E Procurement

What can the B2C buying experience teach B2B marketplaces?

Consumer purchasing isn’t the only thing that went digital during the pandemic. With warehouses closed and traditional methods of doing business hampered, B2B online spend has also increased dramatically over the past eighteen months. We thought it would be an ideal time to sit down with Subrata Govil, Senior Director of Product Strategy for B2B Marketplaces at Tradeshift, to help us understand how quickly the shift to digital is occurring in the B2B space, what has been driving it, and how she’s using her history working with some of the biggest names in retail in her new role at Tradeshift.

Read the full interview below:

1. Tell us a little about your history before you came to Tradeshift.

For the last eighteen years, I’ve worked extensively in the retail and e-commerce space with some of the largest companies in the world—Walmart, Target, just to name a few. What I love about my new role at Tradeshift is that I get to bring all these learnings from the B2C space to bear in my new role in the B2B space.

For example, the nature of today’s B2B buyers and their expectations of working with suppliers and partners has changed. Negotiation of large contracts with the purchasing department or executive management is no longer the only priority, the end-to-end digital experience for all buyers is now extremely important too. And this is where I leverage my experience in the B2C world.

2. What are your current responsibilities at Tradeshift?

I’m a Senior Director in our Product Strategy Group at Tradeshift, I’m in charge of developing a strategy for our Marketplace product which is an extension of our existing Buy product. Marketplaces creates a seamless buyer and seller experience and marketplace operator rules on the Tradeshift platform.

I am responsible for defining the strategy and solution for Marketplace which entails creating a seamless experience for buyers, sellers and Marketplace operators on the Tradeshift platform.In that capacity I work very closely with our various P&E teams as well as sales teams to ensure our customer requirements, system architecture and solutions are all aligned to deliver on the strategy

3. What are the biggest differences between the B2C and B2B space?

In the B2B world, the buyer is the business and they are buying for one of two reasons: investment or profit. So typically they’re either buying raw materials that the need in order to manufacture something, or they’re re-selling it to the end consumer. In the B2C space your motivation is to buy something for your own benefit. So the mindsets are very different.

Enterprise customers want to see the same type of B2C experience as they’re accustomed to at home with places like Netflix and Amazon, and creating this has been a challenge for most B2B organizations.For the organization, remember, it’s not just the internal buyers but all their sellers—literally everyone on their network—who are looking for transparency, visibility and trust.

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4. How has the pandemic impacted digitization efforts across global supply chains? 

The emphasis on the digital economy started before the pandemic with all the disruptions driven by geopolitical forces. The push to digitize processes, policies—it’s been really significant, but the pandemic has definitely accelerated that.

5. What’s unique about the Tradeshift offering as opposed to some of our competitors?

Tradeshift connects businesses not just in one country or industry, but across the entire globe. The Tradeshift Marketplace offering is a solution that provides one single platform for buyers with centrally managed buying controls that allow you to set your own rules and regulations—in essence, create your own marketplace. The solution provides a very simple, elegant, buying solution for the requestors with robust compliance and spend governance. Being able to manage all that, in one place, with total control—that really sets us apart.

Our key differentiators include:

  • One, single procurement system that buyers have to come to
  • One buying interface with centrally managed procurement controls
  • A Consistent shopping experience for requesters
  • Compliance and spend governance ensured via centrally applied controls

Still want more on B2B Marketplaces and Tradeshift?

Check out this article that Subrata penned for Retail Tech Insights, Retail Needs a New Operating System.

And don’t forget that next week we’ll be featuring an interview with Ted Truscott, Product Growth Lead, about the important work he’s doing to improve the seller experience on the Tradeshift network.

Learn more about Tradeshift’s B2b E Procurement Marketplace