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B2B e-commerce revenue is anticipated to grow twice this year relative to last year, with 55% of B2B customers making half of their purchases online.

B2B customers are no exception to evolving buyer preferences and adapting digital trends.

Thus, in 2021 it isn’t surprising anymore to see the online user experience and sales channel representing the primary areas where B2B businesses can set themselves apart.

These market opportunities can open tremendous possibilities for B2B sellers, and they should leverage and optimize their B2B website to create a seamless user experience.

As sellers plan to get started with their B2B eCommerce strategy, this inevitable question sustains “Which features to inculcate in their B2B eCommerce solution?”

This certainly won’t be easy as picking the functionalities from the B2C online store as B2B eCommerce contrast the B2C eCommerce functionalities.

With both industries and customer bases catering to different requirements and respective challenges, setting up a B2B online store is more than just replicating the B2C experience. It requires the right features which can combat the unique challenges that B2B customers face.

1. Volume Purchase and Bulk Discounts

B2B discounts are one of the prevalent features of B2B companies. They strengthen customer loyalty and higher-order values. While B2B buyers normally buy in bulk, it’s more encouraging if eCommerce platforms can provide additional discounts on the entire bulk order. Therefore eCommerce platforms must inculcate a custom to include capacity thresholds that provide bulk discounts.

Discounts can be reflected with product buying information. Products can be priced according to their purchase amount or quantity. Since Discounts are highly adjustable they can be implemented to all stores worldwide, at the product and category level. B2B platforms can apply different discount arrangements for different member groups.

2. Customer Registration and Restricted access 

Customer registration is a vital function in B2B eCommerce platform. However, it requires being more explicit for B2B businesses and establishing separate pricing modules with respect to their contracts and specific customers or customer groups would be beneficial. It would be best to do the same with MOQs, discounts, payment terms, shipping arrangements, etc.

The login section also helps in hiding selective products and obstructing individual purchases, specifically for un-registered customers. In similar situations, built-in features enable eCommerce platforms to introduce password-protected websites, asking consumers to register prior to accessing them. Retailers can customize their site’s visibility with specialties that authorize them to hide block purchases or products for visitors who aren’t registered.

3. Minimum Order Quantity

It quickly increases revenue for B2B retailers for a particular product. MOQ defines the lowest quantity on which the retailer is willing to sell that product. In case the buyer fails to meet the MOQ conditions, they can’t proceed with the order.

MOQs are typically necessary for Wholesale websites that require reaching a specific quantity of each product for placing an order. They are essential for handling margins and ensuring the sellers stay profitable. Additionally, eCommerce platforms should enable B2B retailers to fix a minimum order quantity for each product.

4. Mobile Responsiveness

B2B websites are witnessing more frequent mobile device purchases. They are more often used during the research stage of the buyer’s shopping process. Therefore the best B2B eCommerce platform should ensure their website looks excellent on mobile devices. Thus, all your website features must also function on mobile.

5. Tax exemption

Almost all eCommerce websites find tax exemption complicated; nevertheless, the internet simplifies selling it in other countries.

However, it becomes more complicated for the B2B market with some buyers not paying taxes while some products are tax exempt. It would be best to manage the flexibility of all such issues in your eCommerce website.

6. Flexible Payment Options

Flexible payment options are crucial for any eCommerce store, particularly for B2B businesses. The B2B market largely depends on existing relationships and it’s not important to every business order to process payments online. To support every B2B client requirements, these offline payment methods should be integrated:

  • Corporate Accounts
  • Purchase Orders
  • Credit Card On File
  • NET 30
  • Checks

Additionally, the eCommerce store should be flexible enough to accommodate these payment options for the customers while customizing the requirements making particular payment options open to particular customers. They can be either distinguished by order amount, location, order, or customer group.

7. Customer Specific Catalog and Pricing

The core of any B2B eCommerce platform is assigning separate base prices in the product catalog and providing them to particular customers only. It will separate the client’s groups who make purchases through online orders or reach out through their phones or email to complete their demands.

Right from providing customer-oriented pricing to having a customer-oriented product catalog. 

For B2B buyers willing to have a unique pricing structure and product setup which cannot be compiled with the existing products, Retailers would want their eCommerce website to create products only accessible to a specific group of customers.

This leaves room for the retailer to provide catalogs for personalized products for more extensive clients; for example, corporate uniforms might want to have products listed with their client logo rather than the generic product version.

8. One-Click Reorder for Earlier Purchased Products

Re-entering the selection from an earlier order can be exhausting for B2B buyers. The order history should be visible to the registered customers when logged into their account on the eCommerce website. They should also be able to reorder using one click, saving them time and making their experience more enjoyable and seamless. Their profile section’s orders history should reflect the recent orders. This would enable the buyer to make a new purchase with the same earlier products.

9. Intuitive User Experience

B2B Buyers are usually on the run and under time pressure. Sellers can increase the website appeal by making the product navigation, information accessibility, and purchasing process more straightforward. An intuitive website with clear navigation and powerful search feature can be an impressive feature to hold your B2B customer base. Also, the checkout process should be as swift and straightforward as possible.

Putting it all together:

Now you know what to look for in a B2B eCommerce Platform. With this, you should be certain about what to set up for your ideal B2B eCommerce website. Make sure to keep a  human touch while dealing with B2B shoppers as they are not just faceless account numbers; they are humans awaiting a personalized and seamless buying experience. Ensure matching those touchpoints and delivering on those expectations, and you’ll notice your business functioning with greater efficiency, lower customer acquisition cost, and eventually more satisfied customers. It would be best to conclude what is most relevant to your business to decide what is not essential.

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