There are a host of marketplace benefits available to SaaS companies who choose to embrace ecommerce-enabled, B2B-specific marketplaces. Some are fairly obvious, others a little more surprising.

One of the biggest marketplace benefits is providing B2B buyers with the same frictionless experience they enjoy when making B2C purchases.

60% of B2B tech buyers in 2021 were Millennials, and in the not-too-distant future Gen Z will take over as the main decision-makers. Remember that these modern B2B buyers are marketplace-savvy digital natives who are already very comfortable beginning – and ending – product and services searches on marketplaces. That’s why Forrester’s Jay McBain predicts that 17% of the $13 trillion in B2B spend will flow through marketplaces by next year. Getting a slice of that pie means getting your marketplace strategy ready to roll ASAP.

B2B marketplaces accelerate the sales process.

Marketplace benefits don’t stop with the end customer, however. For sellers (that’s you and your partners) marketplaces accelerate the sales process by furnishing customers with all the information they need upfront, and making purchasing easy by serving up ready-to-go, pre-bundled software or services packages. B2B-specific features and functionality like digital RFPs, milestone payments, and customer portals streamline all your processes from first touch to delivery, allowing customers and providers to collaborate on live briefs and proposals, chat within a secure portal, and collect payments incrementally based on work delivered.

Partner-customer matchmaking becomes lightning fast.

Connecting your customers with the services they need likewise becomes a piece of cake: either direct them to your marketplace where they can explore your ecosystem of accredited providers, or if you already have the perfect partner in mind, simply send your customer a link directly to the service listing they need. Helping your customers get easy access to the services and tools they need increases customer success and lifetime value. Win-win all round.

The above-mentioned marketplace benefits are pretty compelling on their own. But the less obvious benefits are nothing to scoff at. Here are two additional surprising marketplace benefits:

Marketplaces break down barriers between internal team members and partners.

We’ve written before on the insights of David Smith, particularly his thoughts on the importance of creating an environment in which employees and partners are able to have transformational experiences at work. Due to the interconnected nature of business ecosystems, Smith argues, employee and partner experience are just as important as customer experience.

“When it comes to employees, organizations have to transform digital workplace experiences for people with unified technology solutions that actually get down into the flow of how they work,” says Smith. Smith goes on to stress the importance of removing complexity and friction by using platforms and technologies that allow team members to “connect, co-create, collaborate, and build community”.

Sophisticated B2B marketplaces do just that, by breaking down barriers between your internal employees and your partners. For example, Morphed’s marketplace technology facilitates partner-to-partner collaboration via a Partner Portal. Partners can communicate directly with each other and the customer through this portal, and collaboratively work on digital RFPs, finalize project details, and co-create holistic customer solutions. In this way, a marketplace promotes collaboration, accelerates co-selling, and transforms the way ecosystem partners work with one another.

Marketplaces can help you transform your ecosystem into a community.

Having an online community of engaged partners and users can help you grow your tech company in a number of ways. For starters, not only do loyal, engaged users buy more and have a longer LTV, they also do your selling for you by recommending your brand to other community members. Communities even take the pressure off your support team as organic user-driven forums become peer-to-peer support groups. What’s more, active, engaged online communities provide useful data and insights that can be used to inform product development.

So, how does a marketplace help you transform your ecosystem into a super-engaged, passionate community? Think shared purpose, collaboration, and trust.

·  Use your marketplace to communicate – and achieve – a shared mission

Cristóbal Gracia reckons that the first step to building a community is defining your purpose, or as Simon Sinek would put it, your ‘why’. Use your marketplace to communicate your purpose, and tap into a community of people who identify with your company values and mission.

·  Facilitating collaboration connects like-minded people and organizations

When marketplace users – both providers and customers – are able to collaborate freely and effectively via your marketplace, a community of like-minded people and organizations will begin to emerge. Just as we spoke about how marketplaces break down barriers between team members and partners, so those collaborative moments build community across your ecosystem.

·  Communities thrive on platforms they trust

A trustworthy marketplace creates a safe space for partners and customers to freely browse, collaborate, engage, and transact. A marketplace that allows your customers to explore your ecosystem of accredited, trusted partners, communicate with them via secure communication portals, and pay them via safe and secure payment gateways, will attract engaged,  satisfied users and build the type of loyalty that breeds community around your brand.

Marketplace benefits

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