I appreciate your thought process for choosing a SaaS platform for your B2B marketplace business and believe your enthusiasm for launching this business is the market’s promising future.
Let me tell you, according to Statista – the B2B market size has reached 2.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.
As expected, every path has its difficulty. Due to exponential growth, the marketplace has become increasingly competitive. But every hardship has a solution.
I’ll help you build your Online B2B Marketplace on a cloud-based platform through this blog, and as a bonus, I’ll discuss the obstacles you’ll experience during the launch and how to get through them.
Before that, understand the relationship between the B2B marketplace and SaaS.
» How B2B Marketplaces and SaaS are Related?
The SaaS-enabled marketplace business model might create a new era of business automation by enabling open markets for B2B transactions. It helps your B2B business to find your online store, manage purchases, sales, CRM (Customer-Relationship Management), and more.
The B2B involves selling the product or service to the other business or corporate sales. In the SaaS cloud model, the SaaS vendor manages the deployment and upkeep of all apps. This covers middleware, apps, virtualization tools, and tools for installing operating systems and backups on servers hosted in the cloud.
Small enterprises and startups will find it especially advantageous because SaaS may be used straight from a web browser. Your online marketplace is created by the vendor as soon as you make the first payment for a marketplace software subscription. From the administrator panel, you can then start adding goods to the product catalog and running marketing campaigns.
Your online marketplace platform is immediately functional thanks to SaaS, which is its main benefit. For companies who want to launch their goods and services more quickly but cannot afford to staff a large IT department with developers, network engineers, and admins to manage the marketplace platform, this is a great convenience.
Here I recommend a 5-step process to launch your SaaS-B2B marketplace.
» Launching an Online Marketplace Platform
Step 1: Set Audience for Your Business
Your B2B online marketplace will fail if you start it without first defining your target market.
Setting your audience is as vital as setting a pricing model.
Before your product is released, building a potential audience will provide you with insightful feedback.
Now let’s discuss ways to create an audience for your online B2B marketplace.
› Define Your Ideal Audience
You must thoroughly understand who the audience is and how they behave online before you can start trying to connect with them. Your campaigns will perform better if you are more explicit about this.
› Create information that appeals to them
Create content that is similar to the kinds of things your audience interacts with.
Ensure your blog posts are comparable to what they use to discuss the topics. As a result, your audience will feel more at ease and share your material, which promotes brand exposure!
› Identify Your Audience Preferences
What kind of media is most likely to be enjoyed and engaged with by your ideal customers? What user groups typically do they belong to on social media sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, for instance, if you are selling corporate software? Which hashtags are in their tweets? What media do they frequently read online?
Consider these questions closely so that you may deliver the most relevant information to your audience.
Step 2: Design Your Revenue Model
You cannot make money if you don’t have a solid revenue plan for your business. Pricing that is too low may not generate enough interest or provide a sufficient profit margin. If you set the price too high, you risk losing the customer’s interest. So you must design a revenue model with a good strategy.
A quick tip before designing a revenue plan for your marketplace business model,
- The pricing you offer will be compared to that of your competitors by your prospects.
- Your revenue model should represent your brand and product but shouldn’t discourage your customer from using your products.
Some revenue models for marketplace admin/owner are
› Service/Commission Fee
- You can set a service fee as a commission from the users (both seller/service providers and buyers). You’ll charge a certain amount from the users for using your platform as a mediator.
To set service/commission fees,
- Fix a service/commission fee for each transaction. This fee is applied to buyers and sellers/service providers.
- This fee can be either a flat fee or a percentage.
- Upon each completed booking, the admin will receive the commission fee from the users.
› Advertisement Fee
- You can profit through Google Adsense – a third-party API by integrating it into your marketplace.
- Google will pay you when users click or see the Google ads you place on your website.
- The average benchmark cost per click for google ads is $2.32.
› Listing Fee
- The listing fee is collected from the seller/service provider for posting a listing on the marketplace.
- You can collect listing fees in 2 ways.
- Subscription fee
- One-time fee
To set the subscription listing fee,
- First, decide the number of listings you’ll allow the user to list for free.
- Make a subscription model for the seller/service provider. For example, If a seller/service provider chooses the basic plan, allow them to post a limited listing. If they choose a higher plan, permit them to post an unlimited listing.
- Your subscription plan can be either monthly, half-yearly, or annually.
To set the One-time listing fee,
- You can set a fixed fee for the seller to list their product or service.
- For example, your sellers/service providers will pay $50 initially for listing their product/service on your marketplace platform.
Step 3: Full or Beta Launch
First, have a clear understanding of the full launch and beta launch.
When a product is available to everyone without any restriction is a full launch.
A beta launch is when a product is available to a specific user.
Both launches have their pros and cons. I suggest you go for a beta launch before fully launching. Through the beta launch, you can have additional feedback. It’ll help you to work on the feedback before launching.
Step 4: Promote your Product
The final and most vital step in launching is product promotion. Without promotion, the launch is incomplete.
When your audience begins to grow, making an interactive product demo is the best way to showcase your offering and spark the attention of new customers.
Before a complete launch, this demo may not only give a preview but also stimulate insightful comments.
› Email Campaign
The time has come to introduce your product to your audience if you’ve been growing a newsletter subscriber list. To thank your audience for their loyalty, provide a discount or a limited-time offer.
Step 5: User Testing and Gather Feedback
You’ve decided on your price strategy, but will your target market want your product? Without user testing, the result is uncertain.
User testing commonly referred to as beta testing, is the process of getting feedback from a small group of people who reflect your target market while they use your product.
The user testing purpose is to find any usability issues, gather qualitative and quantitative information, and ascertain the participant’s level of satisfaction with the product.
Through validation procedures, product testing helps to guarantee product quality.
While testing, identify and observe the following,
- Watch for excitement when you see people interacting with your product.
- Recognize trends in user behavior, such as repeated usage of a specific function or viewing an introductory video.
As I said earlier, it’s time to discuss the bonus part.
» Challenges and Solutions of SaaS-Aided B2B Marketplace
Challenge 1: Customer Relationship
The major mistake done by the marketplace are they focus on either buyer or seller. Because no one would be accessible to buy without sellers, their existence is essential. On the other hand, the success of the marketplace platform depends on the customers. Entrepreneurs may lose on one if they focus on another.
The solution to having a successful marketplace is to,
- Plan your marketing strategy that focuses on both the seller and the buyer.
- Attract sellers and buyers with referral rewards.
Challenge 2: Secured Marketplace
Greater security will become more and more necessary for both organizations and customers as the B2B sales process becomes increasingly digital. Understanding the best ways to safeguard your B2B networks can let you support clients the most effectively while preventing potential harm to the company’s backend. This includes data breaches and business espionage.
- Select a safe, secure data storage plan with robust, consistently-updated software.
- Design a plan to respond to cybersecurity attacks or data breaches.
Challenge 3: Branding
Branding a single product is more manageable than branding a multi-vendor marketplace platform, where you may provide numerous items while attempting to make your marketplace stand out while not compromising the vendor’s identity.
- You may use their spotlight instead of taking it away from the brands in your marketplace.
- Understand the competitors thoroughly and make your marketplace more user-friendly with trusted products.
Challenge 4: Promotion
Marketers may find it difficult to effectively promote marketplace businesses. When a company’s platform doesn’t invest much in branding and advertising, both buyers and sellers will not continue to pay attention to the products and services those companies provide, which will result in a decline in marketplace awareness.
Businesses must figure out how to reach more customers with their products and services. It may include marketing initiatives, collaborations, or even acquisitions. Furthermore, larger organizations with a strong market presence could be better prepared to tackle new obstacles and expand their operations.
- Make a solid marketing effort and ensure you are visible on all relevant channels.
- You may begin to establish a presence and acquire some momentum if you have the appropriate marketing techniques in place.
Challenge 5: Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty must be included in the list of issues that marketplace firms deal with. It might be difficult to get new customers and keep them around.
According to studies on customer loyalty, most businesses lose 45% to 50% of their customers every five years, and acquiring new clients can cost up to 20 times more than keeping the ones you have.
The majority of the time, clients go to a more effective platform from company platforms where inaccurate orders and product delivery delays are common.
- Building individualized channels that facilitate simple product access is what your company must do to regain the trust of your clients if you have already lost it.
- You may provide customer assistance to your agents through these channels as well.
» Get Ready for Launch
So, I conclude my way to launching the SaaS-Aided B2B marketplace platform.
At first, launching a SaaS-B2B marketplace business model may seem hard, but if you use the correct methodology, you will always succeed. Also, consider the challenges and try to avoid them.
To make your establishment easier, find the best SaaS online marketplace builder. With expert support, you can become a successful entrepreneur.
Leave a comment below for me to know your view.
Author Bio: Dhivyameena here from Macavs Techlabs. I analyze the many markets, the patterns that shape them, and the strategies for being ready to create the marketplaces that are most suited to the trends. I want to help my readers understand a variety of topics. A new business’s launch and expansion interest me as well.