B2B Marketplace & B2B Multi Vendor Marketplace Guide

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How to Create a B2B Marketplace: Let Strategy Guide Platform Selection

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The COVID-19 pandemic grew digital commerce faster than anyone thought possible. Newfound attention on digital selling technologies spilled over into B2B eCommerce and enterprise B2B marketplaces.

The enterprise marketplace is a relatively new selling model enabling organizations to expand their scope of business, strengthen their ecosystems, and adopt new sources of revenue. In addition, enterprise marketplaces offer numerous advantages such as increased innovation, improved efficiency, resilience, and customer satisfaction.

By 2023, 15% of medium- to high-gross-merchandise-value digital commerce organizations will have deployed marketplaces. Additionally, 70% of enterprise marketplaces will serve B2B transactions.

Marketplaces are as diverse as the companies that create them. Different enterprises have different target audiences, B2B buying process, challenges, and requirements. Thus, their marketplace strategy, selection of a platform vendor, and implementation differ.

In this post, we will identify the different marketplace types, explore benefits, and look at the barriers to creation. In the second half of the article, we’ll go over some software implementation options and explore how a B2B-focused approach can be tailored to any business model, organization, and marketplace need.

How to Start a B2B Marketplace

Starting a B2B marketplace is easier than ever, thanks to the rise of third-party hosting sites. Getting your site from idea to growing marketplace is best done by following a few simple steps.

  1. Identify a market need. Marketplaces are only successful if they bring real value. You need to make sure that you’re trying to solve a real problem that isn’t fixed in a better way by someone else. If you are, then you can start building.
  2. Launch your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP is a bare-bones version of your final marketplace that you push out early to test the market. This product should still have a good user experience and will serve as a litmus test for the demand and help you hone your ideas.
  3. Find your market fit. With the MVP live, you’ll see whether your idea resonates with the market or not. You’ll also see what features are most-wanted and narrow your focus to provide the best end product.
  4. Add specialty features. With this information in hand, you should begin to add the features your customers want and improve the user experience. Focus on key features that will save your customers time and money. If you use a headless eCommerce solution, this is easy. However, some eCommerce tools are easier to adapt than others, so research your programs’ capabilities thoroughly.

Reduce your operational costs

Marketing and promotional activities are one of the highest costs for any business owner. It starts with printing the product catalogs. Then you pay to promote your products through various channels such as newspapers, Google Ads, and participation in any online marketing event.

Once you become a member of any B2B marketplace, you can create online catalogs to promote your products. You need not print product catalogs or brochures or spend money on traditional marketing channels to promote your products. You may also save the money you’d spend on expensive business trips worldwide to secure business deals and display the products in the tradeshows.

Most B2B marketplaces do require a small fee for membership. Others do not charge any membership fees, but they charge a reasonable service fee on every transaction. These costs are very affordable for any business owner. You save what you would otherwise spend building the online marketplace, and you get better visibility for your business.

4. Super easy set-up


Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash

Innovating new products is very important for the growth of any business. Even if your product is extraordinary now, over time your customers may outgrow your products. So you need to improve your products continuously.

B2B marketplaces are an ideal place for you to try your new products. You can sell newly launched products or offer free samples to your customers to test new ideas. You can also request your customers share feedback and reviews to get a clear picture of where your products stand.

How to Build or Create an Online B2B Marketplace like Alibaba?

  • Code Yourself – Developing an eCommerce marketplace demands critical designing and development skills such as creating a seamless front-end design, use of accurate theme colors, implementing all essential eCommerce features, integrating third-party APIs, and more. Website development requires a lot of coding skills and consumes a lot of time/effort, which may delay your website launch.
  • Hiring developers – Another way is to hire skilled developers to build a completely personalized eCommerce marketplace from scratch. You can either hire an in-house team for all development needs or outsource your development needs to custom eCommerce development firms like FATbit Technologies. Either way, building an eCommerce marketplace from scratch will consume hundreds of thousands of development hours.
  • Readymade B2B eCommerce platforms – While development from scratch seems a good choice, more often than not, this isn’t a viable solution. Since each business decision has wide-ranging implications, it is critical to invest your resources and effort smartly. Choose a turnkey eCommerce platform with all essential features that empower your business to centralize operations, accelerate transformation, and reduce time-to-market. Yo!Kart B2B, Shopify Plus, BigCommerceB2B – these are some of the most popular B2B eCommerce solutions.

While a readymade B2B eCommerce platform significantly reduces launch time yet, you must identify and choose the right platform that clearly aligns with your business strategies. There are many key parameters that can be considered during the selection process. Below we have listed a few essential considerations for business owners:

  • Scalability – Amid consistently changing consumer behavior, evolving technological parameters, and accelerated digitization; it is important to choose an eCommerce platform that ensures scalability and long-term growth. Scalability in B2B means staying future-ready with access to the right resources, to automate processes and swiftly accommodate growing demands.
  • Personalization – A customizable platform helps deliver tailored experiences to your customers, propelling growth. For instance, the ability to personalize and offer customer-specific pricing or restrict access to hide bulk pricing for guest customers improves the user experience. A customizable platform ensures personalization, improves branding, and greatly increases user engagement leading to more conversions and repeat customers.
  • Ease of Use – Processes in B2B commerce are often complex involving bulk transactions, partial payments, recurring business orders, and more. This is why most B2B platforms offer several advanced features (such as Request for Quote (RFQ), Bulk discounts, etc) to streamline negotiations and facilitate B2B transactions. While these features do add value, they shouldn’t come at the cost of convenience.
  • Flexible Payment Options – Unlike traditional B2C commerce, the transactions in B2B trades are much higher. These transactions often involve bulk purchases on a recurring basis instead of once-off smaller purchases. Hence, the ability to pay partially and via preferred payment method (including COD) is a must-have feature for a B2B eCommerce platform.
  • Trusted and Reliable – A trusted and well-recognized eCommerce platform is one that is widely popular among entrepreneurs, SMBs, as well as large-scale enterprises. Often the quality of projects delivered, worldwide clientele, and ratings on popular review sites can be a good indicator to help you decide. Look for reviews on sites like G2/Capterra, browse through their existing/past projects, and check for complete details on the platform before making an investment.
  • Essential B2B eCommerce features – Minimum order quantity, bulk pricing/discount feature, Request for Quote module, and multiple payment options are some of the essential eCommerce features for a B2B marketplace. Before you decide on your B2B marketplace solution, make a checklist of all essential eCommerce features on your selected platforms and compare. This will give you a better idea.

Must-Have Features To Create a Successful B2B eCommerce Website like Alibaba

Since we are talking about Alibaba here, it is important to discuss and evaluate the top eCommerce features for a B2B eCommerce marketplace. Below we have listed some of the must-have features to build a successful ecommerce website like Alibaba.

  • Simple Sign-up and Profile Creation – Just like any other platform, user experience holds considerable value for a successful venture. A seamless registration process that is simple and intuitive allows users to quickly register on the marketplace. Moreover, setting up users’ profiles should be a streamlined process with easy-to-configure steps.


Millions of B2B brands are eyeing opportunities in the digital space to capture the growing eCommerce market segment with a global valuation exceeding trillions of dollars. The potential opportunities are tremendous for a B2B marketplace looking to start/scale operations. Choose Yo!Kart B2B Marketplace Software – a turnkey, secure, and feature-rich B2B eCommerce platform to launch a scalable B2B eCommerce website like Alibaba. The multi-vendor platform powers many popular B2B marketplaces like UNI Diamonds, Bozinga.com, and more.

-You can create a B2B website like Alibaba quickly and effectively with a readymade software such as Yo!Kart B2B. It is one of the best B2B multivendor platforms designed to start an online marketplace such as Alibaba.

-While Alibaba.com is a B2B marketplace where businesses sell to other businesses, Amazon.com is a B2C marketplace where multiple sellers list and sell their products to end-users. Also, Amazon Business is a B2B marketplace by Amazon and is similar to Alibaba.

-Alibaba includes all essential eCommerce features such as minimum order quantity module, in-built CRM, Multilingual feature, multiple Payment methods, flexibility to integrate new APIs, and more. Building an app like Alibaba needs all these modules and integrations which requires hundreds of thousands of development hours. Also, costs may range anywhere between hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars as per business requirements.



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