HOW TO START A B2B MARKETPLACE
8 min
Dec 14 2020
Nikita L How to Start a B2B Marketplace
Nikita LBusiness analyst
Danil L How to Start a B2B Marketplace
Danil LWeb Developer
In today's world, the B2B business model is just starting to take off. More and more entrepreneurs worldwide see imperfections of the cooperation system in various business areas. This phenomenon encourages them to seek solutions and improve their businesses’ performance.

B2B: FEATURES OF THE "BUSINESS FOR BUSINESS" SYSTEM

The first feature of the B2B model is the frequency and volume of transactions made in the market. The second feature of B2B is its different sectors. Every entrepreneur who decides to work in B2B can choose a suitable sector for themselves, make their own unique changes, and maybe even create a new industry.
At the moment, there are three main sectors.
Sectors in b2b
The list of common features for such an app:
  1. Sign Up and Sign In;
  2. Online payment (via payment systems);
  3. Customers reviews;
  4. Admin panel;
  5. Tracking orders;
  6. Shopping basket;
  7. Inventory management tools;
  8. Statistics;
  9. User lists and ratings;
  10. Search console such as Elasticsearch;
  11. Possibility of goods reservation;
  12. Payments delay.
Some of these features can appear only in specific applications, but in practice and our working experience, entrepreneurs appreciate the breadth and variety: payment forms, tools and advertising opportunities.

SUCCESSFUL B2B APPLICATION EXAMPLES

In each of the above sectors, there are examples of successful applications, set the market trend and create consumer expectations.
These leaders set the general trends in the world market; in other words, how exactly B2B platforms should look and function.
In the e-commerce sector, some notable trends in user-experience and monetization were demonstrated by the following companies.
B2b marketplaces
Alibaba:
Amazon:
eBay:
The most popular service platforms work this way:
Thumbtack:
Fiverr:
Upwork:
At the moment, platforms for services providing and promotion continue to appear.
Rental platforms are functioning this way:
Airbnb:
Before creating a rental marketplace, it’s necessary to understand that such services have a low retention rate.It means that when a user finds a placement or a vehicle, it may not need again in a visible perspective. Also, a distinctive feature of B2B rental sites is that they can work as a B2C service at the same time.
Having studied the market leaders, you can create your list of features suits your application. However, the final feature set will be determined after defining the project’s ideas and goals.

HOW TO DEFINE THE DISTINCTIVE IDEA AND PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT?

Many applications in the world copy the functionality and idea of market leaders in various fields. This did not escape the B2B system either. However, full copying will not help anyone who wants to create such a site without an original idea.
An original idea is what identifies your business from competitors and builds a unique interaction with your customers.
Therefore, before creating software, you should think about the corporate idea and message. Many entrepreneurs find it difficult at this stage, however, according to the experience of Exceed Team's specialists, the original idea of the project can be found by taking a pen and paper and answering the following questions:
Brainstorming these questions will allow you to find an original idea for creating a unique B2B system application and many others. Once you've formed your business idea and goal, it becomes easier to figure out how to move forward.
However, the goal of any business is to make a profit. What sources of revenue can a B2B app provide you?

B2B BUSINESS MODELS AND THEIR MONETIZATION OPPORTUNITIES

Deciding exactly how your application will earn is one of the most important tasks. One earning scheme can push away your potential clients, while another one can attract.
Part of how B2B app leaders make money has already been discussed above, but it's worth reviewing the possible types of monetization separately.
Business models for b2b
  1. One-time fee for responding to a service / placing an order for a service (applications for a product);
  2. Weekly / monthly subscription;
  3. Semi-annual subscriptions with additional features.
The latter option is rarely introduced. This is due to possible price changes and a mismatch in the exchange rates of the country providing the application and its users. There are also software that can combine both ways of earning.
Additional functions may include software stacks that speed up document flow between entrepreneurs, help to better build a pricing policy, etc.
Determine exactly how you want to make money from your application, best of all during idea creation, definition of type and functionality. What functionality is at the heart of certain applications - it was discussed above in the article.
However, it is worth talking about the nuances of their creation separately for each type.

STEPS TO CREATE A B2B MARKETPLACE

If you decide to create a B2B Marketplace, provide a platform for the sale, rental or services of some entrepreneurs to others and have already identified a goal, you will need to learn more about the basic functions.
Basic functions are present in most applications such as Alibaba, Amazon and others:
Features of b2b ecommerce apps
There are also advanced features that can be installed into the application as needed. Initially they may seem superfluous. But as your business expands, they can become true “magic wands” that facilitate and automate a huge part of your and client's business processes. Examples of these functions are:
Features of b2b ecommerce apps
This is not a complete list of possible advanced features that can be integrated into your application. However, in order for the launch of the program to be excellent, it is necessary, after setting the goals, ideas, functionality and monetization described by us, to do the following:

Step 1. Describe the idea and all the details in the project documentation

It will be easier for you to make changes and complement the B2B Marketplace idea if you write it down. The developers you contact to create a project will more easily understand its essence and will be able to draw up a more accurate technical plan of the task. This will speed up and facilitate the work on the application. If you have any difficulties, then you can contact us to discuss the project documentation.

Step 2. Select a development team

This stage is very important for the future of your application. A competent team is not only able to complete the project in the required time frame, but also try to improve its quality and all the wishes of the client.
In short, you will need to select the team that meets your needs by country of origin, price and level of competence. This is easy to do if you know the algorithm and logic of interaction with development teams.

Step 3. Control the stages of the project

After discussing all the stages and drawing up a contract, work begins on the creation of software. Your task at this stage is to communicate and monitor the team's activities, which is built from several interaction models:
However, control lies not only in communication and model types but also in understanding the mechanics of working on an application.

Step 4. Preparing for an advertising launch

While the project is in development, you should take care of its launch. If you have already decided on the goals of the project and what business problems it solves, the development process will be much easier and faster. But like any application, it needs an audience to work.
To do this, you need to turn to such an economic tool as marketing and answer the following questions:
Communication channels are a place of concentration of people where you can place your advertisement.
These include social media, ad impressions on other sites, and other opportunities to make yourself known. Since you are developing applications with interaction over the Internet, then advertising should be in this environment. Of course, if TV and radio are still popular in your country, you can use them as well.
However, it is worth understanding who you are attracted to. Most often, the B2B structure is designed to attract small and medium-sized businesses (sometimes freelancing). And they are all on social networks.
Having decided on the content of the advertisement, you can choose its type and frequency of work on the most popular social networks in the world. At the time of 2020, there are many social networks, both global and regional (those that are popular in a particular country or a number of countries). We advise you to use both of these channels to attract both local entrepreneurs in your country and attract global clients.
Social media marketing
Top Popular Social Networks 2020 for Business Advertising:
This entire top is aimed at helping you choose the most suitable social network for your ad placement. But the final decision in the marketing company for the application is up to you.

Step 5. Extend the application

B2B Marketplace needs to expand and strengthen its position to be successful. Advertising can attract an audience. However, the following points are capable of developing a high-quality and popular application:

LET'S DISCUSS YOUR IDEA

Exceed Team is interested in developing entrepreneurship and is ready to take on your B2B Marketplace project. If you still have questions and would like to know more details about developing an application of this kind, write to us.
Most popular questions

What are the main types of B2B applcations?

"Business to business" apps include E-commerce platforms like Amazon, service marketplaces like Upwork, and rental marketplaces like Airbnb.

What are the most popular business models for B2B platforms?

  • Transaction fees
  • Subscription
  • Advertising
  • Additional functions for a fee

What are basic features to build for a B2B app?

The key functionality includes:
  • Registration
  • Profiles
  • Catalog
  • Product cards
  • Cloud storage
  • Search
  • Payment
  • Checkout
  • Reviews
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Igor TeterevlyovHead of Sales Department
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