Oro had the pleasure of joining one of our top partners, Americaneagle.com, in a two-part episode of their highly praised podcast, Lessons for Tomorrow. In this episode of Lessons for Tomorrow, host Tim Ahlenius, interviews Derek Cwik, Solution Engineer at Americaneagle.com, and Yoav Kutner, CEO & Co-Founder of Oro Inc., on the booming emergence and the evolution of B2B marketplaces. This episode covers the advantages of marketplaces, various marketplace models, and the proper technological applications for a successful marketplace.
Host, Lessons for Tomorrow
Director of Integrations, Americaneagle.com
CEO and Co-Founder, Oro, Inc
Below is an excerpt from the episode:
Tim: In general, tell our listeners what is an eCommerce marketplace and what are the advantages a marketplace gives over just a regular eCommerce site.
Yoav: Sure. A marketplace is a gathering of sellers. If we are taking this in today’s world, this would be an eBay or an Amazon. This has typically been done directly to consumers but nowadays we see an uptake in selling directly to businesses. In a nutshell, it’s bringing multiple buyers to multiple sellers and connecting them in one place.
Derek: And I’ll jump in and say that on the sales side, for new business opportunities we see a lot of business requests for small distributors who need to compete with the big guys. They want to band together with businesses in similar industries in a marketplace setting to unite and compete.
Tim: There are the models of the multi-vendor of B2B and B2C, but there are also just B2B pure marketplaces or B2C pure marketplaces. Where are you guys seeing just where the models have been and where the models are involving into? And where do you think they’re going to be in the future?
Yoav: Sure, I’ll take the first crack at it. What we initially saw from B2B was actually a manufacturer brand that wanted to enable or augment what they were offering to their customers through this marketplace where they would allow either service providers that actually gives services on what they are selling to their customers or software that works on their products, or any other items that are complementary to what they are offering that this manufacturer is showing to their customers. And that was the traditional thing we first started seeing in B2B and this is a few years back already.
I do think it’s evolving. I do think we are seeing a lot more implementations that are different than this model where it’s non-competing. We are seeing B2B marketplaces now that are offering competing sellers to sell on the same platform, which was more of an Alibaba way that they were presenting it. But it’s definitely more of an emerging trend in the US market.
We are now seeing more and more companies that are trying to create a service in the US side. They might have regional and international sellers and they are enabling them to be connected to potential buyers. One of the reasons we are seeing this is because everything is moving online- even before covid. It was hard for B2B sellers to compete in the digital area to go online. And these marketplaces are now being enablers to help these companies get online and start competing in this digital era.
Tim: For a long time agencies like us didn’t have a tool to create a marketplace so we had to custom build or repurpose a B2C or a B2B solution into a marketplace solution. Which maybe for someone who is small, it’s a viable path but for many it’s not a long-term solution. And this is all the components. It’s not just the purchasing process through the application, but it’s the management in the vendor application as well, like inventory, order control, and payments. You need an application that is dedicated to those operations.
Derek: I think you brought up a great point there that I want to unpack a little bit more. Historically, B2C has been ahead of the curve of B2B in implementation of the technology or the ability to quickly adopt newer technology. B2B has been a bit more of- systems are in place, they are working, why replace them? Last year we saw a lot more businesses willing to shift to a faster pace.
With that thought, you talked about how the B2C model of commerce was brought to these models of marketplaces for B2B and that evolution that happened was more stemmed from the opposite direction. With some of the newer approaches, we feel the more B2B focus now. The focus has been on what the marketplace solution needs to be and not trying to adapt an existing system into trying to become that.
Yoav: That’s a great point. I think as a platform provider, what we are responsible for is building the building blocks. Giving you all the features that you will need in order to implement your business model on top of the marketplace. And that’s what we’re learning now. All these marketplaces are very different. And we need to learn about the service that they are providing and the business model around that. Having a platform that has all the core features and allowing you to implement your core business mode on top of it, is our role at Oro.
Find out how B2B marketplaces are changing the way business is done and working to create efficiencies through time, pricing, workflow, and enablement.
To listen to the first part, click here, and for the second part here.