The B2B marketplace is evolving
The future of B2B purchasing is making the experience nearly indistinguishable from a B2C purchasing experience, and we’re on the cusp of realizing it. B2B marketplaces are no longer listing or “matchmaking” sites where real transactions are taken offline. Today’s marketplaces are fully digital, and analysts predict they will continue eating into more traditional B2B sales routes.
This is no surprise. Marketplaces have emerged as an accessible and valuable channel to add to a B2B company’s mix of digital sales properties. Compared to traditional B2B sales processes, marketplaces can offer a more seamless purchasing process for both the buyer and the seller. There is always opportunity to improve. Today, many B2B marketplaces feature standard credit card-based transactions that limit purchasing power for the buyer and create risk for the seller. However, advances in modern payment technology and promising initiatives from existing marketplaces are disrupting marketplace payment routines. B2B sellers who can rise to the occasion and match buyer expectations will greatly improve sales and grow their customer base. And the marketplaces and technology partners that help them do so will also enjoy success.
MSTS is here to help B2B sellers realize the potential for sales via marketplaces, break down the complexities of a B2B sale, and discuss how technology like Credit as a Service® (CaaS) improves the payment process for buyers and sellers. As a major player in the B2B payments space, MSTS is fully aware of the capabilities and limitations of existing marketplaces. Whether you’re new to selling on marketplaces, had a negative experience with them in the past or operate one of your own, we hope this white paper serves as a guidepost as you explore your digital sales strategy.
An overview of B2B marketplaces
More B2B transactions are happening via eCommerce and marketplaces than ever. By definition, marketplaces are simply digital spaces where a buyer connects with sellers to purchase products. But the opportunity they represent is massive. In 2018, digital B2B sales exceeded $1 trillion for the first time, with Payment advances in B2B marketplaces As B2B buyers seek more B2C-like purchasing experiences, major marketplaces have tried to keep up by experimenting with new features in their B2B offerings. analysts forecasting significant growth over the next five years. Yet, nearly half of all B2B transactions are still manual and mostly invoice based, another practice analysts predict will fade in the future.
As this growth trend continues, we will likely see existing marketplaces mimic the B2C buying experience for B2B products — the Amazon Effect — particularly in the area of payments.
B2B marketplace purchases are complex
Marketplaces are an important part of the B2B sales ecosystem, and the “matchmaking” function they once served has evolved. Now, capabilities ranging from vendor research to checkout and everything in between are digital. However, payment options on B2B marketplaces lag behind the rest of the experience, are remarkably limited and do not match customer expectations. Too often, B2B purchases via online marketplaces can be challenging for buyers and leave businesses with little control. Ultimately, marketplace and seller struggles become a burden for buyers as well. The lack of better payment options has created a complex, tangled web of challenges within the B2B marketplace, leading to interconnected challenges for buyers, sellers and marketplaces.
Download our full report to build better payments for B2B marketplaces.