B2B econtext

Marketsite eXchange, eHub, metamediaries are terms used to refer to complex web sites that facilitate trading exchanges between companies around the globe. MarketSiteā„¢ is a trade mark of commerceOne and considered as the leading e-marketplace operating environment.

This section considers the features of the online trading environment that are unique and might ultimately impact on the extent to which organisations develop a web presence and trade online. Visibility and transparency are examples of unusual characteristics of the online trading environment, which can be either advantageous or not depending on an organisation's objectives. For buyers, 'marketsites' facilitate potentially lower prices and lower search and order costs, but for sellers, market share and value can become eroded over a relatively short period of time when trading in such electronic markets. From a more tactical perspective, Brynjolfsson and Kahin (2000) identified more detailed and unusual characteristics of online financial transactions (e.g. making a greater number of price adjustments), and as a result concluded online markets are (at least in part) different to off-line markets.

Regardless of the effects of trading online it is important to remember that B2B markets are different from B2C markets in a number of ways. According to Jobber (2004), in organisational markets, there are typically fewer customers that are likely to buy goods in bulk quantities and the buyer organisations tend to be larger and subsequently of great value to the supplier. What are the implications of this? First, with fewer buyers, the existence of suppliers tends to be well known. Choice criteria vary: impulse purchases, and those based on emotional motives are rare in organisational buying situations as buyers tend to be professionals who use technical and economic choice criteria to inform their decision making. This means that efforts to promote brands are different to those used for consumer brands and price setting tends to involve more negotiation between the seller and the buyer.

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