Complete guide to building a B2B2C marketplace

By |Updated Date : Sep 28, 2023 | 59 views | Sep 28, 2023
  • Complete guide to building a B2B2C marketplace

With the spiraling success of ecommerce, new business opportunities have been discovered.  

Wondering which ones?

Well, the traditional B2B and B2C models are combined to create new ways to deliver products to the end customers. 

And believe it or not, the hybrid B2B2C ecommerce business model is thriving!

Impacting nearly every industry, the lines between B2B and B2C are blurring, giving birth to the idea of a B2B2C marketplace.

So, it’s time to relook at your marketing plans from a fresh perspective.

Let's start by first digging into the concept of the B2B2C enterprise marketplace

Benefits of taking up the B2B2C ecommerce route 

Taking up the business-to-business-to-consumer e-commerce route, brands can grow their businesses and get their cash counter ringing. Wondering how? Well, first, by combining the B2B and B2C ecommerce business models, they can leverage the benefits of both business models combined as one. Let us look at a few reasons that make the B2B2C marketplace a lucrative business model:

Benefits to the enterprise brand:

  • Helps produce a rich product catalogue from various business partners
  • A zero-inventory model where the business partners bring in and manage their own inventory sets
  • It is easy to reach new audience segments by simply onboarding new business partners and selling to their audience base
  • Get access to rich customer behaviour data that helps in making new growth plans

Benefits to the business partners:

  • Access to a cutting-edge ecommerce platform with multiple touchpoints like apps, online stores etc
  • Do business with the readymade traffic of the enterprise brand
  • Get support for various services like logistics, marketing, customer services etc
  • Leverage strategic data from the B2B2C enterprise marketplace to boost profits 

The business model enriches a brand’s value proposition and allows two businesses to blend together and bring their own expertise to the table. The customers therefore enjoy a superior experience as they can leverage the benefits and services of two businesses combined as one. 

Challenges of building a B2B2C marketplace

The versatile business model has no doubt solidified its place in the ecommerce industry. While it is the winning formula to scale your business, it is not an easy mountain to climb. To build a B2B2C marketplace to grow your business, you need to overcome the many challenges it poses. Let us look at a few such challenges faced by enterprise brands: 

  • The need to find an enterprise ecommerce solution, that is scalable, flexible, and capable of handling the unique requirements of the B2B and B2C models combined as one. 
  • Run the business efficiently and smoothly manage multiple partners, their product catalogues, high volume business orders, multiple partners, customers, payments, etc. 
  • Ability to make quick changes to the enterprise marketplace as and when required and alter the backend and frontend to create tailor-made solutions.
  • Being able to cater to the personalized needs of a large audience base with different buyer personas altogether.
  • To seamlessly integrate with the right tools and software to do business and manage multi-level business operations.  
  • A scalable ecommerce platform that helps to grow the business on multiple fronts to new business verticals to any number of users, products, pages, etc.  

Before hopping on the B2B2C ecommerce bandwagon, it is important to first make strategic decisions and look for a robust ecommerce platform that offers a feature-rich solution. The ecommerce solution should not only help build, run, and manage your B2B2C business but also to overcome the line of challenges the business model poses. 

How to build a B2B2C marketplace 

To start with your own B2B2C enterprise marketplace, you not only need business acumen but also the right solution provider that comes with a rich set of tools. Here we will explore the step-by-step process to build a business-to-business-to-consumer marketplace:  

Choose a cutting-edge solution provider 

The first stepstone towards building your B2B2C marketplace is to find the technology solution that is adept at handling the complex requirements of the combination of B2B and B2C business models. The diverse needs of the business model require a solution that is scalable and flexible to handle enterprise-level business operations. A cutting-edge solution provider can look after the order flows and provide seamless synchronization between orders, inventories, etc.

StoreHippo ecommerce solution is built on future-ready MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native Headless) architecture that provides inherent flexibility and scalability to build tailor-made solutions for the unique business needs of the B2B2C ecommerce marketplace. You can tweak the platform inside out or create new entities without having to go through or disturb the entire ecosystem. With the built-in support for both B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses, you can seamlessly run the business. 

Design your marketplace

The design that you create for your business makes a long-lasting impact on the customers. Yes, 94% of first impressions are because of your site's web design, and we bet you wouldn’t want to go wrong there. As customers look for a seamless shopping experience, your website’s design plays an important role. 

StoreHippo helps you jazz up your B2B2C marketplace with its in-built theme designer. You can create professional-looking designs with a focus on both B2B and B2C customers by choosing from a variety of designs from StoreHippo’s rich design theme library. It offers an easy-to-use drag and drop interface that helps you play around with multiple designs without the need for coding. Even a novice user can change the designs to suit the marketing needs of his business. 

Onboard your partner businesses

Once you have built your marketplace and designed it well, you need business partners or retailers to leverage their distribution channels and reach a wider audience base. The crux of the B2B2C ecommerce business set-up is to partner with new retailer or distributor networks and scale up to new audience segments by introducing new lines of products and services. 

StoreHippo offers a plug-and-play multi-vendor solution that helps you manage different sellers, distributors, and suppliers on your enterprise marketplace. StoreHippo offers separate vendor dashboards for each business partner with a simple registration process. The end-to-end onboarding and partner/vendor management solutions from StoreHippo create user-friendly dashboards to help your business partners manage their day-to-day business operations seamlessly. 

Give seller partners tools to manage their business

Managing and running a B2B2C marketplace can be an arduous task. And an inefficiency in the management of products, orders, shipping, for multiple partners etc can be risky for the business. You therefore need the right set of features and tools to help your partners manage the business and keep the order flow coming in. You must be able to make quick changes in the platform as and when required.

StoreHippo comes with native, battle-tested ecommerce solutions. It comes with 300+ built-in features that help take care of diverse business operations and manage high-volume businesses like yours. 

StoreHippo offers a plug-and-play B2B2C solution along with a decoupled platform to cater to the unique brand requirements of your B2B2C ecommerce business. With the native multi store ecommerce solutions from StoreHippo, you can also set-up multiple B2B and B2C stores and manage them from a common central admin. 

The end-to-end vendor management solution from StoreHippo creates a separate vendor dashboard for each seller using which partner businesses can manage their business seamlessly. The dashboard gives complete solutions to manage products, inventory, orders and shipping.. 

Go omnichannel 

Customers today expect you to be present on multiple platforms and offer them a consistent buyer journey, irrespective of a B2B or a B2B2C enterprise brand. With the changing buyer demands and buying habits, customers expect their brands to engage with them on multiple platforms. You can seamlessly create a smooth buyer journey and go omnichannel by selling online, offline, and via mobile channels for both B2B and B2C channels. 

StoreHippo enterprise marketplace solutions are designed on headless architecture that makes it seamless for you to add multiple touchpoints using the same backend logic and APIs. You can seamlessly boost customer engagement and sales rate of your B2B2C business with the easy-to-use omnichannel ecommerce solutions from StoreHippo. You can target customers on multiple channels and establish multiple omnichannel marketing strategies to boost your business.  

Leverage m commerce 

Did you know that more than 80% of the orders come from mobile devices? Yes, when you create your own marketplace, do not forget to reach your B2B2C ecommerce customers on their smartphones. With the shifts in the ecommerce industry, mobiles have become a primary sales channel for every business. The brands that are not on mobile phones are particularly missing a large chunk of their audience. And we bet you would want to miss out on your potential customers!  

If you are wondering how to create mobile shopping apps for your business, fret not. With StoreHippo, it is seamless to build mobile channels to boost engagement and conversions. StoreHippo is built on a mobile-first principle that offers advanced solutions to build your B2B and B2C mobile apps right from your admin dashboard without the need for coding. You can also turn your  B2B2C ecommerce stores into PWA stores that look, feel, and work like mobile apps even on entry-level devices and with poor internet connectivity. You can also manage your business on the go with StoreHippo’s in-built B2B2C apps like the admin app, vendors app, delivery boy apps, etc. 

Integrate with the preferred software

To be able to run and manage your high-volume business seamlessly, you will need the right kind of solutions and tools. A complex business model like yours means multi-level operations, quick changes to the platform, etc. And with the lack of additional software and tools, it might seem daunting to manage B2B2C ecommerce business operations. You therefore need to be equipped to handle the unique set of integrations as required by the business.

StoreHippo offers 150+ pre-integrated solutions and can seamlessly integrate with the preferred software and service providers. StoreHippo makes it easy to integrate with the best-in-breed solutions and software that helps with the efficient operations of the business. You can easily integrate with the software of your choice like ERP, CRM, accounting, marketing, logistics, or payments solutions using StoreHippo APIs.

Offer secure and seamless checkouts 

When building your marketplace for B2B2C ecommerce business, offering a secure and seamless checkout process becomes a must. Wondering how to offer a personalized checkout process to a vast audience base with different buyer personas? You can integrate various payment methods and personalize the checkout processes offering a frictionless payment process to your customers.      

StoreHippo ecommerce solutions come with 60+ pre-integrated domestic and international payment gateways. You can seamlessly integrate with the payment gateways of your choice like digital wallets, UPI, etc. to offer your customers a seamless checkout experience. StoreHippo also offers full support for COD and offline payment modes to target more customers. You can offer different payment gateways on your enterprise marketplace based on the location of your customers to attract more customers. StoreHippo also supports payment in multiple currencies to help you target global customers.         

Market your B2B2C platform

Now once you have built your B2B2C platform, you also need to take it to your customers. However, the marketing approach for B2B and B2C customers needs to be different. While B2B buyers are more inclined towards personalized deals and offers, B2C buyers can be attracted by real-time notifications and offers. In a B2B2C set-up, the business partners can seamlessly implement marketing strategies based on the customer insights provided by the parent company. All they need is the right set of tools needed to implement these strategies. The parent brand also has to cater to both audience segments and create policies and strategies that keep both audience segments happy. 

The StoreHippo B2B2C ecommerce platform is an SEO-friendly platform that offers a host of in-built marketing solutions to help you make a kill in the industry. You can strategize your marketing efforts by building personalized marketing pages on the fly. With the powerful blog engine, an inbuilt discount engine, reporting and analytical tools, etc., you can easily promote your marketplace and drive sales. You can also easily integrate with other popular marketing tools, analytical tools, etc. of your choice to take your business up a notch.   

Streamline quick deliveries

Every business model requires quick deliveries, and so does the B2B2C ecommerce business model. The B2C buyers are impatient and mostly accustomed to quick hyperlocal deliveries, expecting their parcel to reach them in 2-3 business days. Streamlining quick deliveries for your B2C customers on the B2B2C platform can be challenging, in the absence of an ecommerce platform that also supports automated shipping solutions and options to have quick deliveries. 

StoreHippo comes with 30+ pre-integrated shipping partners to help you offer a seamless delivery experience to your customers. You can also optimize shipping charges by integrating with multiple shipping partners on your B2B2C ecommerce platform from StoreHippo or by integrating a local delivery partner of your choice. StoreHippo also comes with an inbuilt delivery boy solution that helps B2B2C brands and their partner B2C brands manage their own fleet of delivery boys to ensure fast and streamlined deliveries.

Conclusion 

Building an enterprise marketplace for your B2B2C business can be an arduous task if not supported by a 360-degree ecommerce solution. To be able to carve a niche in the B2B2C ecommerce market and establish your brand as a market leader, you need to stay on top of the ever-changing customer buying habits. With the flexibility of a B2B2C model, you can reach the end customers and take your business places by onboarding other businesses from your desired industry verticals. 

StoreHippo is a robust, future-ready ecommerce platform that helps you build a B2B2C platform seamlessly. StoreHippo is a fully integrated platform that comes with 300+ API points helping brands integrate with various third-party software of your choice like CRM, accounting, marketing etc. With StoreHippo’s inbuilt solutions for both B2B and B2C models, you can easily create your own B2B2C marketplace.  

All set to explore the B2B2C ecommerce world with StoreHippo? Start your 14-day free trial to learn more about the StoreHippo solutions. 

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