In the highly dynamic, digital world of today, B2B eCommerce has quickly progressed from bricks to clicks. This is mainly due to the comfort and convenience offered by smart B2B eCommerce platform features that open up a world of opportunities to B2B business.
B2B buyers today expect a shopping experience as engaging as the ones B2C buyers enjoy. Here are a few B2B eCommerce best practices power tips to help you choose the right B2B Sales platform. Read on.
9 Powerful features your B2B eCommerce Platform must have in 2021
Let’s consider a typical scenario out of a B2B eCommerce business’s daily life.
Distributors want to know the current offers they are eligible for, request or bargain a quote on bulk purchases or want to order varying numbers of a product in different variants. They are ready to pay you at that moment, provided you can give them what they need – FAST.
Your online eCommerce store should allow them to do so without calling or emailing you.
Which of these B2B demands does your B2B eCommerce store support currently? It is therefore very important that your B2B e Commerce Platform features all the important functionalities to remain relevant and competent in today’s modern and ever-so-disruptive business world.
Let’s have a look at a few of the ‘must-have’ features for 2021.
1. Enterprise-grade features to suit B2B buying behavior
B2B eCommerce is not new. It has been around for over two decades. Yet, B2B businesses have been a little laid-back in refocusing their B2B sales strategies to match the pace and pulse of modern business dynamics.
A B2B business has more complex needs than a typical B2C one. It has longer buying cycles, purchase approvals, bulk orders, repeat business, etc that call for more specific offerings and functionalities.
The B2B eCommerce platform you choose should therefore be equipped with the right functionality to deliver what you and your buyers need. Look for enterprise eCommerce platforms that suit your budget or find a budget-friendly platform that provides similar features.
2. Supports Mobile Commerce shopping across devices
It is not a suggestion but the ‘need of the hour’ and the most followed of all the B2B eCommerce best practices of 2021 – Mobile e Commerce.
Your B2B eCommerce platform should allow your customers to smoothly transition between devices, be it a desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet.
Your eCommerce website design should be mobile-friendly to help customers browse easily for brands, products, and prices. A mobile-friendly eCommerce store will not only ensure more visitors but also a better ranking on search engines. Google, for instance, treats mobile page load speed as a key metric and uses it to improve your position in its search engine results.
3. Must have an attractive look and a smooth, user-friendly interface
RBC Capital Markets expects Amazon Business (Amazon’s business-to-business marketplace that serves diverse customers) to bring in revenue worth $31 billion by 2023, along with $52 billion in sales over the same period.
A large and loyal customer base along with user-friendly technology infrastructure hugely contribute to these numbers and also give a sense of direction to thrive in the digital world.
Your e Commerce platform must support a lean and sleek site design. This can happen when your eCommerce platform provider offers a wide array of website designs and temples to choose from. Another factor to consider is the ease of navigation within the eCommerce site, personalization, and fast site or page load times.
4. Offers total control over personalization to enhance the B2B buying journey
Customers love navigating user-friendly sites. Take for instance the world’s best B2B eCommerce example, Amazon. See how Amazon has spoiled us.
Today, customers want complete digital freedom and gravitate to e Commerce sites that allow them to track orders, view product information, track inventory, etc. swiftly and seamlessly. Make sure that the platform you choose offers this and more to help them enjoy shopping as often as they like.
Your B2B eCommerce site must accommodate the unique needs of your customers. It plays a super-important role in B2B sales. Here are few ways to personalize B2B e Commerce:
- Product recommendations
- Personalized email marketing
- Automated catalog maker
- Personalized site search functionality
- Artificial intelligence (AI) Chatbot, and more
5. Supports AI eCommerce capabilities for a personalized shopping experience
New-age B2B (Business to Business) selling is all about anticipating the unique needs of different customer groups like B2B manufacturers, B2B suppliers, B2B retailers, and so on, and delivering value in the best possible manner. There’s no better way to do it than with a B2B eCommerce platform that’s driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
You can have multiple AI algorithms set to do different tasks like triggering personalized emails to 5 different groups of B2B customers. You can go one step further and send emails at a particular time of day when your customer is most likely to open and engage with it.
AI-driven eCommerce platforms help optimize inventory management based on historical data and analysis. They can also help boost your eCommerce Business by self-learning the different B2B eCommerce trends for 2021 and finding an optimal solution to a problem you’ve been facing.
As Peter Szulczewski, CEO and Co-Founder of Wish, rightly pointed out, “The more we invest in data to personalize the recommendation experience, the more we see an improvement in conversion rates.”
Major players like Google and Microsoft have already deployed AI technologies in their advertising systems to boost ad revenue. The role of AI in eCommerce is indisputable and helps deliver a more personalized experience based on browsing history, shopping behavior, and recent purchases.
You may have to rely on third-party services to leverage AI capabilities unless of course, you choose disruptive platforms such as ewiz commerce that comes with built-in AI capabilities to ensure a personalized shopping experience from the very beginning.
6. Supports B2B eCommerce sales and marketing tools to boost conversions
How amazing would it be if your eCommerce B2B business could,
- Run an automated marketing campaign for you with auto-triggers, auto-notifiers, and auto-lead engagement capabilities?
- Or your marketing team could create a personalized catalog for all your customers within minutes?
- Or you have an AI-powered CRM that provides your B2B sales team with real-time customer data.
This enables them with the essential information they’d need to create high-performing eCommerce sales and marketing strategies using the help of Machine Learning.
Make sure you understand:
- What are the B2B sales strategies of your team?
- What B2B sales/marketing campaigns and goals are planned for the year?
- What tools do your team require to achieve those goals?
- How can both your marketing and sales team work hand in hand?
- What is currently trending in the B2B online marketplace? and so on, before you choose a vendor.
If you want to double your B2B sales, just having a B2B eCommerce platform is not enough. You have to make your eCommerce site compelling enough for buyers to visit and buy from it.
Your B2B buyers may want to see designs and product catalogs before requesting a quote or placing an order. The best B2B eCommerce platform attribute, therefore, come with integrated sales and marketing tools to help you reach out to your customers, engage them, and improve conversion rates.
The best B2B eCommerce tools include:
- Catalog Creator
- Recommendation Engine
- Presentation Creator
- Virtual Sampler
- Shopping Cart Customizations
- Email Marketing Systems, and more
Your online store should also offer customer-specific pricing, since you may want to offer priority services to your more loyal B2B customers.
7. Must be PCI compliant and secure from payment-related eCommerce frauds
The most common type of eCommerce fraud is payment fraud where illegal electronic transactions are made on behalf of the buyer or seller. This will hurt your customer trust and your B2B business might end up having a bad reputation in the market.
You have spent years earning your customers’ trust. As a responsible entrepreneur, it’s up to you to ensure that you safeguard their data, including payment card information with the right security and PCI compliance.
One way to prevent online eCommerce fraud on your website is by tracking the latest fraud trends and by partnering with verified payment processors only.
You must also question your B2B eCommerce platform provider about site security and PCI compliance. See if what they are offering suits your business as it differs depending on whether the platform is cloud-based, hosted, or on-premise.
8. Is Integration-friendly to keep your business ‘competent’ in changing markets
For your B2B eCommerce business to be successful, you must offer a multichannel experience to customers wherein both online and offline channels work in perfect sync.
You must know whether or not your B2B eCommerce platform features easy integration of necessary APIs and extensions.
- Will the new platform work well with your ERP system?
- Will it integrate online and offline inventory well with accounting systems?
- Does it offer enough scope to process information provided by suppliers?
These integrations are critical as they help you make better business decisions by giving you a complete picture of your business and customers.
9. Must have a ‘training and support infrastructure’ for operational efficiency
Often overlooked, this is the first thing you should look for while searching for the right B2B eCommerce platform. Without it, you can never transform your eCommerce journey into a successful one.
After all, there’s a lot more to eCommerce implementation than just creating accounts and migrating data to the new platform. Besides, training would be required to use it based on user type and role. Only then would users be able to leverage its full capabilities.
Training and support, therefore, are a must. Talk to the platform provider to ensure they offer them every step of the way.
10. Your B2B eCommerce platform features scalability to the largest extent
The platform you choose should be highly configurable and customizable to accommodate your niche requirements.
It should also allow you to scale as you move into different segments, giving you the leeway to add more products and offerings. It should also support customer loyalty programs that allow you to offer loyalty discounts, referral programs, reward points, etc. to appreciate their trust in you.
Your B2B eCommerce website must also offer customers multiple payment options to consumers for utmost convenience, especially since the volume of transactions for B2B is usually very high.
The key to finding the best B2B eCommerce platforms is to compare different platforms based on cost, features, support, capabilities, and reviews. You may also ask for live demos to see how an eCommerce platform works for your B2B business.
To summarize here are the B2B features you should look for in a B2B eCommerce platform:
Power up with ewiz commerce
A good B2B eCommerce features a great user interface, hyper-personalization of product recommendation and content, advanced SEO capabilities, a built-in CRM and an AI eCommerce workflow engine.
ewiz commerce offers some of the best B2B eCommerce platforms features there is. We have helped many small and medium B2B businesses shine through the clutter and reach out to the right audience.
What’s more, is that our AI-powered B2B eCommerce software is super budget-friendly and offers all the features mentioned in this article and then some more!
Come, let’s repaint the B2B eCommerce experience together.