Functional Aspects to Consider When
Choosing a B2B Ecommerce Platform
A stable and reliable B2B ecommerce solution should be able to provide buyers with a seamless experience.
For that reason, merchants should access the ecommerce platform choice before settling on it.
To make the right decision – your focus should be on the customer, as well as, on the experience that comes with making such a decision.
With this kind of B2B ecommerce platform, you will promote your brand and make it ready for secure and lasting growth. The opposite can happen if you fail to make the right choice.
We don’t want that to happen, do we?
Merchant Advice Guide for B2B Software Acquisition
There are a few important considerations one should make when choosing B2B software.
In order to make the right call, there are some complexities and requirements that must be met in order for B2B businesses to sell to other businesses.
The B2B ecommerce software should provide these functional aspects
Available Payment Options
B2B engagements are different from B2C business operations. Basically, businesses purchase big orders that may be repeating aging in the future. For that reason, a flexible payment option should be available on the platform.
Your customers should be able to get options in terms of payment for most of their invoices.
When customers shop online, they do that from different devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more.
They may want to access products information, price insights, and more on phones and tablets and later complete the purchase from a PC.
The platform of your choice should be able to offer this buyer a great experience on all popular devices.
Therefore, it is also important to make sure the B2B platform allow web-content to render right on different devices.
Your buyers should have an easy time browsing, comparing, and completing their purchases.
Custom Pricing Capabilities
A good B2B platform should be in a position to offer specific pricing for buyers and items for sale.
Based on the type of customer, the prices should vary. In other words – the platform should be able to list different prices for different customers.
For example, with Shopify Plus’s B2B sales channel, you can create a password-protected storefront without time-consuming or costly development.
You can list all B2B specific-products with one click, influence your existing branding, and set custom prices only your loyal and high-volume buyers will see.
You can also create custom-price lists, volume-based discounts, and percentage off.
Your potential buyers should be able to acquire enough data to help them in making better shopping decisions.
In order words, the ecommerce shopping experience should include an option that will allow customers to find shipping details, track their orders, manage their information, approve quotes, and more whenever the need.
Shopify Plus allows customers to purchase, track and reorder.
The merchants are able to offer native multichannel marketing and sales experience.
With Shopify Scripts, you can personalize the checkout, allowing customers to enjoy their shopping online.
3 Basic B2B Ecommerce Platform Requirements
There are a few different types of platforms to choose for your B2B ecommerce site.
There are hosted, open-source, and cloud-based platforms.
Besides these, there are other aspects that should also be taken into consideration such as security, PCI compliance, the ability to customize, cost implications, maintenance, and more.
Here are 3 basic B2B ecommerce platform requirements to keep in mind
1.Web Hosting Options
There are on-premise and cloud-based options to choose from.
The cloud-based options have hosting services included in the platform. As long as you are connected to the internet, you will be able to access your website anytime from anywhere. If your business operations don’t allow you to do proper maintenance, the cloud-based option is perfect for you.
The on-premise platforms require platform installations on-site. This is a little bit complicated, especially if you are a beginner and you are just starting to sell online. These platforms require you to source for additional maintenance services for the servers.
Compare the options, talk to your team, discuss possible outcomes, and make a decision that will best suit your company’s needs.
2. PCI Security
All ecommerce sellers today must be PCI compliant. Your customers must feel protected when shopping online.
Through PCI compliance you are offering security and protection to customers as they make online payments using their credit/debit cards.
There are some platforms (like the cloud-based B2B ecommerce platforms) that offer these services, however, there are others that will leave security as your responsibility.
The Magento platform, for example, is an open-source solution and a great option for all B2B merchants, however, the platform doesn’t provide security to customers when shopping online. You must take care of this problem and ensure the personal information of your customers are protected and encrypted.
3. Cost Implications
Both options – fully-hosted and open-source solutions attract additional costs.
You should be able to access these cost implications against the benefits that come with the platform.
In other words – you should be able to make a choice that works best for you and your company.
If you have an in-house team that can do the job perfectly, go for an open-source platform. But if you can’t afford a team or you want to focus solely on your business – a fully-hosted B2B ecommerce solution like Shopify or BigCommerce is a better option for you.
There are a number of factors, considerations, and requirements that come into play when choosing a B2B ecommerce solution.
All companies have different target audience and processes. The important thing to do is make sure that the platform of choice can integrate with all of your systems, can scale and support your business, and help you accomplish your goals.
If both your online and offline channels can work in a harmonious manner, you will be able to offer your customers pleasant shopping experience.
Consider our helpful advice and you will be on your way to choosing the best B2B ecommerce solution for your company.