With so many options, it can be a daunting task to do the right thing when selecting the platform. Not all ecommerce solutions are equipped to deal with B2B transactions.
In this article, we’ll give you a piece of advice on B2B platform evaluation factors and share a list of top 7 B2B ecommerce platform to launch your website.
In comparison to B2C “business to customer” ecommerce where an individual customer purchases a product from an online store, B2B “business to business” ecommerce is an online business model that relates to sales transactions between different companies through online channels.
B2B ecommerce facilitates sales transactions between wholesalers manufacturers and retailers and is typically a more complex process. For example, the B2C sales transaction is when a customer buys a dress or orders food from your website. An example of B2B sales would be an online retailer that sells computers to companies as its main objective is another business.
B2B businesses have many stakeholders, unique compliance requirements, longer sales cycles that make the sales processes more complex.
The B2B ecommerce market has been growing fast due to the significant influence of the worldwide online ecosystem and changing nature of B2B shoppers. According to Statista, in 2019 the worldwide B2B ecommerce market was estimated at $12.2 trillion. The US B2B ecommerce is forecasted to get $1.8 trillion by 2023.
These ecommerce statistics prove that it is high time for B2B businesses to change their strategy and adopt B2B ecommerce software in order to reap the benefits of this growing market.
In our article, you’ll get an in-depth comparison of top 7 B2B ecommerce market players of 2020:
Depending on the budget and scalability of a business, these solutions provide the advanced functionality tailored to industry-specific needs. Adopting mentioned ecommerce platform will give the possibility for B2B businesses to save time and resources and improve operational efficiency.
Frequently, ecommerce brands try to adjust their B2C experience to the B2B sector, but this won’t function well. B2B purchasing is much more complicated than B2C, as customers have particular requirements and high expectations. Let’s check out the essential features a B2B ecommerce store should have to attract new customers and keep loyal shoppers happy.
In a B2C sale, the customer searches for a certain product, finds it online, decides to purchase and pay with the credit card to fulfill the order. B2B transactions aren’t that easy.
In a B2B sale, transactions include numerous decision-makers with various levels of purchasing authority. Taking into account the specific factors related to selling items to other businesses, it is crucial to guarantee that the B2B customers have access to the data required to perform intended tasks effectively.
The platform should give the possibility for B2B store owners to define the roles, permissions, and responsibilities and allow/limit access to particular sections of your website on a case-by-case basis.
Unlike B2C, a B2B ecommerce solution should offer a personalized pricing model based on the different customers or a number of orders for particular products. Your platform should give a possibility to determine a list of individual prices to handle the complex cost structure.
B2B customers expect a pricing model to be negotiated according to your business relationships or the number of their orders. Moreover, most parts of B2B sales depend on relationship and loyalty, so regular customers expect special pricing for their loyalty to your services.
B2B shoppers purchase in large quantities and on a periodic basis. The platform should provide multiple payment options such as paying one or several invoices, subscription payment model, partial payment or payment in debt.
With a flexible payment model you can offer your customers a possibility to divide the costs for their orders into small sums of money that could be paid with different credit cards. With the B2B platform, you also need to offer credit lines to high-value customers and set credit limits for each account.
Opt for the platform that integrates smoothly with your CRM (customer relationship management), PIM (product information management), ERP (enterprise resource planning), accounting and tax management, and more.
More and more B2B companies move towards a personalized UX (user experience). Your B2B ecommerce solution should allow you to develop an ecommerce store that’s mobile-optimized, has easy navigation, simple to customize, and is SEO-friendly.
Moreover, the platform should provide advanced tools such as personalization plug-ins, cross-sells, up-sells, reward and loyalty programs. If you want your B2B brand to become popular among customers, your store should make interaction with your brand more enjoyable.
Usually, inventory information is restricted to basic “in stock” or “out of stock” options. The B2B ecommerce platform should offer powerful inventory data. B2B customers need to have access to order tracking, shipping information, one-click reordering, quote approvals, and any other features that help to handle their accounts on their own.
Self-service inventory management gives B2B customers an opportunity not only to place their orders in a fast and efficient way but also helps to avoid expensive backorders.
Product catalog management is the key business performance driver for B2B store owners. Your product content can be messed up if you’re managing a great number of product catalogs in all various formats from your suppliers. Sometimes, it can be quite problematic to organize this information and get it prepared for product listings.
Ensure how the chosen platform deals with complex product catalogs. On certain occasions, you might need to integrate a PIM (product information management) system. With PIM systems, ecommerce companies can run, organize, enrich, and distribute product data from various sources and in various formats across multiple channels.
Being on the first page of search engines has a direct impact on the purchasing decision, regardless of the business model you’re using. The best marketing investment you can make is in search engine optimization (SEO).
Typically, all B2B ecommerce platforms have an SEO system. However, it’s crucial that you select a package with tools that can enhance the SEO of your website.
B2B ecommerce platforms are strategic tools for attracting new customers and boosting revenue. Here are the best B2B ecommerce platforms you should take into account in order to get ahead, stay ahead and beat out the competition.
Shopify Plus provides all the necessary features to start selling and shipping your products online to other businesses. Shopify is popular among B2B companies as it has low start-up costs and an intuitive interface.
It is not necessary to be a skilled web developer to launch your B2B store, as Shopify provides dozens of free and paid themes.
The major benefits you get as a B2B business owner opting for Shopify Plus are:
BigCommerce offers an advanced set of out-of-the-box tools for B2B businesses aimed to start selling fast. BigCommerce provides B2B merchants with responsive website design, advanced shipping options, third-party integrations, and easy checkouts.
Here are the main benefits BigCommerce offers to B2B businesses:
OpenCart is one more popular B2B solution we want to mention. OpenCart provides customers with an appealing design and comes with basic features to build a B2B store straight away.
When you decide to integrate into the B2B sector, you should install the Opencart B2B module that is aimed to transform your website into a powerful B2B marketplace.
OpenCart provides a great variety of responsive themes, integrates smoothly with third-party systems. Moreover, with Open Cart you can organize multiple customer groups and appoint unique permissions to each group of customers.
The key features Opencart B2B module offers are:
PrestaShop gives B2B merchants access to a great collection of premium templates, multiple payment solutions, unlimited listings, integrated customer service tools and more.
If you decide to opt for PrestaShop, there is a number of modules enabling you to personalize the user experience and apply it to the B2B market.
The major benefits you get selecting PrestaShop are:
SAP Hybris is a leading B2B ecommerce platform designed for the current needs of the B2B sector. This solution provides smooth integration with third-party systems and offers multiple currencies and languages for global coverage.
Let’s talk about the top features why B2B companies trust Hybris for building their online stores:
CloudCraze offers a B2B commerce technology that is built on Salesforce infrastructure that allows B2B shoppers (retailers, wholesalers, and distributors) to buy products or services from a company. Salesforce acquired CloudCraze in 2018 and renamed its managed package into B2B Commerce.
The major benefits you get as a B2B business owner opting for CloudCraze are:
According to Forrester, Magento was announced to be the top B2B ecommerce platform. Magento Commerce is a scalable platform providing a great variety of built-in features that perfectly fit the B2B sector. With Magento 2 B2B, you have a possibility to scale from B2B merchants with a limited product line to a company that manages millions of products.
Magento came out as one of the most robust, SEO-friendly, mobile-optimized, flexible, and scalable platforms in the ecommerce market. You can hire a Magento development company to build a fully-functional ecommerce Magento 2 B2B store.
The major benefits you get choosing Magento Commerce are:
As you can see, implementing a B2B ecommerce platform gives you access to multiple features that can help you to improve operational efficiency, deliver better customer service, and grow sales. It is a very profitable solution.
Let’s check the B2B ecommerce platform cost. The table below gives you a general idea of the license cost.
|Shopify Plus||Shopify Plus license starts at $2,000 per month. When you reach $800,000 profit per month, the costs transform into a revenue-based model and you’ll need to pay 0.25 % of your monthly profit.|
|Big Commerce||License price starts at around $29.95 monthly for the standard plan, and $79.95 monthly for the plus plan, $299.95 monthly for the pro plan.|
|Open Cart||The B2B marketplace extension is $299 monthly.|
|Presta Shop||Costs start at $30 per month depending on the different plugins that you require. However, be ready to pay more for the modules needed to set up fully-functional B2B stores.|
|SAP Hybris||License costs for Hybris begin at $54,000 per year but can go up if you require more complex solutions. The company provides tailored offers for different businesses.|
|Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Cloud Craze )||Salesforce Commerce Cloud is fairly closed about the prices. They operate a “Shared Success” model, implying the higher the merchant profit, the higher the monthly fees.|
|Magento Commerce||Magento Commerce license cost starts at $24,000 annually. Magento Commerce Cloud Edition license cost starts from $40,000 annually. The pricing system is based on a tiered model, linked to GMV (gross merchandise value).|
There are many wonderful B2B ecommerce platforms available on the market, all with their own unique advantages for business owners. When choosing a B2B solution for your company, it’s significant to make sure that the platform has all the functionalities to manage the versatility of your sales processes.
Shopify Plus is a great solution for those who need high-level features combined with an easy-to-use back-end. OpenCart is a good choice if you need flexibility and full control over the platform to meet your business requirements. If proprietary design, usability and custom selection of functionalities are top priorities for your business opt for PrestaShop.
BigCommerce and Salesforce Commerce are good options for those businesses that are looking for SaaS (software as a service) solutions. If you’re looking for an ecommerce platform with scalable merchandising and ability to automate even the most complex B2B processes choose – SAP Hybris.
B2B businesses searching for an industry-leading B2B ecommerce solution should choose Magento Commerce. Magento for B2B provides a rich set of built-in B2B features, easy customization, and backend integration in less time, and with a lower TCO, versus any other solution.
Which ecommerce solution will you select to get your online B2B store up and running? Let us know in the comments below!
No, there are no free of charge ecommerce solutions available on the market. Open source B2B ecommerce platforms are free to download. However, there is a high cost in terms of development, design, extensions integrations, hosting, support, maintenance, and more. Most of the B2B platforms charge monthly license fees.
The B2B website quote estimation is typically a tricky thing. There are many things to take into account when evaluating the cost of a platform, such as business goals, platform license, project scope, the method of development, hosting, design complexity, setup, integrations, maintenance, features, and support. If you wonder how much it might cost to develop a B2B online store, send us a request with the description of your project. We will provide you with a free cost estimate.
SaaS (software as a service) provides your B2B company with great flexibility with regard to fast deployment. Hosting, security, support are taken care of by the service hosting provider. Furthermore, any problems happened to the software, such as server failure or system crash, will be quickly solved by the provider.
With the Open Source platform, the B2B store owner is in charge of installation, maintenance, and hosting of an ecommerce website. While you have the entire control of the configuration of your system, the costs related to hosting, maintenance, support, security, and development can be quite high.