27 July 2022
The marketplace model has been democratised for several years and has experienced a significant boom linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest figures from the French e-commerce and distance selling federation (Fevad) prove it: in 2021, 27,000 new e-commerce sites were created.
This success is due to the growing popularity of marketplaces, which offer an optimal purchasing experience for both private individuals and professionals. In 2020, 34% of business customers surveyed felt that the pandemic had prompted them to order more online, and 70% thought this development was now a given.
B2B marketplaces, aimed solely at companies, can cover many areas. They can be internal purchasing and e-procurement platforms, network marketplaces, circular economy, B2B e-commerce…
Whatever its form, your marketplace is where financial transactions occur between professional buyers and sellers. Providing an optimal payment experience is key to making these transactions successful!
Purchasing functions must address specific issues to achieve a satisfactory conversion rate. Firstly, they must be able to reduce costs for their company. In this respect, the marketplace model is particularly interesting: prices are self-regulated thanks to a centralised offer and competition between different suppliers. The marketplace also allows control of purchases, limiting unregulated transactions by analysing and supervising practices. In addition, it saves time for buyers by avoiding time-consuming searches. This will enable them to focus on more important strategic tasks. Finally, it improves the company’s purchasing process through digitalisation and mutualisation.
With these numerous advantages, the B2B marketplace meets the needs of companies constantly looking for optimisation, performance, and time savings. However, these criteria are not enough to convince professional buyers to be fully committed; they need to be offered an easy payment path. If they encounter difficulties and the task proves tedious, they will not hesitate to turn to another platform.
To be effective, the platform must provide answers to the specificities of B2B, especially regarding the payment process. Here are 5 must-have features to offer an optimal payment experience for your B2B buyers.
To achieve a consistent and personalised experience, prices must be dynamic. Unlike B2C sellers, who offer fixed prices that are the same for all their customers, B2B sellers can charge different prices for different buyers. Depending on the conditions negotiated, prices vary from one professional buyer to another. The marketplace must therefore be able to display the negotiated rates for each business buyer using pricing management tools. Buyers need to see the negotiated prices according to their contract with the seller, not the standard prices that apply by default.
Another aspect that should not be neglected is an adapted workflow for validating purchases. Within companies, it is not uncommon for different people to participate in the purchasing process: the person who places the order is not necessarily the one who validates or pays for it. For this reason, the marketplace must be able to identify these different players so that administrators have better visibility of all operations.
To be effective, the platform must be able to offer a variety of payment methods and currencies to meet the practices of professional buyers. Firstly, it must comply with the particularities of B2B:
Also, the platform needs flexible functionalities: payments should be possible in several currencies and through various payment methods.
Furthermore, due to limited limits, high management fees and direct payment, bank cards are not widely used in B2B, especially for large purchases. B2 B buyers prefer transfers and direct debits.
Make sure you cover these different practices by offering a variety of payment methods that adapt to the purchasing habits of professionals.
To go further, you should know that some trends are emerging in the market in terms of payment. These include:
To make the payment experience more pleasant, offering a billing mandate service on your marketplace will make it easier to manage invoices. This way, you can issue a single invoice for all the purchases the professional buyer has made from the various sellers on your platform. This will save the buyer from having to deal with a lot of paperwork, making it easier for them to manage their invoices and saving them valuable time.
In addition to the billing mandate, large groups on B2B marketplaces particularly seek the Single Creditor offer. It allows for a single invoice, which makes reconciliation much easier.
As far as invoicing is concerned, you should also be aware that E-invoicing, or dematerialisation of invoices, will be compulsory in France and many European countries from 2023. So, don’t hesitate to anticipate this new regulation and offer a complete digital experience to your professional buyers today.
Finally, to satisfy (and attract) buyers to your platform, you need to offer them a smooth and quick path. Professionals must be able to concentrate on their core business: strategic purchasing. You should pay particular attention to the UX or user experience. Two technologies are particularly suitable in this respect:
You can also improve the payment experience by offering your B2B buyers a dashboard with accurate and automated accounting data exports. This will provide them with centralised data, making financial reconciliation easier.
You can deploy a wide range of features to best satisfy your customers and offer them a quality payment experience. The payment experience is decisive in purchasing and can significantly influence your conversion rate.
Lemonway, a pan-European payment service provider, helps B2B marketplaces manage their payment flows while integrating functionalities that offer an optimal payment experience to professional buyers. The result: secure transactions to reassure your buyers and services that are truly adapted to meet their needs. So don’t wait any longer; find out more about the services offered by Lemonway!
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