TOP 8 B2B eCommerce Platform Features For Your Business
According to Frost and Sullivan, global B2B eCommerce revenue is projected to double that of B2C in 2020. Despite these gains, the B2B online experiences tend to lag behind the high standards set by B2C merchants. Today’s B2B sellers require platforms that increase sales and productivity while offering convenient self-service experiences their customers demand.
What are the benefits of a B2B eCommerce platform?
Business customers have no patience for outdated interfaces, slow loading times, or an inability to order and pay on their mobile devices. Today, a B2B eCommerce platform is an important strategic channel for acquiring new customers and driving revenue. In this post, we’ll explain the benefits of B2B eCommerce platforms and the top 10 features you should look for.
Popular B2B eCommerce platform features
If you want to increase online sales and offer a great experience to other businesses, your B2B eCommerce platform must have the right features. A well-equipped platform allows you to manage complex selling workflows out of one place and streamline inventory across multiple product catalogs and price lists. Here are the B2B eCommerce features you should consider when looking at B2B eCommerce solution:
- Mobile flexibility
Customers expect responsive websites, intuitive buttons and inputs, and seamlessly integrated multimedia on the device of their choice. Field sales and on-the-go businesses appreciate back-end and front-end interfaces that are mobile-ready.
- Configurable products
Just as customers like seamless product configurators, B2B merchants appreciate a single place to manage a product with multiple variants. With configurable products, it’s possible to streamline complex product lines, assign unique pricing, and process bulk orders.
- Product descriptions
In business sales, product data can get complex. It’s challenging to maintain accurate and consistent product data over a large storefront. The right B2B eCommerce software needs an easy way to manage product catalogs and how and display the right product data to the right customer.
- Self-service options
Many customers want to solve problems ourselves without contacting the support representative, and B2B is no exception. A B2B eCommerce platform that offers customers personalized portals, chatbots, quote approvals, checkout workflows and the ability to manage it out of their profile page.
- Access permissions
A B2B sale usually involves many decision-makers and long purchase cycles. Look for a B2B eCommerce software that accommodates every possible structure, including different permissions for user roles in quoting, ordering, checkout or cart processes.
- Pricing engine
Business customers have more complex requirements for prices, discounts and bulk orders. Just as in access permissions, a B2B eCommerce platform that is able to set unique prices for individual customers, whole businesses, specific divisions or departments.
- Payment options
Every business has unique payment requirements. Some would prefer recurring payments, others have invoicing requirements such as Net 30 or Net 90. A B2B eCommerce platform that supports unique payment requirements and methods will get customers to purchase more.
When selecting a platform consider how it will work with your ERP, PIM or CRM system. Examine how your eCommerce system synchronizes payment, product, or customer data. With accurate data across systems, it’s easier to offer omnichannel customer experiences.
How a B2B eCommerce platform aids in digital transformation
As customer expectations and buying preferences change, your eCommerce business must keep up. Businesses with great eCommerce tools but without a digital transformation strategy can soon find themselves with mismatched software struggling to attract and retain customers. Here are some of the ways to avoid that:
Customer experiences that match or exceed expectations breeds satisfaction, loyalty, and more sales. This includes quick loading times, tailored products, easy checkout experiences, payment options, and order tracking. At the same time, the B2B eCommerce platform must be customizable to address the challenges of the B2B merchant and its customers.
In-house vs purchase
Choosing to go with a vendor or building your own B2B eCommerce platform is not an easy decision. It largely depends on business challenges to be addressed and resources available. Going with an out-of-the-box solution means carefully vetting B2B eCommerce platforms and selecting the one that addresses every business need.
The success of your digital transformation depends on the smooth implementation of your eCommerce project. Many factors come into play here, including proper planning and resource allocation. Technical partners and consultants can take on many crucial roles to ensure you make the most of your platform.
As you narrow down the necessary features of your B2B eCommerce platform and examine how they fit in within existing processes, don’t forget to keep the dialogue open with stakeholders. These include your team, consultants, and even customers. If you can’t find a functionality you require or an adequate response from your vendor, consider getting a second opinion. By choosing features that are compatible with your workflows and offer the desired user experience, you’ll be better set for future growth opportunities in your market.