29 March
B2B E-Commerce

B2B E-Commerce: Your Go-To Guide For A Successful B2B!

Although B2B e-commerce is not a modern concept to business owners, but its adoption rate has increased. Many companies could amazingly benefit from the adoption of a Business-to-business e-commerce program and we have identified a few tips to consider before doing so.

Today we’ll answer these questions for:

  • What is B2B e-commerce?
  • What are the 5 best ways to choose a suitable platform?
  • What are the 13 B2B Specific Expectations?

You will learn each one in details as a business owner, since it is very important to know the answer to these 3 business-changing questions.

What is B2B e-commerce?

E-commerce provides your business with instantly configurable and comparable services and products. Adding business e-commerce into your world, nowadays, will open up for you new opportunities to start the purchasing process with all the business price quotes, comparisons and contract renewals available at your fingertips.

Business owners, like yourself, always want to have the information well organized, updated and handy at all times for your sales team. Several business owners say that business e-commerce is still in its steps of infancy.

If it truly is, then what precisely can we supposed to come from this domain in the coming future? The industry is growing, and dealers and clients alike are continually on the lookout for the latest innovative ways to keep the business breathing in new fresh air.

The 5 best ways to choose a suitable ecommerce platform:

  1. Get Your Business and Your IT team on the same page.
  2. Successful Integration.
  3. Understand what an e-commerce system is made of.
  4. Writing a business case.
  5. Discover the unique requirements for your business.

1. Get Your Business and Your IT team on the same page:

Selecting the right platform for your business could be tricky if you didn't balance between the outcome that you need and how to build it! You need to come together with requirements, business case and joint use cases.

You need to include merchandising tools, experience management, architecture and product relationships.

To your Business team: Understand what your business market demands, why your business demand it, and the tools your business team needs. Your customer experience is the most important thing. no matter how much you know about your business, make sure you deliver a good experience to your customers.

To your IT team:  IT has a lot to do to get ready for your business ecommerce project on your internal systems and a lot of thinking outside of the box.

Both teams need to help each other out since one team cannot make this project successful alone, trust me.

2. Successful Integration:

Integration is significant to your success. Business-to-business E-Commerce is an ecosystem made up of many front offices and back office systems. 

ERP, Pricing Engines, CRM, Content Management (CMS), Order Management, and Product Information (PIM) are the main things you must consider for your business integration along with many others.

Each platform integrates in a certain way to your back office, so you need to understand each separately. Create a good technical architecture program with your businesspeople.

Learn all your integration possibilities and the outcomes of every integration choices.  You know your environment; vendors know their software. 

B2B E-Commerce

3. Understand what an e-commerce system is made of:

Get know every single piece of information about e-commerce and its platforms. Discover you can create your customer experiences, promotions, merchandising, and think of your business's product or service out of the box (OOTB).

4. Writing a business case:

Create a business case and make sure you include an ROI, a return on investment, which is based on hard, real data like conversion, site traffic. Moreover, to make your business case more successful include an average order value and some soft data like cost per customer call and reduced operational cost.

Now, put your business case to good use by measuring the effectiveness of your choices and know what you should do first.

5. Discover the unique requirements for your business:

Your business has its own unique requirements, learn what they are, study them and know how you can apply them. Find the uniqueness in your business, if you cannot, then create it.

You should know that it is challenging for any platform to accommodate all these unique requirements out of the box.  The use case illustration will become a competition to who can establish your requirements the quickest versus learning how your business applies the solution and what is out of the box.

What are the 13 B2B Specific Expectations?

Most B2C e-commerce functionality is instantly relevant to Business-to-business.  However, there are much-distinguished Business e-commerce traits that are not required for a B2C e-commerce platform. Without these 13 factors, your business-to-business e-commerce strategy will be in vain. Learn these carefully and apply them right away for your successful business goals.

1. Pricing: various price lists per consumer segment, dynamic pricing and quantity price breaks.

2. Expanded payments: on the account, EFT, Level two and Level three processing.

3. Fast support and order for CSV (comma-separated values) order uploads.

4. Business account support

5. Order templates that are user-defined for accessible reordering.

6. Order approval workflows with customer permission limits.

7. Account information: the order history, payments, shipping status and invoices,.

8. Product configuration.

9. Quoting: The RFQ (Request For Quotation), quote submission, rejection and counter offer.

10. Catalog integration and syndication to eProcurement programs and a support for punch-out.

11. Multiple hosting and sites storefronts on behalf of delivery partners (B2B and B2B2C).

12. A guided navigation.

13. A catalog:  various catalog views depending on the consumer needs and segment.

That is all for the 13 key factors for your B2B specific expectations. You should learn how to apply each point to get the results you are expecting for your business’s product or services.

Know that you have learnt, what is a B2B ecommerce, the 5 best ways to choose a suitable platform and the 13 B2B Specific Expectations, I believe there is nothing that can get in the way of your business ecommerce platform now.