Marketplace B2B

5-minute read

Winning B2B marketplaces: discover their insights

Published on June 14, 2024

Winning B2B marketplaces: discover their insights

Lemonway recently participated in Hokodo's latest report, revealing key strategies and insights to bolster B2B marketplaces. This report consolidates the experiences and strategies of leading European B2B marketplaces, offering a blueprint for success in the competitive landscape of B2B online sales. As a Payment Service Provider (PSP) for marketplaces, Lemonway is at the forefront of facilitating smooth and secure transactions across Europe.

The evolution of B2B marketplaces

The B2B marketplace model is rapidly evolving, driven by the need for efficient and reliable digital procurement channels. B2B platforms navigate a complex web of buyer and seller relationships, regulatory requirements, and industry-specific challenges. Mirakl’s study shows that 75% of B2B companies are actively developing their digital strategy, with many predicting a significant shift towards marketplace transactions by the end of 2024.

Despite this momentum, the transition is not without its hurdles. A report by OroCommerce highlights that only 12% of B2B buyers currently prefer marketplaces over traditional purchasing methods. This statistic underscores the need for marketplaces to continuously innovate and address the unique demands of B2B buyers and sellers.

10 core principles for marketplace success

Drawing from extensive research and interviews with marketplace leaders, Hokodo’s report identifies ten key takeaways for building successful B2B marketplaces. These principles provide a comprehensive framework for marketplace operators aiming to enhance their platforms.

1.    Provide end-to-end value: Winning marketplaces offer a full-service experience, from discovery to post-sale support, improving user satisfaction and fostering loyalty.

Ilias Sousis, CEO & Co-founder, Wikifarmer, interviewed by Hokodo as part of ‘Behind the scenes of winning B2B marketplaces: Insights and strategies from top European players’ emphasises “A successful B2B marketplace should offer value to customers from the beginning of a transaction until the end. This means a 360º platform that offers digital services such as ordering, financing, logistics, quality controls and post-sales servicing.” 

2.    Achieve critical mass strategically: Building a robust user base requires strategic efforts in attracting and retaining buyers and sellers, particularly given the long and complex sales cycles. Three ways to avoid this problem are scalable acquisition, virality, and side-switching, explains early-stage investor Sameer Singh in a guest chapter of the report.

3.    Engage in effective promotional activities: Continuous promotion is crucial for visibility. This includes utilising digital marketing channels, participating in industry events, and creating compelling content that resonates with the target audience.

In the report, we can read that the most popular marketing channels to target buyers are: 
●    Organic social media (69%) 
●    Email (69%) 
●    Events (66%) 

Meanwhile, the most popular marketing channels to target sellers are: 
●    Events (66%) 
●    Organic social media (66%) 
●    Email (52%)


4.    Balance the needs of buyers and sellers: A successful marketplace must cater equally to both buyers and sellers, ensuring that both parties find value and convenience in using the platform. To do so, marketplace operators can invest in service, support, loyalty programmes, etc. 

Michal Laskowski, CEO & Co-founder of CottonBee said “Becoming a successful B2B marketplace requires building a robust platform that [...] continuously adapts to meet the evolving needs of both buyers and sellers in the business ecosystem.

5.    Build trust, reputation and credibility: Trust is paramount in B2B transactions. Marketplaces must invest in security measures, transparent operations, and strong customer service to build and maintain trust. Once your marketplace is trusted, gathering reviews is crucial as there’s a good chance that sellers and buyers will check online reviews before using a marketplace.

6.    Leverage the power of payments: An efficient payment experience is crucial. By offering flexible payment terms and integrating secure payment systems, marketplaces can enhance user experience and drive transaction volumes. Proposing many settlement options, offering payment terms, and providing instant credit decisions are essential features. Popular payment methods include bank transfer (76%), credit card (69%), and Direct Debit (49%).

Payment facilities and guaranteed payment are essential for marketplace success,” said Alix Truelle, B2B Development Manager at Pourdebon.

7.    Solve genuine pains: Marketplaces that address real, pressing problems for their users tend to succeed. This requires deep industry knowledge and a commitment to continuous improvement based on user feedback.

8.    Offer unique value propositions: To stand out, marketplaces must offer something that competitors do not. Marketplaces must offer added value to both buyers and sellers that they wouldn't experience when transacting independently. This could be in the form of exclusive products, superior service, or innovative features.

9.    Deliver top-quality user experience: A seamless, intuitive and convenient user experience is a significant differentiator. This includes easy navigation and searchability, simplified onboarding process, fast loading times, and responsive customer support.

10.    Foster knowledgeable teams: Finally, having a team with extensive industry knowledge and a proactive approach to customer service can significantly enhance marketplace performance.

Successful marketplaces understand their industry vertical and adapt to its needs and the requirements of buyers. Customer Success people with knowledge of the market are essential,” said Jan Klawer, CMO & Co-founder of 1-2-Taste.

Hokodo hub: The ultimate B2B Marketplaces knowledge Hub

Looking ahead, the future of B2B marketplaces will likely be shaped by continued innovation in technology and service delivery. Key trends include the adoption of artificial intelligence for predictive analytics, the expansion of blockchain technology for enhanced security, and the increased use of big data to drive decision-making processes.

The insights from Hokodo and Lemonway’s comprehensive report on B2B marketplaces provide a clear roadmap for operators looking to build successful platforms. By adhering to the ten core principles and leveraging the expertise of partners, marketplaces can navigate the complexities of B2B commerce and deliver exceptional value to their users. As the landscape continues to evolve, those who prioritise innovation, trust, and end-to-end service will be best positioned to thrive in the competitive world of B2B marketplaces.

Lemonway’s Role in Marketplace Success

Lemonway plays a pivotal role in helping B2B marketplaces optimise their payment experience. As a pan-European Payment Institution, Lemonway offers solutions tailored to marketplaces, ensuring secure and compliant transactions. 

High-profile B2B marketplaces like Eiffage and Arcelormittal have benefited from Lemonway’s payment solutions, streamlining their operations and payments on their marketplaces. These partnerships highlight the transformative potential of integrating advanced payment systems into marketplace platforms.

Want to know more about Lemonway? Contact our experts!

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