Top B2B eCommerce Platforms for Multi-Vendor Marketplaces in 2022

Top B2B eCommerce Platforms for Multi-Vendor Marketplaces in 2022

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Last Updated: 22nd Sept, 2022

B2B sellers are using eCommerce platforms to attract new and repeat customers. According to Forrester’s report, the B2B eCommerce market in the US will reach around $1.8 trillion by 2023, accounting for 17% of all B2B sales in the US.

The B2B eCommerce marketplace is gaining steam and the significant driver of this growth is Amazon Business (B2B marketplace by Amazon) which surpassed $10 billion in 2018. According to RBC Capital Markets – a financial service company- the Amazon B2B marketplace will reach a revenue of $31 billion by 2023.

In 2018 a survey was conducted on 276 wholesalers, manufacturers, and distributors in the B2B marketplace. Out of these, nearly 60% of manufacturers and 38% of wholesalers and distributors did not operate on any eCommerce sites. But, around 75% of them planned to launch an eCommerce marketplace within two years. Moreover, eCommerce sites accounted for nearly 7.2% of total B2B sales in 2018, and B2BecNews estimated recently that sales percentage will rise sharply in the coming years.

As retail giants like Amazon business surge ahead, B2B sellers are realizing the importance of an online marketplace to keep up with the competitors.

Table Of Contents:

What is a B2B Multi-vendor eCommerce Marketplace?

Similar to a B2C multi-vendor store like Amazon, a B2B (Business-to-Business) eCommerce marketplace is a type of marketplace where sellers (including brands, manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers) usually sell products in bulk to other businesses (customers).

Both sellers and buyers in a B2B marketplace are businesses where payments are usually carried out via bank transfer. Alibaba and Amazon Business are two prime examples of a B2B multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace.

B2B eCommerce Business Ideas

A B2B online marketplace includes both manufacturers and suppliers. This makes it easy for a store owner (of electronics, for instance) to place an online order for stock replenishment. Moreover, the order can be delivered to the store owner or with both online and offline payments possible. The revenue model for B2B businesses like Amazon business is multifaceted. 

From eBay to Amazon, several eCommerce businesses with unique business ideas have successfully established their marketplace in the last two decades. Their success has inspired the next generations and budding entrepreneurs to start their business online.

The B2B eCommerce marketplace is fairly complex with several business models for different categories. To ensure that your B2B eCommerce business idea is successful, it is important to choose the right business model. 

Let’s take a look at different B2B models:

  • Supplier-Oriented Model

As the name suggests, the Supplier-oriented model is a B2B eCommerce marketplace for suppliers to establish and sell goods/services to several businesses.

Here, a supplier is entitled to set prices based on the needs of buyers and is searchable through the offered products/services. Cisco Connection Online, for instance, is a popular example of the supplier-oriented model.

  • Buyer-Oriented Model

This B2B business model revolves around enterprises with greater purchasing power and bulk purchasing. Big corporations often receive several quotations from various sellers and require careful analysis to decide which seller quote is best suited to their business needs. An eCommerce portal based on the buyer-oriented model allows the enterprise to receive the best quote from the suppliers while reducing the overall administrative cost. 

  • Intermediary-Oriented Model

An intermediary-oriented model involves a B2B multi-vendor marketplace that includes both buyers and sellers to connect and make transactions. Alibaba, for instance, is a prime example that connects manufacturers in China with overseas buyers and earns profit from such associations. 

Transform your B2B marketplace idea into reality with a turnkey multi-vendor platform

Essential Features of a B2B multivendor marketplace from Admin Perspective

  • Multilingual & Multi-Currency 

While English is considered a global language, the majority of the population interacts and communicates in their regional languages. And, more than half of all Google searches are in languages other than English. So, for an eCommerce store, multi-linguistic functionality is crucial to being successful. It improves user experience (UX ),  helps the business reach a diverse user base, and helps in expanding business globally. Also, multi-currency is another popular integration that allows buyers to change currency on the website with just one-click.

In total there are about 164 official national currencies around the globe that must be incorporated for a successful eCommerce marketplace.

  • Multiple Payment Gateways 

Buyer-centric payment methods are an invaluable proposition for an eCommerce marketplace. From e-wallet to credit cards and COD (cash-on-delivery), there are several payment gateways that come pre-integrated in a multi-seller eCommerce software with an option to integrate more through customization. This is an essential feature that helps admin keep buyers and vendors happy. 

  • Product Management Features (Adding Products/ Product Review Management etc)

To avoid incorrect product descriptions, attributes, or poor quality images; a reliable product catalog management system is required. It allows the admin to create an omnichannel shopping experience with uniform product data across all channels. Moreover, product review management is one of the most essential features of a B2B eCommerce marketplace.

For instance, nearly 57% of buyers consider positive product reviews as an important factor driving purchasing decisions on Amazon, according to Statista. The product management features allow admin to establish the credibility of products and promote brand value.

most_important_factorsSource: Statista

  • Vendor Subscription Plan

In the end, the admin wants to earn revenue from a marketplace, and charging a subscription fee from vendors is an ideal revenue source. An annual or monthly subscription plan could be set up for vendors in exchange for better selling opportunities on the platform. This is another must-have feature from an admin perspective.

  • Streamlined Shipping Management

Better shipping and fulfilment features allow the admin to streamline the delivery process while minimizing the cart abandonment rate. With favorable shipping options, the vendor can increase sales for an eCommerce store. From creating shipping labels to retrieving shipping rates and order management, streamlined shipping management features ensure successful eCommerce operations.

  • Tax Exemption Management 

In the US, sales tax is completely governed by the states with no national sales tax law. And eCommerce sellers may have to deal with varied sales tax in different states. Also, each state decides on which items are taxable and which are not. For instance, clothing isn’t taxable in Pennsylvania and grocery items are charged at a reduced 1% sales tax in the state of Illinois. So, it is the responsibility of online sellers to charge buyers the exact sales tax amount and remit collected taxes back to the government. Tax Exemption management is an essential eCommerce feature that allows the admin to add states where tax is exempted. This saves sellers from charging buyers on sales tax when there is none.

  • Escrow Payments 

An escrow payment feature in a multi-seller marketplace allows the admin to hold payments from being released automatically to the vendors. Admin may use this feature to set a withdrawal threshold period (in days) and minimum withdrawal limit a vendor can send a request for. Please note that automated payment systems deliver money in real-time with no escrow payments.

  • Warehouse Management

A unique eCommerce mutivendor feature, warehouse management system enables centralized management of tasks like real-time inventory tracking or stock locations. It allows the admin to add several warehouse locations with the nearest warehouse allocated to the customer order for faster and more accurate operations. Warehouse management is easier to configure and manage by the admin in a B2B multi-seller marketplace.

  • Restricted User Access 

For admins who wish to share limited store access may do so by changing the set privileges like hiding menus or particular settings from vendors. Restricted user access is particularly useful in scenarios where a vendor, for instance, sells software that doesn’t require shipping options. Here, the admin may disable shipping options for the particular vendors. 

Essential Features of a B2B marketplace from Vendor Perspective

  • Easy Vendor Listing/Registration

A B2B eCommerce marketplace must enable third-party vendors to easily register or create their own product listings. They must also have an individual profile page to showcase these listings to the customers. This is an essential feature for a multi-vendor store.

  • Real-Time Inventory Updates 

Another must-have feature for a successful B2B marketplace, real-time inventory updates allow better inventory management for vendors. This feature tracks the current stock level and allows the vendor to list products accordingly, keeping them informed. The majority of multi-seller marketplaces provide real-time inventory updates to vendors.

  • Separate Vendor Store  

An eCommerce marketplace must allow a separate vendor store with a unique URL on a single domain. This separate storefront allows the vendor to easily manage products, change featured image, and much more. It is a must-have feature for a B2B multi-vendor marketplace.

  • Bulk Price Discounts & Minimum Order Discounts

Merchants or wholesalers often provide bulk pricing or discount on certain products in higher quantities. This encourages buyers to purchase more and in bulk, building customer loyalty. Another discount on a minimum order value set by the seller also encourages buyers to purchase in higher quantities. Both these discounts are an invaluable addition to an eCommerce marketplace.

  • Tax Management 

Different sales tax in different regions calls for better management of tax. With the tax management feature, B2B eCommerce marketplace platforms allow sellers to input correct tax information and product taxes in a streamlined manner.  Also, there are tax management APIs like Quickbooks that come pre-integrated in multi-seller eCommerce software to run a marketplace successfully.

  • Customer Segmentation And Associated Product Price 

Also termed as market segmentation, customer segmentation means dividing potential customers into discrete groups in a market. This division is based upon customers with similar needs or buying characteristics. According to Statista, nearly 60% of UK’s B2B eCommerce businesses in 2013 segmented online customers based upon their historic spend.

segment_online_customerSource: Statista

Moreover, associated product price is another key feature in a B2B marketplace. To define its usage, imagine a single product of $44 with a drop-down list of options for each variation. In most scenarios, the variations are offered at the same price ($44 in this case) however in some cases the variations may have different prices (let’s say $33). By default in most eCommerce marketplaces, the price of the variations will match the product ($44) but with associated product price feature vendors can set a separate price for the variations i.e. $33 instead of $44.

  • Minimum Order Quantity & Amount 

To maintain margins and make a profit in B2B eCommerce operations, vendors must set minimum order quantities on all their products online. Minimum order quantity & Amount encourage bulk purchasing.

  • Ordering Process/Workflows 

A multi-seller eCommerce platform has a common product catalog where products from hundreds of individual vendors are listed. And, buyers can purchase these products with ease. The ordering process or workflow in a B2B eCommerce platform is associated with several activities like:

RFQ (Request for quotation) – As the name suggests, a buyer may send quote requests to all vendors even for products that do not exist in the eCommerce marketplace. The admin can set a minimum order quantity for RFQ and may manage all quote requests before the sellers are notified. 

RFP (Request for proposal) – A wholesaler or manufacturer sends a request for a proposal to the buyers for its certain product or service. It is a common but essential feature of workflow in a B2B eCommerce marketplace.

Auction – It enables vendors to auction products of their choice enticing several buyers to bid on them. Keeping an auction accelerates the vendor sales, upselling underlying stocks, and staying competitive in a B2B eCommerce marketplace.

Bidding – Bidding is what the buyer’s do on products added for an auction by their respective vendors. Along with the auction, bidding becomes an integral part of improving cash flow in a marketplace.

Order negotiations – In a B2B eCommerce platform, the ordering process or buyer-seller interactions involve several order negotiations before the final purchase. 

Top B2B eCommerce Platforms For Multi-Vendor Marketplaces

Yo!Kart

  • Introduction – Yo!kart is a self-hosted multi-vendor solution that lets startups or existing businesses build a contemporary online marketplace. The turnkey solution can power impressive B2C multivendor stores and is also available with a B2B-specific version for building and launching online B2B marketplaces.
  • The turnkey solution is customizable and scalable, making it equally suitable for SMBs as well as large enterprises. Yo!Kart has been developed from the ground up, perfected, and backed by Agile teams for customizations and support. This has resulted in a secure, robust, and reliable solution 一 trusted globally. A Fortune 500 brewing company,  UNI Diamonds – Israel’s biggest B2B diamond distributor, and many others have chosen Yo!Kart to build their B2B marketplace. Founded in 2015, Yo!Kart has been featured in The Telegraph, Forbes, Inc., and other popular business publications.
  • Features – Yo!Kart B2B marketplace software has been purpose-built to offer B2B-specific features and more. The following features, integral to B2B success 一 come out of the box in the turnkey solution:
    •  Yo!Kart has an in-built RFQ module that is usually offered at an additional cost by other B2B solutions. It lets buyers place a quote for products listed on the website. The sellers can accept, reject, or present a counteroffer. The control for the RFQ module is with the sellers and the admin of the marketplace.
    • The marketplace solution offers manufacturers, distributors, and other sellers intuitive B2B features. It has functionalities like personalized vendor storefronts, automated shipping management, setting minimum order quantity for products on sale, bulk ordering with the option of adding bulk discounts, and more. 
    • The intuitive solution has been built to offer satisfying end-user experiences. The most notable features include multicart checkout, one-click re-order, multiple payment gateways pre-integrated, cart abandonment recovery solution, easy registration and social login, multilingual and multi-currency functionality, supplier search, the ability to add reviews, and much more. 
    • The marketplace owners can run successful businesses underpinned by features like PWA compliance, ease of business operations with pre-integrated business APIs, option to hide prices at admin and seller level, measuring business health with detailed reporting and analytics, multiple revenue streams including subscription fee, commission fee, PPC, and more.
  • Pricing – The prices of the B2B-specific version of the multi-vendor platform starts from $1499.
  • Customizations can be availed with the support of an Agile team. Charges for the customizations are over and above the package. With every Yo!Kart package you receive lifetime ownership with free installation and no recurring fees.
    • Software reviews and ratings – No additional hidden costs such as on platforms like WordPress, Prestashop, WooCommerce, Joomla, and others. Yo!Kart offers absolute technical support, which is very important during the initial phase of business. But, given its comprehensive nature, first-time users’ only concern is that you need to invest time to learn the system. Yo!Kart has a rating of 4.2 on Capterra.

Similar B2B eCommerce solutions by FATbit Technologies:

Yo!Rent – B2B Rental eCommerce Platform

Yo!Rent is a rental eCommerce software that helps entrepreneurs to launch their B2B marketplaces with advanced selling as well as renting functionalities. This online rental software is a fully customizable, white–label and self-hosted solution available at a one-time cost. 

Features:

  • In-built RFQ module for orders in high volume
  • Bulk volume discount, depending on the order volume
  • The software comes with features such as late return module, rental security management, order cancellation, and various other features that make it an excellent B2B rental platform

Yo!Coach – Online Course Marketplace Software

Yo!Coach Plus is a bespoke online course marketplace software that is designed for entrepreneurs to launch their course-based platform with ease. It incorporates advanced features like progress tracking, dynamic search filters, resource management, automated refund and cancellation, and so on. Blended with user-centered technology, Yo!Coach Plus is ideal for tutors and subject experts to upload and sell (pre-recorded) course-based videos. In addition, tutors can also conduct one-to-one sessions and group sessions in real time.  

Features: 

  • Facility to provide certificates to learners for their skill authentication
  • Addition of pre-recorded course-based videos for selling
  • Offers notes to keep condensed records for future revision
  • User-friendly, offers multicurrency and multilingual support 

CS-Cart

  • Introduction – Founded in 2005 in the US, CS-Cart is a reliable multi-vendor software for marketplaces. The scalable platform is suitable for both startups as well as B2B eCommerce stores. It offers a customizable storefront, advanced admin panel, and integrations with major shipping and payment services.
  • Features – CS-Cart released a new stable version 4.13.2 with minor fixes and improvements. Its top features include real-time shipping rate estimation, tax management, CRM, multi-store management, and more. With CS-Cart one has the ability to manage the newsletter and send mass notifications with ease.
  • Pricing – CS-Cart B2C package costs around $385 while CS-Cart B2B package around $2,450. Also, the CS-Cart B2B & B2C package is priced at $4,750. There’s 1-month free technical support with B2B package and 6-month free support with B2B & B2C package from CS-Cart.
  • Software Reviews and Ratings – Hassle-free accounting and the ability to create your own promotions. But any tweaks done to the marketplace are lost during upgrades switching it to default. Also, users often complain about the failed update system, bad internal policies, and poor customer support (only available during GMT+4 business hours). CS-Cart has a rating of 4.7 on Capterra.

BigCommerce Enterprise

  • Introduction – BigCommerce is a flexible, open Saas-based platform to launch your eCommerce business with ease. Founded in 2009, BigCommerce enables you to launch a B2B eCommerce store that is easy-to-customize. The modernized platform allows you to build sleek site designs with customers and price segmentation. Plus, you can easily integrate existing business tools with one-click integration.
  • Features – BigCommerce has several key features for a successful eCommerce marketplace. Its most notable features include customizable design themes, abandoned cart saver, pre-integrated payment options, professional SEO tools, and more. It is a highly valuable platform for an online marketplace setup.
  • Pricing – BigCommerce is a subscription-based platform with a starting price of $29.95/month. It’s Plus plan costs $79.95/month and the Pro plan comes at $249.95/month. Also, it offers a free trial to users. For pricing information on its enterprise plan, contact the BigCommerce team.
  • Software Reviews and Ratings– A useful platform to launch your eCommerce store. But, the most frequent complaint from users is that the support sometimes has no idea about the ongoing issue which is a bit frustrating. Also, the themes are pretty similar and there’s a limit on yearly sales forcing you to upgrade. BigCommerce has a rating of 4.3 on Capterra.

Magento

  • Introduction – Open source multi-seller eCommerce platform founded nearly 12 years ago in 2008, Magento is designed for both small-scale and large organizations in the retail industry. It allows you to edit, create, and manage eCommerce websites offering a personalized consumer experience. The platform is easy-to-customize and allows seamless third-party integrations.
  • Features – Magento offers features like custom coupon creation, SEO management, product review promotion, multiple payment and shipping options, and more. The platform is PCI-DSS compliant.
  • Pricing – While the Magento’s open-source version is free-to-download, the starting price for Magento Commerce is $1988/month. There is a free demo available.
  • Software Reviews and Ratings– Magento is among the most comprehensive products with several add-ons and options available. But there are several users who complained about how hard it is to use and customize. Also, there are continuous security issues that forced businesses to switch to another platform. Magento has a rating of 4.3 on Capterra.

PrestaShop

  • Introduction – PrestaShop is a free, open-source, downloadable eCommerce software better equipped for mid to large scale businesses. Founded in 2007, the software enables users to create a fully-functional online store at the lowest possible cost. PrestaShop is highly customizable, supports numerous integrations, and has a strong user community.
  • Features – While being a free eCommerce solution, PrestaShop offers several key features like inventory management, multi-channel marketing, loyalty programs, multilinguistic, multicurrency, and more. It even has advanced in-built SEO features for greater visibility.
  • Pricing – PrestaShop is 100% free software with no hidden fee or commission on sales. But, it isn’t the easiest software to use. Modules and add-ons come at a steep price while integrating with the likes of Quickbooks or Amazon costs a pretty penny. Initially, it may be free, but you have to pay for web hosting or even hire a developer which might make it more expensive than even self-hosted options.
  • Software Reviews and Ratings– PrestaShop engine has developed several useful extensions and the default theme is surprisingly useful. But users often complain about how difficult it is to customize the appearance. Also, the modules on which platform relies are truly expensive. PrestaShop has a 4.2 rating on Capterra.

Comparison Chart – Brief Analysis

comparison_chart - Ecommerce Platforms

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is a B2B eCommerce?

A B2B eCommerce is the sale of goods/services between businesses digitally via an online portal. There are three prominent types of B2B eCommerce: 

  • B2B2C  (Business to Business to Consumer) – Putting businesses directly in contact with the consumer.
  • Wholesale B2B – Where businesses purchase goods in bulk and at a lower price from wholesalers.
  • Manufacturer B2B – Where a manufacturer sells products to other manufacturers, for instance, when a fuel pump manufacturer sells to an automotive company.

Q2. What is a multi-vendor b2b marketplace?

A multi-vendor B2B marketplace is the one that allows multiple B2B sellers to register and sell their products/services (often in large volumes) to potential B2B buyers online. A B2B marketplace can also be termed as B2B trading platform, B2B procurement website, B2B catalog & directory, and more depending upon the nature of the business.

Q3. What are the top 5 B2B marketplace sites?

Amazon Business, Alibaba, Rakuten, IndiaMart, and Global Sources are the top five B2B eCommerce marketplaces globally. While Alibaba dominates the market with a 30% share in China followed by Global Sources; Rakuten, IndiaMart, and Amazon are the largest B2B platforms in Japan, India, and USA respectively, according to a Statista study.

Q4. How do I choose a B2B eCommerce marketplace platform?

To find the ideal B2B eCommerce marketplace platform for your business, look out for the following factors:

  • A Readymade solution with In-built features/integrations – A turnkey multi-vendor platform is one that delivers an online marketplace with all essential eCommerce features like bulk discounts, multiple payment methods, vendor subscription plans, and more shipped out of the box.
  • Competitive pricing – Pricing is an integral factor when choosing a B2B eCommerce platform. Solutions that pack all the essential features even in a base package offer full value for money to business owners.
  • Customization – A customizable platform that can be personalized to cater to your business requirements is a great asset. Since not every solution allows customization, it is imperative to choose the right eCommerce platform.
  • Scalability – The ability to handle system processing demands either through modifications to an existing module or by integrating new modules is termed as scalability. A scalable solution is vital for business growth.
  • Built-in marketing tools – From email marketing, real-time analytics to in-built SEO support, there are several marketing tools that are essential for businesses’ marketing strategies. These tools should come pre-integrated in your choice of eCommerce platform. 

Q5. Which is the best B2B eCommerce multi-vendor platform?

Yo!Kart is the best B2B eCommerce multi-vendor marketplace platform with a wide list of all essential eCommerce features, expert technical support (free for 1-year), ability to customize, highly scalable, and more. The platform offers a complete package to kick-start your B2B marketplace and streamline eCommerce operations.

Kick-start your B2B eCommerce marketplace with Yo!kart.

Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise - the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.


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