One of the great pending subjects in our digital economy is internationalization. Today it is easier than ever thanks to marketplaces, especially those focused on the B2B world for internationalization.
The paralysis of world trade -as there was no precedent- motivated by the global pandemic of COVID-19, has put in the spotlight the prevalence of communications, platforms and digital businesses around the world.
Of course, it has long been proven that a company – not only that wants to play a relevant role today, but sometimes simply to survive – cannot put aside the online world in all its aspects, but for more reluctant to go into it, the pandemic will certainly have been the ultimate litmus test.
Regardless of that, as is expected, the situation converges to normal parameters, the firm fairs and tourism of business will be affected (to the least of the short term), with presumably some suspicion in countries to promote these great meetings.
We can say that the B2B, whose maximum exponent is Alibaba.com, has thus found the perfect storm to vindicate its need in the face of new unexpected events that limit contacts; but not only for that reason, but also for the advantages and cost savings of being in contact with a potential buyer, anywhere and at any time.
The B2B marketplaces allow to interact with (business) customers and suppliers without need of displacement, whether the case of a transactional Marketplace (Amazon Business, for example) or not (as in the case of Alibaba.com, which merely “a put them in contact, to agree on the transaction outside the marketplace).
In any case, the most advanced B2B marketplaces offer a series of added services centralized in the platform, such as logistics, payment services, digital marketing or financial services, risk coverage, among others, which facilitate the commercialization, the capture of leads and help the international exposure of the products.
We know the importance of following a B2B digital strategy for your company, either because your product is not intended for the final consumer or because the B2C strategy is not interesting or simply not financially viable.
For this reason, we selected the 10 B2B international B2B websites, which we consider to be the most important, both for the monthly traffic they receive and for the value-added services they offer, although the selection of Marketplaces will always depend on the sector of your company and the country in where you want to focus your strategy.
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Top 10 International B2B Websites
Despite its relative youth in the B2B business, eWorldTrade has swiftly developed a respectable reputation. eWorldTrade operates from offices located throughout the world. It is now the only B2B marketplace that offers up to ten leads for free upon registration. This has been a significant selling factor for businesses, as evidenced by its rapid expansion over the last few years. Although the majority of its manufacturers are from China, it also partners with companies from the United States of America, India, Malaysia, and Pakistan.
Due to the platform’s primary operational unit being situated in Pakistan, it has become a component of CPEC and will benefit significantly in the future. eWorldTrade can easily be relied upon to provide the lowest wholesale pricing and the fastest delivery.
The website has been particularly detrimental to small and medium-sized firms who have been unable to establish a presence on previously recognized leading business-to-business websites existing in Pakistan.
It is the most important international platform, Alibaba.com is an e-commerce platform that connects exporting companies with importing companies (B2B). Currently, Alibaba is the largest B2B platform in the world with more than 160 million importing companies (buyers) registered and more than 6 million exporting companies (sellers) registered to offer their products.
Among the potential buyers/distributors, we highlight China, USA, Russia, United Kingdom, and Germany, although Alibaba is present in any country since it is a global portal.
We can speak of Alibaba.com as a great digital fair, in which you can expose your products 365 days a year, 24 hours a day to your potential buyers internationally. It has 40 main categories, which in turn are divided into 695 subcategories where sellers can list their products and allows buyers to find them more easily.
Buyers on Alibaba.com are usually commercial agents, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers and SMEs engaged in the import and export business.
The moment a potential buyer contacts the distributor, they leave their contact details, thus initiating an offline export negotiation (via messages within the portal, Skype, telephone, etc.). This type of contact can be mediated through two channels:
- RFQ: The buyer, publicly makes a request for a quote for those Gold Supplier companies that respond with a proposal.
- Inquiry: The buyer, individually, looks for suppliers and makes a query (Inquiries). The vendor must have a Gold Supplier membership to be able to respond to a greater number of budget requests.
3. Amazon Business
Amazon Business is an additional service for Amazon sellers, which meets the purchasing needs of any type of business. It is the Amazon that we already know, but available for B2B sales.
It currently has more than 1 million business users, with Amazon Business Seller, you have access to all existing Amazon customers and the additional opportunity to increase your sales, by reaching new commercial customers of all types and sizes, from freelancers and SMEs to large global corporations.
To have access to Amazon Business it is necessary to have a seller account, it is not necessary to offer your B2C products, but you will have to have an account registered on the platform. You can sign up for Amazon Business for free, from your central Seller account with one click.
Your inventory on Amazon and Amazon Business is exactly the same, but the prices don’t have to be. As an Amazon Business seller, you can set different business prices or quantity discounts for your business customers and take advantage of Amazon logistics and the automatic ability to sell throughout the EU, as well as other continents where the service is active.
Respond to a request for a quote: as in Alibaba.com, when a buyer is interested in your product, they will contact you and negotiation will be opened, where good agreements can be reached, and a lasting business relationship can be created.
If your strategy is to sell in the Chinese market, we recommend 1688.com. Belonging to Alibaba Group and with more than 120 million users, and more than 10 million stores covering 49 industries, 1688.com connects foreign exporters with Chinese retailers.
Until now, foreign products entering China had to face a complex preparatory process due to numerous administrative procedures, such as permits and customs, as well as risks that raised their price, so that SMEs generally could not afford to buy them. export to this country. But 1688.com is a means to reduce export costs to the Japanese country, processing authorizations, taxes, jointly.
On the other hand, it offers a comprehensive service that reduces intermediaries. And Chinese customers also get advantages when buying in this marketplace, such as lower prices (between 20% and 40% lower than on other websites) and shorter shipping time (between 15 and 60 days less).
Solostocks.com is the leading online sales portal for companies and professionals in Spain and with a strong international presence, mainly in Europe and Latin America.
The portal offers more than 2.5 million products from trusted and verified seller companies. Thanks to a list of more than 50,000 suppliers, and the 6,000 available product categories, the buyer can identify the best purchase option by comparing products and prices, information on suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and companies of interest. In this sense, contacting a seller and locating a product is easy, and many of the products can be purchased safely from the platform itself.
SoloStocks.com is the only Spanish portal in the trading sector between companies and professionals with an international offer in 12 countries.
The strength of SoloStocks.com is backed by the more than 5,000 transactions that are managed every day from SoloStocks.com globally.
6. Virtual Expo
The following selection of Marketplaces belong to the Virtual Expo group, a world leader in the online B2B lead generation market. It has six B2B Marketplaces, each one specialized in a sector, aeronautics, agriculture, architecture and design, industrial, medicine and technology, navigation and maritime. In total, they add up to more than 39.5K exhibitors, 1.6 million distributors, 1.2 million products and 451K catalogs.
Through its Marketplaces, it gives businesses and buyers of all sizes access to a million specific products in one place. Thanks to SEO tools and specialized sites in 9 languages, it attracts millions of buyers, manufacturers and distributors online and allows to attract traffic to the sellers’ website.
Manufacturers can achieve their business objectives by displaying their product catalog, achieving sales opportunities, international visibility, branding, sales networks, as well as the possibility of creating a VirtualStore, a website hosting service and a network of resellers. to achieve greater online visibility and generate leads.
The operation is the same for each of the Marketplaces, when a buyer consults a catalog, they can send a request for a quote, send questions to the seller, request to be contacted by phone, as well as consult the points of sale.
7. Global Sources
It is a Marketplace that serves as a meeting point for exporters, mainly Chinese and importers from anywhere in the world. An added value that this Global Sources provides is the holding of physical fairs in Hong Kong, which is why they call their strategy O2O (online to offline).
Includes the categories of auto parts and accessories, consumer electronics, drones and robotics, electronic components, fashion and accessories, textiles, gifts, hardware, home products, LEDs, solar products and optoelectronics, machinery, security products, home automation and Underwear and bathing suits.
Grainger was one of the first large B2B e-commerce sites in the United States. If this is not the first article you read related to the best B2B commerce websites, you have probably already read about their good work. In many media the site is hailed as one of the best (if not the best) B2B e-commerce site. Why? Because they have been working meticulously on every detail related to their customers’ shopping experience, from SEO relevance to buying on credit.
Grainger ranks highly on Google for long tail terms. We encourage you to try any of the search suggestions that your search engine recommends and then do that same test directly on Google. We have tried with “abrasive cut-off and chop wheel” and the first one appears; however, we encourage you to do the test.
Once on your website, those of us who have been in this sector for a long time do not miss details such as the Fast Order/Bulk Order section, the elegance with which the product variations or configurable products are displayed as well as how carefully the filters are well positioned both in the search engine and in the sidebar to quickly find the right tool.
The speed with which you can view all the details of the product means that buyers hardly find any cracks when it comes to locating what they are looking for and uploading it to the shopping cart.
9. Express import
Import Express is one of the most established online B2B websites that has grown rapidly and is generating new and improved ways for importers and exporters to communicate with each other. The company helps global merchants save time, expense and reduce risks associated with importation. It is the best online B2B website to purchase quality assured products, meet new business partners, get the latest industry information, and capture more business opportunities.
The company is headquartered in Shanghai and Yiwu but has been offering excellent quality products globally since its inception in 2005. This B2B website is known for connecting the world’s Chinese wholesale suppliers and buyers along with its user-friendly platform.
It is a shopping destination that has all the necessary products, from mobile phones and furniture to medical equipment. With Import Express, you can also get fast delivery, from guaranteed next-day express delivery to safe delivery on a less urgent day. The company’s goal is to help build a stable supply chain for its products.
Partstown is a company dedicated to the OEM of kitchen and catering equipment. Their case is very similar to Grainger, since they have been investing in their e-commerce portal for many years and it is more than evident when you navigate through it.
If you take a look at the section about who we are, you will see that it is a company that places a lot of emphasis on the basic pillars of a company that sells through e-commerce: customer service, same day delivery, extensive catalog with original materials and constant innovation.
The objective they put on the table when building their B2B e-commerce portal was to design the most advanced “full-service” e-commerce experience on the market, which helps customers find products quickly and easily and guarantees their authenticity. You can read about this in their success story and how they have achieved a 10x increase in their income.