The share of online purchases continues to increase among individuals and professionals. However, B2B e-commerce has specificities that you have to know and know how to manage if you want to ensure the success of your sales site.
To successfully meet the needs of B2B online shoppers, there is an increasing incentive for B2B sellers to equip their online stores with essential features for B2B e-commerce.
With the rise of the B2B e-commerce market, B2B buyers are increasingly accustomed to shopping online. Still, they are also becoming more demanding than ever when it comes to the experience delivered.
Here are the ten key points to consider to complete your B2B e-commerce project
Personalized management of the B2B catalog
Personalized B2B catalog management is probably the most distinct and well-known feature of B2B e-commerce.
It allows sellers to customize product catalogs based on companies, divisions, business units, and even individual buyers or customers.
Each group has access to its catalog, where purchasing managers can view content and purchase products.
Pricing in B2B e-commerce can be very complex.
It can depend on purchase volume, pre-negotiated discounts, frequency of purchase, and many other factors.
It can also be dynamically calculated based on specific business rules.
There is the possibility to create and customize multiple price lists for each customer, company, or business unit authorized on the e-commerce site.
This can get quite complex since each price list can contain an unlimited number of price points, different tiers, and different currencies.
In addition, it is also difficult to synchronize these price lists with an ERP, which must be solved with the appropriate B2B e-commerce solution.
Also Read: E-commerce – Your Best Internet Weapon
Managing corporate accounts
Unlike B2C, the B2B buyer’s experience requires more personalization.
Often, a B2B account can be made up of multiple users with specific roles and purchasing rights, especially when it comes to sub-divisions or subunits of a business.
As a feature specific to B2B e-commerce, account management must allow complex and hierarchical business accounts processing. Buyers should also set up their own corporate account management structure, add authorized users, and create purchasing rules.
Access controls, roles, and permissions
In the B2B sector, each client can be represented by different users, each with other titles and responsibilities.
That’s why it’s essential to ensure that users only have access to the information they need to do their jobs and nothing more.
Buyers, which is the most common category of users, can be divided into two categories: purchasing managers and simple buyers.
The purchasing manager may have all the necessary permissions to work with invoices, orders, tax codes, etc., whereas single buyers can only access quotes, prices, and shopping lists.
Multiple organizations, websites, and stores
Many companies operate multinational brands, which work in different countries, with other currencies and tax regulations.
Thus, the localization capabilities of a B2B e-commerce solution can become an essential requirement for the business.
An out-of-the-box B2B platform typically supports these aspects of B2B e-commerce.
content management system
Having access to detailed product information is one of the main requirements of B2B buyers for a B2B e-commerce site.
As B2B buyers buy items for pragmatic reasons, sellers will need to offer additional information to ensure the buyer knows what they are buying.
Product descriptions, videos, certifications, marketing sheets – all of this can help to clearly present all the benefits of products and preventively answer various questions from multiple decision-makers.
Having CMS functionality on an e-commerce platform allows marketing and merchandising teams to perform content and product page updates without IT intervention, helping to streamline productivity further.
Multiple shopping lists
B2B buyers working on multiple projects, such as exhibitions, printed materials, or products or equipment for different business units, may want to manage and save multiple shopping lists on the B2B e-commerce site.
This will allow them to save shopping lists for later use and quickly purchase already saved products.
Simplified buyer-seller interaction
Whatever the site’s development level, a B2B e-commerce site cannot entirely replace a seller.
However, even when a negotiation process between buyer and seller, some B2B e-commerce features can significantly streamline the interaction.
For example, it is desirable to improve interactions between buyers and sellers by providing buyers with an easy way to create and submit inquiries, purchase orders, and requests for quotation (RFQ) digitally…
Sellers can then quickly respond to orders and requests for quotes on the same platform, facilitating the negotiation process.
Segmentation and personalized reports
B2B e-commerce is the breeding ground for account-based marketing, segmentation, and customer behavior analysis with excellent customization flexibility and multiple pricing strategies.
Businesses need to track key business performance indicators (KPIs) and determine how they are affected by different marketing strategies, user experience innovations, and new product offerings.
Personalized and flexible workflows
When choosing a scalable B2B e-commerce solution, it is essential to consider the solution’s flexibility.
An e-commerce site should never be stagnant, and customers will eventually ask for many other features to improve the customer experience.
To achieve this, one of the critical capabilities of technical assessment should be the ability to create an unlimited number of custom workflows for e-commerce, to support processes related to buyers and sellers.
Such a flexible workflow engine makes it possible to customize workflows such as the payment experience, the order submission, or automatic replenishment.