The success of players such as Alibaba and Amazon have spurred on B2B businesses to think about e-Commerce. Traditionally, e-Commerce was confined to the B2C model, particularly for the fashion, retail, household goods and more recently electronic goods industries.
The emergence of behemoths such as Alibaba.com have led firms to rethink their strategy, one towards digital marketplaces. These are platforms, offered by mediators or brokers, to allow suppliers and buyers to come together to trade. Some industries have created their own vertical marketplaces specializing in a particular industry whereas others attract general businesses to market, sell, buy and deliver their products.
The entrance of local marketplaces such as Souq.com (now Amazon.ae) and Noon.com into the Middle East arena has presented the local business community with an ‘adopt or die’ moment. SME’s make up more than 70% of the business community here in the UAE, many of them are now making progress towards e-Commerce.
However, a more concerted effort will be required by other highly dependent e-Commerce eco-system players, public and private, if e-Commerce is truly to take off for the B2B community.