Growing at a 200% faster rate than B2C ecommerce B2B eCommerce is redefining the rules of online business. Surpassing all growth forecasts, in 2019 the business to business ecommerce market was over 6X of the B2C ecommerce market.
Why Wholesale Businesses Are Taking The Ecommerce Route
The tremendous success and growth forecasts for B2B eCommerce has made the wholesale businesses worldwide keen to explore the online route. Interesting ecommerce trends and customers’ preference for shopping online is also reshaping the B2B sphere which was more of a brick-and-mortar set up till recently.
By going online early and having the right features and functionalities in place, enterprise businesses can plan better brand recognition along with growth in new markets. Going online promotes rapid growth, exposes your business to new customer segments and offers huge savings in operating costs.
Some of the obvious advantages of taking the ecommerce route for wholesale businesses are;
- Better Opportunities: By building your B2B eCommerce platform you make it easier for your potential customers and sellers to find you through online searches. This improves your business opportunities greatly.
- Better sales: With your own website, engaging listing and display of products/services you can improve your sales significantly.
- Shorter Selling Cycle: As your store is accessible to anyone from anywhere, you can experience a shorter selling cycle and faster finalization of deals.
- Lower Costs: B2B online setup significantly lowers the cost of operations and selling by offering a host of automated features.
- New Markets: You can explore global markets and operate on a much larger scale without the limits of geographical boundaries.
- Better Brand Visibility: You can create better brand visibility and awareness about your business in the market with your B2B eCommerce platform. By having multi-store websites along with individual product/ service pages you can focus on targeted marketing.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction: By offering improved UI/UX you can get improved customer satisfaction which eventually translates into better business.
Why do you need a B2B Ecommerce platform?
We know that going online has so many benefits. Now comes the question about the easiest way for enterprise businesses to go online. While building custom software is an option, it is pretty time taking and resource-intensive. This eventually delays the go-to-market time and takes away the benefits of an early start.
So the better solution for wholesale business is to go for turnkey solutions that offer end-end features for running and managing large-scale businesses. A B2B eCommerce platform is basically a software solution that makes it possible to sell and buy products or services between businesses using a digital medium.
This also implies that the software or the platform should have enterprise-grade features along with regular ecommerce features to manage the show for wholesale businesses. Turnkey platforms are the most preferred solution of wholesale businesses as they offer battle-tested solutions and reduce the go-to-market time substantially.
What are the real-life scenarios/ Use Cases where B2B eCommerce websites can be used?
- Alibaba, AliExpress like multi vendor marketplace for sourcing and shopping
- Practo like healthcare services portal listing doctors as well as various other service providers.
- Industrial goods and parts suppliers
- Office product supplies
- Beauty and wellness products suppliers
- Suppliers of various products and services on a common platform like Indiamart
- Paints and building material website with multi-level distributors, suppliers and painting service providers
Along with these, there could be a host of use cases of wholesale and enterprise business where going online can dramatically improve business opportunities.
What you should look out for in a B2B eCommerce platform
Finding a comprehensive ecommerce platform to launch your B2B business involves a lot of research and assessment. However, if you make a decision without enough research and deliberation you might end up with a rigid platform that eventually fails to cope with your changing requirements.
To make the most of going online you need to choose a comprehensive B2B e-Commerce software that has all the features and tools needed for your growth.
Evaluate the platform you are considering on the following functionalities before you go for it;
A multi-seller B2B marketplace allows businesses to onboard multiple sellers/vendors. This helps in scaling up the business to new markets by onboarding new sellers and distributors without actually investing in building up an inventory.
With more products and services to offer in multiple locations, eventually, your business attracts more customers and earns more profit at minimum investment. Multi-seller functionality is a must-have feature for a B2B eCommerce Platform.
Multi-store setup allows to have many storefronts dealing with diverse products, deals, geolocations etc. for a different set of customer groups. This kind of stores can also have different URLs or different payment and shipping set up to cater to certain geographical locations.
This feature from your B2B eCommerce solutions provider goes a long way in helping with business expansion through targeted marketing and better user engagement.
3. Minimum Order Quantity
B2B business usually operates on the principle of selling in bulk. The profits are calculated based on a certain minimum threshold of product quantity. Feature for setting MOQ per product is a must-have for this business model.
Unlike B2C, every B2B customer is different and for each order and each client, you need to have different pricing. Having different pricing based on customer login helps in offering individual pricing to different user groups and customer segments. Pricing override also helps with global selling wherein you can set up prices in multiple currencies based on the customer IP. This facilitates faster orders as clients can pay in their own currency.
5. Wholesale and Retail Prices
Wholesale businesses should have the capability to offer wholesale as well as retail pricing for different user groups. Opt for the B2B eCommerce platforms in India that have this feature as an inbuilt functionality.
6. Inquiry Generation
B2B businesses product prices vary based on the order quantity and amount. So, there should be a feature to generate product and quantity related enquiries right on the product page. This helps in engaging more customers and eventually closing the deal faster by offering special pricing for a given enquiry.
7. Compulsory Log-in
Making login compulsory for pages helps in gathering additional information about the clients. Having this feature can help with your marketing by building a strong database and targeting your customers with personalised deals and offers.
8. Compare Products Feature
Comparing products on the basis of different sellers, prices and other parameters help greatly in making the final purchase decision. With this feature, you can engage and convert your customers faster. So, look out for this feature in your B2B eCommerce solutions provider.
9. Bulk-order processing
Processing bulk orders on a B2B ecommerce website should not be a time taking or resource-intensive task requiring multiple iterations. Look for a platform that gives you the ease to process hundreds of orders in one go.
10. Form Builder
Having the facility to create dynamic forms as and when needed helps in capturing relevant data. A form builder functionality comes in handy as it helps in creating and customising existing forms like seller registration, delivery specifications etc. Also, a form builder helps you in adding custom forms for gathering detailed requirements from your clients.
11. User Roles
Assigning granular roles to users makes a system more robust and secure. Also, it gives freedom to various users to use backend according to their roles. With the feature of user roles, a B2B ecommerce website can give more flexibility to various user groups.
12. Audit Logs
Audit logs not only help to track the activities in a complex B2B environment but also help in limiting and controlling any damage to the point of the breach itself. To make your business secure, B2B eCommerce solutions should have an audit log as an essential feature.
13. Custom invoice templates
Invoicing is an important feature for wholesale businesses. The ecommerce solution that you are planning to choose for your B2B business should have custom invoice templates. This helps in customizing the invoices based on taxes etc. based on the type of products services or the rule of the land where the business operations are being carried out.
Another important feature for B2B is white labelling. This helps in creating your own brand presence despite using a readymade B2B e-Commerce software. The platform should be flexible to offer you integration with various Email and SMS gateway etc and show these as coming from your brand instead of third-party providers. You can also add your own branding and logo on the front end as well as the backend.
15. Tax Engine
The B2B Commerce Platform should offer a comprehensive tax engine that includes functionality and support for calculating various taxes like GST in India and other hierarchical taxes for various countries.
16. Custom Entities
B2B businesses can have their unique requirements which need custom adjustments on the platform. The platform you choose should be able to offer custom entities to accommodate the unique requirements of the business.
17. Single Sign-On
SOS ( Single Sign-On) goes a long way in improving customer experience and offering additional information about users to the B2B business owner. This is one of the good-to-have features that you should look forward to in the platform of your choice.
18. Go Global
B2B business growth can be accelerated by reaching out to clients and businesses in diverse geographies and countries. Your B2B eCommerce solutions provider should offer features like the ability to build multilingual websites, support for multi-currency payments, ability to have multilingual themes etc. to connect better with your customers. These features also help in making local distributors and suppliers to work more efficiently on your platform.
19. Integrated Shipping
Shipping is the pain point for businesses of all sizes, more so for large enterprise businesses. If you get integrated shipping with wide delivery coverage and automated shipping it can take away a major headache. Also, look for the delivery boy management feature in your B2B e-Commerce software. This helps in setting up your own fleet of delivery boys and easily tracking them.
20. Hyperlocal Ecommerce
While going global is the dream of every enterprise business, having a strong foothold in local markets is also a very good strategy to grow the business. To make it easier for your business to become popular in local markets your enterprise software should have an inbuilt hyperlocal ecommerce solution that helps you to cater to the local markets.
Why StoreHippo Is The Best B2B eCommerce Platform
B2B ecommerce is growing at a stupendous rate. This makes it essential for your business to rely on software that is not built on the premises of one-size-fits-all but rather has the ability to be tweaked according to your unique requirements.
StoreHippo, the top ecommerce platform, comes with a host of enterprise-grade features and tools suited for large businesses. It offers all the above features and many other advantages that can give your B2B ecommerce business an edge over competitors.
StoreHippo also offers a gamut of rich tools(marketing, advanced search, customizable themes, analytics etc.) functionalities and features to ensure your growth. StoreHippo easily integrates with custom ERP, CRM, accounting software and any other software of your choice. StoreHippo has battle-tested solutions for large businesses and can be used to build out-of-box use cases of B2B ecommerce business.
Ready to grow and take your wholesale business to new markets. Book your StoreHippo free demo right away to explore the B2B features and how they help your business grow.