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Blog 26.04.2022

Benefits of B2B platforms for brands

The concept is familiar: bringing buyers and sellers together, matching demand with supply and making the shopping experience seamless and effortless. Still, it wasn’t until the pandemic put the physical meetings, business travel and trade fairs on hold that the B2B marketplaces and platforms started to flourish.
Vilma Rissanen

Vilma Rissanen is a Senior Advisor at Business Finland's office in Stockholm Sweden. She is also a Global Opportunity Leader for Consumer Brands industry.


Today, there is a smorgasbord of choices available from online matchmaking programs and marketplaces connecting brands with retailers to platforms helping brands to get discovered by potential customers. Some of them have existed for decades, while others only for a year or two. What's in common is, however, the aim to bring companies together, make doing business less complicated and help businesses thrive.

This spring Business Finland arranged a webinar series showcasing three different B2B platforms that help B2C companies to build their brand, create connections and do business with potential customers across Europe. The platforms included in the webinar series were Ankorstore, a fast-growing B2B wholesale marketplace for various categories; Architonic, an acknowledged platform and community for architecture and design; and ECRM, a global platform for category-based meet the buyer programs for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies and its sister platform for product discovery, RangeMe.

Why should brands consider joining a B2B platform? Can B2B platforms support brands' internationalisation plans? Here are three key takeaways from the webinar series.

Access to contacts

Identifying right contacts and getting access to them is one of the most critical points when entering a new market. It is also one of the most challenging ones. Struggling with finding and reaching out to most relevant retailers or calling and e-mailing buyers without ever hearing back from them is familiar to most companies taking first steps in foreign markets. Relying on agents and distributors is usually needed to tackle these challenges, as is visiting trade fairs and different industry events. B2B platforms are, however, keen to prove that there is a more efficient and cost-effective way to do business.

Most of the B2B platforms offer brands an access to key industry decision-makers, be it independent retailers, buyers, or business partners. Being present on a platform offers yet unknown brands an opportunity to get discovered by potential customers and to increase their brand awareness. As an example, Ankorstore opens a direct access to more than two hundred thousand independent retailers across Europe and the number of daily visitors on Architonic is equal to a size of an international design fair. The latter platform also carefully selects the brands it showcases, offering them a quality label. If you are not on the platform, you don't exist in the design market. The ECRM programs and the RangeMe platform are, on the other hand, used by some of the largest and leading retailers that are in general out of reach for smaller brands.

Perfect match

Buyers have detailed and variable business requirements for products they are looking for at a specific time. The processes for submitting brand and product information in different systems are fragmented, and sometimes outdated, resulting in companies spending a lot of time on unnecessary administrative tasks when providing the same information on various retailers' platforms. On brands' point of view, it makes sense to target several buyers and retailers at once. Buyers, on the other hand, get access to a larger database to search matching products from. As an example, in the ECRM programs brands are pre-matched with buyers based on buyers' criteria making the one-to-one meetings efficient and fruitful.

The timing is critical too. For some professionals, like architects, the time frame for finding, comparing, and pre-selecting solutions is usually short. Working with a certain criteria, rather than a specific brand or a product in mind, using a platform like Architonic as a source of information makes the process easier, while brands don't need to worry about being in the right place at the right time. In a similar way, RangeMe platform provides a more targeted brand discovery and souring opportunities for buyers who use their platform.

Boosting growth

In addition to access to above mentioned benefits, B2B platforms offer many other value adding tools. Some, like Ankorstore, offer operating systems, such as CRM and prospecting tools, inventory system and marketing and logistical support. Others, like Architonic, provide marketing support, such as editorial content to help brands to tell their story. Most platforms also provide data and insights available that can be used to track leads or see which products generate most traffic.

There is no doubt that being on a right B2B platform, at a right time and utilising it in a right way provides an efficient and cost-effective solution to some of the most common challenges brands are facing when entering new markets.

Brands should get acquainted with the different alternatives available, choose the most relevant one(s) and consider how it fits into their market entry and internationalisation plans.

Listen to the webinar recordings and hear Ankorstore, Architonic and ECRM  talk about their platforms and brands sharing their experiences. Scroll down to materials at the Experience Commerce website to find them:

Experience Commerce Finland.

If you need a texted version of the webinars according to the EU Accessibility Directive, please contact Business Finland. Read more about accessibility here: Accessibility - Business Finland.