While an online store and a B2B e-marketplace are both examples of e-commerce platforms, they operate very differently. When choosing how best to sell your apps, understanding the benefits of each platform is essential to making the right choice.
What’s the difference between an online store and a B2B e-marketplace?
An online store is a digital e-commerce storefront that belongs to one seller and only sells the goods of that seller. An online store essentially represents a one-to-many relationship, with one seller interacting with many customers.
A B2B e-marketplace, on the other hand, represents a many-to-many relationship, with many sellers interacting with many buyers through one app or website. A B2B e-marketplace can be private (where the orchestrator only allows particular sellers – usually accredited partners – to use the platform) or public (where any company is free to sell goods via the platform).
In the Age of the Ecosystem, partnerships are more important than ever before.
If you’re wondering whether to implement an online store vs. a B2B e-marketplace, one of the fundamental choices you need to make is whether you want to allow your partners to sell their apps (and services, if applicable) via your e-commerce platform. Your answer to this question is actually a really important one because how ecosystem partnerships are managed has the potential to make or break SaaS companies today.
Modern customers want holistic, end-to-end solutions provided by collaborative partnerships between tech companies. As a result, partner ecosystems are fast becoming indispensable engines that drive large portions of a company’s revenue targets. (Find out more about why building a partnership ecosystem has become so important.)
“A marketplace is the front end to your ecosystem,” says Jared Fuller. “And I think you’re going to see a lot of that this year where the best-in-class companies really double-down on marketplaces to drive value for their customers, so their customers can discover more value from their ecosystem using a marketplace.” Digital Commerce 360 reports that B2B e-marketplaces will account for around 30% of all worldwide online B2B sales by 2024.
A B2B e-marketplace offers more benefits and opportunities than an online store.
While an online store simply provides an e-commerce channel for selling apps, a B2B e-marketplace offers a host of additional benefits for you, your ecosystem, and your customers:
· B2B e-marketplaces encourage and facilitate partner-to-partner collaboration. By inviting your network of partners to sell apps and services via your marketplace, you provide a space for partner-to-partner collaboration and innovation to take place. Partners can use a Partner Portal to collectively solve for the customer, co-create new solutions, and package related apps and solutions together in ‘best seller’ bundles.
· Increase the stickiness of your own products by helping your partners get their apps in front of your customers. When your app integrates with the other apps and systems in your customer’s tech stack, they’re less likely to cancel.
· Give your customers easy access to the tools they need by housing a world of partner apps and services within your marketplace. Customers can explore your entire ecosystem, view partner profiles, compare app listings, and make purchases without ever leaving your marketplace.
· Give your partners an additional revenue channel by inviting them to sell their products and services via your B2B e-marketplace. Giving your partners access to a frictionless e-commerce channel where they can sell their tech under your brand umbrella is a powerful way to attract new partners to your partner program.
· B2B e-marketplaces use tailored functionality to better convert B2B prospects. B2B tech sales require a different strategy to B2C tech sales, so selling B2B apps effectively requires tailored functionality. For example, Morphed’s B2B e-marketplace infrastructure gives each customer a personalized Customer Dashboard where they can track purchased apps, billing cycles, and upcoming renewals. Partners can upload Demo Videos, chat directly with customers, and implement Milestone Payments for longer service projects.
· Easily cross-sell partner apps from within your marketplace by creating app bundles hand-in-hand with your partners or suggesting related products before checkout. Selling more than one app to a customer has been shown to boost customer success and increase LTV.
Use Morphed’s B2B e-marketplace tech to get your marketplace up and running quickly and easily.
Morphed’s white-labeled marketplace solution is easy to set up, manage, and use. With tools and features specifically tailored to selling B2B apps and services online, you’re able to set up your own private marketplace geared for frictionless selling without the need for any custom code.