Channel Marketplace Blog

The Next Big Route to Market

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 28, 2020 2:14:47 PM / by Larry Walsh

Larry Walsh

Digital transformation and generational change are making online resources like the Channel Marketplace essential for sellers and buyers.

Welcome to the Channel Marketplace, a collection of companies and experts that provide tools, resources, guidance, and support to vendors that sell to and through channel partners. This marketplace reflects a growing trend as more goods and services are researched and sold through online portals and e-commerce platforms.

Marketplaces are becoming substantial direct and indirect routes to market. According to a pre-COVID-19 pandemic report by Frost & Sullivan, B2B marketplace transactions were expected to top $6.6 billion worldwide in 2020. The actual volume may increase as the pandemic forces social distancing, causing consumers and businesses to order more products through e-commerce portals and digital marketplaces.

Businesses are turning to marketplaces for better pricing, convenient acquisition, and better purchasing management. Buyers appreciate marketplaces because they house information about different products and services and allow them to explore options that they hadn’t considered through traditional purchasing channels.

The generational evolution influencing the shift to marketplaces cannot be understated. One-third of millennials, which make up most of middle management today, prefer purchasing through B2B marketplaces. Nearly the same number of Gen Xers, which make up the majority of senior management and executive ranks, are gravitating toward B2B marketplaces as a source of information, products, and services.

The Channel Marketplace is part of this trend. The 2112 Group, which specializes in providing channel research and go-to-market strategies for technology vendors and distributors, began tracking the evolution of marketplaces several years ago. In that time, we’ve noted how ancillary e-commerce sales by vendors and partners are transforming into viable platforms for conveying information about products and services.

By definition, a marketplace is a platform that lets customers find products and services offered by multiple brands. In the context of B2B routes to market, marketplaces are both informational and transactional. Sometimes, a marketplace is a repository for knowledge, resources, and guidance. At other times, a marketplace is where customers can find complementary products and services that satisfy their diverse needs.

The Channel Marketplace is both.

Here, channel professionals will find various products and services from the leading providers of resources that help vendors develop, automate, and manage their channel programs. Through the Channel Marketplace, users will discover how different channel management technologies support one another to create greater efficiencies, outcomes, and economies of scale.

The Channel Marketplace isn’t an automated transaction platform, meaning you can’t purchase anything through the site. It does, however, provide users with a concierge service, allowing them to submit questions, seek guidance and support, and coordinate introductions to the different companies in the marketplace. Real people working behind the scenes will help Channel Marketplace users get the most out of this resource.

The 2112 Group believes marketplaces will become an increasingly important route to market for technology vendors, distributors, and channel partners. Acquiring products isn’t the challenge, as companies like Amazon and Alibaba demonstrate daily. Making technology work well and produce better outcomes that businesses need is the goal. 2112 sees the channel evolving from a sales engine to a facilitator of customer experiences. Marketplaces will provide the product; partners will provide the knowledge, expertise, and support.

You can find our guide, Strategies for Engaging Automated Digital Sales Channels, in the Channel Marketplace Resources section.

Marketplaces are a substantial part of our collective future. The Channel Marketplace is your marketplace for the things you need to run effective channels.

Topics: Marketplaces, Strategy

Larry Walsh

Written by Larry Walsh

Larry Walsh is the leading go-to-market advisor to technology executives, channel leaders, and solution providers around the world. Widely known for his ability to cut through problems and challenges facing vendors, distributors, and solution providers, Walsh is sought for his advice, counsel, insights, and consultation on channel strategies and technology market trends. He and The 2112 Group team are responsible for crafting and shaping the channel strategies and programs of companies that span the hardware, software, cloud, and services spectrum of the technology industry.