The B2B market was given a boost this week by the launch of two sites that will specialize in B2B banking and advertising, respectively.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based USABancShares.com (Nasdaq: USAB) unveiled ambitious plans to offer full-service banking exclusively to companies that specialize in B2B electronic commerce.
With industry analysts predicting that B2B sites will be the masters of the e-commerce universe, online banking that is devoted to these ventures is vital to their development.
B2Banc.com marks one of the first efforts to present full online financial services to the B2B community, including FDIC-insured banking and stock brokerage services. The new online bank will provide online billing and payment functions, and will also assist B2B sites in establishing online affiliations so that these sites can develop electronic trading partners.
With the announcement last week that B2Banc.com would launch this month, USABancShares.com’s stock jumped from 9 to 17.
Online B2B Advertising
Meanwhile, Adsmart, a division of CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) announced this week that it is launching a multi-category B2B vertical advertising network.
Adsmart said it will establish categories for sites dedicated to various industries, including technology, agriculture, telecommunications, real estate, legal, insurance and financial services. Adsmart will then sell online ads to leading brand advertisers as well as associated advertisers for each market.
“We have brought to the business-to-consumer online advertising industry something unique — brand name sites, specialized categories suited to media buyers’ needs, and consultative relationships with publishers and brand advertisers,” said John Federman, CEO of Adsmart.
“This has proven to be a successful formula. We will apply this model to the business-to-business market, which represents an untapped online marketing opportunity for us.”
B2B: The E-Commerce Steamroller
Indeed, the B2B market is expanding at an unprecedented pace. The most successful trend to date has been the emergence of powerful online B2B marketplaces, and Bear Stearns & Co considers the value of goods and services bought by businesses through such marketplaces likely to reach $439 billion (US$) by 2003.
The recent moves by Adsmart and USABancShares.com are indicative of the move to provide infrastructure and marketing support for the impending growth of B2B online. For its part, Adsmart counts 400 Web sites in its online advertising network, with the new venture promising to equal or surpass that figure as B2B e-commerce continues to expand.
Already, www.emplawyernet.com, the largest legal jobs data base in the U.S., and www.PatentCafe.com, GoTo.com’s portal for innovation and technology commercialization, have signed on to Adsmart’s new vertical network.
More B2B Developments
On the B2B online scene this week, ChinaMallUSA.com, a B2B e-commerce company that supports trade exchanges between the U.S. and China, signed strategic alliances with two Chinese cities, Qingdao and Yucheng. China Mall will help the two cities establish e-commerce Web sites according the China’s laws and regulations.
Meanwhile, NetClerk launched a program in San Francisco, California that allows plumbing, roofing, electrical and other service contractors to acquire all of their necessary permits online rather than waiting in lines at City Hall. When contractors log on, they choose the appropriate permit, complete the online application and submit it.
Although currently in the beta stage, NetClerk, Inc. hopes to expand the program nationwide if it is successful.