By 2027, the global business-to-business eCommerce market is expected to reach nearly $21 trillion, according to GlobeNewswire. It makes sense that more businesses are leveraging this technology to streamline trading ventures between companies. The development of a business-to-business (B2B) trade web portal can bring buyers, sellers and businesses together on a unified platform.
Creating a B2B trade web portal can be highly rewarding for businesses in search of a simple solution that eliminates common business-to-business operational challenges. Here we will look at the development process of a B2B trade web portal and what to consider when creating and using this online marketplace.
What Is A B2B Trade Web Portal?
A B2B trade web portal refers to an online platform where businesses can showcase their brand, products and services. The main objective of trade platforms is to dedicate a space where brands visually place their products and services listed online, similarly to how goods are displayed in a store. Businesses then have the option to “shop” these products and services to look for future trading opportunities.
Online business-to-business marketplaces can help growing companies generate high-quality leads and secure mutually beneficial business relationships. Regardless of the size of the business or its industry, B2B trade web portals can help companies remain relevant in today’s competitive market.
B2B web portals often contain unique features that can be customized to meet the needs of businesses. Companies can use built-in tools to communicate product-related information and make purchases over the internet. Trade web portals also make it fast and simple for buyers to find the products they need while saving money on quality goods. Nearly every industry can benefit from the development of a B2B trade portal, especially those in wholesale, manufacturing and distribution-related businesses.
Benefits Of A B2B Trade Web Portal
Developing a B2B trade web portal can have countless benefits for businesses that are willing to make this wise investment. Some of these key advantages include:
1. Simple User Setup
Business-to-business trade web portals make it easy for new users to sign up and create their own page. These platforms contain innovative tools and features which make it possible to create an attractive “storefront” quickly and with minimal web development skills. Users just need to sign up with their business information, upload a business logo, input a contact email address, place a link to their official website and post a few details about their company.
2. Greater Visibility
B2B trade web portals provide users with quick visibility to all participants of the portal. Both new and existing users have the ability to connect with other businesses in specific geographical locations to fulfill their unique business needs. Trade web portals help companies present themselves online as a global brand, leading to an increase in sales. Greater visibility across the web can be a major advantage for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as startups who have not yet made a name for themselves in their chosen industry.
Money is a common concern for businesses and many small businesses operate with tight marketing budgets. A B2B trade web portal can be a cost-effective solution for companies that want to establish a web presence for their products or services without having to continuously spend money on new marketing strategies. Businesses can also save time and money through a B2B website by managing marketing, implementing SEO and engaging in social media activities. Trade portals can be designed with built-in marketing tools that help businesses effectively connect with prospective buyers.
4. Competition Research
While businesses may know who their competitors are, they may not have a complete understanding of how these businesses differ from their own. This is where competition research can be highly beneficial. Business-to-business trade portals enable businesses to scout their competition and compare products and services. This technique will also help companies determine current market conditions for their industry and how to stand out against the competition. Web portal pages can be updated and modified as needed to keep information and offers new and exciting.
5. Fewer Risks
Companies are often hesitant when doing business with an organization that they are not familiar with, or have never worked with before. A B2B trade web portal can help eliminate much of this uneasiness by creating a secure marketplace that acts as a liaison between online buyers and sellers. This marketplace provides information about each business with the option to add “verification” badges to each business’s profile as an additional security measure. This can give companies the confidence to buy and sell online.
6. Networking Opportunities
Networking with other businesses in the industry has never been easier than with the development of a B2B trade web portal. Trade web portals, specialized trade portals in particular, commonly host seminars, trade shows, corporate events and other types of marketing or promotional events for the business community. Having this community aspect readily available can help businesses get answers to questions or find solutions via online forums, customer service or other sources.
7. Lead Generation
Many businesses struggle to find the leads they need to generate sufficient profits. However, business-to-business trade web portals make it easier to acquire quality leads that often convert into sales. This online marketplace allows businesses to reach a wide audience and enables business leaders to effectively target, segment and connect with a niche audience of qualified buyers.
8. Gain Insights
B2B trade web portals provide businesses with a wealth of information one one location. Companies can gain insights about particular products and services, as well as the status of the competition. Trade portals can provide awareness of current and upcoming trends in the industry, while also providing businesses with the insights they need to remain ahead of the competition. Valuable information can be gathered from many areas of a business, including product features, pricing, marketing and branding strategies.
9. Product Testing
Many companies enjoy B2B trade web portals for product testing; if a company is near a product launch, they may choose to use an audience from a B2B platform to test their new product before a public release. Businesses can choose to add just one product or an entire line of products for testing purposes. Once the products have been tested by the target audience, companies can analyze each response and make the decision to continue with the release, or make changes to the product based on feedback.
10. Enhanced Security
What makes B2B trade web portals so popular among businesses is that they are secure and mostly free from fraudulent business transactions. These portals tend to carefully verify their buyers and sellers to keep cybercrime to a minimum. Businesses are also not limited to how they pay and accept money on these portals. Most B2B trade portals allow customers to use a wide range of secure payment options.
What To Consider When Developing A B2B Trade Web Portal
Developing a B2B trade web portal can be a challenging endeavor for businesses who are unfamiliar with the process. There are some things that business leaders should do and certain things they should avoid, during the process.
Features And Capabilities
First, provide users with a wide range of features, including non-members of the portal. Allowing non-members to access certain features can help them achieve constant growth. Showcasing these features to non-members allows them plenty of time to explore the system and get to understand the many benefits.
Ease Of Registration
Next, encourage registration of the trade portal; when visitors to the portal are converted into members, everyone can reap the benefits. Businesses have the option to directly communicate with members and improve the portal’s functionality by rating buyers and sellers based on a specified rating system. Registered users can enjoy premium features such as viewing order history, one-click reordering, personalized mail offers, payment monitoring and many other features.
Integration With Other Systems
When developing a B2B trade web portal, businesses should also consider allowing for CRM and ERP integration. It is important to remember that a B2B portal is not designed to replace all of a business’s internal systems; instead, it can enhance them by helping to streamline interactions between buyers and sellers. To keep the business running smoothly, web portals can be integrated with CRM/ERP systems to maintain established business processes.
There are also actions businesses should avoid when developing a B2B trade web portal. Businesses should never ignore usability when developing a portal. Most online users spend just a few seconds on a web page before they decide whether or not the information or product is of use to them. When a web page is difficult to use or takes too long to load, the user may move onto a competitor’s page. Keep pages clean and simple to encourage return visitors.
Design, Architecture & User Interface
Also, avoid an ill-designed architecture which can make portal development more costly and complicated. A poorly designed architecture can have a negative impact on the system’s security and create concerns about data safety. It can also lead to an increased response time which can drive visitors away from the portal. With a balance of both member and non-member features, integration options and built-in analytics, a B2B trade web portal can be highly successful.
Speak With A Custom Software Development Team
Business-to-business trade web portals are an efficient and economical way for companies to greatly benefit from brand awareness, improved SEO gains, product testing and competition analysis. Businesses have the opportunity to generate quality leads and establish long-term relationships with other companies in the community. For more information about B2B trade web portals or to discuss web portal development, reach out to the custom software professionals at Orases today.