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B2B Ecommerce Platform: What It Is and Why You Need One for Your Business

Posted by John Aikin
on October 10, 2022

B2B eCommerce in the U.S. is estimated to reach $3 trillion by 2027 and experience a growth rate of 57%. It comes as no surprise, then, that businesses are in a rush to provide online solutions for their customers.

Due to this, the shift from traditional storefronts to online stores has been huge. Businesses are quickly adapting to increasing demand and changing customer trends, which makes having a B2B eCommerce site necessary to grow in the B2B industry.

If you’re unfamiliar with B2B eCommerce, it can be easy to fall behind the competition.

Fortunately, creating an online store is now easier than ever thanks to B2B eCommerce platforms. Rather than spending thousands of dollars to hire a team of developers, companies can use an eCommerce platform to leverage game-changing B2B features like automation, customer portals and ERP integration.

In this article, we’ll define what a B2B eCommerce platform is, how it works, its benefits, and review the best ones to choose for your business.

What is B2B eCommerce and How Does it Work?

B2B, or business-to-business, eCommerce is the online buying and selling of goods between 2 businesses. B2B eCommerce provides supplies and services through a digital mode of communication that effectively satisfies B2B customer needs.

This approach is different from the B2C (business-to-consumer) model. Rather than selling goods to customers directly, B2B sells to other businesses who then resell the goods or add value to them for their B2C business.

Does it work? Yes! 

According to a report by Grow Global, B2B eCommerce sales are 5 times more than B2C eCommerce sales. One reason for this substantial difference is that B2B orders are usually in bulk. Businesses need supplies in ample amounts for storage and inventory which lead to higher volume sales and more revenue.

Common B2B customers are:

  • Wholesalers
  • B2B2C businesses
  • Organizations
  • Resellers

The above can take advantage of custom pricing to reduce costs on bulk orders. Here’s a breakdown of each B2B customer and how they would interact with online sellers.

Wholesalers

Wholesalers are large businesses that sell in bulk, usually to retailers. Popular examples of wholesalers are Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.

B2B eCommerce is a well-needed alternative to the traditional way wholesalers order shipments. In the past, wholesalers would first have to fill out extensive order forms, visit an in-person sales rep, browse through the endless spreadsheet of products and then place their order.

Today, wholesalers can order from wholesale eCommerce stores. Items can be clearly displayed in large quantities with conveniently labeled categories. This creates a seamless customer journey and allows customers to place bulk orders easily.

B2B2C Businesses

Business-to-business-to-consumer businesses remove the middleman and buy directly from the supplier, saving money on marketing/agent costs.

B2C businesses buy goods directly from the business to sell to customers. These are usually large retailers who may buy from wholesalers through an eCommerce platform and sell the goods to the general public.

A common example of this is grocery and drug stores. These stores buy in bulk from eCommerce retailers and then sell the goods at their physical stores, directly to customers.

Organizations

Organizations, such as schools or hospitals, may require material in bulk. These can be things like computers for staff or shelves for the interior.

B2B eCommerce sellers can conveniently provide supplies to organizations in one digital space. This helps organizations manage and find everything without jumping from supplier to supplier and comparing costs between each distributor.

Resellers

Resellers are companies that resell goods produced by other businesses without changing them. Think of it as drop-shipping but on a larger scale.

Resellers make early commitments to customers which is why they need products shipped faster to them to maintain customer trust.

Resellers want to deal with B2B eCommerce firms as customized sales portals enable them to quickly place and receive orders. Through B2B eCommerce features like instant re-ordering, customer accounts, and online shopping carts, resellers can have a smooth buying experience.

These businesses have lots of selling power and control over the market, which can provide the opportunity to increase B2B sales massively.

Types of B2B eCommerce Sellers

When setting up a B2B eCommerce business it’s important to understand the differences between the types of sellers online. B2B eCommerce operates on different models that are unique to the market dynamics.

B2B eCommerce marketplaces fall under these 3 types:

  • Supplier-oriented
  • Buyer-oriented
  • Intermediary-oriented

Let’s break them down one by one.

Supplier-Oriented

This model is adopted by B2B eCommerce retailers when there are few suppliers but many buyers in the market. Through a supplier-oriented approach, businesses work together to set up eDistribution or a supplier directory.

A supplier directory is an online database of suppliers that provide a range of goods and services. As supply is limited, suppliers have leverage over buyers. These suppliers control the market by setting prices based on customer needs.

By working together, firms can drive increased revenue to their business and reach more audiences.

Buyer-Oriented

In a buyer-oriented marketplace or eProcurement, the market is handled by a few buyers and a lot of suppliers. In this model, buyers invite sellers to showcase their products and make bids on the RFQ (Request for Quotes.)

Some common examples of this are freelance marketplaces like Upwork and 99designs. These platforms allow buyers to create a project and specify their demands for a small fee which then goes live. Multiple sellers then bid on the project and showcase their best work to compete for the project.

After screening and analyzing the bids, buyers accept the best one and do business with them.

Intermediary-Oriented

This approach includes a third-party marketplace that connects buyers and sellers together. These are great for businesses that want to showcase their products while keeping marketing costs low and for buyers who don’t want to spend too much time researching and contacting suppliers.

In an intermediary-oriented, both parties adhere to the guidelines set by the third party. The third-party controls the marketplace and may choose to offer discounts, promotions, or coupons (after consent from the supplier.)

Some popular examples of such B2B eCommerce brands are Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay which let sellers create their own online space within the website. B2B customers can then conveniently place an order online with a click of a button.

Innovative technology is being used to create a better B2B buying experience online through B2B eCommerce sites.

To ensure your chances of success and smooth operations, it’s crucial to use a B2B eCommerce platform.

What is a B2B eCommerce Platform?

A B2B eCommerce platform is a software that enables businesses to digitally offer goods and services online. It allows companies to automate sales and manage orders through an online B2B portal.

Traditionally, businesses went through an exhaustive and time-consuming process of communicating with B2B clients. They used fax, phone calls, forms, and spreadsheets to communicate, keep track of data, and ship orders.

A B2B eCommerce platform solves the above problems by simplifying the process and offering a personalized customer experience. It allows businesses to:

  • Provide personalized customer service and buying experiences across different sales medium
  • Create different pricing options for specific customer groups and promote discounts or sales
  • Help customers buy and track orders effortlessly to stay updated on shipment status
  • Offer multiple pricing options through digital payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and WePay
  • Let B2B customers easily find products they’re looking for through advanced search functionality
  • Take advantage of customer segmentation and provide customer specific pricing

What are the Benefits of Using a B2B eCommerce Platform?

With online shopping growing in popularity, B2B businesses are providing their customers with ways to order supplies online through B2B eCommerce platforms. By moving away from traditional procedures, B2B customers can open their mobile app, log into their account, request a quote and place their order all from a few clicks.

This simplified process not only makes customers’ lives easier but brings in a lot of benefits for business owners as well.

Reduced Costs

Running a business using an eCommerce platform allows business owners to manage everything in one place. This means there’s no need to hire anyone to manage or track shipments which can save labor costs.

With an eCommerce site you can create an online sales portal, which can:

  • Provide easy access to suppliers and customer info
  • Set up FAQs or help centers
  • Create chatbots to automatically answer queries

By setting up a sales portal with the above features, organizations can save time and money while providing good customer service.

Increased B2B Sales and Wholesale Customers

The main advantage of using a B2B eCommerce platform is that it helps capture newer markets, increase a customer base, and drive more B2B sales to the business.

55% of B2B buyers expect to be able to transact online in the future; this means that any business planning to expand to B2B eCommerce is much more likely to succeed than those who don't.

Ecommerce sites make it easier for customers to find and order products in bulk, driving more high-volume sales to the business. 

B2B eCommerce platforms also offer a personalized customer experience, which results in improved satisfaction. This promotes a positive brand image and builds long-term customer relationships.

Visually Appealing

A picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to B2B, having a professional image of the product can help customers find exactly what they’re looking for. Traditionally B2B customers would have to order through forms or spreadsheets. They browse through an endless product list with hard-to-pronounce names and a bunch of technical specifications.

To counter this, B2B eCommerce platforms allow retailers to display products on the website. Visitors are able to see the product info, name, specs, prices, and images clearly. Businesses are also able to customize the sales portal to match your brand colors, increasing brand awareness.

An attractive site leaves a better impression on viewers. A better-looking site is also seen as more trustworthy and provides a comfortable user experience.

Improved Data Analytics

A data-driven approach to B2B is key for success. With data, you can gather vital customer insights and see how viewers interact with your site. You can then use this data to improve your existing products and services.

Collecting data is essential but doing so manually can be problematic. Manually collecting data can be time-consuming and risk typing errors. As careless as it may sound, spelling errors or typos can cause trust issues with customers, which manual data collection is prone to.

A B2B eCommerce platform on the other hand collects data automatically. The second a visitor lands on your site, the platform starts collecting valuable behavioral, engagement, and geo-location data.

An eCommerce website will also allow you to integrate 3rd party data analytics tools, such as Google Analytics and Microsoft Visual BI Analytics. You’ll be able to use this extra data to further improve your site and provide an ideal user experience and increase B2B customers.

Better Customer Retention

Customer retention is important for long-term sustainable growth. As B2B businesses expand it can be hard to keep track of customer loyalty. This can have a serious negative impact on your business. Loyal customers spend 6 times more on their orders than your average customers, which is why you need to cater to them specially.

How do you build a loyal customer base that keeps coming back to you? 

To get more repeat customers, it’s crucial to manage your customers properly. If you manually input the information of customers you’ve dealt with, it could be prone to error and hard to keep track of once you scale.

As a solution, a B2B eCommerce platform allows you to create a customer portal on the site. This would allow you to easily collect customer data and view how they’re interacting with your store.

Having that info will help you find inactive customers who’ve bought from you and retarget them with promotions and offers. This will keep your customers in the loop and increase the chances of them returning back to your business.

What Features Should You Look for In a B2B eCommerce Platform?

A B2B eCommerce platform is able to streamline business operations, but choosing the wrong one can lead to a lot of frustration and loss of money.

There are many B2B eCommerce platforms out there to choose from. Here are some features to look out for to help you make better choices for your B2B business.

Integrates with Current Workflow

If you plan on using business software such as ERP, ERM or OMS, you need to make sure they integrate with your eCommerce platform. A B2B eCommerce platform with ERP integration may be essential to pass data and product information.

The best platforms allow you to integrate popular business software to better manage your online sales.

Flexible Payment Options

A great feature of most eCommerce platforms is that they offer multiple secured payment gateways. By allowing different payment options in different currencies you can reach international markets.

If you want to widen your reach, you need to provide multiple payment options to B2B customers for convenience. Look for an eCommerce platform that offers several payment gateway APIs and incorporates offline payment modes, such as:

  • Wire transfers
  • Checks
  • Purchase orders
  • Credit card on file

Some wholesale customers may feel uncomfortable paying large amounts of cash online. So, having offline payment options helps you target those customers as well.

Type of Business Model

As mentioned earlier in this article, B2B eCommerce models may differ depending on a business’s needs. Before creating your eCommerce site, you need to assess your business model.

Security of Online Store

When doing business online, you can’t compromise on security. Cyber security is a necessary investment you need to make for your business in order to sell online. 

No matter which eCommerce platform you choose, you should ensure that it's secure. Poor security can lead to customers’ personal data, credit card info and shipment details to be stolen and increase the likelihood of cyber attacks.

If your eCommerce store gets hacked or is susceptible to shady practices, you can instantly lose trust in your customers. You’ll also lose recognition, be negatively perceived, and fall way behind the competition, making it difficult to recover.

Customization Options

Being able to customize your eCommerce store is another important element to consider. Although small businesses may require better functionality over design, as your brand grows you need to maintain your brand image.

Choosing a platform that incorporates your branding is key for long-term success and a strong brand image. Some of the top eCommerce platforms provide multiple customization options which allows businesses to better cater to their target audience.

Responsive Design

Responsive design plays a crucial role in web design. It is an approach that aims to create designs that adapt to the viewer’s screen. This means that the design will show as intended on various screens including computers, tablets and mobile devices.

Having a mobile-friendly website is important as mobile users are rising. 

It’s a common misconception that B2B customers don't use mobile to place bulk orders.  In reality though, 70% of B2B buyers wish to increase their mobile usage.

Since your ideal customers are on mobile, it’s your job to fulfill their business needs. This means having a responsive eCommerce site. Websites that are not responsive are poorly designed and negatively impact the user experience.

A poorly designed, unresponsive website leaves a bad impression. When choosing a B2B eCommerce platform, make sure they provide responsive themes and templates that work well on laptops, tablets, and mobiles.

What are Some of the Best B2B eCommerce Platforms in 2022?

Choosing the right B2B eCommerce platform for your business can be a challenge. Since this will be the core of all your online operations, it’s necessary you make the right investment.

We’ve reviewed 7 of the best B2B eCommerce platforms in 2022 and have broken them down below.

Shopify Plus

Pros

  • Multiple payment providers
  • Easy inventory management
  • Unlimited bandwidth and sales capacity
  • Reliable with great up-time
  • Includes 1000+ built in eCommerce features

Cons

  • Does not include free trial
  • Expensive
  • Restricted back-end customization
  • Difficult to migrate to another platform

Shopify is the leading eCommerce platform with over 1 million websites created. The Shopify Plus B2B platform is used by the likes of Nestle, Pepsi, Adidas, Tesla, and Motorola to create their own online store. It is recommended by multiple brands and allows you to manage both B2B and B2C sales from a dedicated online platform.

It features flexible customization with 3rd party integrations, efficient automation and international reach with support for over 100 languages and various currencies. Its unlimited bandwidth also makes it ideal for large B2B enterprises dealing with high sales volume

Features

  • Unlimited customization and integrations
  • Automation with Shopify Flow and Scripts
  • Optimized customer checkout
  • International reach with global storefront
  • Supports all international currencies and languages

Pricing

The Shopify Plus pricing starts at $2,000/month and may vary for larger businesses.

Check out Shopify Plus now.

BigCommerce

Pros

  • Seamless data syncing with CRM, OMS and ERP integration
  • Provides customers with one-click prebuilt actions like fast quote generation and re-ordering
  • Huge library of advanced eCommerce features
  • ShipperHQ integration for B2B-friendly shipping
  • Advanced customization for a personalized customer experience

Cons

  • Too many features might leave some overwhelmed
  • Offers poor customer support for smaller business
  • Not suitable for a small online business

Bigcommerce is an excellent eCommerce platform with a huge set of features that allow you to create your own online store. It’s great for multichannel selling and scaling business operations, but beginners may face a learning curve when first starting out.

When starting out, you’ll be given 180 different responsive themes to choose from for your storefront. Although Bigcommerce offers a range of pricing plans for small businesses, it may not be suitable for them.

Choosing a simpler solution, like Shopify, or a less expensive alternative like Pepperi or WooCommerce, may be a better option.

Features

  • Social media cross-promotion
  • Simple single-click checkout
  • Abandoned cart reminders
  • Google AMP and Akamai optimization
  • Inventory management through multiple channels

Pricing

Bigcommerce has pricing plans of multiple tiers based on the size of your online business.

  • Standard Plan: $29.95/mo
  • Plus Plan: $79.95/mo
  • Pro Plan: $299.95/mo
  • Enterprise Plan: Quote-based pricing

Click here to learn more about Bigcommerce.

WooCommerce

Pros

  • Fully customizable
  • Integrates with existing Wordpress website
  • Flexible with handful of extensions
  • Supports multiple payment gateways and e-wallets including PayPal, Stripe, and WePay
  • Includes payment method visibility control to hide approved payment options

Cons

  • Additional plugins can slow down site and negatively impact performance
  • Need to pay for adding extra features
  • Time-consuming to set up

WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin that smoothly integrates with Wordpress websites and lets you create your own web store. It’s extremely popular, driving around 40% of all eCommerce websites including Clickbank, Singer, and Blue Star Coffee.

Since WooCommerce is a Wordpress plugin, it’s no surprise that business owners effortlessly adopt the B2B eCommerce business model to their existing website. With this plugin you get all the basic eCommerce features to run your business including additional features that can be paid to add better functionality to the site.

Features

  • Open source and fully customizable
  • Unlimited products and orders
  • 800+ extensions
  • Comes with REST API for inventory management
  • Marketing tools such as built-in blogging to publish content and promote your products

Pricing

You can download WooCommerce for free, but it’ll lack basic functionality. If you’re on a tight budget you can start with just $10/mo to get basic eCommerce features. Large-scale websites built with WooCommerce can cost upwards of around $10,000.

The cost depends on how many extensions you plan on adding, what theme you choose, and your existing hosting and domain fees of running the Wordpress site.

You can read more on WooCommerce for Wordpress here.

Oracle SuiteCommerce

Pros

  • Personalized reporting
  • Omnichannel selling
  • Cloud-based integration that smoothly syncs all your business data
  • Easy to use for admins
  • Complete solution for both B2B and B2C brands

Cons

  • Limited customer support
  • Restricted to use NetSuite ERP to manage inventory
  • Costs of additional modules may stack up increasing overall cost

NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce by Oracle offers business owners both physical and digital POS (point of sale) and eCommerce solutions on the same platform. This allows B2B online businesses to provide an omnichannel shopping experience.

SuiteCommerce may be best suitable for global brands. It was ranked as one of the leaders in B2B eCommerce platforms for medium-sized businesses by Forrester.

It features support for multiple languages, countries and currencies. Although it has limited customer support compared to other platforms it's a great overall tool to effectively maintain both B2B and B2C online transactions from one ERP system.

Features

  • Cloud-based software
  • Omnichannel selling and seamless commerce
  • Functionality to support both B2B and B2C eCommerce from the same platform
  • InStore mobile POS with traditional capabilities
  • CRM integrations with data syncing and 3rd party logistics

Pricing

Netsuite charges a license fee based upon 3 factors: the platform, optional modules you choose and the number of users. They also charge a one-time setup fee when you first make the move.

To get full information on their pricing and the features they offer, check out their official website.

Adobe Magento Commerce

Pros

  • Flexible customization
  • Allows for multiple payment options including direct quotes
  • Lets eCommerce retailers offer personalized customer experience
  • Extensive B2B product functionality
  • Marketing tools including discounts, upsells, and promotions

Cons

  • Learning curve
  • Expensive, costing around $20,000/year and rises as you make more sales
  • May require some developer knowledge or a team of developers to implement
  • Poor performance on larger scale

Adobe Commerce, formerly known as Magento Commerce, is an open-source B2B eCommerce software that allows you to create an online store without much hassle. It was named one of the best digital platforms for B2B businesses by Forrester and is used by companies like Coca-cola, Canon and Ford.

Online sellers can create an online store for both B2B and B2C transactions. It features everything you would expect from an eCommerce solution: easy product browsing, effective order management, customized reporting data and a lot more.

Features

  • Detailed analytics and reporting data
  • Advanced product browsing, including zoom in-out, pricing tiers, and stock availability
  • Beginner-friendly catalog management
  • Support for multiple payment options and gateways
  • Supplementary features like tax calculation, multi-currency support and user authentication

Pricing

The pricing for Adobe Commerce ranges from $22,000 - $120,000 per year, depending on your annual sales. If you have less than $1mil in sales, then you will pay $22,000/year. The price rises every time you cross a new $5mil milestone maxing out at $122,000/year.

Learn more about Magento Commerce by Adobe from their site.

Pepperi

Pros

  • Integrates with popular third-party tools
  • Inexpensive, starting at $500/mo
  • User-friendly interface with easy navigation
  • Great and responsive customer support

Cons

  • May perform poorly with larger catalogs making it difficult to scale
  • Initial implementation may be difficult and require some beforehand knowledge of the platform

Pepperi is an eCommerce software aimed at beginners that empowers you to create a fully functional B2B online store. Pepperi primarily deals with B2B customers and provides a pleasurable user experience to the audience. Your potential customers can shop either from your eCommerce site or a mobile app, using an optimized site with their custom profile.

This platform has received several awards including being featured for the 2020 Gartner Digital Commerce Vendor Guide and honored as the Top 10 NetSuite solution providers by CIO Applications.

Out of the box it includes 3rd party apps for securely processing payments, providing marketing tools and tracking business analytics. It is used by 10,000+ people including Kimberly-Clark, Hallmark, and Sodastream.

 

Features

  • Corporate account management
  • Omnichannel selling from a single platform
  • Ability to deliver a personalized experience to each customer group
  • Own native app for customers to buy
  • Integrates with many popular 3rd party tools including Wordpress, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and more

Pricing

Pepperi is a much more affordable eCommerce solution that provides you with a dedicated storefront. The pricing starts at $500/mo.

Check out Pepperi today.

CS-Cart

Pros

  • Drag and drop customization
  • Includes free and paid pre built templates
  • Simple and intuitive admin dashboard
  • Self-hosted gives you full control over your site
  • Advance product management

Cons

  • Need to pay to contact customer support through “credits”
  • Have to pay yearly update fee which could stack costs

CS-Cart is a multi vendor eCommerce platform that fully equips you for B2B, B2C and Intermediary transactions. It features an easy-to-use interface with a drag and drop page builder, customizable code, and over 500 features.

One of the best features with CS-Cart is that it lets you manage multiple stores from a single dashboard. Being self-hosted, it also gives you full control over your site.

CS-Cart’s pricing model is unique compared to other platforms. Rather than charging on a monthly basis, they charge a one time fee. You can host your eCommerce store, but in order to keep it running efficiently you have to pay for yearly updates.

Interestingly, you have to pay to contact customer support through a points system. You start with 50 credits but would have to buy additional credits to contact them again.

Features

  • Self-hosted eCommerce site
  • Highly capable B2B sales portal
  • Ability to create standalone mobile marketplace
  • Access to open source, fully-customizable code
  • Headless eCommerce to integrate with current website

Pricing

CS-Cart has 4 different pricing tiers for different businesses.

  • CS-Cart Free
  • CS-Cart Standard: $1350
  • CS-Cart Ultimate: $4500
  • CS-Cart Ultimate B2B: $8500

The best one to scale your online B2B business is their Enterprise edition CS-Cart Ultimate B2B plan, starting at $8500. Before final selection, you can opt for a 15-day free trial.

Discover all the features and pricing for CS-Cart here.

How To Choose the Right B2B eCommerce Platform for Your Business?

The above tried-and-true eCommerce solutions are the best solutions available, and each one of them is used by many brands. However, just because one platform worked for others doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.

When starting out in B2B eCommerce, you need to consider the factors that go into choosing the right platform for you. These are personal factors unique to your business needs and may vary from business to business.

Site Maintenance

An eCommerce site is usually built in two ways: self-hosted or cloud-based. For a self-hosted site you’ll need to maintain everything yourself. This includes keeping the site up-to-date, fixing bugs, making sure the server is up and running, designing the theme, SEO, etc.

With cloud-based platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce, the technical aspects are handled. They make sure that the site is active and optimized for the web as everything is hosted on their own servers.

Self-hosting gives you more freedom compared to cloud-based but requires more technical expertise. You may have to hire a developer or a designer to help configure the website to make sure it doesn’t have any issues.

It’s also important to note the cost. Self-hosting will cost you less as you’ll be doing most of the work yourself. Cloud platforms cost more as they charge a fee for letting you use their servers.

Security Features

PCI compliance is essential for businesses to be perceived as trustworthy in the eyes of consumers. The PCI DSS is a security standard that ensures all businesses securely process credit card info.

Must have security features include:

  • SSL certification
  • Secured payment gateways
  • Well-maintained servers
  • User authentication
  • General protection against security breaches and cyber attacks

Most cloud-based platforms include needing security features within their plans, but for self-hosted sites you’ll need to invest in good security or hire a third-party company to maintain the security of your website.

Budget

When creating your site it’s crucial to calculate all total costs before making any sort of investment. Most eCommerce platforms are susceptible to hidden fees or charges, so make sure to make a well-informed decision when choosing a platform.

A self-hosted solution will give you better flexibility and full ownership of your website, but since you handle everything yourself, overall expenses may rise. On the other hand, Cloud-based solutions offer limited control and customization but require a monthly fee which incorporates everything.

Paying $2,000 per month might seem like a lot compared to some cheap $200 software, but after calculating the costs incurred for configuring your site, the latter may cost you more than $2,000 per month to maintain. That’s why it’s important to be fully informed of the costs before allocating your budget.

Size of Business

The solution you choose depends on the size of your business. Different businesses have a different set of needs.

If you’re a large enterprise you may want to go with trusted platforms designed to scale and support selling from multiple channels. For small and mid-sized businesses you should start with a cheaper solution that’s intuitive and beginner-friendly.

B2B Features & Functionality

Optimal functionality is the backbone of B2B eCommerce. Since B2B is different from B2C you need more features to meet customer demands.

Here are some essential features to look for in an eCommerce software:

  • Corporate account management with admin accounts for master control
  • Customer segmentation to personalize the experience for specific customers
  • Advance search functionality to find product categories, labels and info they're looking for
  • Ability to include technical product details such as specs, features, images, manuals and multimedia
  • Offer customer specific pricing and volume pricing based on order details including bulk pricing for wholesale businesses
  • Inclusion of minimum order size and extra charges on order
  • Backend configuration of product sheets
  • Creating and adjusting quotes for custom pricing
  • Approval process with access limited to selected child/parent accounts
  • Handling payment invoices including setting payment terms, bills and multiple payments
  • Integration of 3rd party software and inventory management system to streamline operations
  • Customer service features such as updating orders, order status and creation of customer queues
  • Ability for customers to pay invoices online and get wholesale pricing
  • Customized order placement through saved and managed customers based account

Conclusion

This detailed guide discusses everything you need to know about B2B eCommerce platforms. B2B eCommerce platforms provide online sellers an opportunity to streamline business operations. It can increase revenue through automation, improved user experience, and access to a wider audience.

Choosing the right platform is also important as there aren’t many one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to B2B eCommerce. Shopify Plus and Bigcommerce are two popular choices leading the way in eCommerce for both B2B and B2C. There are many other eCommerce platforms but choosing one that’s right for your business depends on many factors and personal preferences.

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