Just like business to customer businesses, business-to-business companies have made the leap to online stores from the traditional brick and mortar setting. Over 50% of B2B companies in the US, including prestigious ones like Selini NY and Flexfire LED have established online stores and B2B e-commerce sales expected to hit $1.2 trillion by 2021.
Over 70% of businesses and other organizations like schools and non-profits also want to reap the benefits of shopping online for the materials they need. If you are looking to jump into B2B e-commerce, here are the benefits you can expect to enjoy, plus a list of the most reputable site builders for online stores. Read more…
5 Reasons why you need to consider B2B e-commerce platforms
Save on costs
Brick and mortar stores mean rent, power, labor, and other overheads. However, with the advanced technology that B2B e-commerce platforms offer, you need not incur those or worry about inventory storage or physical security. These platforms enable you to run your business entirely via your smart device or computer; from inventory management to payment processing, repeat customers’ incentives, and customer service.
B2B e-commerce software have features that generate analytics and professional reports on consumer and site visitor behavior. With this information, you can make better strategic decisions regarding product and marketing mix, customer engagement and sales effectiveness.
Gives you access to more customers
As in 2015, Google estimated that almost half of B2B customers are millennials, who now want to buy their items online and have them delivered. They prefer to carry out their research online, read reviews and make an independent purchasing decision without sales reps. Moreover, brick and mortar stores where you can only interact with organizations near your store, with an online shop you can reach hundreds of businesses, distributors, and resellers countrywide.
Obtain reliable feedback
Online stores have the benefit of having positive reviews posted on your site or social media, which could go a long way in driving sales. Many businesses value the opinion of past clients, and a positive experience will convince them to buy from you.
Makes work easier for your sales reps
When your sales reps are out in the field, it will be easier for them to whip out a tablet and show potential clients your store, rather than shuffle through a bunch of catalogs to check for inventory availability or answer any other queries.
8 Best B2B e-commerce platforms
NetSuite is one of the most popular B2B e-commerce platforms, with over 40,000 clients across 160 countries. NetSuite offers you a cost-effective and scalable solution; you can automate as many business functions as you need with features designed to fit any business. NetSuite has a robust database in which you can store all your clients’ corporate data.
In addition to e-commerce functionality, NetSuite has back office accounting features, self-service portals, and CRM features. It has a user-friendly interface and enhanced customization features with which you can adapt your online store to fit your needs.
If you already have a WordPress site for your business, you probably have heard of WooCommerce, which powers 42% of all online stores globally. Woo-Commerce is a great way to make B2B customers out of your business site or blog, as it is an excellent option for adding e-commerce functionality to your store.
There is a host of B2B functionality plugins for you to integrate for better storefront functionality. With WooCommerce, your clients will easily view your products and make orders quickly. Again, you can conceal B2B business details from other website visitors and B2C customers and show them to registered B2B clients.
BigCommerce is another popular, yet an inexpensive option that is excellent for a fast-growing B2B company. BigCommerce has a myriad of apps and an enterprise-level package that you can use to take your business to the next level. BigCommerce’ default store can be rather challenging to set up and navigate at first, but that it is because of the many features it offers you.
With BigCommerce, you can access quote builders, fast re-orders and wholesale pricing, friendly bulk shipping options, credit authorization, back-end systems, and other great features designed for a B2B store.
IBM Digital Commerce
IBM Digital Commerce is a solution tailored to meet your needs as a B2B merchant. Its ability to offer personalized services for each client by generating and filing business documents like contracts and payment agreements make it stand out from the rest. With IBM digital Commerce, you can also obtain and store industry-specific information for later use.
This open-source on-premise e-commerce platform is one of the most robust B2B software in the market. In addition to its strength, you can readily build a scalable online store over which you have full control. You can add all the functionalities you need as your business grows. However, it is quite complex, and to reap the benefits of using it, have a web designer install and configure it for you.
Shopify plus is an enterprise-level solution for merchants generating sales revenues of over $1 million. Shopify plus is another of the most popular solutions for its incredibly easy to navigate interface, intuitive themes, and multi-channel selling options.
OpenCart is great if one of your priorities is to have a sophisticated-looking, professional site. This B2B software offers you a great selection of mobile-ready themes and an intuitive interface for both you and your clients. You can install OpenCart Marketplace plugin that instantly transforms your online store into a full-fledged, advanced B2B marketplace. This plugin gives you a great dashboard for managing your inventory, shipping options, and analytics, in addition to the ability to create client groups with specific needs.
3dCart is another great option that gives you a vast selection of intuitive, mobile-ready themes, and third-party integrations plus a user-friendly interface. With 3dCart, you can categorize your clients into groups based on their needs and offer them a seamless experience through the one-click order feature that saves time. You can also offer your clients bulk-pricing options and discounts as incentives.
With any of these superior B2B e-commerce platforms, your store will enjoy huge benefits in cost reduction, inventory management, report generation, and payment processing. They are arguably the best option for progressive businesses aiming for short and long term success.