B2B Enterprise E-Commerce – All About Building a Marketplace

b2b ecommerce

Over five times larger than the B2C industry, the worldwide B2B eCommerce business was estimated to be worth $14.9 trillion in 2020. Not to mention search volume for keywords like “Online marketplace,” “Website for sale,” and “Website marketplace” reached 2 million per week, A 10x growth compared to the last 5 years.

Without a doubt, B2B eCommerce is expanding to new heights.

Let’s try to understand B2B E-commerce, its basis, types, applications, and why a Canada online marketplace for businesses is turning out to be the most effective sales channel.

What is B2B E-Commerce and Its Types?

Business-to-business electronic commerce, also known as B2B eCommerce, refers to the sale of products or services via online exchanges between companies. For distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers, and other types of B2B sellers, buying efficiency and effectiveness are increased since orders are executed digitally.

B2B companies have historically been sluggish in adopting e-commerce. For example, only 9% of all B2B product sales in the U.S. took place through an eCommerce website just before the pandemic, according to an eMarker analysis. But with the pandemic acting as a catalyst for change and more millennials entering the B2B market, customer expectations are rising more quickly than ever, and B2B businesses need to keep up.

Types of B2B Ecommerce


Business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) E-commerce eliminates the typical intermediary between the B2B company and the B2C, bringing the companies in direct touch with the customer. Therefore, the dealings between a wholesaler or manufacturer and conventional B2B and B2C models is the best way to explain the B2B2C model.


Companies often buy products in bulk from wholesalers or manufacturers at a much lower cost with the purpose of selling them again at retail prices. The sale of goods to other businesses is another way to define this type of B2B, known as wholesale.

Many businesses, including retail, food service, construction, and healthcare, use wholesale B2B models. Wholesale B2B transactions typically take place over the phone, over email, or via spreadsheet order forms.


Manufacturers use parts, raw materials, manual labor, and machines to make completed things on a huge scale. Then, the final products are sold to other manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors in a B2B business.

An excellent example of a manufacturer in a B2B setting is the auto industry. Individual auto components, such as an engine and fuel pump, are made by the manufacturer. The automobile firm constructs the full car from the parts and sells it to the consumer after the manufacturer sells them the parts.


There are two alternatives for what happens next after a product leaves the hands of the manufacturer: The manufacturer can sell directly to the end user if they would rather have more control over the selling portion of their business. But this still places duties like order management, packing, and marketing in their hands.

However, a producer can collaborate with a distributor to sell their goods on their behalf. In this situation, the distributor closely collaborates with the producer in an effort to increase sales and move the product down the distribution chain by raising awareness for the products they are making.

The enormous potential for distributors to sell online and experience extraordinary growth is demonstrated by online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. In fact, between 2019 and 2020, the adoption rate of e-commerce distribution increased by a weighted 26.3%. Furthermore, since Amazon has established a standard for automated, tailored experiences, wholesalers must use more sophisticated eCommerce tools to keep customers interested.

Advantages of Using a B2B Ecommerce Platform

If your B2B company still uses antiquated methods of communication like faxes, cold calls, and Excel spreadsheets, it might be time to change how you operate.

When you’re prepared to enter the world of e-commerce, choosing a B2B e-commerce platform is the first significant step. Businesses nowadays may easily benefit from the newest eCommerce capabilities to help fulfill their consumers’ expectations and update their outdated systems thanks to the hundreds of platforms already available.

Using a B2B eCommerce platform can be the wisest course of action for your company for the following reasons:

Better control over suppliers and clients.

You can handle inventory, manage orders, and manage customer data all from one location when you run an eCommerce platform. Your eCommerce platform may assist in streamlining B2B operations and enhancing the customer experience by offering solutions for automated sales processes between firms, suppliers, and distributors.

Sell more to current clients

B2B e-commerce offers an excellent opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell to current customers on a platform that is available and accessible to your audience. A tailored experience is also one of the finest ways to keep your clients interested.

In fact, to support the creation of a more individualized customer experience, 55% of B2B marketing spending in 2020 were devoted to digital initiatives.

Potential Growth

B2B eCommerce presents a potential to expand into new areas and draw in new clients, so it’s not merely a chance to market to existing customers. There are essentially no restrictions for merchants wishing to go digital because there are so many eCommerce platforms, marketplaces, and digital solutions accessible. This makes it simpler than ever for B2B enterprises to expand worldwide or enter new product markets.

No error in terms of data analytics

The ability to often monitor client behavior as they shop is one of the main benefits of having an e-commerce website. You may utilize data analytics to determine which aspects of your business are effective and which should be eliminated, enabling you to improve user experience and make better business decisions. A good example of this is BigCommerce’s Ecommerce Analytics and Insight Report.

Common B2B Ecommerce Myths

Maybe the B2B space isn’t quite up to speed with B2C in terms of eCommerce, but the numbers don’t lie — B2B is going digital.

In terms of eCommerce, B2B may not be quite as advanced as B2C, but the data doesn’t lie: B2B is going digital.

But despite the obvious shift toward B2B eCommerce, there are still a lot of myths about the sector. Let’s dispel the most prevalent myths, which range from ignorance of the sophisticated technology at our disposal to inexperience with automated best practices the idea that you’re not selling to businesses.The main reason why many brands claim they aren’t selling B2B is that they are unaware that they already are.

Vending B2B can be a variety of things:

  • Wholesale (Bulk orders).
  • Ties with major or chain businesses for distribution.
  • Selling to companies (schools, businesses, nonprofits).
  • A supplier who sells to retailers.

To sell B2B, you don’t have to be a supplier. B2B and B2C brands are prevalent online.

Selling B2B does not require a separate e-commerce website marketplace. Instead, you may leverage customer groups to enable unique browsing experiences for your B2B segment while also optimizing site engagement and SEO on a single URL.


There is no denying that B2B e-commerce is advancing, with 32% of American B2B professionals stating that it is the most successful sales channel, as opposed to 23% who support in-person methods. And given how swiftly B2C companies are already moving across the digital arena, it’s probable that the B2B sector won’t be far behind.

You’ll be happy to learn that there is no shortage of eCommerce platforms and capabilities available for the B2B community, whether you’re trying to start a B2B business or want to move your present firm online. The advantages of eCommerce far outweigh the initial investment, even though moving digital may be beyond your company’s comfort zone. These advantages include access to new markets, higher conversion rates, enhanced customer happiness, centralized data, and much more.

Therefore, if your B2B company is still using antiquated procedures, it may be time to get rid of old ideas and start embracing the future of B2B e-commerce.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.