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In 2024, the eCommerce landscape is changing more than ever. LinkedIn said it best- advancing technologies, changing consumer behavior, and evolving innovations are transforming the eCommerce industry. As the eCommerce industry evolves, so do eCommerce marketplaces. What does this mean for you, your customers, and how you do business?   

What are B2B marketplaces?

ShareTribe reports that B2B marketplaces are the fastest-growing digital commerce sales channel. B2B Marketplace sales grew by 100%, reaching $260 billion in 2023, and experts anticipate further growth. So, what are B2B marketplaces?

An eCommerce marketplace is an online platform where multiple third-party sellers can list and sell their products or services to consumers. Unlike traditional eCommerce websites, which typically involve a single business selling directly to customers, a marketplace acts as a mediator, facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers.

Key Features

B2B eCommerce marketplaces offer a dynamic platform where businesses can efficiently and conveniently engage in transactions, procurement, and collaborations. These marketplaces boast several key features that distinguish them from traditional B2B eCommerce models.

  • Multi-Vendor Listings: Various sellers can register and sell their products or services. Each seller manages their own inventory, pricing, and shipping, with help from the marketplace’s tools.
  • Centralized Platform: The marketplace operator provides a centralized platform for processing transactions. They handle the technical aspects, customer service, payment processing, and sometimes even logistical support.
  • Revenue Model: Marketplaces typically earn revenue through several channels, such as charging listing fees, taking a percentage of each sale, charging for promotional activities, and offering subscription models for premium services.
  • Wide Range of Products and Services: Consumers can browse and purchase various products and services across different categories and from different sellers, all in one place.
  • User Experience Features: These platforms often include features such as search and filter options, product recommendations, reviews and ratings, and user profiles to enhance the shopping experience.


B2B marketplaces offer companies a powerful platform to procure supplies, discover new partners, and sell their products or services. These digital ecosystems can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and create opportunities for collaboration. 

These platforms help consumers by offering more options and better prices. They also assist sellers by connecting them with a larger customer base than they could reach on their own websites. Here are some of the key benefits of participating in B2B marketplaces:

  • Expanded market access
  • Increased efficiency
  • Cost reduction
  • Improved discovery and comparison
  • Enhanced data insights
  • Access to new technologies
  • Improved relationships with new and existing clients
  • Increased transparency
  • Regulatory compliance

Overcoming Challenges

Navigating B2B eCommerce marketplaces can be challenging, but new solutions are emerging to tackle these challenges. The right strategies and technologies can transform these challenges into efficiency, collaboration, and opportunities for success. Here are some challenges facing merchants in the B2B eCommerce marketplace:

  • Building trust & credibility
  • Managing complex sales cycles
  • Pricing & negotiation
  • Differentiation from competitors
  • Customer support & services
  • Regulatory compliance & security
  • Adapting to changing technology

In the fast-paced world of B2B eCommerce, overcoming challenges is important for driving innovation and growth in the market. Businesses encounter many hurdles, from establishing trust between unfamiliar partners to navigating complex supply chains.

By effectively addressing these challenges, B2B marketplaces can enhance their services and strengthen relationships with business customers. This will position them for long-term success in an increasingly competitive landscape.

B2B Marketplace Options for Retailers

BigCommerce Marketplacer

In 2024, Open SaaS eCommerce platform BigCommerce partnered with global technology platform Marketplacer to transform online stores into powerful B2B eCommerce marketplaces. This partnership enables retailers to sell diverse products and create a seamless customer shopping experience. This ultimately leads to increased sales, growth, and conversions. Key benefits of this new BigCommerce Marketplacer platform include:

  • Fast syncing
  • Cross-border scalability
  • Low coding
  • Rapid data exchange
  • MACH-aligned API

Adobe Commerce Marketplace

The Adobe Commerce Marketplace has an app store that provides a curated selection of solutions for B2B businesses. It provides the tools, platforms, and locations that make it simple for developers to create a thriving B2B eCommerce marketplace to reach customers and grow business. 

Horizontal v. Vertical Marketplaces

In the B2B marketplace, retailers usually categorize their eCommerce business as horizontal or vertical. 

Horizontal marketplaces cater to a variety of industries and product categories. They offer diverse goods and services, serving as one-stop shops for businesses. On the other hand, vertical marketplaces specialize in specific industries, providing tailored solutions and expertise to meet the unique requirements of particular verticals. 

While horizontal platforms offer breadth, vertical marketplaces excel in-depth, offering specialized knowledge, curated product selections, and targeted services. Horizontal platforms foster competition and comparison across industries, while vertical marketplaces cultivate community and industry-specific insights. 

Ultimately, the choice between horizontal and vertical B2B eCommerce marketplaces depends on the specific needs, preferences, and objectives of businesses seeking to engage in online commerce.

Top 5 B2B marketplaces

Retailers looking for brands that have conquered the eCommerce marketplace industry can use this list to find the top 5 global eCommerce marketplaces and the top 5 US marketplaces. 

Top 5 global marketplaces:

  • Amazon Business
  • Ebay
  • Alibaba
  • Global Sources
  • Indiamart

Top 5 US marketplaces:

  • Faire
  • Joor
  • Indigo
  • MaterialBank
  • FBN

Marketplace Trends

The B2B eCommerce marketplace is growing quickly. Staying ahead of the trends is the best way to help your business stand out and succeed in the eCommerce marketplace. Check out these trends and learn how you can leverage them to grow your business

  • Leveraging data: B2B eCommerce merchants can leverage data to analyze customer behavior, purchase history, and preferences to tailor product recommendations, marketing messages, and user experiences. Merchants can use data to analyze past sales, market trends, and seasonal changes This helps them manage inventory, prevent stock shortages, and reduce carrying costs.
  • Sustainability: Consumers care about doing good and prefer to do business with companies that can say the same. B2B eCommerce marketplaces can stand out to consumers by focusing on ethical practices. B2B retailers can reduce their carbon footprint using sustainable transportation, eco-friendly packaging, and ethical sourcing on their eCommerce platforms. This includes using recyclable or biodegradable packaging materials and supporting fair trade practices.
  • AI and automation: Utilize AI technology to boost operational automation for your B2B marketplace. AI technology helps retailers predict demand, suggest products to customers, set prices automatically, and make order processing faster and more efficient.
  • Ensuring trust and security: Customers want a marketplace they know they can trust to keep their data and information safe. Build trust and repeat business by detecting fraud and mitigating and managing risk for your B2B marketplace. Create a secure marketplace with identity verification, secure payment gateways, privacy compliance, transparency, and accountability. 

The Final Word

Navigating the B2B marketplace effectively involves understanding the complex buyer landscape, establishing strong relationships built on trust, and continuously adapting to technological advancements and changing market conditions. By implementing these strategies, businesses can enhance their competitive edge and achieve long-term success in the B2B sector.

B2B marketplaces are used for more than just sales. They are vibrant ecosystems that connect diverse businesses and make conducting business transactions convenient, quick, and secure. They are powerful tools for businesses looking to innovate, grow, and compete in the global marketplace. Businesses can achieve greater scalability and resilience by leveraging the full spectrum of benefits offered by B2B marketplaces.

Smart Solutions knows B2B eCommerce. Get in touch and schedule a call to kickstart success for your eCommerce business.