The global COVID-19 pandemic completely changed the face of B2B ecommerce. But the countenance that changed the most is by far B2B marketplaces, according to data and analysis contained in the newly published 2021 B2B Marketplace 250 Report from Digital Commerce 360.
Before the spring of 2020, when the pandemic walloped the U.S. economy and shuttered all or some segments of multiple major industries, B2B marketplaces, including both commercial and industrial platforms, already were on a growth spurt. But the pandemic—which converted legions of business buyers from procuring goods and services by paper, phone, and other manual procedures and into regular digital customers—accelerated the growth of B2B marketplaces.
Today, B2B marketplaces are, if not the fastest-growing ecommerce channel, certainly among the fastest. Consider these key takeaways:
Just 24 months ago, there were approximately 70 vertical B2B marketplaces, based on a market count by Digital Commerce 360.
Today, that number is 250 marketplaces and counting.
In 2021, based on a projection that total B2B ecommerce will grow by 15% to $1.60 trillion from $1.39 trillion in 2020, the collective digital sales on commercial trading platforms and industry marketplaces will grow by 130% to $56.5 billion and account for 3.5% of all business ecommerce sales, according to data in the 2021 B2B Marketplace 250 Report.
Commercial marketplaces launched and maintained by large ecommerce companies and by industry-specific entrepreneurs, industry coalitions and major manufacturers or distributors will play a prominent role in the rapid expansion of U.S. B2B marketplaces. But B2B marketplaces are diverse and not one-size-fits-all. The 2021 B2B Marketplace 250 charts the current path of B2B platforms and what the journey ahead bodes for digital business buyers and sellers.
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