businesses, whereas, in a B2C platform (like Amazon, for example), individual consumers are the main buyers.

What are the main features of a B2B eCommerce marketplace platform?

There are many features and functions to a B2B eCommerce platform that work to increase efficiencies and reduce business risk. But, the most successful B2B marketplace platforms all have one thing in common — they understand the competitive advantage they provide and implement the most cutting-edge digital tools to maintain it.

While the world of business can vary greatly, most of the best functions of B2B eCommerce marketplaces are similar across most platforms. At the base is the desire to create an enjoyable experience built on ease-of-use and strategic advantages that help you get ahead of your competitors.

However, there are certain key functions you need to keep in mind when choosing which B2B eCommerce platform to trust. 

Six criteria to look for in a B2B eCommerce marketplace platform: 

  1. Multi-vendor capabilities  a key function of a good B2B marketplace solution is that it allows you to control your company page and information. You should have access to manage your profile, content information, contact details, pricing pages, and your team’s role management. 
  2. Self-service functions it’s often the case that individuals prefer to place orders themselves rather than have to interact with customer service representatives. Therefore, a solid B2B eCommerce marketplace has features that enable this self-service model if companies choose to do so. B2B marketplaces need to be highly responsive and intuitive to create an enjoyable user experience. For example, when buyers seek out solutions for their business, they often have to ask for quotes, submit orders, or track shipments – the B2B marketplace you choose should support these functions.
  3. Information security functions — just like with any digital platform, data and information security and confidentiality are essential for organizations to feel secure and comfortable using the platform. Ensure that the B2B marketplace you choose places emphasis on protecting your private information so that you don’t need to worry about data breaches. 
  4. Easy-to-use search navigation — a key aspect to a B2B eCommerce Marketplace is the ability to filter and search for specific vendors and businesses. The right marketplace platform has easy-to-use search functions that enable you to filter sellers by brand, price range, and product availability quickly and accurately.
  5. Fast, flexible workflows — flexibility and speed needs to be a cornerstone of your B2B marketplace. We’ve all seen how quickly markets and industries can change, and your eCommerce functions need to be able to adapt alongside them. Buyers and sellers need to be able to rely on a flexible and customizable platform that allows them to personalize onboarding strategies, change order submission and processing practices, and replenish supplies when necessary, 
  6. Integration options — the best technologies can work alongside your existing apps and tools. Make sure that you find a B2B eCommerce marketplace with functions that seamlessly collaborate with any other software solutions your organization uses. This leads to a more streamlined process and a better experience for both buyers and sellers. 

What are the advantages of using a B2B eCommerce Marketplace?

A B2B marketplace can be a powerful resource for organizations looking to transform and optimize their business processes. With the support of a B2B ecommerce platform, companies can streamline their business functions and interact with like-minded organizations to quickly grow their businesses. 

By reducing your marketing costs, you can focus your efforts on securing larger orders and growing your bottom line. Some common advantages you’ll gain from utilizing a B2B eCommerce marketplace include: 

  • User-friendly solution — B2B marketplaces make it easier than ever for organizations to connect with other companies and conduct business. With a fully digital online platform, our B2B Marketplace makes it easy for businesses to advertise their products and services and secure bulk orders. And, with digitization and automation being a priority for most forward-thinking organizations, implementing B2B software that supports virtual and secure business transactions will help you get ahead of your competitors.
  • Higher profit margins— typically, B2B businesses sell their products at a wholesale price, incentivizing bulk orders. These larger order quantities mean that businesses can secure higher levels of revenue faster. With so many buyers and sellers on the same B2B eCommerce platform, you can cut spending on marketing because it’s easier to connect with, and advertise your product to other companies. 
  • Better sense of security — many orders through B2B ecommerce marketplaces are conducted through pre-established contracts. This grants a sense of security to both buyers and sellers because both parties are much more inclined to follow through on their promises. What’s more, many B2B platforms are fully digital, meaning that there is a digital trail for each order that you can track and monitor along the way. This gives you peace of mind in that you have a transparent view of the entire process, from order placement to invoice processing. 
  • Greater market potential — B2B marketplace platforms allow companies to quickly and easily target a large number of buyers and sellers across a larger variety of industries. And, with the flexibility that comes with most B2B ecommerce platforms, your business can showcase its expertise and leadership within your given field. Instead of researching and searching for new potential customers, the B2B Marketplace connects you instantly. 

What are the disadvantages of using a B2B Marketplace?

While there are great benefits to joining a B2B marketplace platform, you may benefit from understanding ahead of time some of the common challenges businesses face when first joining an eCommerce platform. Below are four common challenges you can expect when you begin to conduct business on a B2B Marketplace platform: 

  • Complicated set-up — when first getting started on a B2B platform, it can be difficult to understand how to find and retain customers. It may take plenty of research and exhaustive work to understand how to appeal to customers on the marketplace, and getting to the point where orders are consistent enough and large-scale enough to support your business functions may take some time. 
  • Most B2B ecommerce marketplace solutions are expensive — in most cases, organizations may face an expensive and time-consuming process when gaining your first initial leads on the marketplace platform. This means that you may have to factor in high costs for marketing budgets in addition to the cost of joining the network.
  • Highly competitive — Online B2B marketplaces are competitive landscapes by their very nature. With thousands of buyers and sellers all in one place, the competition can be tough. On any given day, there are numerous businesses offering similar solutions as your own, so finding a way to be unique and stand out to buyers is critical. 
  • Limited sales — B2B businesses can have very high levels of sales, but by their nature, the available pool of consumers on an ecommerce platform is somewhat limited. When you take individual consumers out of the equation, it reduces the number of potential buyers you can advertise your products and services to. What’s more, is that with high competition for B2B sales, negotiations and contracts can put a restriction on your profit margin.

Tradeshift provides a b2b trade platform that connects your complete supply chain ecosystem. This connectivity is a crucial component to transforming our procurement organization.

Bruno Stock, VP Procurement Operations
Danone

How Tradeshift helps your business grow:

Tradeshift isn’t just a SaaS, B2B ecommerce marketplace platform, or a fintech solution; we’re all three of those wrapped up into one comprehensive solution that is built to support your organization where and when it needs it most. Our B2B Marketplace focuses on offering you the best-in-breed digital tools and support you need to take your business to the next level. 

Through our online B2B Marketplace platform, we’ll help you make B2B automation the default for all aspects of your business: from making orders, to invoicing, to other transactions and communications that take place between you and your sellers.

Tradeshift covers over 160+ countries, giving us the largest global reach of any online B2B platform. Giving you access to collaborative tools, expanded connections, and insightful analytics, our network is the one solution you need to connect with hundreds of buyers and sellers. Not only do suppliers gain instant access to potential new buyers on our platform, but our seamless, digital interactions showcase clear value for both parties.

Show Me How
  • We put your relationships first — at Tradeshift, we’ve created an online B2B eCommerce platform that enables you to communicate with potential sellers, create global connections, and still maintain personal contact. Our B2B marketplace platform keeps communications on the one platform so that you can conduct real-time interactions and follow orders every step of the way. 
  • Sophisticated but easy-to-use — we believe that your B2B Marketplace experience should be enjoyable. What’s the point of investing in a solution that is too complex to understand? Our platform gives you control over all the important aspects of your experience: what you sell, who you sell it to, and at what price. You’re in control every step of the way.
  • Our platform is secure and trusted — our platform is filled with thousands of verified users. And, thanks to our extensive network of partnerships, all our transactions are secure and trusted by millions of global companies. 
  • Our tools integrate seamlessly — supply chain digitization is our focus. Our digital tools all work together to help you create a comprehensive, resilient, digital supply chain. 

B2B Marketplaces – FAQ

What is B2B (Business-to-Business) e-commerce?

B2B (business-to-business) e-commerce is defined by a commercial transaction that is carried out on a digital marketplace platform for the purpose of purchasing products, services, or data, carried out  between businesses (as opposed to transactions between businesses and consumers which are known as B2C transactions).

How does a B2B eCommerce marketplace work? 

A B2B marketplace is an online platform that helps businesses to connect with customers in other organizations in order to conduct buying and selling activities. These transactions are usually bulk transactions for large quantities of goods. The platform helps buyers browse and buy from a wide range of pre-vetted vendors. 

What is the B2B ecommerce buying process?

The B2B ecommerce buying process, at its simplest, includes five steps that begin with realizing that there’s a need, then conducting research and evaluating potential ways to fill that need, and finally selecting the best supplier to provide that need and obtaining internal approval before purchase. 

Steps in the B2B ecommerce buying process: 

  1. Need evaluation
  2. Solution research
  3. Supplier selection
  4. Internal approval
  5. Purchase decision

What are the top financial benefits of using a B2B eCommerce marketplace?

There are several financial benefits your business can gain from using a global B2B e-commerce marketplace or platform including:

  • Straightforward pricing and terms comparison: Marketplace platform software enables you to send inquiries to the sellers of your choice and then compare their offers to their competitors’.
  • Standardized, automated purchasing processes: Automation and standardization can help you save time, increase efficiencies, and lower costs. B2B platforms have the capability to check alternate offers and prices in real time, execute a deal, and conclude and validate a contract—all in one place.
  • Forecasting and spend monitoring: Today’s top performing B2B platforms have built-in tracking and monitoring tools to  help predict  future purchasing costs. The right B2B marketplace platform can enable forecasting and automation so you can be sure you’re getting the best pricing and terms. 
  • Access to thousands of products offered with negotiated pricing: With Tradeshift’s platform—and subsequent network that you build once you’re on the platform—every supplier you connect with is pre-vetted according to your preferences, all you have to do is choose the ones that are right for you. 

What is the difference between B2B, B2C, and B2G e-commerce?

The difference between the three main types of e-commerce are:

  1. B2C = Business to consumer (business trading with individual consumers)
  2. B2B = Business to business (business trading with each other)
  3. B2G = Business to government (business trading with local, state, or federal governments)

What is the B2B ecommerce market size?

At the latest estimate, the global B2B e-commerce market was valued at USD $6,883.47 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.7% from 2022 to 2030. Source: Grand View Research

How do I get started with Tradeshift’s B2B e-commerce platform?

Getting started with Tradeshift’s B2B marketplace platform is easy. Join more than 1.5M mid-market and enterprise customers across 190 countries by collaborating through Tradeshift. Find out how by requesting a customized demo today.

Is the B2B Marketplace easy to use? 

As a new generation of digitally-native employees join the workforce, they bring the expectations of their consumer life into the workplace. They expect tools that are simple, intuitive, collaborative and allow them to achieve frictionless outcomes. We realized that One of the biggest drivers of rogue spend is frustration with existing purchasing systems. 

Tradeshift’s Marketplace’s Merchant of Record (MoR) SaaS provides a human-centric eCommerce solution enabling a Marketplace Operator/Facilitator to invite Vendors and Buyers to their curated Marketplace network/platform to trade goods and services.

How do I make a business case for switching to Tradeshift B2B Marketplaces?

Outlining the high level benefits to your decision makers may assist you in making the business case to try Tradeshift Marketplace: 

For Sellers: 

  • Increased efficiencies in invoice automation reduce invoicing cost – contributing to lower cost of doing business
  • Fully digitalized transactions reduce risk and increases efficiencies
  • Digital transactions reduce errors and speed payment
  • Greater access to buyers means less possibility of loss of profitability during economic downturns

For Buyers: 

  • Procurement is an expensive operation. Marketplaces work for you as competition produces economic efficiency and value one buyer cannot yield alone.  
  • Control the user experience and spend management by establishing what end users see and don’t see. 
  • Buyers using existing P2P solutions can integrate easily to access these controls, new curated content from Marketplace Operators
  • Economic efficiency reached faster by efforts beyond the Buyer’s own efforts, through growth of network of marketplace

What is the ideal organization for Tradeshift’s B2B Marketplace?

  • Global enterprise companies who would like to leverage and monetize their well established network of either Sellers or Enterprise Buyers–or both. 
  • Companies who would like to be leaders in B2B eCommerce and understand the value of the network effect by providing B2C-like user experience in the B2B supply chain controlled environment.
  • Companies who would like to play a BPO role for their large Enterprise Buyers and are willing to facilitate transactions as a Reseller (i.e. BPO, GPO).
  • Companies who would like to directly offer financing (i.e. factoring) solutions to their network of Sellers and/or Buyers as a part of the Marketplace integrated Services (i.e. Banking & Insurances).
  • Distributors who are willing to expand their product portfolio to the market exponentially without upfront investment in the inventory. Also those well established distributors who are looking at operational cost optimization via cutting on order and goods handling process and transportation. 

At Tradeshift, we
realize shift happens.

With turbulent markets and quickly changing industries, organizations need the reliability of a strong, secure platform that can adapt alongside their needs. As a marketplace solution built for adaptability, Tradeshift is the reliable partner that you can count on throughout periods of disruption.

To learn more about our B2B Marketplace and network of verified buyers and suppliers, reach out to our team of experts

One quick call can unlock cost savings & business efficiencies to help your business grow.

Sign up

#shifthappens