The rapid growth of eCommerce is undeniable, and the increasing number of digital buyers is proof enough. In 2020, the number of online shoppers surpassed 2 billion, and according to Forrester, the US B2B eCommerce will hit $1.8 trillion by 2023.
With the rising demand for B2B eCommerce solutions and a lot of the eCommerce vendors that tout themselves as the “best” for B2B, finding the right B2B eCommerce Solutions for your particular business can be a challenge. With this article, we will try to help you cut through the marketing noise and identify an eCommerce software that is truly made and fit for B2B use.
eCommerce Software simplify the B2B buying experience, and strategically position bulk sellers to a multitude of wholesale buyers. Before you make a final decision, make sure your B2B eCommerce Software Solutions has the following features:
1. Roles, Permissions, and Access Controls
B2B customers consist of a diverse group of professionals with varying job titles and roles. As a result, it’s vital to guarantee that users can only access the information they need to achieve their tasks and nothing more.
In most cases, an admin user creates new client users and grants permissions to purchasers and non-authorized users. Buyers are then subdivided into purchase managers and junior buyers. For instance, a purchase manager may have unlimited access to invoices, receipts, tax codes, orders, and other items. In contrast, junior buyers may only have access to prices, quotes, and shopping lists.
Therefore, if your B2B company deals with a wide range of customers, access Controls are a must-have. You need a platform that allows you to provide your employees with a seamless user experience and offers a simple set-up process, allowing you to easily alter permissions as you add back-office workers, buyers, and guests (non-authenticated purchasers).
2. Corporate Account Management
Unlike B2C, corporate account management needs a higher level of customization in the B2B eCommerce user experience. For example, a B2B account may have several users with different roles and purchasing capabilities when handling firm subdivisions or sub-units.
Your system’s corporate account management functionalities should be capable of dealing with complex, hierarchical corporate account structures. Regardless of how many businesses, departments, offices, or branches they may have, customers should build their account management structure, create purchase rules, and add authorized users.
One of OroCommerce’s unique features is the flexible account management capabilities built within the admin console. As a result, administrators can create a corporate framework that represents their business. This feature also applies to corporate buyers, who might copy their business frameworks in similar ways.
3. Detailed product specifications
You need to present a comprehensive set of product specifications so that customers make informed purchasing decisions. Make sure this information, especially information on quality, safety, measurements, and any USPs that can help shoppers choose products with confidence, is accessible.
4. Self Service options
As customer shopping behavior changes, buyers increasingly prefer to make transactions online without interfacing with sales reps. However, not all B2B eCommerce portals incorporate this functionality.
B2B-specific platforms should be responsive, easy to use, and have unique functionality. For instance, business buyers frequently ask for quotes, generate reorders, submit orders, modify order data, or track shipment – your solution should accommodate this.
Also, understand that B2B portal capabilities can only complement human interaction. So look for B2B eCommerce self-service features that you can tailor to each customer or adjust as buying behavior changes.
5. Multiple Organizations, Websites, and Stores
Multinational brands operate across different countries and currencies. As a result, your B2B eCommerce solution’s scalability and localization features may be a vital requirement for your business.
A purpose-built B2B software usually controls these B2B eCommerce features. So, if you’re creating a custom eCommerce solution from scratch, think about scalability that accompanies multi-website capabilities.
It’s also a good idea to integrate all of your business entities under a single eCommerce platform if you need to group employees and customers. For example, you can build organizations, client groups and run them all from a single admin interface if your software has a multi-organization feature.
6. Volume Purchase and Bulk Discounts
B2B shoppers buy products in bulk. So, while you present your products in cases, packs, or pallets, you may still wish to provide extra discount tiers based on the customer order. Therefore, your eCommerce platform must have a means of accommodating quantity thresholds offering bulk discounts.
Suppose you want quantity discounts to function along with the customer-specific price levels. In that case, you may also set multiple discount tiers based on the customer groups assigned to your client base.
7. Order tracking and Estimated delivery times
Estimated delivery times help businesses buy with confidence and plan around their purchases. So, long-term customers will appreciate quick delivery times. Knowing they must place orders by a particular time may also enhance purchase intent.
Order tracking is another essential tool for reassuring customers after purchase and providing information that helps them plan.
8. Payment options
Because B2B eCommerce is account-based, you may provide a more comprehensive selection of payment options, increasing flexibility and removing purchase obstacles.
Of course, you’ll want a secure payment site that accepts all major credit cards, but you should also think about the account-based payment methods you wish to offer on a customer-to-customer basis.
You might incorporate a click-to-buy feature that allows customers to buy on credit – up to a specific limit – and pay off their balance at the end of the month. This approach is common in offline B2B transactions. It translates flawlessly to digital channels by reducing steps from the purchase process and making it easier for customers to make repeat purchases.
Over to you
The trend in the B2B industry is shifting from extension-based solutions to SaaS-based products. Now that you know what to look for in the B2B eCommerce software, it’s time to make an informed decision. Be sure to do your due diligence and choose wisely.