Markets are the future

There are 4 recognised evolutionary steps in ecommerce. Many organisations still have generation 1 sites which are pure information sites and any purchasing must fall back to email/phone calls to complete. Consumer facing websites rarely survive this way and have largely evolved through the use of basket type technology (think shopify plug in) and this enables orders to be taken on the web.

Amazon has been the global leader for some time on pushing the envelope on e-commerce. Their sophisticated supply chain and customer account integration enabled AMAZON to build a marketplace behind their own core offering. By 2016 over half of Amazon's revenue came from partner sellers - that means Amazon didn't have to tie up its balance sheet on inventory in order to offer a vast consumer range. Smart move.

At souqbox we think the 4th generation sites will be an extension of this marketplace principle with one very important distinction required for the b2b sector - the ability to negotiate. Even amazon doesn't have a facility to enable offers to be placed - the price is set by the seller and in the consumer world this is the right model. However in the B2B sector everything is negotiable. That's exactly why we built our platform to enable trading through negotiation.

If you have a traditional trading business offline and want to take it online, then we would love to talk to you. Perhaps you will be the main seller on the site like Amazon is on its own site, but ideally you should have ambition to have the greatest range of produce on your market and that is best achieved by building a market place.

As there is a strong network effect at play, we think in each vertical segment there may only be room for 1 marketplace to succeed to scale. The question is will it be you?