While most people think of traditional B2B marketplaces as places where businesses sell and ship physical products, there are also lesser known advantages of B2B marketplaces that work great for tech startups.
Beyond selling products, the top B2B marketplaces provide added value through the networking effect.
By connecting tech startups with experts across a variety of industries, these B2B marketplaces create a barter market of essential services.
B2B marketplaces provide tech startups with services they need such as branding, marketing, and advertising that are essential for boosting online presence, along with a comprehensive PR strategy.
Here we take a look at the top 3 B2B marketplaces for tech startups.
Alibaba: A Networking Ecosystem
In recent years, the B2B marketplace has proven to be of great service to tech startups.
One of the most established players in the B2B marketplace is Alibaba.
Beyond the traditional scope of an e-commerce business exchange place, Alibaba has created an entire ecosystem consisting of more than just people buying and selling physical goods online.
According to Ming Zeng, chairman of the Academic Council of the Alibaba Group, “As technology advanced, more business functions moved online—including established ones, such as advertising, marketing, logistics, and finance, and emerging ones, such as affiliate marketing, product recommenders, and social media influencers.”
One prime example of a tech startup’s rise to success using Alibaba is Paytm.
India-based payments platform Paytm was able to skyrocket from startup to big business thanks in part to Alibaba’s clever networking strategy.
By building a network of international merchants who would accept Alipay wallets, Paytm could piggyback on the network.
When India removed 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes for circulation, the demand for digital payments went through the roof, and with a $177 million investment from Alibaba, Paytm became a household name.
eWorldTrade: Connecting Manufacturers with Suppliers
While many tech startups deal in software, a large portion also deal in hardware and devices.
As a wholesale center for buyers to connect with suppliers, manufacturers, and wholesalers from around the globe, eWorldTrade is one of the best service trade platforms out there.
And its B2B marketplace is vast – connecting many industries in which tech startups operate.
Tech startups working in healthcare, for example, can leverage eWorldTrade to find equipment parts, accessories, and computer hardware for producing medical devices.
Additionally, the eWorldTrade marketplace takes care of all the packaging and printing needs of a tech startup, so the products can be packaged and shipped safely.
Diversifying even further, tech startups can take advantage of eWorldTrade’s business services, which offer everything from consulting, logistics, and design to advertising, licensing, and quality control.
By bringing so many players in the supply chain to the table, eWorldTrade is a one-stop shop for barter services.
ExportHub: Boosting Online Presence
ExportHub is another example of a B2B marketplace that not only connects buyers and sellers, but also helps businesses with a host of digital offerings.
Tech startups, like most startups, are often bootstrapped, so time and resources are often limited.
It’s easy for tech startups to overlook best digital marketing practices such as their online identities, branding, and SEO, but all of these and more are offered through ExportHub’s B2B connections.
For example, ExportHub can connect businesses with social media experts who can help with company branding.
The B2B marketplace also helps businesses with web hosting, domain registration, and website integrations that can give tech startups more time to work on their core offerings without having to dedicate too much energy on the basics.
Once the digital basics are taken care of and the tech startup is ready to start advertising, ExportHub works with ad campaign managers to help businesses with their online ad strategies.
These include competition analyses, keyword research, budget allocation, and more.
The Bottom Line
As we can see, the best B2B marketplaces don’t just connect buyers with sellers, but they go beyond that to create entire ecosystems with key players across various industries.
These ecosystems create business networks where everybody wins. For example, an online payments startup can use a B2B marketplace not just to find customers, but to also find experts to help them boost their online presence.
The networking effect is where tech startups can find great value in B2B marketplaces.
Adding to the networking effect, a comprehensive PR strategy toolkit provides tech startups with the resources they need to reach an even bigger audience.
Not only is good PR an excellent way of announcing new products, partnerships, and company launches, but it also has some rather unexpected benefits for startups.
While advertising and marketing services offered by B2B marketplaces can help startups gain some exposure in their respective markets, PR gives them even greater visibility and credibility.
Exposure, trust and motivation are some of the cornerstones of successful startups — and that’s what PR delivers.
A PR strategy runs parallel to the services offered by B2B marketplaces.