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B2B Marketplaces: Disruption Presents Opportunity

Business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces present new opportunity for e-commerce.

Mercator Advisory Group reports that B2B e-commerce marketplaces cause disruption for some and create opportunities for others, including banks.

Depending on the definition of B2B e-commerce, which has a few delivery models, there are multiple estimates as to its size, both globally and in the United States. One thing that seems generally accepted now is that B2B e-commerce growth and size appear to be exceeding consumer (B2C) e-commerce growth. So disruption is certainly under way in the traditional distribution of B2B commerce as it transitions to digital methods over the next 10 years. One question is how the financial services industry will work itself into the coming paradigm.

In a new research report, B2B Marketplaces: Disruption Presents Opportunity, Mercator Advisory Group examines factors driving this changing commercial distribution landscape. In the report, Mercator reviews the nuances found in B2B e-commerce distribution methods in order to clarify the differences between B2B and B2C. We also discuss marketplace positioning and preferences, which are especially important as workplace demographic shifts continue to shape the landscape. Mercator then discusses where the financial services industry can find some success in the burgeoning B2B marketplace space via specific opportunities.

“The highest estimate of current global B2B e-commerce is about $12 trillion (USD), which is a relatively small portion of overall commercial business value transfer activity, generally believed to be somewhere in the range of $120 trillion. However, this estimate includes electronic data interchange (EDI) types of electronic interaction in the buying process,” commented Steve Murphy, Director of Mercator Advisory Group’s Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service, author of the report. “The market for true buyer-facing web and mobile based B2B e-commerce is smaller, but is growing rapidly and seemingly headed toward an eventual marketplace-dominated distribution model.”

This research report is 15 pages long and contains 5 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Amazon, Alibaba, American Express, Bank of America, Basware, Behalf, Capital One, Citi, Coupa, ExxonMobil, Ferguson, Ford, Fundera, Grainger, IBM, Jaggaer, JP Morgan Chase, Kabbage, Lending Tree, Lendio, OnDeck, Magento, PayPal, PNC, Oracle, SAP Ariba, Shopify, Spryker, Square Capital, SuperMoney, Thomas.net, Tungsten, Virto Commerce, Visa, and Wells Fargo.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Detailed review and clarification of e-commerce methods and approaches for the B2B space

  • Review of marketplaces versus other buyer-facing methods and how they are distinguished by buyers and sellers  

  • Discussion of the differences between B2C and B2B e-commerce requirements

  • A review of the demographic factors driving marketplace preferences

  • Detailed analysis of financial services industry opportunities in payments and lending as they relate to B2B marketplace disruptors