Times have changed and all businesses have started making their gradual progression towards digitalization, specific ecommerce applications, B2B-B2C web portal. Information Technology has had a massive impact on his businesses’ function nowadays.
Another important aspect of the business mobile applications is that they are readily available, without a person having to commute from one place to the other. Technology has changed the way businesses operate and brought everything online, with more transparency in business dealing and better reach.
One big industry which has witnessed a paradigm shift from person to person business to online business in the B2B industry. In this article, we will mention how these B2B businesses operate on the online platform and how it is helpful in bridging the gaps between business retailers, wholesalers, vendors, and manufacturers.
What is a B2B marketplace mobile app?
There has been a revolution in the eCommerce world with the inclusion of B2B ecommerce mobile apps that helps people to do all business dealing on their fingertips from anywhere in the world. The physical presence of a person is the last thing one is concerned about as the apps do the business on one’s behalf. These applications can either be compatible with Android, iOS, or function well across platforms.
Since more people are making purchases online using their devices, B2B (Business to Business) marketplace apps have gained prominence and are being used massively. It is used for a straightforward purchase by the retailer buyers and sells from wholesalers.
B2B marketplace apps like Udaan have made the buyers and sellers more efficient and the entire process helps save a lot of time for the seller and the buyer.
Like the physical marketplace where one business sells its products to other businesses, these B2B marketplace mobile apps have taken things online and digitalized the same process in the form of applications. Companies can make regular clients on these apps and do all the dealings online.
One such platform or an app which has made a mark in the B2B online marketplace app is India’s Udaan. Going forward, we will mention all about how the app works and what are the major components that contribute to its growth.
Also Read: eCommerce Marketplace Website with B2C & B2B model – A Complete Guide
Introduction – B2B Ecommerce App Udaan
It is one of the biggest online B2B marketplaces in India that connects wholesalers, manufacturers, merchants, and vendors with small scale business owners from across the country. The businesses can easily get access to the products at a wholesale rate through the application. It is the ultimate solution to all B2B related issues as it has proved to a platform bridging the gap between the manufacturers and retailers.
Udaan is a well-functioning application that is compatible with both Android and iOS, it can also be used on the web by the users. One can avail the best services at the most nominal prices.
The company was founded by three former employees of Flipkart in 2016. The trio behind creating this amazing app are Amod Malviya, Sujeet Kumar, and Vaibhav Gupta. In the beginning, it was a small scale app and mainly focused on logistics, but got the maximum revelation in the initial months itself which helped it gain popularity in the country in no time.
The app got a funding of $ 585 million until October 2019 from several investors who showed interest in the idea. The company value until 2019 was almost $ 2.8 billion. The top investors of the app included the likes of:
- Hillhouse Capital
- GGV capital
- Footpath ventures
- Altimeter capital
Udaan has three registered offices in India. It is headquartered in Bengaluru and has two other offices in Gurugram and New Delhi.
Advantages of B2B Marketplace app like Udaan
With the penetration of mobile phones in our lives to an extent that we carry it to all places in our hands, one has become totally dependent on it for everything. The fast-paced internet connectivity has also been adding up to the value of mobile applications. There are a number of benefits that the users can draw from a B2B marketplace app. We have listed down some major advantages below:
1. Increased Business Opportunities
The search engines help the clients or resellers get in touch with you while looking up for wholesalers and manufacturers in their area. This enhances the business opportunities as they come across people dealing in the same products that can be bought and sold after striking a deal with them. A user can grab the attention of new clients with the help of their targeted content.
2. Higher B2B Sales
Showing relevant products and services to the clients and pushing forward the recommendations to those who are looking or it is very important. This aspect is covered under the B2B ecommerce apps. One must make sure that he is targeting the right audience and is showing them a plethora of products of their interest to boost sales. This platform is also helpful in cross-selling its products.
3. Lower Production Costs and High Sales
Does it sound right or sensible to lower the cost of production and be able to get higher returns? Well, it might not sound practical initially but is very much doable. Since everything is in the hands of the businesses and the users on the B2B mobile applications, they can take control over the orders, client information, and other things on their own. Your company can streamline everything according to their preferences, thereby, decreasing their costs.
4. Customer Feedback is Available
If you offer a good shopping experience to your customers on the platform they will post positive feedback on your services which will help your future sales. Clients have always been very enthusiastic about their thoughts on one’s services and products which are helpful to businesses and other clients also get an idea of the product quality of a certain seller or a business.
5. Scope of Reaching New Markets
There are always high chances of businesses making new customers in new markets and expanding in the existing markets as well. It is an online portal that is available for people across the globe 24*7, throughout the year. One can set up an international customer base by setting up a business on such apps.
6. Worldwide Access for Increased Visibility and Trade
Having a B2B marketplace app provides an opportunity to be visible to a large number of prospective buyers and sellers from all over the world. This will help you to increase brand awareness and a chance to promote your products in front of an international audience.
7. Improves Brand Awareness
Having an eCommerce website is great but if you want to increase your reach then building a mobile app is another opportunity that you can’t miss. A B2B marketplace app gives you one more platform to reach out to a new segment of customers and thus increasing your brand awareness. An app is another avenue to easily reach out to your target customers.
8. Better Sales Engagement
If you have a physical presence in the market then it’s visibility will also increase in front of customers due to the launch of your mobile app. Major brands provide customers with various paths to reach out to them and buy products from different channels. So, having multiple sales channels like a physical store, a website, and a mobile app help in achieving better sales engagement.
Why Invest in B2B Marketplace App Development
The B2B marketplace apps have been high in demand and new ones are coming up every now and then. People are finding it profitable to develop such apps as these are the need of the hour. One can easily get in touch with potential customers on these platforms and can target a certain section of society. These B2B mobile apps have been on a rise.
Take a look at the number of projected sales on the platform between 2018 – 2022
Now take a look at the growth trends in the B2B app industry in the U.S.:
- The users are smart and lookup for more information on the product on their devices before buying it. This is why around 93 percent of the B2B users make purchases online.
- 73 percent of the total number of users lookup on the internet for the pricing of a product.
- It is expected that 56 percent of the businesses are likely to make half of their purchases online.
A look at the leading eCommerce markets around the world
- China – $ 672 billion
- United States – $ 340 billion
- United Kingdom – $ 99 billion
- Japan – $ 79 billion
- Germany – $ 73 billion
- France – $ 43 billion
- South Korea – $ 37 billion
- Canada – $ 30 billion
- Russia – $ 20 billion
- Brazil – $ 19 billion
Top B2B Marketplace Mobile Apps in India
Take a look at the B2B marketplace applications that are doing really well in India and helping businesses grow in terms of their work and sales:
One of the most popular wholesale trade applications, Alibaba has its products segregated in majorly 40 categories. Since it is an international application, it helps in cross border trades and networking. This helps the small scale traders take their business in different countries. Founded in 1999, the application serves 240 regions including countries to more than 18 million buyers and sellers.
This company was founded in 1996 and is the biggest online marketplace in the country helping the buyers and sellers to connect with each other. There are almost 1.5 million people who have registered themselves as suppliers on the platform which boasts over 10 million buyers.
The private company was founded in 2015 and is mainly into packaging, procuring, and developing. It has over 750 manufacturers from across India registered on the app and has product segregation of more than 200 products. The platform has served more than 400 brands till date.
4. Amazon business
One of the biggest B2B platforms in the entire world, Amazon has enabled people from even the farthest villages to sell their products to people across the globe. It has an integrated payment platform that allows users to make payments in several modes out of the ones available.
This one is the newest on the block and helps the manufacturers all over the country connect seamlessly with the retailers. Being the newest in the industry, the funding of the company has been really appreciable so far. The primary categories that are covered by this company include the likes of home care, grocery, dairy, Ayurveda, water, home care, chocolates & sweets, appliances, personal care, fashion & beauty, and auto among others. It offers faster delivery and users have been quite content with the services offered by the company.
Advance features you can include in your B2B eCommerce platform
The app itself is a platform that allows connections between the buyers and the sellers. This space gives an advantage to the users to do cost-cutting and setting up their online business with the help of the apps. However, there is widespread competition in this industry now and with the coming of age apps that are giving tough competition to the old apps, it has been proven that there is no stopping for these mobile and web applications.
Let’s take a look at the advanced features that make these applications special:
1. Sign up and social login
It is important to have users that are registered with the application so that their information is saved in the back end. This refrains the users to enter their information such as the delivery information, payment information, etc. over and over again on the application. Secondly, the sign-up process should be easy and the app should be integrated with the social media sign up facility so that the registration process does not become tedious for the users. They can simply sign in either through their Facebook or Gmail account and the app can directly gather all their personal information from these apps.
2. Document Scanning
Since there might be times when the app might ask the user to verify his/her identity by providing a document. For such instances, it is always best for the app to have an inbuilt document scanner, so that the user does not have to switch between the apps and get confused.
3. Document Management
A user should be able to create a folder in the app and be able to save and manage all his legal documents in this space.
4. In-App Chat & Calling
Another feature that makes up for a seamless experience, a B2B marketplace app should have a function of integrated chat and calling functions. This enables the users to make free calls and chat without spending a penny from their pockets. All they need to use this feature is the internet connection.
5. Marketing & Promotion Tool
This feature enables the users to market their products and increase their sales by promoting them on the platform.
6. Loyalty Programs
What can be best to retain users and customers? Things that give them some sort of benefit and a feeling of getting a lot by spending little. An app should be able to extend a loyalty program for the users like point system or any other form, to generate interest of the users in the B2B marketplace app.
7. ERP Integrations
This feature is the acronym for Enterprise Resource Management that allows users’ ERP software to synchronize and connect with other applications and the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).
8. Logistic Management
Since this is a platform where the sellers can input the information of all their logistics and their numbers, it is helpful for them to manage their logistics and keep a count of the products that are readily available for sale to the consumers or the buyers.
9. AI-Powered Chatbot
This is the most important feature that fills up the gap of the presence of a human as customer support. The artificial intelligence chatbot mimics a human and listens or reads to the messages written or said by the users. It is equipped with information to share with the users.
Developing an app from the Scratch Vs eCommerce Platform
There is a lot of difference in the kind of work done and the time taken in both cases.
In the case of eCommerce platform, one gets everything on a platter and does not have to invest any money on building an app. He can just start with selling his products or services on the marketplace by registering himself and his company.
The advantages of these eCommerce marketplace platforms are
- Everything that is needed to build a marketplace is already available in one place.
- Supports multiple currencies worldwide.
- Has a friendly search engine optimization.
- One can opt for free product trials.
- Has all the important and necessary tools to build a marketplace under one roof.
- Is efficient enough to handle more traffic.
Some disadvantages of eCommerce marketplace platforms
- The price is not set according to the transaction, but it is priced based on the number of users.
- There is lesser scope of customization in the same.
- The feature upgrades normally take a lot of time.
- While into the process, it is not possible to move the platform to a new host.
Starting from scratch means starting everything from the beginning, and this is done in the case of products or companies with unique functionalities.
Advantages of building a B2B marketplace app from scratch
- You need not follow a certain way of any other platform but can get the app tailored that best suits the business needs.
- One can initially go with an MVP and later on keep adding more functions to the app. This helps one in saving money.
- There is high scope of business growing leaps and bounds in the future.
- One can easily avoid any security risks in this case.
Some disadvantages of B2B marketplace apps
- The cost of these apps is bound to be more as compared to the already existing ecommerce marketplaces. It is always advisable to cut the cost by hiring professionals who can work remotely and pay them according to the number of days they spent on the development of your app. The in-house team will anyway cost you more as you will have to pay for the rent of office space and then give perks and benefits to the employees including medical insurance and others.
- The development process can be tedious and might take some extra time, therefore, the companies who plan of starting it from the scratch need patience while it is developed.
Team structure required to develop B2B eCommerce apps Like Udaan
Although there is major hard work and time invested by a lot of people while developing a B2B marketplace app, there are certain roles of personnel that doesn’t go unrecognized. Here is a look at the team of experts required to develop an app like Udaan:
- Project manager
- Mobile App Developers
- UI/UX designer
- Quality Analyst engineers
- Business Analyst
- Fron-end developers
- Back-end Developers
Tech Stack required to develop a B2B Marketplace like Udaan
- Mobile App Platform – Android, iOS
- Web Technology – PHP, .Net OR eCommerce Platform like Magento
- Cloud Environment & CDN – Amazon, Cloudflare, MaxCDN
- Payments Gateways – Paypal, Braintree and more
- Push Notification – Twillo, Push.io
- SMS, Phone Verification – Nexmo, Twilio
- Email Marketing – Mail Chimp
- Database Technologies – Datastax, Mongo DB,
- Real-Time Analytics -Apache Storm, Google Cloud DataFlow
Investment required in developing B2B eCommerce App like Udaan
There are several factors that decide the amount that one will need to invest in a B2B marketplace app like Udaan. Some of these factors are discussed below:
- One might need to develop the app for either iOS platform or for Android. The price of the app will vary accordingly. Also, the price will be different for someone who wants to launch it across platforms.
- The numbers of features also decide the pricing of the app. The more features you include in the app, the higher will be its price.
- Another cost deciding factor is the complexities of the application.
- Next, comes the geographical location of the app developers and the company.
However, talking about the amount one would have to incur on developing an app like Udaan, it would be anywhere between $ 10000 – $ 20000.
Importance of Selection of App development partner
Before proceeding to develop a B2B marketplace for your company, it is always advised to take time in selecting an app development partner that suits your needs. You should know if the app development agency has professionals with good experience and expertise in the same field. This is one of the most important steps as it will shape your entire website. Since you are going to incur a lot of money on the same, you must take baby steps in choosing the development partner for your work.
It is critical to select a partner as they are the ones who work in creating a successful app that creates and retains users on an app or page. They should have a thorough knowledge of the development process and the user requirements to keep them engaged and glued to the application. Since there is a lot of competition prevalent in the B2B marketplace app industry, one has to be very careful while choosing a team that will work on their development process.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much time will it take to build an app like Udaan?
Building a mobile app like Udaan will consume an approximate time of six to eight months. This is a basic estimate for developing a feature-rich B2B marketplace app. Usually, such an app has a huge number of features. So, the time of development depends on the complexity and number of features you wish to include in this app.
2. How much would it cost to develop an app like Udaan?
As discussed earlier in this post a mobile app like Udaan can be developed between a budget of $ 10000 – $ 20000. Also, the cost of app development can vary depending on the region you hire mobile app developers. Your decision of hiring freelance app developers or an app development company will affect your investment in app development.
3. What will be the cost to hire a Mobile app developer?
Hiring an experienced mobile app developer can cost from 15USD to 70USD/hour. The variation in cost is due to your choice of region. If you have an idea for a mobile app then you can custom quotes by reaching out to us.
4. Is an eCommerce app like Udaan profitable?
Udaan is a three-year-old startup and has managed to raise around $585 million, and overall valuation at $2.8billion. So, this gives you an estimate of how much potential is there in the eCommerce app market.