A recent survey of B2B buyers has confirmed that more of them will be purchasing goods and services from cloud providers in digital marketplaces. In its 2021 State of Cloud Marketplaces Report, Tackle, which offers solution providers a platform to remove friction in the B2B software buying and selling process, reported that 61% of buyers said they had purchased software through a cloud marketplace in the last year — a 39% increase over 2020. More than 80% of buyers said they are likely or extremely likely to purchase through a marketplace in the future.
Recognizing the emerging buyer preference for marketplaces, vendors are migrating their sales motions as well. More than two-thirds of the respondents said they plan to invest more into marketplaces.
The impact that marketplaces will have on traditional channel partner models is uncertain. The survey revealed that 70% of respondents selling in marketplaces leverage resellers/MSPs. Half of them said channel partners will be involved in at least 30% of their marketplace transactions in the coming year. Still, “over a third of respondents said they are not clear how marketplace fits into their existing channel strategy,” the report noted.
A committed spend on cloud-provided goods and services was the top reason for 43% of the respondents for making purchasing in marketplaces. Up from 20% last year, Tackle CEO John Jahnke, noted in the report that this finding is a key signal that buyers continue to look to the marketplaces to ease procurement and centralize budgets.
In addition to enabling buyers to take advantage of committed spend with cloud providers, the respondents said that shopping in marketplaces:
Sellers are migrating to marketplaces to accommodate their buyers. According to the survey, 63% of sellers said they plan to expand their marketplace presence to additional cloud marketplaces in the next 12 months, citing these reasons:
Just how effectively channel partners can grow their businesses as more purchases are made in marketplaces might depend on their ability identify and meet new opportunities. One significant opportunity will be to expand services related to the products purchased digitally.
“How will a customer who buys product through a marketplace actually get serviced?” asked Sanjay Mehta, Tackle’s Chief Cloud Officer. “They’ll go back to the same reseller that’s always serviced them. We’ve seen a lot of partners start to pivot their businesses away from transaction to more service capabilities.”
Mehta added channel partners could also help digital buyers better understand which marketplace offering will more effectively meet their business requirement. “Depending on what marketplace you’re in, you can see a selection of thousands or many, many thousands or tens of thousands of solutions, but there’s no great roadmap into what you’re trying to discover.”
Helping clients identify which solutions would be best for them “is a great role for the channel to play, just like they’ve played historically in curating their own portfolio of top ISVs ( independent software vendors) that they want to work with. I think channel partners will start to create their own little mini, private marketplaces that take solutions they trust, bundle them together in well architected frameworks, wrap solution services around it and serve that entire thing to a customer.”
The Tackle platform enables ISVs to tap into marketplaces such as AWS Marketplace, Azure Marketplace, GCP Marketplace, and Red Hat Marketplace by offering a streamlined approach to listing, deeper management capabilities, and multi-marketplace reporting. Its zero-engineering approach and unique set of features enable and optimize for ISVs the cloud marketplace experience, allowing them to list, market, and sell quickly, easily, and cost-effectively.