Top 6 B2B marketplace business models: A Complete Guide

By |Updated Date : Mar 21, 2024 | 2 Comments | 8169 views | Mar 22, 2023
  • Top 6 B2B marketplace business models: A Complete Guide

The  B2B marketplace  business model has emerged as a winner for enterprises, sellers and customers in the post-pandemic rapidly evolving business landscape. 

Wondering how?

With 80% of the B2B sales expected to be done online by 2025, and B2B marketplace sales set to register a 71% growth from 2019 to 2027, it’s clear customers prefer buying online more than ever before

Ecommerce sales are rapidly becoming the primary sales channel for B2B brands of every scale and size.

What does this mean for your enterprise?

This is the time to plan and strategize your  business-to-business growth afresh. 

Yes, you got it,  now is just the right time to build your own B2B online marketplace.

Why you should build your B2B online Marketplace in 2024

The ecommerce route adopted by B2B companies during the pandemic not only helped businesses survive but also helped them thrive eventually.  Customers lapped up the convenience of buying online and drove digital adoption at a crazy fast pace.

Wonder what are the latest  B2B ecommerce trends.

Here we go:

  • $4 trillion will be the revenue of global B2B online marketplaces by 2025
  • 94% of B2B buyers source products/services on B2B marketplaces
  • 32% is the forecasted CAGR for B2B ecommerce marketplaces from 2020-2025
  • 5.3X growth in sales reported by global B2B wholesale marketplace sites between 2020-2022
  • 7.2X faster growth achieved by B2B marketplaces than overall B2B ecommerce
  • 4X growth in the number of B2B marketplaces between 2019-2022
  • $55 billion will be the GMV on Indian B2B wholesale marketplaces by 2027

Source: Statista, McKinsey & Company, DHL Express, Forbes, Be STF

B2B ecommerce is an unstoppable force that is going to drive massive growth for enterprise businesses. Building your own B2B marketplace and modernizing your business is a decision to that is bound to solidify your brand’s market presence. And to do so, you to decide on your marketplace model and choose the enterprise ecommerce solutions that come with tools and features to align your brand  with changing market dynamics. 

Let us make your journey simpler by helping you understand the concepts of B2B wholesale marketplace, its structure, types and how to identify the best marketplace builder for your B2B company.

What is a B2B marketplace

A B2B marketplace is a digital platform that brings together the B2B buyers and sellers on a common platform. A B2B online marketplace helps businesses connect with the buyers and other businesses to conduct selling and buying. The main characteristic of the business-to-business marketplace is bulk transactions of large quantities of goods. 

Reshaping the traditional wholesale and enterprise business model, the B2B multi-seller business model is here to stay and make doing business an organized and modernized concept for all parties involved. To leverage the host of benefits that a B2B marketplace business model offers, businesses need to be choosing the enterprise ecommerce solutions that aids in getting the most out of this set up. 

B2B marketplaces : Use Cases, Business Models and Types

It is the world of enterprise B2B brands! 

With the pandemic push and growing digital ecommerce adoption, the wholesale segment realized the potential of online marketplaces well enough to take the online route. The enterprise brands that are looking for better visibility and growth in the ecommerce sector need to start right now.

However, before you start digging up for the best ecommerce solutions to build your own B2B marketplace, you need to analyze your business needs and decide on your business model. There are various types of marketplace models you can implement for the unique requirements of your enterprise business.

Let us look at the types of B2B marketplaces that can be broadly categorized on the basis of two factors: products and services, and based on their business models. 

Types of B2B Marketplaces 

Here are the various types of B2B marketplaces: 

1. Based on products and services

Depending on the products or services sold on the platform, the B2B marketplaces can be categorized into two different categories: 

Vertical or Niche B2B Marketplace

The marketplace that deals with products or services from one particular industry niche is a vertical business-to-business marketplace. The buyers and sellers on this marketplace model deal with products/services from a single industry segment. 

Say for example there’s a car manufacturing company that deals with steel and other car parts. In a vertical or niche B2B business model, the manufacturer can set up a wholesale marketplace to sell its products only to car assembling companies in bulk and not the end users. 

Horizontal B2B Multi Vendor Marketplace

A horizontal B2B online marketplace unlike the niche or vertical marketplace has vendors from diverse industries. They sell products and services from a variety of industries that can range from electronics to fashion, from kids wear to groceries etc.

Say, for example, a large B2B marketplace website like Amazon and Alibaba that sells products from varying industries and various categories to small and big retailers for offline or online re-selling.

2. Based on business model

Based on business models, the business-to-business marketplaces can be categorized further into four different categories as mentioned below:

Product-based B2B Multi Vendor Marketplace

The products-based business-to-business multi vendor marketplaces deal in wholesale or bulk product orders from another business. The business flow here is from wholesaler/manufacturer to retailers or small vendors.

Say for example, a healthcare wholesale B2B marketplace with vendors selling their products like surgical kits, medicine supplies etc to other pharmaceutical retailers. 

B2B Service Marketplace

B2B service marketplace is a business setup where a business provides a variety of services to other businesses. These services may include logistics, catering, banking, consumer services and other diverse services. 

Say a logistic service aggregator that offers fast shipping services to large businesses as well as small vendors. This makes Delhivery a business-to-business service marketplace. 

B2B Hybrid Marketplace

As the name suggests, a hybrid B2B online marketplace is a platform that looks after both B2B and B2C enterprise businesses. A hybrid business model can involve manufacturing, wholesale selling or selling services among many other businesses. 

Say for example Nykaa fashion marketplace sells products from different brands while also manufactures its own product lines (cosmetics, lingerie, clothes). It sells its products through multiple offline stores as well as through different online stores for different product categories. Nykaa also sells to other businesses and make-up artists via its B2B marketplace setup. 

Hyperlocal B2B2C Marketplace

A hyperlocal B2B2C marketplace set up has various local dealers and distributors of a brand on its own catering to the end users in a hyperlocal delivery model

For example, Big Basket has multiple local grocery and daily household product vendors on its marketplace serving customers through hyperlocal enterprise marketplace solutions. 

With a B2B multi vendor marketplace, businesses can create new growth opportunities for their enterprise brand. However, to create a scalable, flexible and customizable solution, you need powerful enterprise ecommerce solutions. 

Before you go into planning your enterprise marketplace, you need to consider the business model from those mentioned ahead or combine one or more business models to create your own hybrid business solutions. Also, while choosing your B2B marketplace solution, you need to look for a solution provider that helps you scale to new business models seamlessly. 

What makes StoreHippo the best solution to build B2B marketplaces 

StoreHippo comes with an advanced B2B marketplace builder that can handle various technical challenges of building a marketplace website. Enterprise businesses need extensive flexibility to build tailor-made solutions for their unique requirements. StoreHippo, built on MACH architecture is a fully integrated and managed platform that is adept at handling the scalability aspect of businesses from various industries. Brands can seamlessly create highly personalized B2B solutions for building wholesale marketplaces and add multiple customer touchpoints using the same backend logic and APIs with the decoupled headless architecture

The API based architecture helps businesses seamlessly integrate with the best-in-class software and solutions. The PCI-DSS compliant platform also offers businesses a gamut of security features like authentication, authorisation and audit logs to ensure multi-level security. The enterprise ecommerce solution ensures a frictionless payment process with 60+ secure, domestic and international PCI-compliant payment gateways.

StoreHippo comes with a host of inbuilt B2B features and supports various business models like B2C, D2C, B2B2C, hybrid etc. With go global features like multilingual support, multi-currency payment solutions and geo-location-based multiple storefronts to help businesses expand to global markets. 

With the plug-and-play solutions from StoreHippo, enterprise brands do not need to integrate with additional plugins or look for paid extensions. StoreHippo comes with 120+ integrations that help B2B marketplaces carve their own niche by seamlessly integrating with their vendors’ or their business’ unique software and service providers. 

StoreHippo brings with it a host of inbuilt marketing tools like a powerful discount engine, an SEO-ready platform, a blog engine etc. StoreHippo also enables you to seamlessly integrate with marketing and analytics software (Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel etc.) of your choice on the marketplace platform. You can quickly create your custom enterprise marketplace platform for your business-to-business brand.  


There’s no doubt that building your own B2B online marketplace has a host of benefits in store for your enterprise brand. This small decision helps you stay ahead of your competitors and can take your brand places. However, shifting from offline to online can be quite a task for all the parties involved like vendors or distributors. 

With a comprehensive enterprise ecommerce solution like StoreHippo, you can seamlessly travel from offline to online and future-proof your business. StoreHippo comes with 300+ enterprise-grade features, flexibility and scalability to build tailor-made solutions for B2B brands. 

Unleash growth in 2024 and beyond with StoreHippo B2B marketplace solutions. Start your 14-day free trial now. 


1. What is better, for building a B2B online marketplace, custom software development from scratch or using a multi vendor marketplace platform?

Well, it depends on your budget whether you want to go with a custom, built-from-scratch marketplace for your B2B business or use a modern customizable turnkey marketplace builder. While building from scratch gives you control over your software development it is a time-consuming resource-intensive proposition.

Alternatively, advanced marketplace software gives you battle-tested solutions and speeds up the go-to-market time. Also, it is a cost-effective solution as you do not have to invest heavily to get started. Enterprise marketplace solutions like StoreHippo can be leveraged to build future-ready B2B online marketplaces that accommodate business growth and give you the creative control to build tailored solutions for your business.

2. What are the key factors to consider when choosing a B2B marketplace platform for my business?

Choosing the right B2B marketplace platform is crucial to positioning your business for success. Before going with any of the available marketplace website builders ensure it offers scalability, customization capabilities, integration options with existing systems, security features, multi-tier pricing plans, post-sales customer support, and has expertise in building B2B marketplaces for different business models (distributor-based marketplace, B2B2C marketplace, service aggregator marketplace etc).

Additionally, assess if the software aligns with your business needs, growth objectives, and technical requirements. Conduct thorough research, go for demos or trials to experience the features hand-on, and study the examples and use cases already built by your enterprise ecommerce solutions provider.

3. What technology is best suited for building a B2B online marketplace for a large B2B brand with high-volume orders and thousands of sellers?

To support an enterprise B2B company with thousands of sellers across diverse product verticals, it is best to rely on scalable cloud infrastructure that accommodates growth easily and also offers a secure environment for such a large enterprise. Also, enterprise B2B brands should go for microservices based architecture that offers rapid scalability, fault isolation, and flexibility in technology choices.

To build unique enterprise ecommerce solutions you should look for API-first architecture that enables you to leverage the best-of-breed software and services and integrate different solutions into your wholesale marketplace. Last but the most important, look out for a headless B2B marketplace platform that gives you better agility and creative control for building out-of-box solutions. 

In nutshell, go for enterprise ecommerce solutions like StoreHippo built on MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless) architecture that enables you to build innovative solutions.

4. How much time will it take to build a wholesale marketplace and launch it across different countries?

If you are building your B2B marketplace website from scratch it might take anywhere between 6-12 months depending on the features and functionalities required, the technology stack chosen, the availability of resources (e.g., developers, designers), and the level of customization needed.

Alternatively you can go for battle-tested solutions built by StoreHippo B2B marketplace builder and get a basic marketplace site running in a few hours. You can further customize it according to your needs and can go live in 4-6 weeks. ( Note- This is an average estimate and can vary based on unique brand requirements, customisation complexities etc.).

To launch your B2B online marketplace across different geolocations you can go with multiple sub-stores each customized for the unique requirements of a given geo location. You can also set up different languages or currency on these stores. StoreHippo comes with complete multi store, multilingual and multi-currency solutions to build an international B2B marketplace. You can build these stores at the same time as stipulated above.

5. Will it be possible to create a multi-channel presence with a turnkey B2B marketplace builder?

Yes, you can easily build a multi-channel presence with advanced enterprise ecommerce solutions like StoreHippo. Built on headless architecture, StoreHippo enables you to use the same backend logic and APIs to create multiple frontends without the need for writing the code from scratch.

Also, StoreHippo is built on mobile-first principle and comes with an inbuilt mobile apps builder that can build B2B marketplace apps for easy buying. Marketplaces built on StoreHippo are PWAs and work like mobile apps when opened in a browser. You can also create your brand pages across social media platforms and redirect traffic from there to your B2B marketplace thus diversifying your multi channel presence.

Leave A Comment


This blog on B2B marketplace business models is a treasure trove of knowledge! I'm grateful for the insights and can't wait to explore these opportunities.

By: Bhudev Singh
Nov 02, 2023   Reply

Replies :
Hi Bhudev, thanks for appreciating our blog on Top 6 B2B marketplace business models: A Complete Guide. If you need our help setting up your store, feel free to contact us. For more ecommerce related information, keep checking the StoreHippo blog! Team StoreHippo - Nov 02, 2023

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Wow, this guide on the top 6 B2B marketplace business models is really helpful! I had no idea there were so many different approaches to this type of ecommerce. Thanks for sharing!

By: Brahmaanand Menon
May 01, 2023   Reply

Replies :
Hi Brahmaanand, thanks for appreciating our blog on Top 6 B2B marketplace business models: A Complete Guide. If you need our help setting up your store, feel free to contact us. For more ecommerce related information, keep checking the StoreHippo blog! Team StoreHippo - May 01, 2023

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