B2B eCommerce continues to grow every year and now accounts for more than $8 trillion worth of trade. This means that your site needs to be more robust and accessible than ever to keep your customers satisfied and acquire new B2B sales leads.
We can help with both!
Read on to learn about B2B ecommerce platforms, the features you should look for, and how they'll help your business grow.
B2B eCommerce Examples
B2B eCommerce is conducted across many industries and by businesses of all sizes.
Here are a few examples of the businesses that use B2B eCommerce:
- Conglomerates with multiple brands. Some of the largest and most well-known international companies have many brands under their belts, each with their own websites. To do this, they use high-end eCommerce platforms that can handle massive traffic and multiple sites.
- Small businesses. Many small B2B businesses use all-in-one online platforms that let them list, market, and sell their products or services with ease. These platforms are more streamlined than the ones used by large businesses and have on-call customer service staff to help with any issues.
- Entrepreneurs with no storage. Many new B2B businesses don't have the ability to store or ship the goods they sell. They need an eCommerce platform that automatically forwards orders to a 3rd party dropshipping company that will fulfill the orders. These business are changing the idea of what is B2B.
B2B eCommerce Platform
B2B eCommerce platforms are online services that allow B2B businesses to conduct business more easily.
Features of B2B eCommerce Platform
With so many options on the market, it's important to get the best platform for your business. Here are 8 features to look for in a B2B eCommerce platform:
- Volume discounts. B2B sales often involve large order volumes and discounts serve as a valuable B2B marketing tool. Look for a platform that lets you make discount tiers based on order quantity to automate the process, like BlueCart.
- Customer segmentation. B2B customers and their orders are not equal. Segmenting your B2B customers into groups will allow you to better understand each group and tailor your offerings to meet their needs.
- Personalized offerings. This goes hand-in-hand with customer segmentation and allows you to set different prices and feature different products for your customers. This may be by order level, geographic location, or any other qualifier. Many in the food industry use BlueCart specifically for this including those involved in coffee eCommerce.
- Access restriction. Most B2B businesses will want to require customers to log in to their site to gain access to their offerings. Look for a platform with the ability to set up a password-protected site so you can let only registered businesses access your content. BlueCart offers this ability among many other security tools.
- Minimum order quantities. You don't want to have to ship a single product in the B2B marketplace. Use a platform like BlueCart that lets you set a minimum order quantity so you can keep your shipping costs low and your profits high.
- Easy reordering. B2B customers tend to order the same products multiple times. Making it easier to reorder these products will make your customers more satisfied and can lead to more purchases. BlueCart is great at this and even has “standing orders”, which are essentially automated recurring orders.
- Flexible payment options. The more options for B2B payments available, the more likely your customers are to convert. Look for a platform that can accommodate a variety of payment options including checks, credit cards, electronic transfers, and net 30 invoicing. BlueCart offers all these options and more.
- Easy to use UX. If your site is hard to navigate, you'll lose more customers than you convert. Make sure your platform offers a seamless frontend that your customers can understand. Categories should look like a polished line sheet.
Open Source B2B eCommerce Platform
One of the newest types of eCommerce platforms being used by B2B businesses is open source. This means these are entirely free platforms that anyone can use and modify to fit their needs. The benefits of B2B ecommerce is that you don’t need to pay a fee or go through a company to build and edit your site. This saves both time and money. However, if you don’t have the technical knowledge or the infrastructure to build and maintain a site, you’ll be lost. These platforms should only be used by people with a strong technical background who can make the most out of them.
B2B eCommerce Solutions
There are many solutions for B2B eCommerce companies to choose from. Finding one that is tailored to your type of business and that will let you focus on customer satisfaction is key.
For food manufacturers, broadline distributors, and wholesalers, and b the best choice is BlueCart. This all-in-one platform is designed to streamline processes and make selling easy. It lets business owners monitor their product catalogs and sales, manage and fulfill incoming orders, and communicate with customers on the fly.
Did You Platform an Opinion?
B2B eCommerce platforms are vital tools in growing your B2B business. Now that you know what to look for, you can find a platform that is robust, but cost-effective to help grow your business.
Remember to look for a platform that specifically supports your B2B needs. There are many differences between the tools used by B2B vs. B2C businesses and you don't want to have to shoehorn your business into a B2C platform.