India is arguably the ‘home of MSMEs’: there are 36 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country per Statista, second only to China. The internet era has opened a plethora of growth and expansion opportunities for these businesses. This growth comes with its own set of challenges previously unknown to Indian small and medium business (SMB) owners – increased competition, an inability to access domestic and international markets, technological hurdles and demanding markets. Tech hurdles can be insurmountable for some – after all, not all MSMEs can afford a sleek website to showcase their products and services, not to mention the costs of maintaining and updating such a site.
This is where e-marketplaces or online marketplaces enter the picture. Whether you are an auto-parts manufacturer or a wholesale grocer, a furniture retailer or medical commodities trader, you can profit from trading your products and services online via B2B e-marketplaces. A B2B e-marketplace is a website that works as a platform for MSMEs to promote their goods or services.
While B2C e-marketplaces have become popular in the last decade, B2B e-marketplaces are yet to gain wide market acceptance among SMBs in India. To date, there are a number of Indian e-marketplaces that cater to a large number of sectors. Udaan, Amazon Business, Alibaba, IndiaMart, Trade India and Facebook Marketplace are some of the common names in this space. Apart from these, the Government of India has recently launched a new platform – the Government e-Marketplace – that aims to transform the procurement process across public sector enterprises.
SMBs are well served to keep abreast of developments in this area. Search for the leading e-marketplaces for your sector, register yourself and create a pilot project for trading in small quantities to make yourself comfortable. Discover the best ways to protect your products and business on the marketplace – it may require investing in a logo and some crisp messaging. Figure out the best logistics and post-sale processes to ensure your customers are delighted with your products. What works best offline may not be optimal online.
When done right, e-marketplaces can establish a new channel of trade for you – we recommend that you start your search with the three e-marketplaces we’ve curated especially for SMBs like you:
Amazon Business, the latest B2B marketplace offering from the e-commerce giant, provides a comprehensive, optimized B2B trade solution for its registered users. A valid business license is all that is required for any business, whether a small business / large enterprise/manufacturer or distributor, to become a part of this members-only site. Amazon Business is an amalgamation of the Amazon Business Sellers Program, targeted at sellers and Amazon Business Buyers Program that is targeted to buyers.
- Businesses authorize users to make purchases on Amazon on behalf of their employer
- Inventory and product listings for both B2B and B2C can be managed from a single seller account
- Create a unique product catalog for businesses; provide tax exemption for qualified purchases; display GST-exclusive prices to B2B customers
- Multiple payment options – NEFT/RTGS transfer, Credit/Debit card, cash-on-delivery.
Primary Product Categories: Books, Office & IT Peripherals, Apparel, Home Decor, Health & Personal Care.
With a mission ‘to make doing business easy’, IndiaMart is India’s leading online B2B marketplace. IndiaMart, which has a worldwide customer base, provides a unique platform for MSMEs to trade online and make their presence visible internationally. From furniture to home decor, from machinery to kitchen appliances, IndiaMart solves the discoverability of your products and services.
- Wide marketplace; enhanced visibility
- Anytime, anywhere trade; showcase and post products free of charge
- Create a mini-site for free; easy catalog management
- Efficient lead management system; basic and premium membership
Primary Product Categories: Automobile Parts and Spares, Electrical and Industrial Supplies, Agriculture and Farming
TradeIndia is another popular B2B e-marketplace for MSMEs that operates in India. TradeIndia lists products spanning 2,200 categories and has over 40 million registered users. TradeIndia aims to provide a common platform for producers, specialist organizations operating and exporters remotely. This online marketplace operates in both the manufacturing and services sectors. A supplier who has opted for a basic membership can sign up for free and list up to 50 products and add 20 search keywords.
- Easy catalogue management; basic and premium membership
- Create a mini-site and list the products; on-phone services like DialB2B and Call Me Free that help sellers and buyers reach their potential business partners directly
Primary Product Categories: Agro products, Industrial supplies, Apparel, Auto Accessories, Office and Lab Supplies, Machinery
e-Marketplaces open a wide range of possibilities for MSMEs like you to promote and grow your businesses. The early mover advantage in the digital economy can be yours!
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Keywords: e-marketplace, the marketplace, Small Medium Business owners, small business, medium business, SMBs, MSME, Micro Small medium enterprises, trade, banking, integrated
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