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 assumption that seems generally accepted now is that B2B e-commerce growth and size are exceeding consumer e-commerce. The growth of e-commerce in general during the past few years in the U.S. was chronicled by Mercator Advisory Group in a research report titled Mobile Payments Platforms and Markets: How High Is Up?, released in March 2017. In that research, a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 20% was estimated for e-commerce from underlying U.S. government data.

The methods and systems for delivering against B2C e-commerce demands have quickly defaulted to the marketplace approach, thanks to the market leaders Amazon and Alibaba, and to an extent we are now seeing a similar shift in the B2B space. So disruption is certainly under way in the traditional distribution of B2B commerce as it transitions to digital methods over the next 10 years. Whether or not the financial services industry can position itself to capitalize on this growth is an open question, however.

In this research report, B2B Marketplaces: Disruption Presents Opportunity, Mercator Advisory Group reviews the nuances found in B2B e-commerce distribution methods in order to clarify the differences between B2B and B2C. We also discuss the 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 payments and lending opportunities.