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During the COVID-19 pandemic, B2B marketplaces attracted increased attention from global buyers: new yStats.com report.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, B2B marketplaces attracted increased attention from global buyers: new yStats.com report.

A new report from Germany-based market research firm yStats.com, “Snapshot: Global B2B Marketplaces Market 2021” offers an overview of recent developments of business-to-business marketplaces across the globe, including their activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and insights into the 2021 industry trends. Among other findings, the publication reveals that for B2B enterprises, marketplaces are increasing in importance in 2021, and unlike in the B2C market, in B2B there is much more room for smaller niche marketplaces.

B2B marketplaces have gained momentum during the health crisis

Amazon Business was expected to grow much faster than B2C Amazon, Alibaba is showing no signs of decreasing demand, many B2B start-up marketplaces are raising a substantial amount of investment funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These and other factors indicate that in the B2B arena, marketplaces are becoming a major trend in 2021, and this is likely to continue. Even though currently, B2B marketplaces are holding only a marginal share of the total B2B sales, their future looks much brighter. Globally, more than one-third of B2B buyers used marketplaces to purchase at least half of their products and services in 2020, while only less than 10% of those surveyed did not use marketplaces. Moreover, after the onset of COVID-19, around one-fourth of B2B buyers significantly increased their purchases on marketplaces.  With that, for over half of B2B buyers, the average amount spent on B2B marketplaces increased also during the pandemic. Furthermore, in Germany, among all other sales channels, nearly one in four companies were using B2B marketplaces as a sales channel, according to a survey cited in the yStats.com market report.

Global B2B marketplace leaders observe challengers stepping in

In 2020, the Gross Merchandize Value of third-party marketplaces was set to grow by about +40% year-on-year, and vertical marketplaces’ GMV was expected to rise by 25% over the same period. When it comes to players, global giants Amazon Business and Alibaba were the clear leaders. These marketplaces were of special importance in the markets of their origin: North America and Asia-Pacific. Nevertheless, unlike in the B2C industry, the B2B market looks more open to various smaller players, and, for example, in the MENA region, several new players emerged during the pandemic, and already in 2021, they have started raising millions in investment funding. Furthermore, in Europe, as detailed in the new yStats.com publication, French B2B retail marketplaces were especially successful.