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8 major benefits of using online B2B trading portals for small businesses

Unlike mega corporations and established industrial leaders, you do not have millions of dollars in marketing and sales budgets, and also do not enjoy the same brand value as some of the more established organizations.

Fortunately, most of these constraints are not as difficult to manage these days as they once used to be.

The internet, in general, and leading online B2B trading portals like Alibaba.com, QualityTrade.com and many others, in particular, have simplified online business development to a great extent.

These portals connect suppliers and buyers from thousands of industries all over the world and help them create new business partnerships and generate millions of dollars in sales every year.

But if, for some reason, you’re still not using these portals to explore new business opportunities, here are 8 major benefits you’re missing out on.

1) A Small Investment With High Returns

Most online B2B trading portals offer annual memberships that can cost you anywhere between $300 to $3000. In return, you get complete access to their verified buyer and seller contacts along with several other features that simplify online trading.

When you compare this investment with the potential costs of other forms of business development activities, the difference is staggering. By using these websites, not only do you save thousands of dollars annually, you also get a much deeper look into your target customers and their needs.

2) Access to Millions of Buyers and Sellers

One of the primary advantages, of registering with an online B2B marketplace, is the sheer number of buyers and suppliers that you can directly contact. This includes traders, industrialists, middlemen, drop shippers and wholesalers from all across the globe.

Most of these suppliers and buyers are active traders themselves and, just like you, are looking for business opportunities. So the response rates are likely to be much higher than random listings available on the internet - that are not reliable anyway.

3) A Great Way to Automate Your Sales

When you gain access to an almost endless database of buyers and suppliers, you can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the opportunities at your disposal. It can also be a little difficult to identify the right type of businesses to contact.

This is where you can use these online B2B websites to automate your sales process. You can configure certain keyword alerts and triggers to notify you every time a buyer or supplier posts a relevant product or business opportunity. You can even follow companies and get notified about their latest activities.

This will significantly filter out buying and selling leads that are not relevant to your business and will help you focus on the opportunities with the highest probability of success.

4) A Smart Way to Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

No matter what business you’re in, if you have a website then you need search engine traffic as well. Over the last few years, getting traffic from search engines has become increasingly difficult. It now requires substantial investments in different kinds of online marketing techniques and a lot of patience to rank well in search results.

Using online B2B portals, however, can be a great shortcut to the first page of Google search. Most B2B portals invest heavily in SEO and SEM campaigns that allows them to rank well easily on competitive keywords.

By listing your business on these websites, you can use their search engine strength to your advantage and route traffic to your company website with minimum of effort.

5) A Powerful Marketing Research Platform

Competitor analysis is one of the key components of marketing research, which is of course vital for any business. Online B2B portals provide you with an excellent opportunity to study the products and services of your competitors in detail.

Not only can you analyze the other businesses in your industry from different angles, like pricing and product features, but also study the different branding strategies that they adopt.

6) An Effective Tool For Business Branding

As I said at the start, most small businesses face financial constraints when it comes to marketing and branding activities. But you can cover this up to a great extent with an online B2B portal.

As a premium member, you’ll get your own website, logo and product showcase along with higher rankings in the internal search results of the portal. This will put you in direct competition with any of the leading companies present on the internet and will almost nullify their advantage.

7) An Ideal Place to Expand Your Business Network

The net value of a small business is directly related to the size and influence of its business network. In fact, most modern day businesses invest as much, if not more, on networking as they spend on other direct marketing activities.

B2B portals give you an ideal opportunity to expand your business network with almost no additional costs. You can identify the most influential companies that can complement your products and services, and get in touch with them directly to create mutually beneficial partnerships.

8) Your Gateway to Product Innovation

Businesses around the world are doing unique things and creating innovative products to resolve modern day problems. Many of them use online B2B websites to explore new business opportunities.

This is your chance to bring further innovation in your existing products or come up with something entirely new by their studying product features in detail. Your cause will also be helped by the fact that every product listed on B2B trading portals usually has 3-4 images of it from different angles along with a detailed description of how the product works.

As a small business owner, you’re at a visible disadvantage as compared to major organizations when it comes to marketing and business development budgets. But by using online B2B portals not only can you significantly make up for this lack of resources but even gain certain advantages over your competitors who are not yet using this powerful medium for expanding their businesses.