Jay McBain’s top prediction for 2022 is that the ecosystem orchestrator will become the new trusted advisor. This means that technology vendors who work out how to successfully orchestrate thriving digital ecosystems will hold more power than ever before to influence B2B customers and buyers.
That may sound pretty good, but the question remains: How should a digital ecosystem orchestrator grow and manage a thriving ecosystem of partners and customers?
A good digital ecosystem orchestrator leverages network effects to stimulate growth.
BCG advises that the most powerful way for a digital ecosystem orchestrator to quickly and exponentially grow an ecosystem is to ‘leverage network effects’. In the simplest terms, here’s how network effects stimulate ecosystem growth: the more end-users and customers your collective ecosystem has, the more partners and organizations the ecosystem will attract. The more partners your ecosystem gains, the more integrated products and services your ecosystem boasts. This in turn attracts even more end users. And so the snowball effect goes on, and your digital ecosystem enjoys exponential growth as a result.
A good digital ecosystem orchestrator stimulates network effects by strategically partnering with organizations that increase the stickiness of your own product. This is done by looking for gaps in your product and filling those by integrating with your partners’ complementary products, or co-creating brand new solutions with relevant partners. Building strategic integrations between your product and your customers’ other favorite products and systems allows you to simultaneously expand your user base and grow your ecosystem partnerships.
According to the same BCG article, “Studies of the competitive dynamics of platform-based ecosystems suggest that it is extremely difficult for challengers to topple established, dominant ecosystems that have strong network effects in place.” This is because strong connections between ecosystem partners means that it’s difficult for a user to stop using a particular product when it works so beautifully with all the other products and systems they rely on every day.
Use a private marketplace platform to simplify the B2B purchasing process for end customers.
McKinsey reports that 70-80% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote human interactions and digital self-service over more traditional in-person purchasing interactions. It’s no surprise then, that marketplaces have become one of the most important tools in a digital ecosystem orchestrator’s arsenal. Modern B2B buyers have become increasingly comfortable purchasing tech products and B2B services from marketplaces. The catch, of course, is that your B2B marketplace needs to be specifically designed to cater to the complex B2B buying process.
Here’s how to spot the best B2B marketplace platforms:
· Private marketplaces make your customers’ lives easier by taking the work out of finding the right service provider. That’s because your private marketplace only features accredited, vetted providers and partners from within your ecosystem.
· Video and live chat capabilities are essential, as these have become the predominant channels for closing deals with B2B customers (McKinsey). Ensure that your marketplace has a 24/7 Customer Portal where providers and customers can interact securely.
· Self-service should be easy and intuitive, allowing your customers to browse and compare ready-to-go, pre-packaged service and solution bundles from accredited partners.
· Safety and security are absolutely essential to marketplace success. Secure payments, a private, secure Customer Portal where sensitive project information can be discussed, and a cohort of trusted providers and partners are all must-haves.
· Frictionless integrations with your customers’ and partners’ favorite systems will distinguish your marketplace platform from your competitors’. For example, functionality that shares deal data between your marketplace and your partners’ CRM system increases your platform’s stickiness.
Monetize your partner directory or marketplace platform without diluting your core business focus.
A thriving ecosystem of partners, solutions, services, and customers can – and should – function as a revenue stream for the digital ecosystem orchestrator. There are a number of different ways to monetize your B2B marketplace, but one thing to keep in mind is that every resource directed towards building and maintaining your monetized directory is a resource diverted away from your core business. For this reason, it makes sense to use a ready-built platform specifically designed for selling B2B services online.Using ready-built, white-labeled e-commerce marketplace infrastructure that’s specifically geared towards selling services eradicates the complexities associated with developing and managing your own monetized marketplace platform. Morphed’s eCommerce-enabled marketplace platform allows you to easily connect your customers with your accredited partners. Our built-in Customer Portal facilitates seamless communication throughout the project lifecycle and allows you to collect payments online via Stripe or wire transfer.