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  1. Virginia Newcome
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  4. Tuesday, 03 October 2017

In my discussions with some of my SME clients I am often asked whether they should list their products and Brands on a marketplace or have their own dedicated site. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Dear Virginia:

That is a very topical question and one that needs a considered reply.

Ecommerce is among the hottest trends in Business-to-business marketing. Inspired by their most favored Business-to-consumer ecommerce sites, buyers and procurers are demanding that their Business-to-business suppliers deliver buying experiences which are comparable to those of leading on-line retailers. To facilitate on-line expansion, providers have sprung up, offering Business-to-business firms a shared, turnkey Web presence to address their ecommerce needs. As increasingly more brands dip their toes in the ecommerce space, serious questions are arising about these cookie cutter b2b e commerce trading sites and how they compare with on-line Business-to-business sellers who build their very own custom and branded sites using an available ecommerce platform.

Based on a Mashable article, some Business-to-consumer sellers who've chosen to migrate away from such on-line store frameworks are finding it too hard to completely cut the links on the Web presence they created on it. The problem that many on-line retailers are seeing is that their products still remain listed on the old marketplace as out-of stock items, even though the retailer has stopped making its products available on it. Instead, visitors are redirected to a competing merchant who's listing its products on the old marketplace-an all too frequent occurrence. To avoid this type of problem, the B2B Marketplaces, will generally allow Brands to implement their very own branded compartment sites linked with own their ecommerce and ERP systems to retain a greater level of control over their brand, client connections, and sales approach and their digital online marketing agendas.

Though there are various ways brands can build their very own platforms, like through marketplaces, in virtually every case, Business-to-business companies achieve higher flexibility and differentiation by eventually bringing a best-of breed ecommerce platform in house. The reason some Business-to-business companies hesitate to implement their very own ecommerce platforms at the outset, is because the process can be complex and time intensive, with higher maintenance costs and last but not least high technical and market risk. The Biz-Faq incubator approach offers Business-to-business brands a choice of templates distribution, including on demand, hosted, and on virtual premise. From the outset of the process, Biz-Buy’s AGORA MARKET tries to ensure that the selection of the base distribution model is driven by business needs in support of the client’s own brand objectives. The Biz-Buy Accelerator is designed for companies to eventually wean themselves off of the Marketplace to their own dedicated sites if they so wish with the full planning and cooperation of AGORA.MARKET.

By balancing business growth and requirements with the expenses of ownership for each type of model,  it's possible to grow an extremely tailored and effective ecommerce system. Turnkey, shared ecommerce sites are definitely convenient and low cost/risk way of getting an ecommerce presence off the ground for Business-to-business sellers. The longer term differentiation potential offered by having their very own platform can be achieved by weaning off of the marketplace when the volume of business reaches a level to support greater executive and financial commitment in terms of economies of scale.

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