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B2B Marketplace KPIs: 10 Metrics for Sales, Traffic, and Customer Engagement

B2B Sales
min read

published on

February 7, 2024

The most successful B2B marketplaces use a variety of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to maximize performance and dominate their industry. With the right metrics in hand, you can streamline your operations, build a loyal customer base, and supercharge your growth.  This proactive, data-driven approach to business management is a game-changer in the fiercely competitive arena of B2B commerce.

Below, we dive into ten pivotal marketplace KPIs designed to elevate your business above the competitive fray of B2B eCommerce platforms.

Sales KPIs to Follow for Your Marketplace

Leverage these KPIs to boost your revenue, sharpen your pricing tactics, and streamline your sales funnel for peak profitability.

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)

GMV metrics represent the total value of goods and services exchanged on a platform. It serves as a key measure of your business's overall scale, akin to Gross Revenue in eCommerce ventures.

You can benchmark changes from one quarter to the next to evaluate GMV growth, identify seasonal trends, gauge marketplace health and growth, and determine the impact of strategic initiatives like marketing campaigns, pricing adjustments, and platform enhancements. 

Marketplace Liquidity

Marketplace liquidity is a pivotal concept for B2B marketplaces. It signifies your marketplace's efficiency in facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers.

High liquidity reflects a vibrant marketplace where products and services are traded swiftly. Low liquidity, conversely, can result in stagnant trading, frustrated users, and diminished marketplace appeal.

Expert Advice: To measure marketplace liquidity, you can look at metrics like the time-to-transaction (TTT; how long it takes for an average listing to result in a sale) and the ratio of active buyers to sellers. These metrics provide insights into the balance between supply and demand—critical for maintaining a dynamic trading environment.

A marketplace that observes prolonged time-to-transaction periods (i.e., low liquidity), for example, might decide to incentivize sellers by reducing commission rates or providing buyer discounts. If TTT drops as a result, we know our efforts were useful in stimulating new transactions. 

Average Basket Value

Average Basket Value (ABV) measures the average amount spent per transaction.

It's a crucial indicator of customer purchasing behavior and product mix effectiveness.

For example, imagine you introduce bulk discounts on high-demand items and observe an increase in ABV from $200 to $250. This uptick suggests that your audience is susceptible to cross-selling and promotions that encourage larger purchases per transaction, and you should explore new ways to leverage this susceptibility. 

Expert Advice: You’ll achieve the best results by combining insights from multiple KPIs. For example, you can compare the above increase in ABV to changes in GMV to ensure the larger baskets are contributing to higher overall sales. If GMV doesn’t change, it may mean you’ve achieved larger baskets, but pushed purchasers to shop less frequently, resulting in a net zero change. 

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate refers to the percentage of visitors who complete a purchase. It’s a critical litmus test for marketplace efficiency in turning prospects into buyers.

Suppose, for example, that improvements to your user interface and a simplified checkout process result in an increase in Conversion Rate from 2% to 3.5%. This indicates that the platform changes have positively impacted customer purchasing decisions. On the flipside, if you see a downtick in conversion rates, you may need to reevaluate or even roll back those changes—having missed the mark with your audience.  

Traffic-Related KPI Marketplace Metrics

Understanding and monitoring traffic-related KPIs is crucial for assessing the effectiveness of your marketplace's reach and engagement. Here are three pivotal traffic-related KPIs to guide future decisions. 

Number of Unique Visitors

This fundamental metric tracks the total number of distinct individuals who have visited your marketplace within a given period. It’s one important indicator of your overall market reach and visibility.

It’s also one of the most effective ways to evaluate marketing campaigns and brand awareness activity. For example, if your Unique Visitors increases from 20,000 per month to 23,000 per month following an extensive marketing campaign, that’s a good sign of success. If the numbers remain stagnant or drop, it could indicate a need to adjust your strategy. 

Number of Page Views

Number of Page Views measures the total number of pages viewed on your marketplace. This KPI reflects visitor engagement and content relevance.

This metric is often best understood in relation to the Number of Unique Visitors. If both metrics grow at the same rate, then the reason for the increase in page views is obvious: you have more visitors overall. But if Page Views rise more or less quickly than Unique Visitors, it’s a sign to dig deeper and uncover how user behavior has changed—for better or worse. 

Bounce Rate

The 'Bounce Rate' is the percentage of visitors who leave the marketplace after viewing only one page.

A low bounce rate is desirable, as it indicates that visitors find the marketplace engaging enough to explore further.

For example, if you see a reduction in bounce rate following optimisations to your landing pages, you can be sure your efforts were successful. By comparing this reduction to changes in Sales metrics like GMV (see above), you can more easily calculate the ROI on your investment. 

Expert Advice:If you notice a dramatic increase in bounce rate over a short period of time, it could indicate a major issue with recent updates to your website or platform. Keeping a close watch on bounce rate is one of the best ways to ensure dev teams haven’t inadvertently introduced bugs that impact user experience and website performance. 

Customer Engagement and Satisfaction Marketplace KPIs

As a marketplace, customer engagement and satisfaction are one of the most important values for your business to measure. Many vendors are active on multiple platforms, and purchasers won’t hesitate to migrate to more satisfactory alternatives. 

Here are three crucial KPIs for evaluating these aspects.

Average Acquisition Cost

Average Acquisition Cost (AAC) quantifies the expense incurred to acquire a new customer, and it’s vital for understanding the efficiency of your marketing efforts.

AAC is especially useful for evaluating marketing campaign effectiveness. Suppose, for example, that you invest $35,000 on one marketing campaign and $55,000 on a second. The first campaign brings in 830 new customers, and the second campaign brings in 1,220. Which campaign was more successful? 

The AAC for the first campaign is: $35,000 / 830 = $42.17 per customer. 

The AAC for the second campaign is: $55,000 / 1,220 = $45.08 per customer. 

Therefore, the second campaign was more successful. You can take what you’ve learned about your audience and what type of marketing they respond best to and ensure future investments are even more successful. 

NPS Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric that gauges customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Called “The One Number You Need to Know” by Bain & Company director emeritus, Frederick Reichheld, this deceptively simple approach to customer satisfaction correlates extremely well with overall business performance. 

It's calculated based on responses to the question: "How likely are you to recommend our marketplace to a friend or colleague?"

Scores range from -100 to 100. At -100, everybody is a “detractor”—they will actively share their disappointment with friends. At +100, everybody is a “promoter”—they’ll eagerly recommend you to others. You’ll also come across many “Passives”, who are satisfied with your marketplace but not enthusiastically so.

For reference, the average NPS score for all eCommerce—B2B and B2C—sits at around 40-60, so this is a good benchmark to first aim for and then exceed.

Collect it often, follow it closely, and measure all technical and superficial changes in your platform against it. 

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) represents the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer account throughout their relationship with the company.

For example, if the average customer on your marketplace spends $10,000 per year and your average customer relationship lasts seven years, the CLV would be $70,000.

This KPI is helpful in making informed decisions about customer retention strategies and how much to invest in acquiring new customers.

The bottom line

By tracking and optimizing these ten KPIs, you can boot efficiency, ensure positive ROI, and grow your customer base and business.

Strategically compare sales, traffic and customer engagement and satisfaction scores to evaluate your efforts in marketing, user interface and experience, pricing, and the addition of new features. 

This data-driven approach ensures that every decision is aligned with your marketplace's core objectives, paving the way for sustained success and a formidable, competitive edge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a marketplace KPI?

A marketplace KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a marketplace is achieving key business objectives, such as sales growth, customer engagement, and operational efficiency.

In business, what KPIs actually matter?

In business, KPIs that matter typically align with the company's strategic goals and provide insights into performance areas like financial health (e.g., revenue, profit margins), customer satisfaction (e.g., Net Promoter Score, Customer Retention Rate), and operational efficiency (e.g., Conversion Rate, Inventory Turnover).

What are the best KPIs to follow for a marketplace?

The best KPIs to follow for a marketplace often include Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) to measure sales volume, Average Basket Value for transaction size, Conversion Rate for sales efficiency, Customer Lifetime Value for long-term profitability, and Traffic-Related Metrics (like Number of Unique Visitors and Page Views) to gauge market reach and engagement.

About the author
Alexis Delplanque
Co-Founder & Chief Sales Officer @ DJUST

Expert in topics on B2B sales, sales strategy, eCommerce, eProcurement, and revenue diversification

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