Remarkably, B2B eCommerce is being hailed as the upcoming frontier of online commerce, and this sentiment holds true. The global B2B eCommerce market is projected to be worth an impressive US$12.2 trillion, which is more than six times the value of the B2C market.
Whether your objective is to transform your B2C store into a combined B2B/B2C model or to expand and elevate your existing B2B eCommerce business, a dependable B2B eCommerce platform is of utmost importance.
What is a B2B eCommerce Platform?
A B2B eCommerce platform is an online marketplace specifically designed to facilitate business-to-business transactions. It serves as a virtual space where businesses can conduct buying and selling activities with other businesses, eliminating the need for traditional physical interactions. Such platforms enable companies to showcase their products or services, negotiate pricing, place orders, and manage inventories electronically. B2B eCommerce platforms often offer features tailored to meet the unique needs of businesses, including bulk ordering options, personalised pricing, integration with ERP systems, and efficient order processing. With the convenience of 24/7 accessibility and streamlined processes, B2B eCommerce platforms have become a vital tool for businesses seeking to expand their reach, increase efficiency, and forge strong partnerships within the global marketplace.
What are the Features of a B2B eCommerce platform?
A B2B eCommerce platform comes equipped with a range of essential features tailored to meet the specific needs of businesses engaged in business-to-business transactions. Some key features include:
- User-friendly Interface: Intuitive and easy-to-navigate interfaces that enable efficient browsing, searching, and purchasing for business buyers.
- Account Management: Robust user account management capabilities, allowing businesses to create and manage multiple user accounts with different roles and permissions.
- Custom Pricing and Quoting: The ability to offer personalised pricing and generate custom quotes based on negotiated terms for individual business customers.
- Catalogue Management: Comprehensive catalogue management tools to organise and display products and services in a structured and accessible manner.
- Bulk Ordering: Bulk ordering options streamline the purchase process for businesses that often buy in large quantities.
- Integration with ERP Systems: Seamless integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to synchronise inventory, order, and customer data.
- Quick Reordering: Time-saving features enabling businesses to quickly reorder previously purchased products without going through the entire selection process again.
- Secure Payment and Checkout: Secure payment gateways and checkout processes to ensure safe transactions between businesses.
- Multiple Payment Options: Support for various payment methods, including credit cards, electronic fund transfers, and payment on credit terms.
- Customer Support: Responsive customer support to address queries and concerns of B2B buyers promptly.
- Order Tracking: Real-time order tracking and shipment status updates to enhance transparency and visibility in the supply chain.
- Data Analytics: Advanced analytics tools that offer insights into customer behaviour, sales trends, and overall performance to make data-driven business decisions.\
- Mobile Responsiveness: Mobile-friendly design to facilitate B2B buyers who prefer to make purchases using their smartphones or tablets.
- Integration with CRM: Integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to manage and maintain customer relationships effectively.
- Multilingual and Multi-currency Support: Capability to support multiple languages and currencies to cater to international B2B customers.
These features collectively enhance the efficiency, convenience, and overall user experience, making B2B eCommerce platforms indispensable for modern businesses looking to thrive in the digital marketplace.
This leads us to the main topic-
5 Best B2B eCommerce Platforms in 2023
- Adobe Commerce (Magento): A clear leader when it comes to B2B Commerce, Magento B2B Commerce stands as a market leading B2B eCommerce platform, renowned for its extensive integrations and a vast library of extensions. It encompasses all the essential functionalities of Magento’s B2C commerce platform, while offering additional features tailored to B2B sellers managing multiple brands and partner accounts. Notably, B2B buyers can efficiently place orders by entering SKUs or uploading CSVs directly to the store.
Introduced in 2008, Magento B2B Commerce is available worldwide and offers pricing starting at US$3,000. A remarkable customer base of 260,000 merchants, including industry giants like 3M and Procter & Gamble, trusts and utilises this platform for their B2B eCommerce needs.
Recent updates with the release of Magento 2.2 have further enhanced the B2B experience, allowing B2B buyers to submit quote requests from their shopping carts. Merchants, in turn, can conveniently respond with discount offers, price adjustments, and upsells, all within the Magento platform itself. This streamlined process adds value to the B2B transaction journey, solidifying Magento’s position as a top choice for businesses seeking robust and feature-rich B2B eCommerce solutions.
- Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus is a B2B eCommerce platform offered by Shopify, a renowned global eCommerce platform hosting over 1 million eCommerce websites. With Shopify Plus, merchants gain the advantage of managing both B2B and B2C sales seamlessly from a single platform. Noteworthy features include smooth integration with ERP and CRM systems, support for over 100 payment providers, and capabilities for optimising conversions and personalising the shopping experience. Launched in 2014, Shopify Plus is accessible worldwide and accommodates all international currencies and languages.
Regarding pricing, the cost starts from $2,000 per month, depending on the merchant’s revenue. Once merchants achieve a revenue milestone of $800,000, the pricing structure shifts from a fixed subscription fee to a revenue-based fee, equivalent to 0.25% of their monthly revenue.
A diverse clientele of more than 7,000 B2B eCommerce brands, including prominent names like Nestle, Leese, Pepsi, and Bombas, relies on Shopify Plus for their eCommerce needs. Recently, in May, Pinterest introduced an updated version of its Shopify app, enabling Shopify merchants to upload their product catalogues to Pinterest as shoppable Pins, further enhancing their marketing and sales opportunities.
- BigCommerce: BigCommerce’s B2B eCommerce platform has gained significant popularity among sellers seeking an integration-friendly solution. Notably, one of its key selling points lies in its seamless integrations with ShipperHQ, BrightPearl, and other systems. This allows merchants to create tailored shipping rates for B2B buyers and synchronise data across various platforms, including CRM, ERP, and OMS.
Shoppers using BigCommerce B2B can enjoy the convenience of Amazon-like one-click reordering and instant quote generation tools, streamlining the buying process. Introduced in 2019, this platform is available worldwide and offers pricing details upon request.
While specific customer numbers for the B2B offering are not yet available due to its relative novelty, BigCommerce has already garnered the trust of more than 60,000 brands for their B2C eCommerce websites. Notable clients include Avery Dennison, Toyota, and The Real Yellow Pages.
BigCommerce has recently released a new version of its B2B B2B eCommerce platform with many new and state-of-the-art feature. its integration capabilities and user-friendly features make it a compelling choice for businesses looking to enhance their B2B eCommerce operations.
- WooCommerce: WooCommerce serves as the official eCommerce plugin tailored for WordPress-based websites. Designed for merchants of all scales, this open-source eCommerce plugin boasts an extensive library of plugins, empowering store owners to personalise their online shops to meet specific needs and preferences.
Launched in 2011, WooCommerce is available worldwide and is offered completely free of charge. However, additional plugins within the ecosystem may have their own associated costs.
A significant player in the eCommerce landscape, WooCommerce powers an impressive 26% of all eCommerce sites globally. Some prominent clients utilising WooCommerce include renowned brands such as Weber, Ghostbed, and AeroPress.
Recent updates have further streamlined the B2B experience within WooCommerce. Instead of installing separate plugins, B2B merchants can now access all the necessary functionalities through a single dedicated plugin, such as the WooCommerce B2B plugin. This comprehensive solution includes essential features like the ability to conceal prices and/or products from non-members, offer customised discounts based on customer groups, and exclude taxes—making WooCommerce an appealing choice for B2B businesses seeking efficient and tailored eCommerce solutions.
- Oracle SuiteCommerce: As part of the Oracle NetSuite family, SuiteCommerce has garnered recognition from Forrester as a leading B2B eCommerce platform, particularly suited for mid-size organisations.
SuiteCommerce provides a comprehensive suite of tools aimed at streamlining purchasing, billing, and support processes for B2B customers. Notably, merchants can efficiently manage both B2B and B2C operations through this cloud-based eCommerce platform.
Introduced in 2015, SuiteCommerce has gained popularity, primarily among U.S. merchants, but it is accessible to businesses worldwide.
Starting at $2,500 per month, SuiteCommerce offers competitive pricing for the value it delivers.
The platform boasts a clientele of 3,000 brands, including esteemed names like Lovesac and The Noerr Programs, who trust SuiteCommerce for their eCommerce needs.
Recent updates have further enhanced SuiteCommerce’s capabilities by introducing new extensions that facilitate seamless integrations with Google Analytics, live chat software, Google Shopping, and Facebook Dynamic Ads—making it a well-rounded and cutting-edge solution for businesses seeking to optimise their online selling experiences.
Choosing the right B2B eCommerce platform is crucial for any business looking to optimise its online operations and enhance customer experience. To make an informed decision, start by identifying your specific business needs and objectives. Consider factors such as scalability, customisation options, and integration capabilities to ensure the platform aligns with your long-term growth plans. Research the platform’s security features thoroughly, as data protection is paramount in B2B transactions. Additionally, assess the user-friendliness and navigation of the platform to guarantee smooth interactions for your clients. Look for platforms with robust analytics and reporting tools to monitor performance and gain valuable insights into customer behaviour. Take advantage of free trials and demos to test the platform’s functionality and suitability for your business before committing. By prioritising your unique requirements and thoroughly evaluating potential solutions, you can confidently select the perfect B2B eCommerce platform to elevate your online business success.
If you require personalised assistance with choosing and implementing the perfect eCommerce platform for your B2B business, contact us at 18th DigiTech and our experts will provide you with a detailed insight into our B2B eCommerce services.