Each year, B-Stock facilitates the movement of billions of dollars worth of returned and overstock inventory via the world’s largest B2B recommerce marketplace. This means, of course, that we sit in the middle of a two-sided network madue up of both sellers and buyers around the globe.

As a marketplace facilitator, B-Stock is only successful when we deliver results for everyone involved. What keeps buyers coming back is easy, consistent access to the bulk inventory they need, high listing accuracy, and confidence in the quality of the goods. On the other side, our sellers trust us to deliver multiple benefits:

That last point will be the focus of this piece. Establishing a thriving and ever-growing worldwide buyer base is no easy task. It’s an ongoing effort that’s been a central to our mission for nearly twenty years now, and it’s undoubtedly one of our proudest achievements. But how exactly do we keep this up? How does B-Stock reach its buyers? How do we keep them informed and engaged? How do we advise our sellers to take advantage of all of this demand with their supply? Read on to find out.

About Our Buyers

One of the first questions that businesses ask as they explore B-Stock is “Who will be purchasing our goods?” It’s a fair question, as buyers are the lifeblood of any marketplace. 

Entrepreneurs vs Power Buyers

Although our buyers vary enormously in what kind of goods they’re looking to purchase, B-Stock generally classifies each buyer into one of two main groups, Entrepreneurs and “Power Buyers.” Entrepreneurs typically purchase less than $50,000 in gross merchandise value (GMV) in a rolling 12-month period. They’re often small business owners or perhaps part-time enthusiasts running a side hustle. Either way, their revenue is typically below $100,000 per year.

Our Power Buyers, on the other hand, are those that purchase more than $50,000 in GMV in a given 12-month span. They represent larger operations, including medium- to enterprise-sized businesses that employ multiple full-time workers. Annual revenue for this group is typically above $100,000 annually, with one in ten of them bringing in over $1 million of revenue per year. Aside from total GMV, these Power Buyers are also distinct in the volume of lots they buy and how frequently they bid on the B-Stock marketplace. Even so, both groups are important.

What Does Each Buyer Type Bring to the Table?

Although Power Puyers are just 16% of our buyer base, they account for 66% of bids and 71% of all orders placed on the B-Stock platform. Their average order value is also four times that of Entrepreneurs’ orders, making them critical to any storefront’s success. They are the most loyal, consistent, and important buyers and we strive to give them the best experience possible. 

So what do Entrepreneurs bring? These smaller buyers matter too, as they represent and sustain a high level of demand throughout our marketplace and create auction competition that drives up recovery rates and extracts the highest willingness to pay from the eventual winner. They also bid on and purchase smaller lots that might not make sense for a Power Buyer that requires larger volumes. Critically, many of our Entrepreneurs have the potential to become  Power Buyers if their initial experiences are good.

Purchasing Behaviors of Our Buyer Groups

While there are far fewer of them, Power Buyers place the majority of the total amount of bids and they lead the way on orders and average order value. This is important to note because it’s not just how much these two groups purchase on B-Stock that differs, but the kinds of lots they look for. Our data shows that 90% of Entrepreneurs’ purchases are Less-than-truckload (LTL) auctions, while Power Buyers purchase Truckload-sized lots at more than three times that rate.

The key takeaway here is that Power Buyers are running larger operations of looking for far more inventory than Entrepreneurs are when placing their orders. They’re looking for truckloads and ways to find inventory on a consistent basis and are responsible for fewer individual transactions, impacting the selling methods and the strategies that B-Stock’s expert Account Managers will recommend when we consider the inventory to be sold and how to maximize recovery. 

The Reach of Our Network

Dots on the maps below show the distribution of B-Stock’s buyers and just how vast our network is, particularly within the United States and Europe. There’s a high likelihood of having appropriate buyers nearby, no matter the category, quantity, or condition of the goods.  Of course we can also give more granular insights into the buyer distribution within specific inventory categories or regions.

buyer distribution map

How B-Stock Drives Buyer Demand

Now that we’ve covered the buyer groups, let’s take a look at what exactly B-Stock does to drive buyer demand towards seller’s storefronts. 

The Magic of Marketing

B-Stock has a dedicated, full-time marketing team that focuses on continuously driving buyer demand across our marketplace as a whole and ensuring that relevant buyers are directed to new storefronts. The marketing team partners with B-Stock’s sellers and their Account Managers to ensure that we’re bringing in the right crowd for them.

There are three main phases to marketing for a new seller after they sign with B-Stock: 

  1. Pre-launch Phase
    B-Stock hits the ground running by building awareness for a seller well before their first listing goes live. This stage includes designing logos and branded assets for an upcoming storefront, early email communications to potential buyers, buyer-minded search engine optimization (SEO) of each storefront, and teaser ad campaigns.
  2. Storefront Launch
    During the storefront launch phase, we put our efforts toward generating bidding and buying activity for listed inventory. This includes optimizing lotting and listing practices, more detailed and targeted email communications, banners displayed on our own web pages, and further SEO.
  3. Post Launch and Beyond
    The post-launch phase is ongoing and prioritizes buyer satisfaction and the long-term success of each storefront. Expect this to include assistance with expanding the inventory offered and regions served. Further, we’ll help educate buyers on the products being sold and collect and analyze buyer feedback to ensure buyer retention.

Our Marketing Funnel & Tactics

Our buyer marketing funnel comprises four main stages: Awareness & Discovery, Consideration, Conversion, and Loyalty & Retention. 

marketing tactics funnel

  1. Awareness & Discovery
    Awareness & Discovery is all about building familiarity with B-Stock and staying at the front of potential buyer’s minds. We deploy tactics to find buyers where they live, so to speak. We run digital ads across the internet and invest in search engine marketing (SEM) to ensure every storefront appears near the top of the results page for relevant queries. Content quality is also key to ranking well on Google, so we apply SEO best practices—like using proper keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions—across our own website and on seller storefronts. Additionally, we’ve search optimized the assets on the B-Stock Buyer Blog and Buyer Resource Center which is filled with articles and other resources. 
  2. Consideration
    At this stage, buyers are trying to get to know us a bit more. They want to discover what kinds of goods are available on B-Stock, learn what it’s like to use the platform on a daily basis, and understand key differentiators that set us apart from competitors. Further, we publish buyer information pages, case studies, reseller spotlights, nurture emails, and notifications to help educate and inform buyers who are still considering us a solution.
  3. Conversion
    The goal of the conversion stage is to encourage buyers to bid, win, and pay. To this end, we showcase certain listings and new storefronts on bstock.com, across our marketplace pages, on the All Auctions page, and in outbound communications to bring our sellers and their inventory to the fore. 

    We can also deploy buyer incentives in partnership with our sellers to encourage first-time buyer activity. For example, we might place banners around our web pages that advertise a marketplace credit in exchange for making a first purchase on a newly launched storefront. Another conversion tactic we employ to continually engage buyers is the nurture email campaign. The content of these emails often includes our value propositions or highlights select seller storefronts. On-page notifications ensure key messages and promotions are visible to those browsing bstock.com, and they can be either targeted at specific buyers or address a broad audience. For our largest buying opportunities and contracts, we have a dedicated buyer growth team that contacts ideal buyers directly.

  4. Loyalty & Retention
    The final stage of the funnel is all about following up and nurturing connections with buyers after they purchase. Of course, positive interactions and a seamless buying experience both contribute to continued buyer satisfaction. This step is key to long-term recommerce success because retaining buyers will always be cheaper and easier than locating and activating new ones. 

    We send out daily auction emails to notify buyers when auctions of interest are listed and when they’re closing soon. We regularly offer incentives, conduct surveys, feature promotional banners, and constantly test and evaluate how these tactics perform. Finally, B-Stock runs the all-important seasonal and category campaigns. These are cross-channel campaigns that use consistent messaging and design across multiple marketing assets, helping amplify messaging while building credibility and familiarity.

Best Practices for Reselling

In the world of B2B recommerce, it is important to be consistent. We encourage our partners to do that through ongoing listings with minimal downtime between auctions. That way buyers can count on getting the inventory they need without scouring other less reputable sources.

Below is an example of a successful seller that followed our best practices. This seller started off on our platform with around 80 auctions per quarter and gradually ramped up. In Q7 of the partnership—when this seller began working hand-in-hand with B-Stock—they saw a substantial jump in auctions and bidders.

 

performance improvement when using best practices

Understand the Factors That Impact Buyer Demand

Success isn’t all about ads, emails, and offers. The product has to stand on its own, and as one might expect, several variables affect demand and, ultimately, recovery rate. Below is a list of the most prominent factors and a visual representation of the average recovery rate of our main inventory categories.

  • Category
    Furniture, apparel and consumer electronics, for example, (not to mention their respective subcategories) all tend to return very distinct results
  • Condition
    Is the product new or is it used? Damaged? For Parts? Each of these will its own set of implications on selling tactics and recovery rate
  • Inventory type
    Think of this as the reasons the items are being sold. Consider whether the goods are overstock, leftover seasonal items, customer returns, etc.
  • Brand
    It may seem obvious, but it can’t be stressed enough that brand matters, with some premium labels doing quite well on the secondary market 
  • Shipping type
    Whether a given lot is a truckload, less-than-truckload (LTL), or parcel is important because of buyers’ different storage and handling capacities
  • Original retail value
    Perhaps the most unsurprising factor, MSRP and retail value play a key role in determining an item’s secondary market value

category performance

If a seller carefully weighs and addresses these variables with the appropriate selling tactics once their storefront is up and running, all of B-Stock’s prior buyer demand efforts will compound in their favor. Sellers will have access to an Account Manager who can give deeper insight into these areas as needed.

Picking the Right Tool for the Job

To ensure that B-Stock can optimize our approach to buyer demand generation, we need to understand a seller’s definition of success. It’s even possible that objectives will shift as a seller’s recommerce program develops or as their core business or industry changes over time. Whether the goal is recovery, velocity or a blend of the two, we offer multiple reselling solutions to match.

sales models

Reimagine Demand Generation & Recovery Optimization as an Ongoing Process

Once a seller signs on with B-Stock, our experts will be at their side through a proven cyclical process that will refine any recommerce program over time.

demand and recovery generation cycle

Before launching a storefront, we want to understand ther seller’s short and long-term objectives for recovery, velocity, or a combination of the two. Next, we will learn about the inventory based on manifests that they provide and recommend the ideal balance of our auction-based Spot Sales, Contract Sales, or Direct Sales models. At this stage, B-Stock can also forecast a prospective seller’s recovery rate.

 

Following the first round of sales, B-Stock will provide granular summaries of initial performance to compare recovery against the current go-to-market allocation and determine if any immediate changes in strategy are necessary. The last aspect of the process—and, really, an ongoing one—is regular, thorough assessment of performance versus goals, changes in market pricing, and shifts in supply and demand. It is these shifts in supply and demand that determine which reselling solution our experts recommend.

supply and demand graphic

If demand for certain goods is relatively high or supply is relatively low, our list-and-bid Spot Sales model will generate the highest recovery. On the other hand, if demand is relatively low or supply is high, contract sales or direct sales tend to be the best way to maximize recovery or increase inventory velocity. The figure below demonstrates the results that one of our sellers was able to achieve through a combination of spot auctions and contract-based sales.

seller uses contract sales to improve performance

After a period of high recovery through auctions alone, this seller—a large US-based retailer—experienced a sudden influx of surplus to be sold on the secondary market. With supply higher than ever, the recovery rate slipped significantly. Since there was at least one buyer interested in consistently taking on this inventory for a prenegotiated price, B-Stock quickly brokered a fixed-term deal between the buyer and seller. After adding this contract sales component to their program, the seller’s recovery rates stabilized in just a few weeks.

Why Our Seller Partners Love B-Stock

Now that you know how far we go to keep buyer demand high, you might be wondering what else there is to our offering.

Some the world’s top consumer goods brands sell on B-Stock in order to keep their warehouses clear and unlock appreciable cash value. Here’s why.

  • Higher Recovery Rates at Scale
    B-Stock drives higher, more predictable pricing through broad buyer reach and increased competition. The sheer number of buyers in our network—many of whom exercise considerable purchasing power—means that a seller can move out virtually any goods in any quantity
  • Streamlining & Automating OperationsOur platform is set up to automate many of the processes involved with managing multiple traditional buyers—think wholesalers and brokers—that are typically handled through phone calls, emails, or spreadsheets.
  • Recommerce Expertise & Management
    All of B-Stock’s major sellers take advantage of our experience and expertise in the recommerce space. A dedicated account manager leads reselling strategy and operations for each partner, ensuring their resale program is aligned with their desired business outcomes.
  • Speed & Flexibilty
    The end result of all of these benefits is unmatched cycles times, achieved through data analysis, smart platform features, and key partnerships that eliminate the many days needed for price determination and reduce excessive handling by third-parties—always a risk when moving goods at scale.

If the need for stronger buyer demand or any of these other benefits aligns with your organization’s pain points, we’d be more than happy to discuss possible solutions to meet your needs.

Reach out and schedule a demo today

 

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Will Simon

Will Simon is a content writer and manager for B-Stock Solutions, the world's largest B2B recommerce marketplace. He specializes in creating seller resources highlighting the demand, efficiency, and insight that the B-Stock Platform brings its enterprise clients.

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