Indigo, Scientist.com, MFG, Alibaba, Amazon Business etc. The list of B2B marketplaces is rapidly growing. These winner-take-all businesses are being heavily sought after by venture capitalists. Rest assured that if your industry has not been affected by these marketplaces, it will soon.
Marketplaces are a double-edged sword.
They can be a great source for new business while at the same time serve as a competitive environment where you can lose out on potential business. As a result, B2B vendors will need to learn to live with, not on, these platforms.
Better user experience than your website
These marketplaces are aiming to provide enough value to customers such that the marketplace is the primary source for procurement (similar to how consumers gravitate to Amazon for almost anything). Often times customers are simply coming to the marketplace for better user experience when dealing with vendors. From a vendor standpoint, whenever a customer goes to a marketplace they are at risk of losing that customer to competitors on the very same platform.
Unavoidable Outsourced Procurement
For some customers, like Fortune 500 companies, it may not be possible to conduct business off these marketplaces. This is because these companies are committing a large amount of their purchasing to these platforms in exchange for procurement optimization. However, for customers that do not have these commitments and are finding your business via a marketplace, it is ultimately worthwhile to take these customers off marketplace and have them directly communicate with you via your company-owned channels.
Defend your sales pipeline
It’s no secret that the majority of these marketplaces aim to be the “Amazon of [insert industry]”. This is ultimately bad news for many B2B vendors, as Amazon’s success has enabled them to leverage more aggressive and borderline predatory business models. Between Amazon creating their own brands to compete with marketplace sellers to paywall locking vendor sales data, it’s clear that Amazon knows how to leverage its control over consumer demand. It’s safe to assume that as these B2B marketplaces gain traction, they will aim to do the same thing within their respective industries.
The best thing you can do is upgrade your digital presence to provide a better user experience for your customers. This doesn’t have to be overtly complicated or cost a fortune when working with termrelay. Contact us today to learn more.