Electronic sales accounted for 51.4% of all U.S. manufacturing and distributor/wholesaler sales in 2019.
— 2020 U.S. B2B Ecommerce Market Report
Multi-vendor B2B marketplaces are quickly taking over the world as an efficient, convenient and fast digital ecommerce tool. They provide multiple opportunities for sellers and procurers, as well as for companies managing them; more and more of such marketplaces are opening every year, covering numerous industries, regions and horizontals.
This article covers certain advantages and restrictions that are native to multi-vendor B2B marketplaces and must be considered when deciding to either employ or start one. But first, let us recap: a multi-vendor B2B marketplace is a digital B2B ecommerce platform where multiple sellers offer their goods and/or services to multiple buyers. The 'multiple' part is important. Every deal is between a specific seller and a particular buyer, the marketplace acts as a matching platform (with possible additional services such as warehousing and logistics). This differs from single-vendor marketplaces and ecommerce sites, where the platform operator acts as a seller and accepts all corresponding responsibilities.
Experts at Virto Commerce – a headless B2B ecommerce platform, have collected major benefits and shortcomings of the multi-vendor B2B marketplaces.