The sight of open, crowded markets serving thousands of customers is familiar in emerging market cities, but behind these open market stalls is a vital network of B2B trading relationships that form the backbone of commerce. Globally, B2B trade is the key to keeping economies running, livelihoods sustained, and communities thriving.
B2B spending across emerging markets is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, with McKinsey estimating a 50% increase in spending by African businesses alone. However, much of this B2B trade is still rooted in manual, offline practices – retailers still have to travel for hours to order goods, then wait days or weeks for delivery. The B2B market also still depends almost exclusively on cash payments, despite all the associated risks. These inefficiencies limit retailers and other small businesses from growing and limit their ability to compete in today’s increasingly globalized market.
If we are going to take advantage of the predicted growth across emerging markets, we need a new, better way of trading. We need digital B2B marketplaces that eliminate the current inefficiencies of the offline trading model and leverage cutting-edge technologies like Generative AI to make B2B trade across emerging markets more convenient, transparent, and scalable.
Defining the B2B Marketplace of the Future
Traditional e-commerce platforms, despite their popularity, do not meet these criteria. These platforms are often controlling and predatory and are designed to squeeze out smaller players. For example, a business that attempts to sell on a platform like Amazon or Jumia will often have to give up total control over the entire distribution chain, as these platforms tend to bypass the existing supply chain and build their own fulfillment networks.
This move leaves them totally dependent on the e-commerce platform to sell their products, and even worse, they have zero visibility on who is buying their products or where the demand for their products is. In addition, the lack of actionable insights across the distribution chain makes it challenging for B2B brands that adopt traditional e-commerce to drive growth.
It is clear that traditional e-commerce platforms owned by giant tech corporations cannot be the digital B2B marketplace of the future. We need a fresh approach; that is where Open Commerce, powered by AI, comes in.
AI-Powered Open Commerce is The Future of B2B Marketplaces
Open Commerce is the next evolution in digital commerce and creates a level playing field where everyone can trade fairly, openly, and transparently, with no artificial barriers. While traditional e-commerce is about centralising commerce and controlling it at every stage, Open Commerce is about giving choice to businesses, making it perfectly suited for B2B trade.
Intelligent Open Commerce embodies the three key attributes that the B2B marketplace needs to have. It is open to every business, regardless of size, scale, or location, and accessible to everyone with a mobile phone. In addition, it is incredibly efficient and automates the manual, inefficient processes that keep businesses from driving growth.
Much more than just being a marketplace, Open Commerce can be supercharged by generative AI, to be specific, to provide a new, advanced layer of sophistication, enhancing functionalities, reducing friction, and providing a seamless trading experience for all users.
RedCloud is building the world’s first AI-powered Intelligent Open Commerce platform
At RedCloud, we’ve built the world’s first intelligent Open Commerce platform and are leveraging generative AI to redefine the B2B trading landscape in emerging markets. We are updating our tools to use large language models (LLMs) to power search and order functionalities, reducing the time spent ordering by a significant 80%. This means that local businesses can spend less time navigating the platform and more time doing what they do best – trading.
More importantly, we are updating our tools to utilize machine learning and predictive analytics to process all the live data gathered from the market and provide businesses with advanced, actionable insights. One of the biggest challenges to doing business in emerging markets is the lack of useful, real-time data to help drive business decisions. With RedCloud’s AI-powered intelligent Open Commerce platform, we will empower businesses with actionable insights so they can adapt swiftly to market dynamics, maximize profitability and stay ahead of trends.
For example, our data analytics solution, RedData, can inform brands that a particular product is in high demand and provide optimum dynamic pricing that would help drive sales. Similarly, with machine learning, we can intelligently suggest what products should be sold at what location at what price to provide maximum sales growth. Sellers can then create targeted, data-driven campaigns on RedAds, our in-built marketing intelligence tool, to take action on the insights generated by RedData.
In the words of Justin Floyd, the Founder & CEO of RedCloud,
“The future of B2B commerce is open and conversational.” It is a future where businesses across emerging markets can engage in meaningful, sustainable trading relationships on a digital marketplace powered by advanced AI technology.
This is the dawn of a new era, where B2B trading is accessible, efficient, and intelligent. The B2B marketplace of the future is open, intelligent and it’s here already.