Manufacturers and distributors can offer much of what buyers want—selection, value, convenience, trust and mobile access—through online marketplaces, industry expert Scot Wingo tells attendees today at B2B Next in Chicago.

Marketplaces will soon become an even more dominant force in B2B e-commerce. That’s the chief takeaway from a presentation by co-founder and chairman of marketplace services provider ChannelAdvisor Inc. Scot Wingo Tuesday morning at the inaugural B2BNext show in Chicago.

Speaking on the theme “Winning the away game in e-commerce: Selling on web sites of partners,” Wingo told attendees that more and more marketplaces will take over the role of the middleman.

Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor

Scot Wingo

Using Chinese marketplace Tmall as an example, he noted that one marketplace can account for more than 90% of e-commerce gross transaction volume in one country. “I can see it as a harbinger of it happening here” in the U.S., Wingo told attendees.

Five expectations

B2B buyers have five expectations for e-commerce: selection, value, convenience, trust and mobility. Many manufacturers and distributors can offer many, if not all, of the tools to meet those expectations through a marketplace.


But marketplaces such as Amazon Business, which Forrester Research Inc. projects could generate as much as $25 billion in B2B e-commerce sales in as soon as two years, can meet buyer expectations in bigger ways. “No single merchant can provide all that inventory,” Wingo said.

Marketplaces in B2B e-commerce are situated to help manufacturers and distributors with merchandising, acting as the merchant of record, and providing customer service, shipping and fulfillment, pricing, and marketing.

Today, Alibaba as a marketplace generates annual gross transaction volume of $730.9 billion, followed by Amazon at $320.8 billion, at $191.7 billion, eBay at $83.9 billion, Pinduodo at $40.3 billion, Rakuten at $30.3 billion, Flipkart at $7.5 billion and Zolando at $5.8 billion.

Those marketplaces will get bigger particularly as more manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and dealers in the nearly $1 trillion B2B e-commerce market begin buying and selling on big and niche marketplaces. “It’s where a lot of companies will play an away game in e-commerce,” Wingo told attendees.

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