B2B Ecommerce: A Reliable Guide To Everything You Ever Wanted To Know

By | Jun 14, 2018 | 2065 views | Updated Date : Oct 13, 2020
  • B2B Ecommerce: A Reliable Guide To Everything You Ever Wanted To Know

B2B ecommerce has far surpassed its growth forecasts.  With a staggering market value of $12.2 trillion USD in 2019, it is over 6x of the B2C ecommerce market. Despite starting slower than its B2C counterpart, business-to-business online commerce picked up steadily and proved to be a virtual goldmine for merchants and wholesale businesses.

Source: Statista

B2B Ecommerce: Evolution And The Key Growth Drivers  

While the growth of internet penetration and mobile revolution remains the chief catalysts for ecommerce growth, we cannot deny the fact that it was B2C ecommerce that made the savvy online customers ask for more from biz-to-biz ecommerce. Conditioned by their B2C ecommerce experiences, the whole buyers are looking for the same ease while shopping on B2B ecommerce platforms.

Catering to changing buyer preferences along with building long-term loyalty made large enterprise and wholesale businesses realize the evident benefits of taking the ecommerce route. By going online these high-volume enterprise businesses could overcome the limitations of the brick and mortar business model and explore previously unreachable new territories.

  • 90% savings in sales and operating costs for businesses going online
  • 79% of companies that opted for B2B ecommerce solutions reported higher sales
  • 56% of wholesalers find they could give profitable service to customers only through ecommerce

Trends in enterprise businesses going online

The above clearly indicates that large scale businesses have a lot to gain just by building an omnichannel presence for their brand. 

B2B Ecommerce: Answers To The 7 Most Important Questions For Your Business 

Now that you are convinced to take your business online, you suddenly find that the whole thing would be a lot of groundwork. From charting the flows to aligning your teams, vendors, suppliers, distributors and clients for this transformation you need to plan a lot.

Aren’t there a lot of questions and doubts that are fogging your thinking?

Need an expert who could take you through all this and help you make an informed decision for your large enterprise ecommerce business?

Worry not! StoreHippo has you covered.

StoreHippo, the top enterprise ecommerce platform, brings a comprehensive guide to help you with the most common queries about taking your wholesale business online. Here is a list of top 7 questions asked by large-scale wholesale businesses planning to go online for the very first time.

Let’s begin;

What is a B2B ecommerce solution?

Business to business e-commerce or online B2B is the process of selling, marketing and distributing products and services between businesses using an online portal. Typically it is an e-commerce transaction between two or more businesses which can be manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers,wholesalers and retailers.

A B2B ecommerce software offers the complete set up to start, manage and run a wholesale business online. Such a solution is not only much bigger in scale and complexity than its B2C counterpart but also requires unique features to handle the workflows of a business to business set up.

This makes it mandatory for the ecommerce software/platform/ solution in question to have a host of enterprise-grade features to handle the unique requirements of large businesses. Also, it should have the ecommerce regular features and shopping cart to complete the digital sales of wholesale or enterprise businesses. 

Want to know more about the software solution that supports wholesale businesses? Check it out :

 A-Z of B2B ecommerce platform 

Why every wholesale business needs an online presence?

Did you know that 93%of the  B2B buyers look for products and services online before finalising their purchase? Well, this singular fact underlines the need for online presence for your wholesale business.  You can work wonders for your business by just creating an online presence. Taking your wholesale business online has huge benefits.

It not only saves costs hugely but also fosters efficiency at every level. With a business that can now go beyond geographical boundaries, you get the freedom to scale rapidly and get better conversions by entering new markets. Going online also enhances customer relationships and increases the average ticket size.

If you are still in doubt, check out the strong reasons for taking the B2B ecommerce route for your business.

Read more: 3 Compelling Reasons To Go Online With Your Wholesale Business

How to choose the best B2B ecommerce platform?

Once you have decided to take your wholesale business online you need to carefully evaluate the turnkey online solutions that have the potential to support your business. The success or failure of your business would greatly depend on the ecommerce software that you choose and hence this decision should be taken with due diligence.

Your platform should be equipped to give you a technological edge and the site should work seamlessly on mobile and other devices. With over 70% of the B2B queries getting started on smartphones your IT solution provider should give your business a definite m-commerce edge.

The features and functionalities of your B2B ecommerce solutions should help in the growth and expansion of business and also make your processes smoother and faster. In this era of personalization your solution provider should be equipped to handle extreme customizations and personalization.

After all you have a host of clients, each different from the other in requirements. A one size fit all solution can doom your business. You need to look for a readymade solution that has the flexibility to accommodate your unique business needs. 

Before you finalize your solution provider, do refer to the detailed checklist prepared by Storehippo experts.

Read more: Top 10 things to look for in your B2B ecommerce platform

Must have features and tools for your business-to-business ecommerce platform?

 Is a solution perfect for your business if it offers the core features to handle a large enterprise and wholesale business? Well, there is more to the best-fit solution for your wholesale business than this.

After evaluating the core features of your enterprise ecommerce platform, you should also look for salient features that will help you with constant and rapid business growth. We know that B2B ecommerce has the potential to open up huge opportunities for your business. 

So how do we achieve that?  We need the right tools and functionalities in place so you can create a brand presence and connect with your customers at multiple touchpoints. Afterall, going online has already opened up markets sans geographical boundaries.

Are you sure what are the exact features and functionalities your business would need to ensure rapid growth? Do you know how you can ensure better user experience to keep your old customers loyal while adding many new customers to your clientele? 

Check out the exhaustive list of B2B software features and how these will accelerate your growth in the online business sphere;

Read more: B2B ecommerce features that drive Business Growth

Why are B2C features a must-have requirement for a B2B ecommerce solution?

B2B is vastly different from B2B. However, this does not mean that you can offer a less than perfect site to your customers who are used to the seamless shopping experience on the B2C sites.

Business ecommerce is complex but this does not mean that the customer has to bear the brunt and go through a complex buying route. Making the process smarter, automated and easy to use increases your chances of customer retention and better conversions.

To gain an edge over competition your site needs to have B2C capabilities that cater to the tastes and requirements of a buyer who is accustomed to buying on B2C sites. Your website should have a simple sales process and be available on mobile. Wouldn’t you want your business to be where your customers are, i.e, always glued to their mobile phones ;)

We have compiled a comprehensive list of B2C features that can ensure better visibility and user engagement on your B2B ecommerce site. Check out the list;

Read more: Why your B2B ecommerce platform needs strong B2C capabilities

How to launch your B2B ecommerce website?

Now you know all about the features that you need to check in your ecommerce solution provider. But has this solved all your queries? Are you clear about the plan to take your wholesale business online?

Not sure? Well, you certainly are not alone. 

Taking a large wholesale business online is a mammoth task and needs meticulous planning along with smart software and an experienced team of experts to handle the whole exercise. Also, you need to be aware about the different phases in your journey from start to finish, i.e; from being a brick and mortar only business to being a popular online wholesale business.

Need some hand-holding with the process? Here is a detailed 5-phase approach to begin your online journey. 

Read more: How to Create a B2B Ecommerce Website (5-phase approach)

How to avoid mistakes that can ruin your online wholesale business?

We learn from our mistakes. But wouldn’t it be better if someone forewarns us about the common mistakes that can be disastrous for our online wholesale business. Definitely, it would be!

And the surprising thing about these common mistakes is that they can be easily avoided if you are aware that these can cost your business dearly. Storehippo has compiled a list of 7 most common yet avoidable mistakes that can save your business and help you grow.

Start looking for these mistakes right from the store-set up process and ensure seamless and memorable user experience for better conversions and growth of your business. Check out the list here;

Read more: Easily avoidable mistakes that can doom your B2B ecommerce business

Conclusion

B2B ecommerce has huge potential for anyone who is ready to experiment and explore the markets. However, before you start you need to make the right and informed choices not only about your ecommerce software but about a host of things from planning to execution. 

Now that you have the detailed and handy guide with you, start your B2B ecommerce journey with confidence and share your experiences with us.

Need to know more about StoreHippo B2B ecommerce platform and its features? Begin exploring by starting your 14-day free trial right away.

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