Smaller companies are using online marketplaces more because it gives them the ability to scale fast (47%) and lower barriers to connecting with new customers (46%), says a new research report.

Small businesses are becoming big users of B2B marketplaces, says new research from a business trade group.

The study, conducted in April by the Connected Commerce Council in Washington, D.C., found that 64% of small businesses that use one or multiple online marketplaces do so to bring new products to market. 59% of small sellers also use marketplaces to access new markets, reduce inventory and warehousing costs. Smaller sellers also report those online marketplaces give them the ability to scale fast (47%) and lower barriers to connecting with new customers (46%).

“We found that small and medium size sellers (SMBs) that use multiple sales channels value online tools and marketplaces highly,” says the Connected Commerce Council. “SMBs frequently sell using more than one marketplace.”

Most small businesses say they use Amazon Business more than other B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplaces, the report found. Specifically, 83% of SMBs use Amazon, followed by eBay (59%), Walmart Marketplace (36%), Etsy (30%), and Target Plus (20%). Small sellers also reported using other marketplaces such as Poshmark, Houzz, ASOS, Mercari, OfferUp, Newegg, and Discogs.

Other findings include:

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  • The two most popular online selling channels for SMB Sellers are business-owned ecommerce sites (59%) and online marketplaces (58%).
  • Of the SMB sellers using online marketplaces, 75% use more than one of them.
  • 82% of small sellers that sell on the Amazon.com marketplace also use at least one additional online marketplace.
  • 83% of SMBs selling on online marketplaces use at least one “integrated tool” that helps with business operations like fulfillment, storage, and invoicing.

“SMB sellers tend to sell in as many places as they can connect with buyers, with the typical seller using five sales channels, both online and offline,” says the Connected Commerce Council. “Additional ‘integrated tools’ offered by online marketplaces are incredibly popular and deliver real value to sellers in the form of simplification and cost savings.”

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