According to recent statistics, about half of B2B companies already sell their products online. If projections come true, that number will increase to approximately 100% over the coming years. It will be interesting to watch how the market develops in this area, and consumers have already altered their behaviour considerably to reflect the changing circumstances.
Using robust B2B eCommerce software is crucial if you want to maximise the advantages of your market presence. You can’t disregard your internet presence and must pay close attention to how your potential clients perceive you.
In this article, we talk about the essential features your B2B eCommerce software should possess. We will also show you some of the best ones available in 2023.
Essential Features of Great B2B eCommerce Software
Choosing the right features is crucial for the success of any online business when looking for a B2B eCommerce software package. The ones you select will directly impact the functionality and usability of your website, as well as the overall customer experience.
In B2B eCommerce – where transactions are typically larger and more complex than in B2C – the right features can streamline the buying process, improve communication and collaboration with customers, and provide valuable insights into the performance of the business. Ultimately, the correct feature set can be the difference between a successful B2B eCommerce platform and one that fails to meet the needs of its customers.
Below are the most crucial features to consider when investing in B2B eCommerce software for your business:
The motto here is straightforward: buy the best B2B eCommerce software your business can afford –cutting costs will only prove more expensive in the end.
- Simple Setup and Operation
You need your B2B eCommerce software to be user-friendly and intuitive on every level. Therefore, look for systems that are easy to install and configure and require minimal operator training.
- B2B-Focused Designs
It is essential to understand that B2B businesses tend to be more complex than B2C businesses. This means that a proprietary B2C software solution is unlikely to meet the needs of a B2B business. Therefore, to achieve success in the B2B market, it is essential to invest in software geared specifically towards the unique needs of B2B eCommerce.
- Companies as Customers
The eCommerce software package you choose should have the capability to accommodate various roles within a B2B business, such as buyers, vendors, managers, and purchasing agents. Additionally, it should offer the ability to set specific rules for each role, with a high level of granularity, to ensure that the needs of all parties are met.
- Product Pricing and Ordering Features
In B2B eCommerce, the ability to create individual price lists for each client is crucial. Moreover, your software should also permit customisation of your invoicing and payment management systems. For larger deals, the software should enable direct negotiations through the storefront, streamlining the process and improving customer retention.
- Advanced Personalisation Capabilities
Personalisation is a must-have feature for B2B eCommerce software; it is what customers expect. The software should allow for easy deployment of multilingual and customisable versions of the storefront beyond just interface changes. It should also enable targeting specific market segments without significant structural changes to the storefront. Key areas to customise include ordering, checkout, and shipping.
- Extensive Automation Options
Automating workflows such as ordering, account management, fulfilment, etc., can greatly simplify your internal processes and improve overall customer experience. Ideally, your chosen eCommerce software should allow vendors to create their own custom workflows, as this will reduce your workload by getting your vendors to do some of the hard work for you!
- Ease of Customisation
Look for software that can be easily customised to match your business’s precise needs, preferably without requiring costly programming specialists.
- Integration Possibilities
The eCommerce software should easily integrate with existing backend systems, particularly ERP, CRM, PIM, procurement, and financial systems. This becomes increasingly critical as your company grows.
- Device Responsivity
It is essential to have a responsive design for your eCommerce storefront to improve visibility on both desktop and mobile devices. With users increasingly shopping ‘on the fly’, storefronts optimised for various screen sizes and device configurations are a must.
- Scalable With Your Business
Choose a solution that allows for easy market expansion and the ability to handle increased load and integration requirements as your business grows.
Six of the Best B2B eCommerce Software for 2023
We’ll now show you six of the best B2B eCommerce software solutions currently available in 2023.
OroCommerce is an open-source B2B eCommerce platform developed by the team that founded Magento. It offers an excellent range of B2B marketplace and digital commerce features, such as personalisation, localisation, advanced pricing, workflow automation, customer retention tools, and Oro’s own integrated CRM, OroCRM.
Magento is a cloud-based open-source eCommerce platform developed by Oro co-founders Yoav Kutner and Roy Rubin. However, it is now part of Adobe Experience Cloud. Initially focused on B2C eCommerce, Magento now offers a range of add-ons and extensions that make the software ready for B2B markets also.
Optimizely comes from a marriage between Episerver, who develops CMS technology, B2B eCommerce start-up, Insite, and Optimizely, a digital experience management company. The product ranges of these companies were consolidated and rebranded under the Optimizely name. The result is a range of solutions primarily aimed at enterprise-grade B2C brands but can easily be tailored for use in B2B.
Global technology company, Unilog, offers eCommerce software with an integral PIM system designed for small to medium-sized manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers. However, this eCommerce software is available only as SaaS, meaning it only works with cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, something which may not suit every B2B eCommerce business.
Salesforce has been offering cloud-based technology solutions since 1999. The company began with a CRM solution but has since expanded its product line to include robust marketing, sales operations, and eCommerce software. However, while it offers a variety of eCommerce solutions, such as online stores and mobile points of sale, most of them are available as costly add-ons to other Salesforce products. As such, this may not be the best solution for smaller enterprises with limited budgets.
SAP Hybris is a software suite for enterprise-level companies. It supports complex B2C, B2B, and B2B2C use cases. It includes useful features such as search and merchandising, product and order management, intuitive dashboards, web content management, and more.
A decent B2B eCommerce software package can significantly enhance your business. Not only will it keep you up to date with the latest trends, but it will also help automate many of your daily activities, thereby allowing your staff to focus on more productive tasks.
However, choosing such software can be daunting for the beginner. There’s a plethora of developers out there trying to tell you their solution is the best. Get it wrong, and your business could suffer rather than thrive. But if you ensure your chosen solution has the key features discussed in this article or is from one of the suggested brands, you’ll be heading in the right direction.