Can anyone deny the fact that B2B ecommerce is a complex setup? With a diverse structure consisting of multiple decision-makers, suppliers, vendors, warehouses etc. the whole set up is bound to be layered with lots of to-and-fro flows.
Naturally then, the goals of B2B enterprise are also quite different from its B2C counterpart. Unlike the B2C model which operates with a large number of customers having small ticket sizes, B2B works with a smaller set of clients who purchase in large volume.
The New-Age B2B Ecommerce Priorities
The success of a wholesale business relies on maintaining strong and long term partnerships with its clients. Hence, when a wholesale business is converted into an online store the most important thing to consider is the overall convenience of the clients.
And the wholesale clients, conditioned by their B2C experiences, are increasingly asking for the same from B2B ecommerce. Do you think it is possible?
Yes, very much!
All that you need to do is change your perception. Wholesale business need not be dull and boring. You need a paradigm shift in focus, i.e, start thinking about user experience rather than just focusing on building a functional B2B marketplace.
However, as the wholesale purchases are more rational and less impulsive like the B2C sales, a B2B ecommerce website needs some unique features. The purpose of these unique features is to engage your clients, facilitate them in making informed decisions and keep them loyal to your brand.
Let us check these top features that ensure a successful wholesale ecommerce business:
Top 5 Tools and Features That Can Ensure The Success Of A B2B Ecommerce Brand
1. Seamless User Experience
To scale new heights of success the focus of the B2B ecommerce website should be on creating a seamless shopping experience for its customers. In the offline environment, these customers are used to having a special manager who acts as an agent between their team and the wholesaler. This person handles the various nuances of negotiations, discounts and finally helps in closing the deal.
When these clients move to the online environment the above ambience should be replicated to make them feel at home. We know that 70% of wholesale buyers start their search on a mobile device. They keep switching devices during their overall purchase journey. This means your website should offer a seamless experience on all devices.
Also, since the products are usually purchased in bulk there should be easy to search catalogues and categories . Your B2B ecommerce platform should also have custom forms at various places to capture the unique client requirements like quantity, product type etc. The B2B ecommerce platforms should offer strong navigation tools, hierarchical categories, catalogues etc.
Along with these the overall site design should also be jazzed up to make it stickier. Product details should be displayed with multiple images and videos that give an exact idea of the products to the clients.
Business to business sites should also have a strong multi-channel support mechanism in the form of live chat, email, SMS, browser and mobile notifications etc. so they do not miss the preferential treatment they were offered in the offline environment.
StoreHippo B2B ecommerce solutions take care of all of these requirements. Designed on the headless commerce architecture, you can create multiple customer touchpoints like online stores, mobile sites, mobile apps, selling through your blogs or social platforms. This creates omnichannel selling opportunities and helps in engaging customers on all the platforms.
StoreHippo offers a host of B2B features, custom forms, hierarchical categories, integration with customer support tools, readymade customizable design templates to help create a wow B2B ecommerce store.
2. Variety of Payment Channels
Given the size and nature of business it is obvious that a wholesale setup needs more efficient payment channels than a regular B2C ecommerce website. In the context of B2B payments, just offering multiple choices to the clients is not sufficient. The B2B ecommerce solutions should offer flexible payment options to their clients that can adapt to their unique needs.
Along with offering a host of national and international payment gateways there should also be support for bank transfers, credit and debit card payments, offline payments, COD etc. Including adaptive payments and customized checkout flow can also make it easier for both the parties to carry out transactions for bulk purchases.
The payment gateways integrated for a B2B ecommerce business should be easily adaptable to the needs of the parties involved. The security net of these payment channels should be very strong so that it gives the vendors the confidence to do business with new and unknown clients. Also, the collection of funds should be fast and hassle-free.
Along with these, there should be support for selling in multiple currencies. If a wholesale business is looking forward to growing its reach it becomes imperative to do business in all major currencies. Also, the invoicing should have the multi currency option.
StoreHippo B2B ecommerce solutions come with 50+ integrated domestic and international payment gateways. Along with these we also offer store wallets, adaptive payment, multi currency support in payment gateways as well as invoices along with the ease of creating custom checkout flows for different clients.
With StoreHippo wholesale businesses can also add store specific currency, language and payment modes to target their customers better. With these features in place, closing deals can become easier and more convenient thus increasing conversions.
3. Customized Pricing
Pricing is a key factor in the success of any business, more so for a wholesale business. B2B ecommerce pricing is a critical and sensitive factor as it cannot be uniform for all clients like the B2C environment. B2B businesses have dynamic pricing which is fixed as per the order volume and relationships with any given client.
Successful B2B ecommerce platforms should offer the feature of personalized pricing which allows the wholesaler to adjust prices and make special deals to each and every client. Also, there should be the functionality to offer a certain pricing to a segmented customer group. Suppose a wholesaler is targeting a new foreign market. To attract the clients from this market the wholesaler might want to offer a specific discount. The platform should be able to handle this kind of location or customer segment based pricing.
Pricing can be really complex in a wholesale setup and can have a variety of use cases. Apart from bulk-pricing a successful wholesale business should also have the options for retail pricing, minimum order quantity, pricing overrides where price changes based on client login and some other unique scenarios. The B2B ecommerce platforms that offer features to tweak pricing give a definite winning edge to a wholesale business.
StoreHippo combines all these features to offer the most comprehensive solutions for implementing differential pricing for wholesale buyers. You can easily set login based or IP based pricing for customers from various locations. You can even implement minimum order quantity and maximum quantity and offer differential pricing based on these parameters.
If you decide to go for retail selling along with wholesale business, StoreHippo B2B ecommerce solutions help you easily set up retail and wholesale prices for the same product.
4. Confidentiality and Security
Confidentiality is of great importance in any business environment and even more in a wholesale setup. Unlike B2C there are more than one people involved in a typical B2B order process. Therefore this environment needs segregation of one user group from the other.
Let us imagine there is a wholesale ecommerce scenario where we have a variety of user roles which require a different level of access to the database. In such a scenario your B2B ecommerce B2B ecommerce solution provider should have security features like granular user roles, audit logs, separate vendor dashboards (in case of a marketplace environment or a set up with multiple distributors and suppliers). With these features in place it becomes easier to assign different roles to different user groups without compromising the security of the complete database.
B2B ecommerce solutions should also offer the functionality of restricted login based access to the clients. This feature helps in offering unique pricing and deals thus maintaining confidentiality . Also, it allows to restrict purchases from clients or locations that are not considered safe.
StoreHippo takes care of all the above requirements and offers a secure B2B ecommerce platform. You can easily restrict the access of your various teams and use audit logs to track errors if any. By allotting separate vendor dashboards to your suppliers and distributors you can easily manage their products while giving them freedom to handle their own accounts.
Along with these StoreHippo uses the most stringent security norms to protect your business against any malicious attacks. With Free SSL you can secure your store and any other sub-stores at no additional cost. The PCI DSS compliant payment gateways ensure that all your transactions meet the security standards.
5. Reliable Shipping Channels
Whatever be the size or type of an ecommerce business, simplified and hassle-free shipping is its core requirement. Streamlined shipping has been a challenge for wholesale businesses. They need to ship large volume orders not only to their clients but also to their warehouses located in various business territories.
B2B ecommerce clients prefer a partner that can ensure speedy and damage free delivery of goods. Hence, every wholesale business should look for a solution provider that offers integrated shipping to serve domestic as well as international customers. The shipping channel should preferably be automated. The aim is to automate the processes, reduce human errors and create a streamlined shipping channel. There should be provision to deal with bulk orders and cut short manual intervention for printing labels and organising pickups.
An integrated shipping network that offers discounted rates of shipping along with wide coverage and timely delivery can help in achieving a high customer retention rate thus giving a boost to your wholesale business.
StoreHippo B2B ecommerce solutions come with integrated shipping services through ShipKaro. All StoreHippo clients can use the services of ShipKaro to avail discounted shipping with the best shipping partners. You can optimize your shipping by comparing and choosing the most suitable shipping provider for a given channel. You can also integrate with a shipping partner of your choice without paying anything additionally.
Along with these, you also get a complete delivery boy management software to manage your own fleet of delivery boys for hyperlocal delivery management. This streamlines a B2B ecommerce business’ supply chain thus resulting in happier clients and more orders.
Despite having a host of B2B ecommerce platforms in the market not many of them offer all the above features in a single solution. StoreHippo ecommerce platform has worked on this and offers a comprehensive B2B ecommerce solution with all the above features to help wholesalers maximise their ROI.
Along with these you also get 300+ inbuilt features and tools to build, run, market and grow your business to new heights of success.
Looking to explore these features and know more about the StoreHippo platform? Want to understand how these features can help you give a winning edge to your wholesale business. Allow our experts to give you a walk through, book a demo right away!