The ecommerce industry has its difficulties, but overall, it has remained steady. The health scare forced many companies to close their physical stores for health and safety reasons. But that did not stop them from doing business. They merely moved online. And they realised it is more convenient and efficient, with the help of a robust b2b ecommerce platform. It’s challenging to win over B2B buyers because they want a customised and seamless process of shopping online. Therefore, it is vital to implement a B2B ecommerce platform that provides self-serve options to buyers.
What is a B2B ecommerce program?
A B2B ecommerce program has features for B2B buyers, like account management, multiple payment and shipping capabilities, and bulk ordering. A more robust platform may include features like classifying customers into groups. This will allow you to set pricing, minimum order, and product catalogue specific to each group. The platform should be able to allow you to offer discount tiers, minimum amount to complete and order, and maximum order quantity for each product.
A B2B ecommerce solution should be flexible to provide a personalised and customisable shopping experience to B2B customers. It should be scalable and reliable, with user data protection and PCI compliance. Also, the B2B ecommerce software should be easy to use, allowing the company to optimise its offerings and increase visitor conversions.
What factors will influence your decision?
While B2B ecommerce is still in its infancy, it is generating more sales and is almost on par with B2C ecommerce. According to Statista.com, ecommerce revenue in the UK in 2018 was 688.4 billion GBP, with manufacturing and wholesale the major contributors to the remarkable increase.
When choosing a B2B ecommerce platform, choose a robust application with functions fitting your requirements and the needs and expectations of your customers.
- Responsive design. Your customers use different devices when shopping or placing orders. The platform should be flexible to accommodate different devices. Your customers are busy people and are always on the go. Provide them with the option to order even after office hours.
- Self-service. Your sales associates on the floor and your buyers want to find information and solve issues quickly. Your ecommerce platform should be able to provide that convenience. The customers will need shipping information, and to track orders and see real-time inventory. They want to approve quotes and manage their accounts as needed. You need a platform that will allow your customers to access required information after office hours. This function is vital in building trust and confidence in your company. Further, it helps the buyers buy from you conveniently.
- Specific customer pricing scheme. A robust B2B ecommerce platform gives you the option to offer special pricing and items to specific customers. The program allows you to vary the price depending on the account. It gives you the option to offer exclusivity to select customers.
- Different payment options. B2B customers place larger orders, which could be recurring. Many buyers use credit cards to pay for their purchases. A B2B ecommerce platform allows you to extend the terms of payment for select customers. Provide them with flexible payment options, which can improve your business relationship and enhance your customer experience immensely.
Your choice of a B2B ecommerce platform is vital to maintaining sales and keeping customers happy. Make sure you review the features of the platforms you are considering and choose one with features that complement all your business requirements.