B2B Ecommerce platform is a software solution(self hosted or on premise) that enables the sale of products or services between businesses digitally. For this purpose, the ecommerce software/platform should have a host of enterprise-grade features along with the regular features and shopping cart needed for a B2C business. This is needed to create a feature-rich portal that handles the end to end requirements of wholesale or enterprise businesses.
Global business to business market value stood at $12.2 trillion in 2019, which is over 6 times the value of the B2C market(Source: Statista). This upswing proves beyond doubt that going online is no longer a fad but a necessity for enterprise and wholesale businesses that were traditionally perceived to be dependent on the brick-and-mortar shops.
Advantages Of Using B2B Ecommerce Platform
Taking a wholesale business online enables digital processing of business to business orders. This brings a lot of benefits to wholesalers, distributors, suppliers, manufacturers and individual sellers as the processes become efficient and less time-consuming. Some other advantages of taking the ecommerce route are;
- Increased reach as your business is available online 24x7 to customers across the world
- Streamlined and transparent business processes that increase efficiency
- Personalised customer experience based on customer browsing behaviour
- Improved sales due to smoother, personalised and faster sales processes
- Reduces cost by reducing manual work and streamlining processes
- Easier and better management of suppliers, customers and internal teams with automated processes of B2B ecommerce platform
- Better business insight with consolidated analytics and visitor data
- Targetted marketing with better access to data on customer behaviour and preferences
- Improved sales engagement with a host of tools like notifications, live chat etc.
So, it is pretty evident that going online has significant advantages and every enterprise-grade business should plan to capitalize on these.
Examples Of B2B Model
While there are examples of Business-to-Business companies in every industry vertical, in general terms, the wholesalers, distributors, suppliers, manufacturers, brand franchise holders all constitute B2B sellers. The other businesses that avail their products or services are their clients.
For example, a B2B ecommerce platform software provider like StoreHippo also comes under the business to business category as it caters to the technological requirements of enterprise and wholesale businesses that plan to go online.
Some other real-world examples of successful B2B ecommerce portals are;
Indiamart: An online marketplace that helps manufacturers, suppliers and exporters to come together on a common platform and trade with each other.
Udaan: A trading platform that brings together wholesalers, retailers, traders and also completes the ecosystem by offering credit and transportation services.
52% of business leaders say e-commerce increases the potential to reach new customers.
37% of B2B buyers are frustrated with the limited payment options available on e-commerce platforms
70% B2B searches will begin on mobiles by 2020
A wholesale ecommerce platform is very different from its B2C counterpart. Even the features that are the same for both the models need to have additional tools so it can accommodate the unique requirements of a biz-to-biz model. Along with being flexible and scalable the other features that are needed for the smooth functioning of a wholesale online portal are:
- Mobile ready solution to facilitate orders on the go
- Advanced search and navigation for quick search and exact matches
- Simplified order flow and easy reorder process to speed up the ordering process
- Pricing based on clients location, wholesale or retail order quantity
- Inbuilt and custom forms to collect requirements
- Personalised discounts for different clients
- Additional security tools for login and audit trail
- Host of payment methods and 40+ international and domestic payment gateways
- Inbuilt tools in the B2B Ecommerce platform to implement multi-tier taxation
- Custom entities that can be tweaked to accommodate the unique requirements and flows of the business
- Go global features to take the business to the international market
- A customized invoice template to offer invoices as per client requirements
- Integrated shipping to streamline delivery
All these features in a wholesale ecommerce platform will be needed to run a streamlined, efficient and successful enterprise business.
How To Choose The B2B Ecommerce Platform For Your Business?
As we know the business to business model is much more complex than the business to customer model. Despite incorporating some elements of B2C also, B2B solutions need to be categorically different from the solutions that are originally designed for B2C ecommerce. While many of the turnkey ecommerce platforms claim to offer a solution for business to business requirements, not all are equipped to handle the complexities.
Therefore it is essential to run a check right at the start and see whether they offer the flexibility and scalability which is essential for the high-volume requirements of wholesale businesses. Also, you should make sure whether they have powered some real-life use cases which are a proof of their features, tools and easy usability.
StoreHippo B2B ecommerce platform has taken care of all the above-mentioned must-have features needed for a wholesale ecommerce portal. Its mobile-first approach offers fast and scalable sites that are secure and can scale up to any number of users and products. The additional features like multi-vendor marketplace, multi-store, multilingual etc help you explore new business models in domestic as well as global markets. Its strong pricing overrides capability along with support for minimum order quantity and enquiry generation forms helps clients to get personalised price quotes. The discount engine allows offering different discounts to any number of clients without creating a cumbersome rule.
You can also white-label your business to give a unique identity. Along with this, you can use the blog engine to target customers with personalised and relatable content. Advanced search, filters and navigation features of StoreHippo B2B ecommerce platform ensure a memorable user experience which goes a long way in improving customer loyalty and retention. With integrated shipping and payment gateway solutions the whole B2B process is streamlined. Automation makes day-to-day operations easier and error-free. Also, security measures like audit control contain a human error. Analytics further help in formulating better marketing with higher ROI.
We have powered many successful business to business portals across diverse industry verticals and geographies. We have also built many out-of-the-box models of a marketplace website for our clients.
We recommend you to check our B2B Ecommerce Platform Features and explore StoreHippo by starting your 14-day free trial now.