The e-commerce industry in India is thriving at an unprecedented rate and the advent of new-age technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, etc, and growing global trade is paving way for the growth of multiple opportunities in the field.
Developments in the post-pandemic world led to the rise of global B2B businesses, as several trade restrictions during the pandemic, resulted in the halt of conventional supply chains which fulfilled the need for raw materials and industrial products for the regional businesses. This is where B2B e-commerce companies came in and filled the vacuum created by trade restrictions and enabled uninterrupted trade throughout the country. As the majority of corporations and financial institutions move towards digitalization, B2B startups are making their way into the mainstream.
In 2021, the market for business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce in India was valued at 5.6 billion US dollars, as per Statista. In the year 2025, the market for B2B e-commerce is expected to grow to around $60 billion USD.
Major Factors Which are Driving the E-commerce Market in India
- Increased consumption of Mobile phones
According to a report by venture capital firm KPCB, India accounts for 41% of global mobile-based e-commerce sales. According to leading e-commerce companies, mobile phones account for nearly 70-75% of their online traffic, resulting in higher revenues from mobile apps.
Smartphones have completely changed the traditional norms of the business-consumer relationship and have enabled easy interactive modes for B2B businesses to reach their target audience with just a simple tap.
- Increasing Digitalization
The rise of digitalization in the past few decades has changed many core elements in the conventional business norm and new-age technology such as AI, machine learning, IoT, data mining etc, which has replaced basic business operations with AI-powered business models. Data-driven strategies are now making it possible for businesses to completely personalize the customer experience by tracking down consumer behaviour.
Social media is a powerful tool which can help any regional business brand go global in the diverse marketplace. When considering social media for B2B e-commerce, it is all about targeting people who are clearly interested in solving the problem being addressed. Focus on how you can position your company as understanding the issues that your prospects face — that you 'get it,' and thus can help them.
- Availability of tech-enabled logistics providers
The logistics landscape is rapidly changing due to the availability of tech-enabled e-commerce shipping solutions provided by several major players in the field. Shipping aggregators like NimbusPost use AI-powered logistics solutions to help e-commerce companies streamline their logistics and shipping operations in India and overseas.
Top Ten Examples of B2B E-commerce Companies
Amazon is the world's most visible example of a B2B e-commerce website. Amazon Business, Amazon's B2B division, was rebranded from AmazonSupply in 2015. Within a year, it had surpassed $1 billion in sales. Five years later, net sales reached $25 billion.
Amazon Business provides a comprehensive package that includes every feature that an e-commerce B2B website may require. Approval workflows and multi-user accounts enable a company to assign users to different levels of account authorization.
Dinesh and Brijesh Agrawal, cousins, founded IndiaMART in 1996 as a website directory for customers in India's national capital region (NCR). It is the country's largest B2B e-commerce website, serving both small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises.
As a product listing site, anyone can access IndiaMART's catalogue, but prices are restricted to those with user accounts. The catalogue navigation is simple and well-organized. Panels of subcategories dive deep into a wide range of options that can be viewed without opening multiple browser tabs. Buyers can directly question sellers about pricing and regional product availability.
Alibaba is a Chinese multinational organisation specialising in B2B e-commerce. While Alibaba.com is the company's international wholesale platform, it also includes e-commerce and technology companies. Alibaba.com is unique and different in the way it connects China's massive manufacturing capacity with resellers in both domestic and international markets.
Udaan is a B2B trade marketplace that primarily serves SMBs in India. In 2016, three ex-Flipkart employees set out to change the way trading works in India by merging old and new technology. Initially, the portal focused on logistics for small businesses in the electronics and apparel industries. However, as the company grew at an exponential rate, Udaan began work on developing a full-stack eCommerce marketplace for the country's SMBs. Udaan joined the unicorn club, becoming one of India's fastest-growing companies.
JioMart is a joint venture of Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms. The soft launch began in December 2019, followed by the full launch in May 2020. Their headquarters are in Navi Mumbai. Aside from that, it began as a grocery-only platform before expanding to fashion, home essentials, and lifestyle products. Catering to approximately 200 cities and towns across India. The app had over one million downloads within the first week of its release.
Tradeindia is yet another Indian B2B multi-seller portal for small businesses in India and abroad. It provides them with a centralised platform for selling their goods and services. It has over 5 million registered users and close to 4 million sellers and buyers. Through its B2B multi-vendor marketplace, TradeIndia is known for providing excellent services to both global and Indian businesses.
As the name implies, this B2B multi-seller portal assists Indian manufacturers and sellers in selling their products in India and abroad. It allows sellers and buyers to sign up for free and provides a new business channel for companies looking to expand their reach. It was founded in 1997 and has come a long way in assisting Indian businesses to benefit from online sales.
Over 500,000 small, and medium-sized businesses and enterprises are served by this industrial B2B e-commerce marketplace. Moglix manages a supply chain network that includes 16,000 suppliers, 35 warehouses, and logistics infrastructure. The startup claims to be India's largest eCommerce platform for industrial goods, with over 500,000 SKUs on its platform.
PharmEasy was founded with the only goal of making healthcare accessible and affordable to all. Today, the company is India's leading and most trusted online healthcare aggregator. PharmEasy has created a healthcare delivery platform in order to simplify and modernise the Indian healthcare system. The platform keeps patients in touch with a variety of local pharmacy stores and outlets. Today, data and technology are the driving forces behind a robust health and well-being ecosystem, and PharmEasy is leveraging both to improve healthcare in India.
Myntra began as a marketplace for purchasing personalised gift items. Myntra had 350 foreign and Indian brands on its platform by 2012, and the number has continued to grow year after year. Flipkart purchased it in 2014. Myntra is now a well-known online fashion and lifestyle e-commerce company in India for men, women, and children.
While B2B e-commerce is booming in the age of digitalization, supply chain optimization and smart warehouse fulfilment services offered by today’s logistics providers is equally going to complement the growth of this sector.