B2B marketplaces are no longer a “nice to have” but for many B2B buyers and sellers a “must have.”
Increasingly, there are more B2B marketplaces springing up to serve buyers and sellers in diverse business markets, according to data analysis in the newly published 2023 B2B Marketplace 500 from Digital Commerce 360.
What we learned from the B2B Marketplace 500
For example, for LeafLink, a B2B marketplace of cannabis suppliers and retailers, the color of money is green. Recently, LeafLink, a wholesale cannabis platform, announced it had secured $100 million in financing led by CPMG, L2 Ventures and Nosara Capital, alongside participation from existing investors. LeafLink claims to serve 50% of the U.S. wholesale cannabis industry across 30 markets.
Other B2B marketplaces continue to expand their range of features and functions. They look to gain long-term market share and build a recurring roster of repeat buyers and sellers.
The B2B marketplace movement is hitting critical mass. About 16 years ago, there were about 75 B2B marketplaces serving a variety of mostly established industries such as automotive, health care and aviation, among a few others.
But today the number of vertical markets or industry marketplace has grown 6.7-fold in the last 16 years to at least 500, based on a count forthcoming in Digital Commerce 360’s 2023 edition of the B2B Marketplace 500 report.
Within two years, the number of U.S. B2B marketplaces will exceed 750, based on a Digital Commerce 360 projection. B2B marketplaces comprise the fastest growing sales channel in B2B digital commerce, according to data analysis in the newly published 2023 B2B Marketplace 500 report from Digital Commerce 360.
One indicator is the growth and diversity of the number of industry marketplace platforms.
For example, Digital Commerce 360 counts more than 113 marketplaces for business, industrial, and scientific products. We count 49 for motor vehicles, heavy equipment, and marine vessel products. There are 46 each for the business software/service and consumer products markets. Diversity is a hallmark of the B2B marketplace industry.
As the B2B marketplace market continues to expand, several key trends will continue to guide fast evolution and market growth.
Key B2B marketplace takeaways:
- The list of 500 vertical marketplaces will continue to grow.
- Existing marketplace operators will continue to add features and functions at a rapid clip to convert first-time buyers and sellers into loyal and repeat customers.
- The commercial marketplaces dominated by Amazon Business will drive growth across the broader B2B marketplace movement.
- Public and private investors are getting more bottom-line focused on B2B marketplace deals.
- First-time marketplace builders are incurring higher costs to build and launch their platforms.
- They are taking longer to generate a return on investment.
- B2B marketplaces will remain the fastest growing B2B sales channel.
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