First Quarter of 2013 – Lessons Learnt About B2B

It seems like yesterday that 2013 ushered in amidst joy and comical speculations about an impending doomsday. Already, the first three months of 2013 have rolled by and aside from the fact that we are all here; certain revelations are becoming evident about Indian SMEs in general and the B2B marketplace scenario across India in particular, that might hold particular interest to all Startups, SMEs and larger businesses that aspire to cut a sizable share of the market profits. Read on for an in-depth analysis-

The B2B marketplace concept is here to stay, and even the Indian Government is supportive. Through 2012 and the early part of 2013, the Union Government implemented schemes like Procurement Policy and online cluster development to encourage SMEs and Startups to actively indulge in online trading (B2B marketplace) thereby driving more value to their business.

The World is shrinking thanks to the B2B marketplace. Through aggressive promotion by various B2B portals and the promise of higher value for their commodities or lower purchase rates across different markets around the world, buyers and sellers in India are inspired to be part of these B2B portals. More and more SMEs are coming on board the B2B marketplace to connect with their prospective customers through the B2B portal’s importers and exporters directory.

Content has finally been given its due. Instead of a face-to-face promotional and marketing strategy as employed by traditional traders, powerful, focussed content holds precedence to propagate your sales message through the B2B marketplace. Using powerful content comes cheap, is not localised to a specific market and is more impactful than conventional mediums of promotion.

Society at large has been bitten by the Social Media bug. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ are some of the influential Social Media websites that are seen as platforms for rich promotion and marketing by the emerging Startups and SMEs. Lately, this powerful, mostly free option has received a massive vote of confidence from the B2B Buyers and Sellers in India, who view it as an extension of the B2B marketplace concept.

Last but most definitely not the least- Smartphones have ushered in the era of instant online connectivity. The boom in Mobile telephony across India was massively felt through 2012 and the start of 2013 when many domestic and international brands launched robust smartphone offerings in the Indian market. The high acceptability of these handy devices has opened a powerful medium through which a Startup or SME can communicate with its prospective customer base at the grass root level. Many B2B portals have responded to this opportunity by launching native apps that connect the B2B buyer and seller instantly and prompt them to stay active on their online profiles.

Thus, it’s evident that the B2B marketplace concept has evolved alongside the Indian market’s acceptance of online promotional and marketing options as well as the emerging influence of the Internet. While traditional marketing is bound to remain intact for a while longer, it will henceforth, not remain the only option available to a resourceful SME or Startup that is looking to attract a wider market.