Why a B2B Marketplace on Spryker is Your Next 10x Initiative

Setup, Requirements, Benefits and Forecasts for Manufacturing Industry
“Manufacturers underestimate the potential of marketplaces.It’s not just about offering products, but creating a self-reinforcing ecosystem through a holistic experience of products and services for customers.” – Alexander Graf, CEO, Spryker

Manufacturing Marketplace Guide

As the pandemic has taught us yet again, every crisis also offers opportunities. 2020 felt like a 10-year leap in digitization. We witnessed a lot of consolidation, acquisition, and new business development. Among these, it was particularly noticeable that the manufacturing industry picked up momentum, got a kick start and made a big leap in technology adoption during the pandemic. Some of this momentum is here to stay, so it’s important to think big: How does a current B2B manufacturing company manage to grow 10x leveraging this once in a lifetime opportunity? One proven way to scale digital business successfully: run a successful marketplace.

Marketplaces are becoming one of the most important pillars in our global industry, including the manufacturing business. However, it’s been a tough place for the manufacturing industry in recent years. Overall market growth was actually negative from 2016-2021, according to recent research. Whereas the GMV of marketplaces grew nearly 30% from 2019 to 2021 alone.

7 challenges that drive the rise of marketplaces
  • Organic growth cannot meet the market speed
  • New business models and categories have to be tested constantly
  • Scaling is subject to major financial risk
  • Customers are searching for one stop solutions, which increases cart sizes
  • Competing on the more diverse product catalog with product longtail
  • Increasing CAC require higher lifetime values or basket sizes
  • The need of complex IT solutions demand a broad reach to ensure a ROI

The rise of marketplaces in numbers

“B2B marketplaces create value by removing trade frictions between sellers and buyers in a market. The higher these frictions, the more distinctive the value proposition of a marketplace can be on both sides, leading to strong entrenchment in a specific trade, and ultimately, long- term prosperity.”
– Gopi Vaddi, General Partner, TCV

What was once the privilege of fast-moving consumer goods is now being enabled by technology for long-tail and more complex producers: customer access. Coupled with globalization and the changing buying patterns of business customers, this creates a real opportunity to become dominant in your industry.

Gartner agrees with this concept as well. They predict that 70% of marketplaces will have B2B business processes connected by 2023. Indeed, massive B2B markets like health care and logistics remain opaque and intermediary-driven, with orders and payments being processed via email, SMS, fax, and written correspondence. It is therefore important to seize the opportunity, because unlike Amazon, for example, the B2B manufacturing market is fragmented, but large enough for several players to participate. In addition, the increased customer journey complexity can be used for the advantage as a high-entry barrier for future market players.

B2B customer in the digital age show a change in purchasing behavior

  • 74% research at least half of their work purchase online
  • 61% research products on mobile
  • 56% expect to make half or more of their work purchases online in the next three years
  • 91% prefer to buy online once they have decided what to buy

So the main question is not when to start your marketplace. Instead, it’s how can you ensure that the marketplace initiative you’re putting in place is resilient on the market, yet future-proven and enables you to grow 10x in the upcoming years. Allow us to help you with this.

How to build a successful marketplace business model with enterprise commerce technology

Marketplaces currently have a strong tailwind and will change global commerce in the long term. As a company in the manufacturing industry, it is crucial to understand how to develop a successful marketplace and what role you should play in it. In this chapter we talk about the requirements for marketplaces, revenue streams, operators & traders, and what technology is needed.

The essentials of a B2B marketplace

Successful B2B marketplaces are built on a predefined set of key aspects. Those consist of seven main attributes that combined build the business platform for your revenue growth:

The revenue stream of B2B marketplaces

Deciding on the right revenue model will make a difference to the long-term success of a B2B
marketplace. Setting the scene appropriately while initiating the marketplace strategy should not be
compromised by unreliable technology or limited services preventing future scale and growth.

This table will cover the most prominent revenue models suitable for B2B marketplace operators.

Revenue Model Revenue Model
Description Description
Business Value Business Value
Revenue Model Transaction Based
Description Commission for every transaction that is being processed via the marketplace
Business Value Implementation is simple to set up. Yet lags necessary customization for scalability.
Revenue Model Subscription Based
Description Gate the access to the marketplace with a subscription fee
Business Value No dependency on product listings. Limited growth potential on fast-growing merchants.
Revenue Model Listing Based
Description The operator takes a fee for every new added listing
Business Value Organic filter for irrelevant product listings. Marketplace might lag product variety.
Revenue Model Lead fee Based
Description Merchant pays a fee to the operator for a successful transaction
Business Value Incentives merchants to promote the marketplace and sell more. Proper order & payment process mandatory.
Revenue Model Free to Start
Description Merchants can start selling with a basic set of features and can upgrade to the next tier.
Business Value Low-entry barrier to attract merchants. Demands proper sales strategy for upgrading their profiles.

Find the revenue model that fits your business best as you can combine different revenue models to meet your internal needs. And the use of revenue models can develop over time. Most marketplaces start with simple business models like listing fees and a base commission and only become more complex once they are established.

In summary: there is (unfortunately) no perfect revenue model to be chosen that will ensure the success of B2B marketplaces as there are a multitude of factors involved. For example, the crucial differences between the two most important actors on marketplaces: operators and merchants.

B2B marketplaces roles: operators and merchants

The marketplace model is a proven way to scale online businesses fast and easily. However, unlike traditional e-commerce platforms, a marketplace has an additional player using the platform: the merchant.

What are the differences between a merchant and a marketplace operator?

The table below will provide you with a crisp overview of their differences.

In summary, it can be said that, particularly in the B2B manufacturing industry, running a marketplace as the operator enables special competitive advantages. Industry expertise can be applied to create a holistic and consistent customer experience across the board. Additionally, the product quality remains at a high level due to the controlled access of new merchants to the marketplace. Finally, it is an ideal foundation to develop further revenue streams without jeopardizing existing business processes.

Operator Operator
Merchant Merchant
In a nutshell
Operator Owns and runs the marketplace
Merchant Participates actively on the marketplace by offering its products and services
Operator Technical infrastructure, Product catalogue management, Runtime & performance, Logistics (if offered), Merchant onboarding, Review management, Financial transactions & payment
Merchant Product information, Pricing strategy, Merchant profile, Inventory management, Customer support for sold products & services
Business Model
Operator Commission for sold products & services via the marketplace, Fees for merchant onboarding, Advertisement of merchants, Margin of sold products (if active as a merchant as well)
Merchant Margin on sold products & services
Benefits of marketplaces
Operator Scale effortlessly: with a powerful platform you can lean back, regardless of the number of customers or merchants. From 10 to 10 million.
Reduce risk: Focus on the marketplace while distributing your business risk and financial commitment.
Profit margin: introduce a new powerful revenue stream that scales with your growth due to its commission based model.
Differentiated product offering: diversify your product catalogue with a growing number of merchants meeting customers’ needs faster than your competition.
Be in control: as the operator you are able to define the common playground for your merchant that meets your customers’ expectations.
Merchant Grow your customer base: merchants get access to a huge number of new customers once their account is live and running. No marketing needed.
Focus on operational excellence: the marketplace does the heavy lifting. Merchants focus on performance and their product expertise.
Trust: merchants can contribute from the halo effect of a trusted marketplace enabling them to grow.
Grow with the market: marketplaces are a great way for merchants to start their business as they grow with the marketplace itself.
GTM: Merchant can easily test new products and business ideas due to the wide number of addressable customers on the marketplace.
Marketing opportunity: turning a high-performing merchant profile into a marketing activity is a great opportunity for more global visibility.

Enterprise technology for leading B2B manufacturing marketplaces

Evolving or building a first and third-party marketplace was recently confirmed by Gartner to be an important and successful digital growth strategy for retailers, brands and manufacturers. Expand your product range, complement it with other merchants products and services, provide more convenience to your customers or lower your CAC and IT spend with a marketplace approach. Spryker ́s Enterprise Marketplace Solution allows you to either easily extend your existing B2B or B2C store and transform it into an Enterprise Marketplace based on the same cloud-native, scalable and headless Spryker Cloud Commerce OS or to build a standalone solution. Invite other merchants, allow them to create offers, handle transactions, payments and order management centrally by using the modular capabilities in our cloud.

Spryker Cloud Commerce OS was built from the ground up to fulfill enterprise requirements without compromising on flexibility, velocity or scalability. Based on composable commerce methodology, SCOOS provides a set of marketplace mandatory features that can be extended with over 300 modules to build manufacturing-specific marketplaces. A successful B2B marketplace is being defined by a reliant technology backbone delivering the needed infrastructure to scale.

Merchants & merchant portal

  • Your merchants are one of the strongest and most important assets for the success of your B2B marketplace. The Spryker B2B marketplace module for merchants includes a highly customizable profile editor that allows merchants to define their presence on your marketplace. This includes categorization, localization, product and service offerings and much more. Merchants can administer their operations from one centralized dashboard to create new products and prices, view and manage orders, process return, offer customer service and provide a relevant customer experience to your marketplace customers.

Product &

  • The in-built product and offer management grants access to a wide range of functionalities to tailor the marketplace to your B2B commerce strategy. This starts with a powerful product detail page enhanced with rich media to provide a digital experience of your product catalogue. To achieve global presence, merchants benefit from localization features such as multi-languages, multi-currency and taxes, and much more. Furthermore, products can be amplified with additional services and offerings to increase cross and up-sell revenue.


  • The order processing capabilities within Spryker’s marketplace solution is beyond the market standard, especially for B2B commerce. Marketplaces can offer split ordering and split delivery to meet the demanding needs of B2B customers worldwide. Additional approval order processes, return and reorder management provide merchants and customers with an industry-leading experience in B2B.


  • Tie all your operational excellence together into one cohesive and relevant front-end experience for your B2B marketplace customers. Customers benefit from advanced search capabilities to not miss out any relevant products from merchants on the marketplace. With shared baskets and enhanced role management, enterprise customers can be easily addressed without any constraints. Business accelerators such as quick ordering, quote request, customer order reference and more are out-of- the-box.

Operator Back Office

  • The operator can ensure compliance with B2B marketplace guidelines by managing the whole operations from the back office. Strong features allow operators to run the entire marketplace from one single interface while keeping full control. Approve and onboard new merchants, review their product and price listings, and act as a merchant too. Set the foundation of your business growth by integrating your marketplaces into your existing IT infrastructure and adding new marketplace throughout your scale. Define if customers should be able to visit your marketplace without registration or if it is restricted to known customers profiles.

As you can see, it takes much more than just the willingness to build a marketplace. The foundation is defined by the business model you choose for the marketplace. Based on this, you rely on the right technology that enables you to master the three important value pillars of marketplaces: merchant, transaction, and service management of the marketplace. You use the data points generated within the processes consistently through integrations built into your existing IT infrastructure and deliver a consistent customer experience to your business customers regardless of devices, languages or geography. In the following chapter, we will show you how a marketplace with Spryker is successful and how you can secure 10x growth.

Proof of value: Running your marketplace initiative on Spryker

Since its inception, Spryker has been dedicated to enabling companies to digitize transactional business models through market-leading commerce technology. Spryker‘s Marketplace Solution is based on the modular architecture of Spryker Cloud Commerce OS. SCCOS is unlike other commerce solutions in its focus on Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs). Compared to old software monoliths, these offer customers the freedom to integrate additional functions without major additional costs. Compared to known Microservices, PBCs provide better governance by business users compared to costly and complex monitoring by IT experts.

Marketplace customers of Spryker Cloud Commerce OS and the corresponding marketplace solution likewise benefit from access to a diverse ecosystem of technology partners to create the best possible marketplace experience borne out of a best-of-breed approach.

With experience from more than 200 customer projects, this setup has proven to be the best for both operators and merchants on marketplaces. Some of the key reasons at a glance:
  1. Faster time to market due to out of the box capabilities
  2. Centralized, yet open platform for flexibility and scalability
  3. Optimized total cost of ownership due to marketplace monitoring and onboarding
  4. Backed by a wide ecosystem of technology partners for future improvements

The combination of relevant market and industry experience and Spryker Cloud Commerce OS enables the launch of a marketplace MVP within 90 days. The proof of value roadmap we have defined is guided by different teams to enable customers to achieve the required growth through marketplaces.

In the discovery phase, our business consulting teams evaluate with clients the best possible strategy for the marketplace. In the subsequent evaluation and scope definition, Solution Architects are at your side paired with potential additional implementation partners from your or Spryker’s ecosystem.

After a successful implementation of the MVP within 90 days, customers are further supported by a dedicated Customer Success Team, which conducts further scaling cycles and business reviews with you to ensure continuous improvement of the marketplace. Accordingly, you can achieve growth of up to 10x through multiple improvement cycles per year plus the resulting network effects on your marketplace, which increases exponentially with each additional merchant.

Proof of Value Roadmap

In the following chapter, we will discuss some key metrics for marketplaces and how they are positively impacted by a successful marketplace with Spryker.
“With our Customer Success Team, we provide our customers with a unit of specialists who all pursue the common goal of enabling customers to be even more successful with our Spryker Cloud Commerce OS!”
– Eric Schreiner - EVP Customer Success & Renewals, Spryker

Executive summary: multiply your growth by 10 thanks to a successful B2B Marketplace

In the previous chapters, we addressed the three most important questions regarding B2B marketplaces:

  • Why are marketplaces relevant for business growth?
  • How do you create a competitive B2B marketplace
  • What is the proof of value in developing a marketplace with Spryker?

Self-empowering network effects are omnipresent on marketplaces and define a major force to drive 10x growth for your business. In short, as an operator each additional merchant will exponentially improve your marketplace business. Let’s take a brief look at those improvements:

  1. A new merchant adds more selection and convenience to your offering
  2. It also reduces the risks of dominant pricing strategies of single merchants
  3. An increased offering helps to differentiate your marketplace from competitors while increasing the overall customer experience
  4. More time spent on your marketplace increases traffic which results in a larger share of market and wallets
  5. More traffic and customers will raise the awareness of your marketplace for new merchants that want to join
  6. The cycle starts again

Your marketplace keeps growing in relevant marketplace metrics while lowering the total cost of ownership with each new merchant.

We then support the theoretical concept around network effects with a forecast of how a marketplace can grow within three years. We assume an MVP with roughly 20 merchants including the operator itself, about 500 products per merchant, a basket of goods averaging $500 and a 2% conversion rate at around 300,000 visitors per month.

Furthermore, we assume that each additional merchant has an incremental, positive impact on the metrics associated with it, i.e. increased shopping cart, more visitors, etc.

In the table and graphs shown below, you can quickly observe that an exponential growth of 10x over 3 years is by no means a fantasy. As experts have already confirmed, the growth of the marketplace is driven, among other factors, by the growth of merchants who generate additional added value and are both multipliers and accelerators.

In our example, the B2B marketplace records a GMV of around $3 million in the first year with a take rate of 7%.

By adding more merchants, the marketplace reaches more customers, increases the average shopping basket and enables you as an operator to achieve a higher take rate.

Accordingly, in year 3 we already report almost $70 million GMV at a take rate of nearly 20%.

Marketplace Growth Calculator

Year Year
Number of Merchants Number of Merchants
Products Listed Products Listed
GMV Monthly GMV Monthly
NMV Monthly NMV Monthly
Year 1
Number of Merchants 20
Products Listed 10,000
GMV Monthly $3 million
NMV Monthly $210 thousand
Year 2
Number of Merchants 20
Products Listed 25,000
GMV Monthly $7,5 million
NMV Monthly $700 thousand
Year 3
Number of Merchants 125
Products Listed 62,500
GMV Monthly $68 million
NMV Monthly $13 million

Now that you know that marketplaces can have a decisive positive impact on the future of your enterprise, you need to take the first important step: Getting your organization to buy into this strategic decision. We found that the success of such a complex commerce project depends on the overall buy- in of the organization. Accordingly, based on our experience with customers, we have collected key arguments for different stakeholders in businesses in order for you to provide them with a relevant briefing:

Key Arguments for your Management Board

We found that the success of a complex commerce project like a B2B Marketplace depends on the overall buy-in of the organization. Accordingly, based on our experience with customers, we have collected key arguments for different stakeholders in your business in order for you to provide them with a relevant briefing:


  • Marketplaces are a great opportunity for us to grow our business as we can focus on owning the platform while letting the merchants operate and run the business.
  • Other than contractual or project orders we can forecast a recurring revenue stream which grants us a consistent cashflow.


  • Instead of starting to compete with our contractors and partners in our ecosystem, building a centralized marketplace puts us in a unique position to combine forces and create a new sales stream that we were not able to build yet.


  • With each additional marketplace merchant our overall marketplace awareness will rise, as it’s in our common interest to grow the marketplace business.
  • Secondly, we can lower the customer acquisition cost while increasing their customer lifetime value.


  • As the main operator we can run and scale the marketplace with a small and dedicated internal team, supported by our vendor and partner, while specializing on the overall marketplace experience.


  • Running the marketplace on a Platform-as- a-Service such as Spryker will grant us access to the modern standard of software such as headless, API, and Packaged Business Capabilities, out-of- the-box features and integrations to best-of-breed technologies and platforms.

About Spryker

Spryker is the leading composable commerce platform for enterprises with sophisticated business models to enable growth, innovation, and differentiation. Designed specifically for sophisticated transactional business, Spryker’s easy-to-use, headless, API-first model offers a best-of-breed approach that provides businesses the flexibility to adapt, scale, and quickly go to market while facilitating faster time-to-value throughout their digital transformation journey. As a global platform leader for B2B and B2C Enterprise Marketplaces, Thing Commerce, and Unified Commerce, Spryker has empowered 150+ global enterprise customers worldwide and is trusted by brands such as ALDI, Siemens, Hilti, and Ricoh. Spryker was recognized by Gartner® as a Visionary in the 2023 Magic Quadrant™ for Digital Commerce and was also ranked as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022. Spryker is a privately held technology company headquartered in Berlin and New York. Find out more at

Spryker Website