The B2B industry is currently one of the most lucrative. Forrester estimates that transactions on B2B platforms in America will reach $1.8 trillion by 2023. Be prepared for fierce competition. This article will share the stories of 10 successful B2B service and product marketplaces.
Multi-vendor B2B product marketplace examples
A business-to-business product marketplace (B2B) is a platform that allows suppliers and manufacturers to sell their goods to distributors and retailers. We share five stories of success that will inspire you to create your own B2B product market.
Alibaba is an online marketplace that specializes in wholesale and retail. Jack Ma Yun, the founder of Alibaba, was inspired to create a marketplace platform for China that could be used in any market. Three reasons made this idea a winner:
- Because they are cheaper than American and European goods, Chinese goods have a significant advantage.
- Many small and medium-sized businesses in China can’t afford websites. This is because Chinese entrepreneurs must first get permission from the government before they can start a business.
- This type of project has never existed in China.
In 1999, the company was founded. The Alibaba marketplace faced many challenges in its beginning and was uncertain about its future. Only at the end 2001 did the company begin to make a profit. Ma decided in 2002 to diversify Alibaba’s marketplace to offer customers a complete set of services on one platform. This would increase Ma’s profit margins. Alibaba established two new branches: Taobao, which allows consumers to trade goods with each other (C2C), and Tmall for businesses and consumers trading (B2C). All these services were merged to form Alibaba Group in 2012, which had 82% of China’s electronic sales market by 2015. It confidently replaced eBay.
Alibaba’s total annual revenue in June 2020 was $ 21,762,000,000. This is a 34 percent increase over the previous year.
Alibaba’s 20-years of experience in B2B is the unique selling proposition that sets it apart from its competitors. Alibaba was founded before the ecommerce boom. Alibaba has won the trust of many businesses over its years and built a large customer base. This has allowed the company to build a solid reputation as a trustworthy and reliable platform.
Alibaba also helps small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to build and maintain successful ecommerce websites. Alibaba provides all the tools that businesses need to grow. Alibaba offers free webinars and conferences for sellers to help them learn more about running a business. Alibaba’s premium package provides merchants with a monthly consultation by specialists who analyze their businesses and offer tips to improve their sales.
#2 Amazon Business
In 1994, Jeff Bezos started Amazon. The internet was a new concept back then. Jeff decided to sell books to get his first customers. After a few years, his idea was a success and the platform grew with the sales of electronics and video games. Amazon was established as a B2C platform in 1998 and entered the international marketplace. Amazon’s 26-year history has seen it rise to great heights. is a top multi-vendor trading platform, making it an inspiring example.
Amazon’s B2B Amazon Business Marketplace was launched in 2015 for all businesses. This marketplace is very similar to Amazon’s B2C counterpart. Amazon Business is a marketplace that focuses on businesses in education, healthcare and hospitality. Although registered businesses can access the platform only in nine countries in 2018, Amazon Business reported a annual sales volume in excess of $10 billion.
Amazon Business USP is a free service that allows companies to create accounts without the need to sign up for monthly or annual plans. Registering companies can open accounts free of charge and gain access to all tools and features. The platform charges a small commission for sellers’ revenues.
#3 Global Sources
Global Sources was established in 1970. It has gone from being Asia’s first ezine to becoming the first international B2B marketplace. Global Source, the platform we now know as Global Source, was established in 1995. It is a leader in home furnishings, accessories, gifts and fashion accessories.
The Global Sources marketplace’s annual revenue is $367 Million.
Global Sources’ USP is its ability to provide customers with numerous channels for establishing trade partnership. Global Sources assists businesses in establishing international contacts and increasing sales in over 240 countries through conferences, webinars and annual trade shows.
Packhelp, unlike the other marketplaces, is a niche marketplace that assists SMEs in creating custom packaging designs for bags, boxes, and labels. Packhelp, a Polish startup, was founded in 2015. Polish SMEs account for 67.1% in total employment. Packhelp has been around for five years and is still loved by investors. The platform now has more than 1,000 suppliers and 138 employees. This is 27 percent more than in the previous year.
Printing companies typically only take on large orders if the customer requires more than 1,000 products. Small businesses do not need as many units. The USP feature of Packhelp allows SMEs to place small orders and have them delivered to suppliers. This allows small businesses to purchase quality packaging in the quantities they require.
Zageno is another example of niche B2B marketplace. Zageno was founded in 2015 by David Pamberg and Florian Wegener. It has raised $28 millions in three funding rounds. The platform is a leader in medical testing and lab kits. Within a year, Zageno was the largest life science product market in the world. In five years, Zageno had a list of more than 2,000 suppliers who sell more medical laboratory products.
Zageno’s USP offers customers a quick search and prompt selection for lab supplies. Zageno’s platform integrates with Spend Analytics, which analyzes purchase history data to generate personalized recommendations and accelerate the buying process.
Multi-vendor B2B service marketplace examples
B2B service marketplaces work in the same way as B2B product marketplaces. They offer services, not products. Here are some examples to help you understand how this marketplace could work for your business.
Upwork connects freelancers and employers through a job-search platform. In 2013, Upwork was created by merging Elans, an ecommerce platform and oDec a recruitment platform. Upwork reported that its freelancers had made about 941 million in the first year of its existence.
Upwork currently has 12,000,000 registered freelancers and 5 million employers . This makes it the market leader in the recruitment industry.
Upwork’s USP is what keeps it at the top. It offers a secure environment for both freelancers as well as employers. Employers can feel confident about the qualifications of the specialists they hire through Upwork. Before freelancers can register on Upwork, they must pass a test to confirm their industry experience and qualifications. Freelancers can track their time and employers receive reports to help them build trust.
Upwork also offers the possibility to hold online meetings and communicate via the platform. Both parties can be sure that their agreements will be met. Upwork support can be contacted by either party to report any disagreement. All payments are made through the platform which protects both sides from fraud.
RigUp was originally a bidding platform. In 2014, founders Xuan Yong & Mike Witte redesigned the idea and created a marketplace for contractors, suppliers, operators, and others in the energy sector. The project received $15.8m in series B funding in 2018, and another $60 million in funding in January 2019.
RigUp offers customers access to more than 22,000 service providers across over 100 service areas in the oil-and-gas industry. The company’s annual revenues are $62.9 Million.
RigUp USP provides additional tools that help to lower risks. The platform ensures that all parties are paid and invoiced transparently. RigUp also automates the process by reducing paperwork. This optimizes and reduces the time needed to complete deals.
SaterSpot, a marketplace that allows you to find catering services for different occasions, is called SaterSpot. In 2016, the Hong Kong-based startup started its operations. It received funding of $800,000. Just three months after it launched, two investors supported it. These funds were used to expand the customer base. CaterSpot is now a partner with giants like Google, Uber and LinkedIn.
SaterSpot’s USP is its easy access to catering service providers. Imagine a customer planning an event for 45 people and has a $20 per head food budget. CaterSpot allows the client to enter their requirements into the search form. This will make it easier for them to find the best vendors.
GorillaSpace, a platform that assists clients in finding and renting office space, coworking space and conference rooms, was founded in 2017. A couple of college friends, Jeanie and Ben Ekblad from Chapel Hill, North Carolina founded the company. GorillaSpace attracted investors from Mitsubishi Estate Co. in its first year. They invested an undisclosed sum.
GorillaSpace’s USPis that it is one of few platforms that offers both short- and long-term office space rentals, with flexible workspace options. You can also rent an area remotely and then view it through the 3D tour.
#5 Uber for Business
Gareth Kemp, Travis Kalanick and others founded Uber. The friends were discussing business plans at the time and had to rush to an important meeting. They were in Paris at the time, but the dispatcher could not locate a taxi until about an hour. So Gareth, Travis and I arrived late. This led to the creation of a startup that would assist tourists and locals in finding taxis.
Uber started to receive billions in investments at the end 2008 The founders made the decision to invest the majority of the funds within a year in developing offices in the most populous countries. In a very short time, the company was able to capture nearly the entire global taxi market. Gareth, Travis and a prototype of the mobile app were developed in 2010. This application is now being used by 75,000,000 loyal customers every single month.
A few years later, Uber Eats was launched. The B2B platform Uber for Business was launched in 2014. Similar to Uber’s taxi app, this product leverages Uber Eats and is designed for large corporations. Uber for Business lets customers create corporate accounts so that employees can travel with the company or order food. Uber Business integrates with Counter software. This software automatically records receipts and prepares reports.
Uber for Business’ USP is the ease and speed with which you can get a taxi. Customers order a taxi by marking the start and ending points, choosing the type of trip and confirming the order. The UBER system will select the closest driver to the start point and calculate the travel time. Customers can then know when and how fast they’ll arrive at their destination.
Now is the right time to start building a platform for you B2B business. Take inspiration from these examples to build your platform.