Business-to-business marketplaces are on the rise in almost every business sector. As the shift to digital sales requires a new payment strategy and innovative technology, corporate treasurers must take the initiative and put themselves in the driving seat to capitalise on this trend.
While shopping online has been popular among consumers for several years, digital sales are still in their infancy in the business-to-business (B2B) space. This will change dramatically over the next few years, however. Research and Markets, an aptly named market research institute, predicts that by 2030, the global e-commerce market will reach $66.9tr. – with the B2B sector accounting for more than three-quarters of the digital sales market equalling $51.2tr..
Companies are not only extending their sales channels, they are also building digital ecosystems around their original product offering. Automobile companies expand their offering horizontally with mobility solutions such as car sharing; machine builders are ramping up their software development and aftersales business by leveraging data on Internet of Things (IoT) platforms; and in the healthcare sector, manufacturers of diagnostic equipment create vertical marketplaces to monetise new goods and services at scale through a convenient integration of smaller medical suppliers.
While buyers on these platforms benefit from greater choice, faster delivery and cost reduction, sellers gain access to a larger number of clients at a lower risk. Given these advantages, global sales conducted via B2B marketplaces are expected to quadruple from $1 tr. in 2020 to $4 tr. in 2025.