How Does a Mobile App Help a B2B Marketplace?

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Give Customers What They’re Looking For

Mobile applications and omnichannel experiences can dramatically improve customer experience for B2C, C2C, B2C, and really any type of interaction. One thing to consider is that users are looking for the most self-service, non-confrontational, high value interaction they can have with your marketplace.

Therefore, the extent that we can enable a seamless, powerful, well-governed interaction with mobile applications and omnichannel improves the breadth and depth of the offering the marketplace can bring.


B2B Apps Improve Bidding Capabilities

In particular, with B2B offerings, a B2B mobile application can vastly improve the customer’s experience especially where they may have more functionality than the website itself.

For example, if the marketplace is offering some form of auction or bidding, the user can set up a notification in the app to notify them when something is in stock. Then they can make a bid on that item right away.

They can also use the app to scan a barcode at an in-person event, or see a picture of the item. This interaction allows sellers and buyers to extend their reach. Users can also receive a notification for if they’re outbid, or if they’ve received a quote request that’s time-sensitive.

Having a notification go to their mobile application can make or break their ability to purchase with your B2B marketplace. If they don't receive the notification in time, they may not be able to make the purchase, as they may have otherwise missed it via traditional means like email.


Interact On Any Device with the B2B App

In addition, having a B2B marketplace application can be particularly helpful for interacting with an augmented reality type of experience. Most B2B purchasers and sellers are going to be quite busy, and they may find that they don't have a lot of downtime in front of the website. They may be traveling or in a meeting, etc., and have their smartphone or a tablet readily available.

Therefore, having the core offerings available on those devices is a game-changer to keep it top of mind, and it’s essential to keep the buyer and seller engaged in the marketplace and facilitate the exchange between them.

To the extent that we can make this consistent and a self-serve operation, we can enable the process to expand and grow naturally. So, having this omnichannel experience for the buyer and seller to interact is a key factor to a successful B2B business.


Discussions via the App’s Messaging System

The buyer may be requesting something that requires a logistics estimate. Maybe it’s an intermodal shipment, or a unique shipment, etc. The seller needs to get a shipping estimate. To have immediate interaction, the buyer and seller can leverage the chat tool within the marketplace application.

Well, it’s easy to do this via mobile or tablet application that links into your eMarketplace. This would be important for the sellers because oftentimes a buyer may initiate a quote request and want to chat about the logistics estimate or some other portion of the sales process.

Notifying the seller and waiting for them to see their email could be frustrating for the buyer. The buyer may be looking to get an answer right away—we don’t want to set the expectation that all sellers will respond immediately, but if we give the seller a mobile/tablet application and make it available to multiple people within the seller’s organization, the odds are that can be a game changer for the value the marketplace brings. Even if there’s a manual process that has to occur, if we can provide a lot of interactivity and immediacy to that interaction, that can differentiate the marketplace and place it above other options.


Locate Physical Stores Using the B2B App

On the seller side of things, having an omnichannel experience can be critical for an eMarketplace platform. Many sellers have physical brick-and-mortar locations within a marketplace, so they may choose to leverage a point of sale system so that whenever folks are purchasing in the marketplace, they could actually pick up in store.

Although this may not be very common and it may be the exception more than the rule, this could have a big impact for a particular set of buyers in a particular region.

They might want to make purchases online through the website, and check for inventory remotely, but then immediately go pick up the items from the physical location.

Many sellers aren’t going to have the resources to put this infrastructure in place. Therefore, it’s valuable to allow sellers to have point of sale integration as well as location lookup and inventory lookup within your marketplace. This adds value to the seller and to the particular market you’re serving. It can help you capture a niche and penetrate a particular market more rapidly.


Manage Fulfillment with the B2B Phone & Tablet Apps

One of the most key things for B2B marketplaces is making sure that sellers have the ability to upload accurate product data, including pricing and inventory information. It’s also crucial that the data and uploads are easy for them to manage.

With tablet and smartphone applications, the seller can quickly see reports so they can identify trends, manage orders, and deal with fulfillment. They can also easily manage their inventory and pricing.

By enabling them to manage things with additional tools, they can be out on the warehouse floor and use these omnichannel mobile and tablet applications to do fulfillment. You could enable a robust solution with your eCommerce marketplace where the vendors have a major advantage in working with your marketplace versus another.

It’s important to take advantage of not just the traditional dashboard and reporting tools, but also robust capabilities around fulfillment, scanning items, and doing pick-and-pack through your omnichannel application that ties into their vendor dashboard and allows them to complete fulfillment steps.

Whenever there’s a store lookup and a need to make something available for someone to pick up from a store, for example, the marketplace could allow them to complete these workflow steps very easily. There may be a need for refund or return, and having a mobile application can extend the ability of the internal team of the vendor so they can quickly complete these steps of refund, accrediting, or returning items.


Custom B2B Apps for Your Marketplace

Fundamentally, with a base mobile application and tablet application that has capabilities for buyers and sellers, we can adjust and customize these applications over time to match what your particular buyers and sellers are looking for.

This is why working with a company like Clarity Ventures helps your marketplace be successful. We have an off-the-shelf set of tools that we can then cater to your particular market and match the needs and changing demands that your buyers and sellers will have.

If you’d like to learn more, please reach out to one of our experts. We’d be happy to talk with you further and provide you with a free consultation.

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