The online business industry has continued to grow and expand over the years. In line with this, eCommerce has become a crucial part of the worldwide retail sector. The number of online buyers has been continuously growing, especially since the pandemic struck. In 2020, more than two billion people purchased online goods and services.
As an online business owner, aside from the usual B2C e-commerce solutions, B2B solutions are a way to ride this growing flow and development in online shopping. For people unfamiliar with this, through this article, we’ll provide essential details about eCommerce solutions and how to choose a B2B one wisely.
B2B eCommerce: Definition and Types
An eCommerce solution is generally a specialized digital tool that helps businesses to sell online. There are various types of B2B, but specifically, we refer to companies that sell to other business owners. B2B or Business-to-Business eCommerce is an online transaction made between businesses and not regular individual consumers. It’s the sales of services and goods between various businesses using online channels and platforms like Virto Commerce B2B software solutions.
Types of B2B eCommerce
B2B eCommerce comes in numerous formats, and all transactions are made through online platforms, especially these common ones:
This is a direct connection between B2B and B2C. The B2B2C model is where manufacturers or wholesalers interact with both B2B and B2C buyers. In B2B2C, the manufacturer reaches the final buyer by partnering with a B2B or direct selling. This is very common in online selling. Examples of this type include an individual buyer purchasing a product or service from an influencer who’s an affiliate of the brand, and the manufacturer sends the products.
This is a manufacturer-to-manufacturer type of B2B eCommerce. Primary manufacturers produce products through labor and machines, using raw materials and parts. The finished products are then sold to other manufacturers. One typical example of this can be seen in the automotive industry. Manufacturers produce individual auto parts, like engines, and sell them to automotive companies, who’ll build an entire car using these parts before selling it to individual consumers.
This is the most common B2B format, where businesses buy wholesale or make bulk orders directly to the manufacturers or distributors. This is present in many industries that involve purchasing bulk orders of products for a lower price so businesses can profit from them when they sell them too.
This is where a person, the distributor, works closely with manufacturers to sell their products more quickly and to increase their sales. This allows manufacturers to reach more customers quickly.
Best Features of B2B eCommerce Solutions
Since every B2B eCommerce transaction is made online, it’s important to note the features to look for. Here are some of the essential B2B eCommerce solution features:
Running a B2B business means controlling many more parts aside from posting your products, such as pricing, payment, and order options. A B2B platform needs to allow you to customize and add these options. These options ensure complete order management and fulfillment systems.
It would be best if you make sure that the platform allows you to unify and customize these options to your needs and preferences. Moreover, they should have appropriate tools for each option that will work well together with the others. With customizable payment, pricing, and order options, you can offer various shopping choices to your customers and let them shop depending on their location, budget, banking options, and more.
A business or store’s reputation partially depends on how its website or platform looks and works. A user’s experience depends on how easy and enjoyable their experience is while shopping through your brand. Ensure that your B2B eCommerce solution has a great UI which you can customize. You can add promotional videos to appeal more to buyers.
Specifically, a platform should:
- Be responsive and not laggy on any device.
- Offer easy-to-use, customizable, and neatly designed platform templates.
- Support adding more tools like plug-ins, reward programs, etc.
Since B2B eCommerce is more complex than B2C, you have to ensure that everything goes smoothly. It’s best to use access restrictions options on your platform to control how your buyers access various factors in your site. With access restrictions, you can hide specific pricing options from non-B2B and unregistered buyers.
Building a B2B eCommerce Platform
Here’s a brief procedure on how to successfully build your B2B platform:
- Plan out everything such as technological requirements, finances, website customization, etc.
- Choose the right B2B eCommerce solution.
- Customize the platform using themes and adding user options.
- Ensure that your platform and products are search engine optimized.
- Launch your website and go live.
- Regularly monitor for bugs and issues and fix and update them.
- Observe and listen to your customers’ feedback about the platform.
B2B eCommerce is now one of the most significant business models in the industry. It’s made more successful by various eCommerce solutions. With the right platform, any business can easily develop its own brand website and showcase its products to a broader audience.