How to make your B2B marketplace a must-have

In the early summer MarketFinance hosted an event for leaders of B2B marketplaces to talk about the opportunities and challenges in the category. The expert panel consisted of Sam Freedman from Curate Beauty, Jina Kwon from Ankorstore and Erez Mathan from Rooser.

So far, we’ve explored their insights around scaling, supply chain control and competition. In this blog we look at Erez’s perspective on the ways a marketplace can grow and their place in customers' businesses.

How to thrive

This question came from the audience during our Q&A:

“For some of the more specialised marketplaces especially, there's two ways to grow – get more buyers in total or increase how much they're spending. How do you see the growth over the next few years especially with costs of acquisition being much more of a focus?”

Erez, the COO and Co-founder of Rooser, a seafood marketplace, had plenty of insight to share:

“I love that question because we got it quite a lot during the funding rounds. At the end of the day marketplaces, where they fail quite a lot, is that they don't manage to be the point that you do your business in. So they will be the niche thing, an add-on.

I think for us the key thing is – how do you figure out how to become core to their business. That's the biggest thing before you start.

Chucking buyers onto the top of the funnel, which again, from Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) perspective the numbers might look the same, but in reality if you are not core to someone's business then there's a question – is this a viable marketplace or is this something that you do in your spare time.”

Erez brings up an excellent point – think of the long-term future of your marketplace. In the short-term, different acquisition strategies might make an impact. Maybe you’re offering discounts for new customers or are subsiding the delivery on the first couple of orders? These are great strategies to attract new buyers and sellers. But what will keep them coming back time and time again? You must become core to their business.

Recently, we shared lessons from our roundtable event for leaders of B2B marketplaces and emphasised the importance of gaining loyalty from the customers. Check out that blog for some actionable tips.

The big picture takeaway? Relationships!

As Erez went on to say: “I think for us it's mainly understanding how the offline world operates and then translating quite a lot of these mechanisms into how you build the platform. And the biggest thing in an industry like ours – there's a relationship element there that is being done today in the offline world, in the face-to-face environment. And the question is – how do you get that feeling of relationship into an online world?”.

Once again we come to the importance of relationships in the B2B world. We’ve detailed the importance of community – now it’s time to leverage it for growth! Use Erez’s advice – reflect on your industry to learn how and why it’s worked so far. Then you can develop ways to replicate that offline environment, online.

Hear it from Erez

Watch the full clip below to get even more insight:

If you’d like to be a part of future events for B2B marketplace leaders, join our WhatsApp group!