When we think of e-commerce business, most of us believe it is all about businesses selling to their end-users. But that’s obviously not true. There are many other profitable business models that come under the e-commerce umbrella. One such business model is B2B.
In this blog, we will share a quick guide that covers everything critical about B2B eCommerce. From meaning to types and benefits to best development platforms, we have included all important aspects of the business-to-business e-commerce model.
Let us first understand what exactly B2B e-commerce is all about!
B2B eCommerce is short of business-to-business electronic commerce. It basically represents sales of goods and services in bulk between two businesses via online channels. Instead of receiving orders through traditional methods such as paper sale orders or retrieving items from shelves at the distribution center, orders as well as transactions are carried out digitally.
B2B eCommerce helps both sides in reducing a huge number of overhead costs. Like every B2C business present out there, B2B businesses also come in different shapes, sizes, and levels of complexity. This online business model improves the buying efficiency for wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors, and other types of B2B sellers.
The most popular example of B2B e-commerce is probably Alibaba.
Just as there are many sorts of B2C businesses, there are several business-to-business e-commerce models as well. The following are common types of B2B e-commerce businesses:
B2B2C isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It's basically a middleman between a B2B organization and the B2C, putting the e-commerce businesses directly in contact with online consumers.
B2B2C e-commerce can best be illustrated by looking at how a wholesaler or manufacturer interacts with B2B and B2C e-commerce models. In this B2B eCommerce type, the wholesaler or manufacturer reaches the final consumer by either partnering with the B2B or selling first hand to the consumer.
We bet most of you have heard of the popular B2B e-commerce term ‘wholesaler’. For those who didn’t, these are businesses that buy goods in bulk for a lower price and sell them online (also offline) at retail value. Goods or services are directly purchased from merchants.
One could see wholesale B2B e-commerce models in different industries including retail, food, service, construction, and medicine. Amazon Business, X Cart, and DHGate are popular wholesale online store platforms.
In the previous point, we mentioned retailers buy goods and services from wholesalers. But wholesalers are not the product makers themselves. They purchase products from manufacturers, importers, or suppliers. They produce finished goods on a large scale by utilizing parts and raw materials in combination with manual labor and machines.
In a B2B eCommerce model, produced goods are sold to other manufacturers or wholesalers. The online electronics industry is a major example of this business-to-business model. The manufacturer (let’s say AMD) creates PC parts, such as CPU and GPU. Then, the manufacturer sells these parts to a wholesaler that builds the entire PC from the parts and sells it to the consumer.
Just like wholesalers, manufacturers and suppliers are taking their business online too.
Another major B2B eCommerce type! An online distributor is basically an individual who works closely with B2B manufacturers in an attempt to bring visibility to the goods they are producing with the goal of increasing virtual sales.
Just as other business-to-business e-commerce types, distributors are working to shorten the lead time from sale to delivery and create a customer experience that beats customer expectations. Amazon Business is a major example of this type of B2B e-commerce business.
70 e-commerce features to include in your online B2B store
Many merchants have realized how essential B2B eCommerce is for growing revenue and driving new customer acquisitions. 68% of B2B buyers prefer to do business online. And they are not wrong as business-to-business e-commerce provide them with these benefits:
B2B portals offer business owners a good way of increasing their reach to potential customers. It helps their organization and products reach more potential buyers. This boosts the potential interactions of their business and generates more leads as well as orders.
Customers visit B2B e-commerce stores; see what product they have to offer; browse their catalog for gathering useful information; and read business reviews. These symbolize forthcoming business opportunities as well as high sales.
The entire concept of B2B e-commerce is to offer a better management system. If you ask us, it’s a win-win for both sides. Your clients will get a tailored portal that lists their favorite products, prices, preferences, shipping costs, and more.
They also get more control of their transactions and orders, which not only makes your business more transparent and efficient but also eliminates the tiring follow-up system concerning an order update.
On the other hand, you will have better management of suppliers since you can check what products have been picked in bulk and what the progress of your orders is.
According to our research, 33% of B2B buyers have shifted towards the Amazon business. That’s because it offers a large product catalog, low prices, and fast shipping. What if your traditional B2B business enters the competition and delivers exactly that? If not the whole world, you can certainly dominate your local market.
Just like Amazon, your B2B e-commerce business will earn huge profits and sales. Of course, you will have to create an Amazon-like experience on your website or sell on Amazon itself in the beginning. No matter what B2B eCommerce way you choose, it would be worth it!
Remember, we talked about transparency and efficiency in the aforementioned point? It’s time to explain it further. B2B e-commerce will help you streamline your customer interactions by making the process of ordering more reliable and efficient.
B2B eCommerce will eliminate the mistakes in the ordering process or order fulfillment concerning stock counts. It will correct the inaccurate stock counts (a common mistake made in the traditional B2B model) and keep you informed.
This way, you can focus on client service instead of being just someone who takes an order. Your business-to-business e-commerce business will always remain transparent and efficient.
A lot of merchants, wholesalers, and buyers have adapted the habit to shop and make transactions online amid coronavirus lockdown. Switching to a B2B e-commerce store will not only help you in taking your business online but will also increase your reach to new clients.
It will allow you to instantly implement the automated up-sell and cross-sell program of recommendation, providing suggestions to clients on your B2B site and making them buy related products or bundles.
Till this point, we focused on understanding:
Now comes the most crucial section of our ultimate B2B guide, i.e. choosing the right B2B store launch platform. While there are many B2B platform launchers out there, the chosen one should score on some crucial aspects.
Here are the factors to consider while selecting the right business-to-business e-commerce platform builder:
The first and the most important aspect to look into a B2B online store! Confirm if the B2B online store builder you are going to use offers a quick setup or not. A solution that will take months to get your B2B online shop started will drain a lot of valuable time.
User experience is equally valuable to build a solid B2B marketplace. Online shoppers today expect a seamless experience that’s quick and painless. Make sure that the B2B e-commerce platform you choose has simple navigation, intuitive design, and a smooth conversion funnel so that business owners are able to quickly discover relevant products and place orders.
When it comes to B2B e-commerce, entrepreneurs need to be extra cautious about data security since big financial transactions will take place on the platform. Multiple layers of security, encrypted code and other data security measures ought to be in place to rest the safety concerns of wholesalers, manufacturers, and suppliers.
Platform security is more critical if you are planning to build a B2B multi-vendor platform. In addition to adding security layers, communicating that the same through security seals and popup messages is also crucial.
Mobile shopping is becoming the norm. With more people browsing on mobile devices than desktops, having a mobile-friendly B2B website opens a world of opportunities. When more people will come across your B2B online store, the higher will be the traffic and the bigger will be the sales.
While selecting a B2B store builder for your website, make sure that it guarantees a mobile-friendly design. A solution that doesn’t guarantee the same will lag behind in Google search results since the search giant has already embraced Mobile-First indexing.
B2B e-commerce businesses cater to a diverse set of businesses based in locations with unique language preferences. This is especially important for businesses operating at a global level. Therefore, the option to target different languages should come along with the core technology.
Supporting multiple languages will not only drive more traffic to the website but also make your B2B e-commerce business reach new markets. This feature has huge value for businesses catering to European countries!
At some point, your B2B business website will need more features and capabilities to reach the next level. This is possible only if you have chosen a platform that’s built on scalable technology.
Only a few B2B shop development platforms score high on scalability and promise store evolution with the changing times. Therefore, it is advised to do thorough research before choosing a B2B store builder for your business!
SwiftKart is a growing B2B e-commerce platform that guarantees all the above features and much more to businesses running B2B ventures. The self-hosted solution is loaded with powerful features that simplify the digital transformation for offline B2B businesses.
Online business-to-business stores built using SwiftKart bring the best of both worlds by guaranteeing quick turnaround, low cost, and future scalability.
The following are the reasons why SwiftKart has captured the fancy of B2B business owners in 2021:
Learn more about the best B2B e-commerce store builder
Above is everything you need to know about business-to-business e-commerce. For businesses and entrepreneurs that are already running an offline B2B business, launching an online store is a great way to secure huge profits and growth in the future.
However, little can be accomplished with a B2B store built on a traditional store builder. Send an email at email@example.com to inquire about the most dynamic B2B online marketplace builder of 2021.