On the Internet, B2B (business-to-business), also known as e-biz, is the exchange of products, services, or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers. How to Choose a B2B site? Here are a few tips:
1 – Website traffic
Here you must consider 2 issues. First, how popular is the B2B site worldwide. (For example: tradetuber.com. You can Search Alexa.com to find website popularity). B2B websites ranked in the top 100,000 of all websites may be worthwhile. Lower ranked trade sites are either old and not worth your time or new and not worth your effort.
Next, how much traffic do they get from your primary market? For example, many B2B websites in China are very popular there, but they get very little traffic from America and Europe. If you are looking for buyers from these markets, then a popular B2B site in China will not be very effective.
Using Alexa.com, you can view country popularity lower on the page below the statistics tables. Check what percentage of users are in USA (or other markets) and what is the popularity rank in the country you are most interested to market to?
2- Directory Information
All B2B sites list companies in an online directory. However, you need to be concerned with B2B sites that simply buy lists to build their directory. On those sites – of which there are many – companies often don’t even know they are listed. In addition, company information is generally not updated.
The result of this is that you can spend time sending messages to companies and the response will be very low because the info is old, or the receiver doesn’t even know log in information.
At Importers.com, all directory listings have been created by company representatives. We have never purchased a list of companies and added to our directory. Moreover, we rank companies according to their online activity. Most active Free Members rank higher than others.
3 – Online promotion
The final consideration for evaluating a B2B site is to determine what kind of promotion you will receive. In this regard, all trade sites promote paid members more than free members. The question is, will you get strong enough promotion for it to be worth the membership fees?
It is worthwhile to join and be a free member of the leading B2B sites. In fact, it is a great way to evaluate which site provides the most qualified inquiries. However, creating simple accounts with poor information on free B2B sites actually hurts your company more than it helps it.
Whatever information your company has online, make sure it is detailed and professional. Anything less is a sales killer!
It is worthwhile to upgrade your membership at a B2B site that has active buyers of your products and will provide strong promotion for your products. For example, Alibaba is a great B2B site for Chinese companies – but in fact, suppliers from other countries are buried in search results below their “Gold Suppliers” – which are all from China. So, while the site is very popular, it does not provide strong promotion for traders outside of China.
4 – Site Evaluation
China Suppliers: To evaluate a B2B site, search the directory and contact buyers that may be interested in your products. Be sure you have a detailed company profile and good products details. Then, see what kind of response you get. If you receive a number of positive replies, consider upgrading to get more promotion on the site.
China buyers: most buyers don’t want hundreds of suppliers, they just want 1 or 2 good ones. So, consider what happens when you post a BUY lead. Does it get sent to thousands of companies – who then flood your inbox with all kinds of useless messages? Good B2B sites – like Importers.com – provide buyer services to help identify qualified suppliers. Rather than blasting your BUY lead to thousands, they select the most qualified suppliers and provide sourcing services to help you make a buy decision.
Considering the information above, here are the B2B websites that TradeStaff recommend. It is worthwhile for most companies to have a Free Member account at each of these. However, the B2B sites may not be best for your company and may not provide the best results when you upgrade membership. Be sure to do your own evaluation.
In conclusion, it is worthwhile to have a free membership at the leading B2B sites. However, at each site your company belongs to, be sure your information is detailed and professional. Buyers will Google your company name and if the information they find is not professional, you run the risk of losing their interest.
All B2B sites offer paid promotion – through membership and/or advertising. For most suppliers, it is worthwhile to upgrade at 1 or 2 sites that have active members in your target market, that provide strong online promotion, and that have proven effective in attracting buyer inquiries for your products.