Explore how to build the right B2B e-commerce platform that will benefit your company
What is Business-to-Business?
B2B, which stands for Business-to-Business, is a business model in which companies specifically do business with other companies. Basically, refer to the exchange of products & services among the companies.
We commonly use this type of business model for eCommerce that is doing business through online sales portal.
In B2B, the companies sell products to the other companies, rather than selling the products to the consumers. The B2B model is opposite to the B2C (Business to Consumer) model, which is generally the online business transacted between business and individual customers (not a business entity).
B2C market is much more of an online retailer space, while if we are talking about B2B market customer here represent some of the most successful businesses.
B2C transactions are comparatively easier than B2B transactions. As in B2C, prices are generally fixed, shipping methods are set, and the amount of products quantity is low.
Whereas if we are talking about B2B model here prices for products are high, the number of products purchased are high, the price for the order generally varies higher than B2C & the shipment of the products is complex.
The complexity of the B2B E-Commerce market makes the solution requirements and implementation processes very demanding.
B2B companies have their own category which is very specific to the company business because they serve a market of for-profit (and non-profit) organizations, rather than individual consumers.
A consumer can search for products as well as for the suppliers from the search bar many B2B organizations sell services rather than physical goods.
eCommerce platforms available to start a B2B Business
There is plenty of popular eCommerce platform are available in the market which you can choose to start your B2B business. If we talk about the open source platforms then there are Magento, Opencart, Woocommerce etc and some Saas based like Shopify, Bigcommerce as well.
But if you are looking for a very flexible & an agile eCommerce platform you should choose one working on open source.
And why not other platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce?
As B2B requires a lot of customization so heading towards open source platforms is a good idea. For a true B2B marketplace experience customization is an essential part. So you can choose open source platforms like Magento or Opencart which helps you to create & customize your B2B Marketplace.
Must have solutions eCommerce platform offers for B2B success
It’s far simpler to run wholesale and reseller transactions through an eCommerce website comparatively than normal eCommerce transaction. It makes it easier for the customer to purchase the product with very easy processing, and it allows B2B companies to save time and sell more products, in turn, creating larger revenue.
Not every eCommerce platform can handle B2B transactions, so selecting the precise eCommerce solutions is a must-have feature for the success of your B2B market.
So let us discuss some of the key features that an eCommerce platform should have in order to be a successful B2B platform.
RFQ ( Request for Quote )
Request For Quotation (RFQ) is a standard business process where the buyer invites multiple suppliers into a bidding process to bid on specific products or services.
After receiving the RFQs, each seller sends its own quote for the product to the buyer. After approving the quote, the buyer can then purchase the product at a competitive price.
The Request a quote for a product is an essential feature to have in a B2B shop. As the consumer will purchase products in bulk and to just quote a price for their desired product is not a bad idea.
The RFQ module should be very precise & flexible and should provide all kind quotation related features including file attachment, & custom file upload feature.
The Quote System feature will allow the customer to quote for the desired product, by simply quote for a product from the product page. This feature will be highly beneficial for the customers who purchase products in bulk.
The customer will send a quotation to the seller, & will negotiate with the seller for the final price. This feature will help the merchant to provide the customer with an essential tool for their B2B website.
Customer Specific Pricing
With a B2C site, generally, every customer gets the products at the same price as pricing rules are simpler in B2C business. But if we are talking about B2B eCommerce websites, the pricing is different for different customers.
This is because of the type of products they purchase, the frequency of orders they place & how frequently, in how much volume they are doing business with you.
Sometimes you’ll want to restrict access to your website from unregistered users regarding the safety of your website. allowing only pre-registered customers to log in & then access content on your website.
For that you will need a module that would add the restricted access functionality to your B2B eCommerce website to be password-protected, requiring the customers first to register themselves on the website and then can take access over it.
With the help of this module, the admin can control website visibility with the help of features that help to hide their products, prices & prevent customers to place an order.
The merchant can control their main site’s visibility with features that empower you to hide products and prices or block purchases for unregistered visitors.
B2B Customer Approval
Privacy is a very essential feature for every business and if it comes to protect your online business then high-security measures need to be taken.
At Webkul we have developed a module on Magento 2 platform, which will help to restrict the customer sign-up without verification. It would help the store owner to get protected against fake account creations.
Product quantity Restriction
The Product quantity restriction, restrict the customer to reach out a certain quantity per product to successfully place an order. If the customer can’t reach the requirement they won’t be allowed to place the order for that product.
The requirement is the quantity set by the store admin for the customers so that the customers can buy products up to a minimum or maximum quantity set.
This is a common feature on wholesale websites, where typically it’s required for the customer to reach out a certain quantity per product to be able to place an order. The eCommerce platform should allow B2B merchants to set minimum order quantities per product.
For effective management, many B2B websites distribute the work to their Sales Representatives. Because in a small-mid sized market its impossible to convert sales without the actual sales representatives.
The sales representative can work on behalf of the store owners, by helping them to manage the business effectively. A dedicated sales representative can manage customers their quotations, products & categories easily. The admin can create a team of multiple sales representatives and managers.
B2B customers often know exactly what they are looking for, and can purchase the product by entering the product name or SKU in the Quick Order form.
A quick order is for sure the most important and key feature for any B2B shop Provide a form where customers can enter item numbers and quantities, & can quickly add items to their cart without browsing and searching.
Managing Bulk Order
In B2B business, the customer’s purchases a large volume of products, which leads the creation of a large number of orders, their invoices, shipments etc which in turn will make the merchant visit each order page and process them individually.
But if you use a Bulk order processing module by this the merchant can process the orders in bulk in just a few clicks and can save hours.
You can create invoices, generate shipments, add tracking numbers, and change order status for multiple orders. Order status can be changed to pending, processing, or complete.
Wholesaling of goods
For effective management of inventory, the seller needs to quote for the wholesaler products at a negotiable price.
The wholesaler can register themselves on the wholesale marketplace and can add their products with quote option. And the seller can quote the wholesaler products along with a message intended for the wholesaler.
Launching a B2B ecommerce website will require you to invest time and money, and you’ll need to choose the right ecommerce platform for your business.
This article should have provided a basic understanding of the essential B2B ecommerce features you’ll want for your site. There are loads of other features for B2B shop. If you are looking for any B2B shop or B2B multi-supplier marketplace, Please contact us at – https://webkul.com/contacts/