Geometric dark patterns Four diamond-shaped pictures show people working on laptops, collaborating in a library, and pointing at a tablet. The images are over a green background with a blank black space beside them, evoking the dynamic interactions often seen in b2b marketplaces.

Expert Guide

An Expert’s Guide to B2B Marketplaces - What, How and Why

B2B marketplaces have fast-developed into one of the world’s most efficient ways for large entities to transact, but why and what’s the big deal, and what are they really? This page is designed to give you a quick overview of everything you need to know about marketplaces so let’s start with a simple definition.

Skip to the Topic You're Looking For

Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • B2B vs. B2C
  • Types of Marketplaces
  • FAQ
  • Top 10
  • Benefits
  • How to Build
  • Grow & Scale
  • Podcast

What is a B2B Marketplace?

Traditional Marketplaces

Traditionally, marketplaces are a platform where sellers and buyers converge to offer and purchase products. When Amazon first launched its online marketplace in November 2000, the idea of third-party vendors congregating on a website to present products to consumers was still very much a novelty. These days, marketplace sales account for 62% of the global online retail sales. In 2020 alone, about $2.67 trillion was spent on the world’s top 100 marketplaces. As global marketplace giants such as Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy make continued efforts to increase their market share, the relevance of online marketplaces will become even more apparent to potential vendors and businesses alike.

Two people are packing items into boxes on a table. The person on the left, likely coordinating through a b2b marketplace on their laptop, while the one on the right places an item into a box. There are packing supplies scattered across the table.

High Growth Potential

Marketplaces offer immense growth potential for businesses within B2C and B2B industries. By adopting a marketplace model, companies have the opportunity to scale at a much quicker pace while reducing risk. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 15% of medium-to high-gross-merchandise-value digital commerce organizations will have deployed their marketplaces, thereby creating an entirely new digital ecosystem. For organizations with an existing traditional e-commerce platform, a digital marketplace could be the next step in accelerating customer acquisition and increasing revenue. B2B is when businesses provide products or services to other businesses. Marketplaces are where multiple buyers and sellers transact. Therefore, B2B marketplaces are typically centralized digital platforms that enable large entities to conduct business with their partners or other organizations on a large scale.

A group of five people are gathered around a table in a modern office, actively discussing b2b marketplaces, with one person gesturing while speaking. Laptops and documents are placed on the table.

Worldwide B2B marketplace sales could reach an estimated $3.6 trillion by 2024, up from an estimated $680 billion in 2018.

–Digital Commerce 360

B2B marketplaces are usually used by enterprise businesses across the following industries:

Spryker for Manufacturing

Digital Commerce in the Manufacturing Industry

For manufacturers, especially in the B2B environment, digital commerce means more than simply providing an online store. It also stands for the development of a clear business model, reorganization of traditional sales channels and the establishment of new operational capabilities to meet modern customer expectations.

Trusted by major companies:
Read About Manufacturing

Spryker for Wholesalers

Digital Commerce in the Wholesale Industry

Around the world, wholesale distribution supply networks are shifting towards e-commerce technologies that allow companies to make better use of existing resources while developing sustainable strategies for future success.

Trusted by major companies:
Read About Wholesale

Spryker for Retailers

Digital Commerce in the Retail Industry

Digital commerce in retail gained a new momentum with the advance of technology and a corresponding shift in customer expectations. Digital commerce is the new normal in retail, and in the midst of trends like voice commerce and click & collect, companies must now find ways to quickly adapt to ever-changing markets and create a shopping experience that delights their customers today and in the future.

Read About Retail

Spryker for Food and Beverage

Digital Commerce in the Food and Beverages Industry

Groceries seem to be the last thing that people still largely buy offline today. But even though the shift happens slower than in other retail segments, the digital transformation is inevitably progressing for food and beverages as well. So far, the role of digital channels for groceries has often been restricted to price research, and Amazon held large shares of the overall small number of digital grocery purchases.

Trusted by major companies: