Starting an e-commerce business is a big move, offering a great chance to grow and reach a broader audience. You may build an e-commerce platform from scratch to fit your business needs. But it’s not always justified, especially if you have limited resources.

Creating a custom e-commerce platform can be a challenging task. First, it requires a lot of time and resources. Second, you cannot be sure whether your platform appeals to your audience. Third, it’s often hard to find a skilled software development team. But is there an easier way to establish your e-commerce platform?

Choosing a custom-built B2B e-commerce platform is a good option that meets business needs while saving time and resources. That’s why selling on third-party platforms is picking up steam.

But how to select the optimal B2B e-commerce software without getting lost in a million variants?

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, the Forbytes team will guide you in choosing the best B2B e-commerce platform that will bring benefits to your business. Hopefully, this info will lead you in the right direction.

What Is a B2B E-commerce?

B2B e-commerce is the online sale of products or services between businesses. It differs from B2C e-commerce, which targets consumers. B2B e-commerce refers to any business type that operates online, including manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and SaaS providers.

Amazon, Alibaba, Shopify, Salesforce, and Magento are among the most popular B2B e-commerce software. They allow businesses to establish online stores, providing growth opportunities.

According to Statista, the B2B e-commerce market reached $20,4 trillion in 2022, surpassing the B2C market by five times. Asia Pacific leads with a market share of almost 78%, leaving Europe and North America far behind.

The key success factors fueling the growth of B2B e-commerce are digitalization, tech advances, and online transactions. So, considering the B2B e-commerce platforms to grow your sales is a beneficial option for your business.

Must-Have Features of B2B E-Commerce Platforms

The number of B2B e-commerce solutions is increasing with every passing year. So, it’s not easy to find the best fit for your business needs. But considering these features can help narrow down your choices:

Characteristics of B2B e-commerce platforms

  • User experience. A robust B2B e-commerce platform should address the diverse needs of both customers and users. Look for platforms with user-friendly interfaces, personalized experiences, account management tools, customer experience management, and seamless navigation. For example, Adobe Commerce is a highly customizable platform that allows businesses to create a personalized and unique shopping experience for their customers. Magento is another B2B e-commerce software known for offering the best functionalities for personalized solutions.
  • Product management. A good B2B e-commerce platform enables businesses to add, edit, and manage their products. This is also great when the platform offers self-service options, allowing customers to manage their orders. This autonomy speeds up the purchasing process and enhances customer satisfaction.
  • Payment processing. A robust B2B e-commerce platform should ensure seamless payment processing to facilitate transactions. Opt for platforms that support multiple payment gateways. WooCommerce integrates with different payment gateways, making it easy for businesses to conduct transactions.
  • Shipping integration. Look for B2B e-commerce solutions that integrate with various shipping carriers. This feature is essential for efficiently fulfilling orders and delivering products worldwide. For example, WooCommerce offers shipping integration, allowing businesses to track their shipments in real-time.
  • Advanced features. In addition to basic functionalities, consider B2B e-commerce software with advanced features. They can include multi-channel selling, e-commerce integrations, built-in marketing tools, and advanced analytics and reporting. For instance, Shopify Plus offers advanced features such as reporting, custom storefronts, and unlimited staff accounts.

By knowing which features you need, you can make a more informed decision when selecting a B2B e-commerce solution. Plus, this solution will meet your business requirements and ensure your efficacy in the competitive online marketplace.

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How to Select a B2B E-commerce Platform?

With numerous options available in the market, it’s essential to prepare before making a choice. So, we’ve created a comprehensive guide with practical tips to consider when selecting a B2B e-commerce software.

How to select the optimal B2B e-commerce platform: Key steps

Tip1: Define your budget

Before opting for a B2B e-commerce solution, define your budget. Assess your financial resources to determine how much you can spend. This step is needed to avoid overspending and establish your cost limits. Keep in mind that you will need to pay not only for integration but also for further development, maintenance, and hosting.

Finally, it’s necessary to be realistic about your budget and ensure that it aligns with your financial strategy. This helps to minimize risks associated with costs.

Tip 2: Consider your business needs

Understanding your business needs is a must to ensure that the chosen B2B e-commerce platform will boost your company’s growth. Analyze your volume of products, pricing models, and revenues. This step is needed to ensure that integrating into B2B e-commerce will be a win-win strategy for you.

Your chosen platform should be compatible and address your demands. For example, if you rely heavily on personalized experience, seek a platform with the same focus. It’s vital to identify your business needs before selecting the solution.

Tip 3: Research the B2B e-commerce market

Once you have a clear picture of your needs, research the available B2B e-commerce platforms in the market. While they have many similarities, they also have differences, including features, pricing models, and extra functionalities.

Start with creating a list of optimal variants and then conduct in-depth research. Focus on platforms’ core features, customization options, and integration capabilities. User reviews can also help understand how these B2B e-commerce solutions work in real-life situations. Remember that some solutions fit into specific industries and may not be compatible with yours.

Tip 4: Ensure the platform aligns with your business goals

Once you’ve chosen an optimal B2B e-commerce platform, ensure that it aligns seamlessly with your business goals..

Your chosen B2B e-commerce platform should serve as an instrument to propel you toward achieving your business goals. Ensure that it has all the necessary functionalities to support your long-term objectives. Remember this B2B e-commerce software isn’t a tech solution but a strategic tool enabling your business growth.

Tip 5: Assess the security of the platform

In e-commerce, security is a top priority, especially when it comes to a B2B context where sensitive data are involved. Assess the security degree of the B2B e-commerce platform, including data encryption, compliance with industry regulations, and security of transaction processing.

Robust security measures not only protect your business from cyber threats but also help build a trustful and reliable bond with your clients. Remember that compliance with industry security and data protection standards can protect your company against cyber threats.

Tip 6: Pay attention to the platform’s customization

When considering a B2B e-commerce solution, don’t overlook its customization capabilities. They allow you to tailor the platform according to your specific needs and unique business processes. A highly customizable platform will allow you to create an experience that resonates with your target audience. Plus, it will give you the flexibility to adapt to evolving changes.

At Forbytes, we offer customization services for your e-commerce platform to adjust it to your needs. Thus, if a chosen B2B e-commerce platform fails to meet all your expectations, we can customize it. As a result, you’ll offer personalized experiences and deliver exceptional value to your customers.

Tip 7: Assess the platform’s scalability

Assess a B2B e-commerce platform’s scalability to be sure that it will grow with your business and adjust to changing needs. Consider only scalable and flexible solutions if you want to add new features and integrate with other systems. A scalable e-commerce platform can manage increased traffic and transactions without performance drops.

Tip 8: Explore integration capabilities

Be sure that your B2B e-commerce platform can integrate with other systems. It should seamlessly work with your CRM, ERP, and other relevant software. This will streamline your operations and facilitate processes. Plus, it will enable real-time data exchange, helping you make more informed decisions.

Forbytes team offers third-party integration services to enhance the functionality and efficiency of e-commerce platforms. With expertise in integrating third-party apps, tools, and systems, we can ensure seamless data exchange between different solutions.

Whether you need to integrate payment gateways, CRM systems, inventory management software, or any other third-party apps, we’ve got you covered. Contact us to supercharge your B2B e-commerce platform with extra capabilities.

Tip 9: Evaluate the pricing model of the e-commerce platform

It’s also crucial to evaluate the pricing models offered by the B2B e-commerce platform. The main criterion here is transparency as it will influence your long-term planning and budgeting. You should have a clear picture of the involved costs, including setup, maintenance, and transaction fees.

If you deal with a transparent pricing model, you’ll reduce the risks of unplanned costs. Plus, you’ll make a more informed decision based on your budget.

Tip 10: Pay attention to customer service

Robust customer service and technical assistance matter when you opt for a B2B e-commerce platform. Quality customer support proves that the platform is reliable and reputable. Moreover, it can address technical issues when they arise.

Make sure that your chosen platform offers quality support and ensures a smooth overall experience, as well as access to training resources and documentation.

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Final Thoughts

All in all, choosing a B2B e-commerce platform is a win-win strategy if you want to stay ahead of the pack. From saving time and resources to more rapid business growth with minimal risks, reliable and reputable e-commerce software will exceed your expectations. With our tips, you’re already armed to embark on your journey and receive business returns faster.

But it all starts with the right B2B e-commerce platform that will help your company grow and deliver exceptional customer experience. Understanding core features and functionalities is the first step to success on a new platform.

At Forbytes, we combine our e-commerce expertise with digital transformation practices to optimize our clients’ solutions and deliver quality customer experiences. We’ll fuel your business and unlock its potential for sustainable e-commerce business models. Contact us if you’d like to discover how we can do it together.