Commercial marketplaces launched and maintained by large ecommerce companies will play a prominent role in the rapid expansion of U.S. B2B marketplaces.
But B2B marketplaces serve many industries and are not one-size-fits-all. A case in point is the literally hundreds of new vertical industry marketplaces designed to bring together digital buyers and sellers in a specific industry, according to data and analysis contained in the 2021 B2B 250 Marketplace Report, a newly published research report from Digital Commerce 360.
These marketplaces are launching in large measure because B2B buyers and sellers are looking for more alternatives among marketplaces—and growth opportunities. For example, the global pandemic changed many aspects of B2B ecommerce, not the least of which is the level of activity on B2B marketplaces, according to the latest B2B Buyer’s Survey from Digital Commerce 360. 40% of business buyers now purchase at least 50% of their organization’s goods and services on marketplaces, and 67.1% of buyers also are now purchasing “somewhat more” to “significantly more” products on commercial and vertical industry marketplace platforms, the survey says.
Making B2B purchasing more buyer-centric
“Marketplaces make purchasing more consumer-centric for online buyers because they can go to one source to purchase a solution,” says Paul do Forno, managing director, Deloitte Digital. “A manufacturer, for example, may only offer three-quarters of the solution a buyer needs, but going to a marketplace allows the buyer to go to one source to find and purchase the entire solution.”
Among the 250 B2B vertical marketplaces listed by Digital Commerce 360, the list is diverse, ranging from 12 and nine platforms, respectively, in agriculture and apparel, to more than 15 in foodservice. In motor vehicles, heavy equipment, and marine vessels, and in healthcare, two industry groups where some specialized B2B marketplaces have been in operation for about two decades, Digital Commerce 360 lists more than two dozen and a dozen platforms, respectively, in the 2021 B2B 250 Marketplace Report.
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