Decentralized marketplaces drive B2B e-commerce

Walking into a supermarket and buying groceries at the same place is an easy and straightforward task for consumers. For businesses, however, purchasing supplies means dealing with multiple wholesalers in different locations, which can cost their bottom line.

But as more traditional business-to-business (B2B) businesses move their operations online, wholesale B2B e-commerce is gaining traction, with more and more online marketplaces helping retailers save time and resources when buying goods in bulk.

As far as Europe is concerned, the strong market fragmentation requires that these platforms decentralize their operations and acquire local knowledge and expertise that can enable them to respond effectively to local needs in the different markets.

Fast growing wholesale market Ankorstore, founded in 2019 in France, seems to cover all these elements. “We recognize the universal need for change in wholesale, but also recognize that European markets are different,” Jina Kwonthe company’s UK country manager, told PYMNTS.

Besides the differences between markets, trying to disrupt the traditional wholesale market and convince brands and retailers to change the way they think about buying and selling wholesale can be difficult for a young, fast-growing company like Ankorstore, a said Kwon.

But this “healthy scepticism” is a good challenge for the company, she added, which has already earned the trust of more than 16,000 brands and 200,000 retailers across Europe who have listed more than a million products on the platform to date.

SMEs dominate in Europe

According to data from the European Commission, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99% of businesses in Europe, making this group of business owners a central target for many companies operating in the region.

For Ankorstore, this means using its technology to remove the administrative and operational burden typically faced by smaller independent retailers, acting as the center of the retail ecosystem and providing a platform where smaller brands can reap the rewards. same advantages as the big players.

“Our merchants and brands have a huge need for software to help them run their business better, that’s where they turn to us for help,” Kwon explained, adding that a range of commercial and sales tools are offered to enable brands to operate seamlessly. platform logistics.

“Ankorstore supports its network by adapting B2C [business-to-consumer] practical for B2B needs, including logistical support. We’ve partnered with UPS and integrated their shipping tools into our backend so things like tracking numbers and shipping confirmation are automated,” she added.

To further help these merchants drive their business growth, the business-to-business (B2B) company offers them flexible payment options at checkout with payment terms up to 60 days free of charge.

“Retailers can also test sales at a low minimum order quantity, unlike the minimums typically imposed by other wholesale marketplaces. This allows us to simplify the relationship between brand and retailer, creating a smoother relationship,” Kwon said.

Ethical purchasing and consumerism

On emerging trends shaping the European wholesale market space, Kwon argued that the B2B e-commerce industry and its role in the wider retail ecosystem is becoming increasingly important as e-commerce platforms no longer only cater to the B2C market.

“These platforms enable greater transformation — the modern B2B buyer’s journey is complex, and its differences and nuances need to be carefully addressed; to make sure the space they operate in is as efficient as possible,” she explained.

There has also been an increase in the number of “eco-conscious” shoppers as a result of the pandemic, with more consumers now aware of the environmental impact of their buying decisions.

“I believe we will see ethical shopping and consumerism grow. This is also reflected in our market, with eco-conscious brands representing over 45% of our most popular products. [brands] on the platform,” Kwon added.

Currently active in 23 countries with offices in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the French unicorn company recently raised 250 million euros (approximately $275 million) in the framework of a Series C funding round for expansion into other regional markets, starting in Italy and Spain.

Read more: Ankorstore’s unicorn status increases buzz around VC ecosystems in France and Europe

The B2B wholesale platform also plans to expand both horizontally and vertically by adding new product categories and features, starting with recent additions to its core product categories: Sports & Wellness and Pets. company.

As Kwon said, “Ankorstore will continue to drive growth for independent retailers in Europe throughout 2022.”

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