An online B2B marketplace is a place where multiple buyers and sellers engage in digital commerce. Just like popular B2C destinations multiple manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers connect with multiple business buyers on B2B marketplaces to conduct commerce.
They go by different names, such as multi-vendor stores, digital exchanges and purchasing portals. There are also many types: global, which offer all types of products; vertical, which offer products of the same type; horizontal, which offer different products but with similar characteristics; and hybrid, where merchants offer their own products and allow third-party sellers.
Marketplaces offer many advantages for merchants, vendors, and customers. Merchants typically take a commission from vendors that sell products on the marketplace, which can be a fixed amount or calculated as a percentage depending on how every deal is structured. Vendors gain visibility and recognition which, as buyer demand grows, results in more sales. Customers have a greater choice of quality products, more consistent service, and more reliable order fulfillment.