A Complete Guide to B2B Online Marketplace in Australia

b2b marketplace

You’re not the only one who is interested in B2B eCommerce. The industry has experienced remarkable growth in the last few years. Forrester predicts that US B2B ecommerce transactions will reach $1.8 trillion in 2023. Digital adoption has accelerated and caused massive disruptions to the business environment. This led to B2B companies looking for digital channels to increase their sales. We present the following general guidelines for anyone who is interested in B2B Ecommerce and B2B online marketplace in Australia.

Everything About B2B Online Marketplace in Australia 

What is B2B?

B2B, also known as business-to-business, is an agreement where one business enters into a commercial transaction. This usually occurs when a business uses the services of another company, sources materials for production or resells products and services made by other businesses.

Comparing B2B to C2B, B2C, and C2C

B2B, which is business to business, is often confused with B2C (business to consumer). However, in B2C a business sells products and services to a customer rather than to a company.

In B2B, all parties have equal negotiation power, which often includes legal counsel, to reach an informed decision. However, B2C decisions are affected when there is information asymmetry. However, B2B economic equality is not an all-encompassing phenomenon. Larger companies have more commercial and informational advantages than smaller ones.

The B2B and B2C shopping habits are generally compared. The former is driven by the need while the latter is driven by expectations. We’ve covered this extensively in our last piece on Personalization. Other notable differences are the volume and average amount of checks, which are significantly different in B2B and B2C.

C2B (consumer to business) is a business model in which the consumer creates value rather than the business. C2B arrangements could be used to allow consumers to suggest ideas and have them adopted by the company. C2B is often observed in forums and blogs where consumers link directly to Amazon products to purchase those products. This allows them to earn affiliate revenue if they sell.

C2C (or consumer to consumer) is a business model that allows customers or individual consumers to trade with one another. C2C is a business model that includes classified ads, auctions, and other forms of communication. C2C online companies include Etsy and Craiglist.

What is a B2B marketplace?

B2B marketplaces are online platforms that connect buyers and sellers. Contrary to single-vendor B2B eCommerce platforms, a B2B online marketplace platform typically has three parties involved, including the owner or marketplace operator, B2B buyers and sellers. B2C is where buyers are consumers. In a B2B marketplace both sellers and buyers are businesses such as wholesalers or distributors. B2B marketplaces tend to be multi-vendor marketplace.

Types of B2B eMarketplaces

There are many taxonomies for the Business to Business marketplace depending on what type of business they use.

Vertical marketplaces are those that trade in specific niches or industries, such as automotive parts, pharmaceuticals or construction materials. CheMondis is an example of a vertical marketplace for the chemical sector.

Horizontal marketplaces, on the other hand, don’t boast any specialization but sell products from a variety of industries. Amazon is the most prominent example of a horizontal market. It offers many products from different industries and categories to a large number of customers.

B2B marketplaces can be classified as product, service or hybrid marketplaces depending on their business model. B2B marketplaces for product supply connect businesses, while B2B service marketplaces allow companies to exchange services. Hybrid marketplaces sell both products and services.

Roland Berger, a global consulting firm, recognizes four market models. These include the “one-stop shop”, business model transformation, procurement networks and B2B aftersales. We’ll only briefly touch on the models since we covered them in detail in The Marketplace Revolution.

A one-stop shop broadens the activities of a company (vertically or horizontally), and allows for a seamless transition from an online store to a B2B marketplace. One-stop-shops usually monetize through subscriptions, transaction fees, or marketing fees.

Marketplaces that started as B2C initially but have expanded their offerings and partnerships to include B2B ecommerce are called business model transformations.

Procurement networks are members-only clubs that have a limited number partners or subsidiaries. They unite their efforts in support of one or more procurement processes.

Marketplaces offering after-sales support to B2B customers include maintenance, repair, warranty and other services.

B2B Marketplace Functions

Enterprise marketplaces are not only used to sell goods and services to business buyers but also serve important functions in supply and value chain management. These are just a few of the important functions that enterprise marketplaces serve.

– Curation and selection of suppliers

A B2B marketplace is an ecommerce platform for B2B buyers and sellers. Contrary to single-vendor B2B platforms, B2B marketplaces typically have three parties involved, such as the owner or marketplace operator, B2B buyers and sellers. B2C is where consumers are the buyers, but in B2B, buyers and sellers are both businesses. Distributors, wholesalers, retailers, etc. are all examples of this. B2B marketplaces tend to be multi-vendor.

Facilitation of market transactions

B2B marketplaces allow demand and supply to meet and transact at an accurate market price. Buyers can pick their preferred suppliers or both can discover one another independently. B2B marketplaces allow parties to pay each other by providing multiple payment options including trade finance.

Support for fulfillment

Fulfillment services include warehousing and packaging, delivery, returns, customs processing, inspections, and customs handling. Some B2B marketplaces provide fulfillment services in addition to their shared value proposition.

– Provision of value-added services

Enterprise marketplaces have the ability to repackage large amounts of data and then sell it to interested parties. You can also give access for free to the data to incentivize sellers, improve transparency and assist marketplace participants in making better decisions.

The benefits of using B2B marketplaces for business

B2B marketplaces provide many benefits for all parties.

They improve both access to quality information as well as quality merchandise. Smaller players can trade alongside larger corporations. Buyers can now have access to a wider range of products and services by combining the expertise of international, regional, and specialized players. Similar to the above, marketplace owners can expand their customer base and reach new markets. This opens up new revenue streams. Marketplaces can also connect more vendors which increases website traffic and improves search engine rankings.

Marketplaces allow buyers to compare inventories from different industries, and refine their search using different criteria.

Buyers can add products from multiple vendors to their carts and reduce the amount of invoices required to process an order. This helps them inadvertently increase sales and fulfillment efficiency.

Marketplaces bring together the efforts of many parties and are more efficient than if they were operated independently. B2B marketplaces can also speed up the purchasing process by facilitating payment and fulfillment, which contributes to customer satisfaction. This efficiency results in more sales and revenue for sellers and marketplace operators.

Finally, the marketplace model allows you to test new business ideas without taking on additional risks such as having to hold onto unsold inventory.

Find out more about the pros and cons of B2B markets here: Top Pros and Cons of Building a Marketplace.

How to succeed in a B2B Marketplace

It’s important to follow some common-sense principles in order to make the B2B market model work for you business.

  1. It is crucial to select the right B2B eCommerce platform. You will be able to reap all the benefits of ecommerce technology, including a headless, extensible, API-powered platform that allows you to optimize your marketplace’s performance.
  2. If you are looking to improve your user experience and design, invest time and money.
  3. You can think of monetization strategies as such: subscriptions, transaction fees, or marketing charges.
  4. Establish internal procedures to partner onboarding. Provide detailed information to buyers and vendors on how to use this marketplace.
  5. To ensure accountability and solvency, verify sellers and buyers as often as possible.
  6. Reliable fulfillment and shipping providers are essential.
  7. Integrate third-party systems including those of your vendors.
  8. You can choose from a range of payment options, including trade financing.
  9. To improve your marketplace’s efficiency, engage in continuous feedback with buyers and sellers.
  10. You must be flexible and adaptable to changes in the market.


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