As Bill Gates once said: “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business”. This statement is especially relevant during the era of globalization. What’s more, it’s vital not only as a way to approach your potential customers. It’s also a necessity in terms of cooperation with other businesses.
Have you ever considered that 42% of B2B sector participants generate at least 50% of their revenue through eCommerce? Since these figures are only projected to grow, we suggest that smaller B2B companies should learn more about how to work in the eCommerce sector. Enjoy our guide and take notes!
For those looking to dive deeper into B2B eCommerce solutions, explore our B2B eCommerce solutions to see how we can help your business thrive. Enjoy our guide and take notes!
The Basics of B2B eCommerce
Before we get down to more peculiar strategies and B2B eCommerce trends, you need to learn some basics. Let’s answer the most frequently asked questions about this niche.
What Is B2B eCommerce?
Let’s pull off from the definition. What is B2B eCommerce? B2B eCommerce is actually the same as B2B but processed in the online space. This includes the sale of inventory and services and facilitates online transactions. eCommerce helps B2B companies increase their efficiency. What’s more, this way they can reach global markets much faster.
However, for years B2B companies have been ignoring these obvious benefits. B2C entrepreneurs, on the other hand, quickly realized that the shift to the digital space is inevitable. In the B2B niche, the situation changed after the pandemic. Companies were literally forced to start exploring the online world.
Types of B2B eCommerce
To develop the best B2B eCommerce services, you need to clearly define the category of your business. However, that still doesn’t mean that you should be only one type of the following:
As you might have guessed, “C” in this abbreviation stands for “customers”. B2B2C eCommerce businesses are the ones that operate as intermediaries between B2B and B2C. The shipping company model is the simplest one to describe this principle. In short, it sends goods from a manufacturer to a business that performs the function of a seller. According to B2B e Commerce statistics, in between 2022 and 2023, this insurance market size grew from $11 billion to $13 billion.
One of the most popular models for online retailers, is to buy products in bulk and sell them to customers at a retail price. To perform this successfully, they need to find wholesalers. This is another form of B2B.
Wholesalers should learn how to take advantage of an effective B2B2C ecommerce platform. This will help them to reach more B2C sellers and process transactions safely and efficiently.
The concept of a manufacturer is quite simple: you create products from scratch and sell them to other businesses in bulk or by retail value. Then, those businesses either sell them to customers or use your products for their own needs. Using eCommerce capabilities, such B2B companies can approach not only other businesses but also customers directly. This might give them one more selling channel. Eventually, revenue might grow.
Often manufacturers don’t sell their inventory to B2C sellers directly. In such cases, distributors act like intermediaries between them. Distributors might be responsible for managing orders and shipping procedures. The functionality of the eCommerce world makes the task easier for them. Such B2B companies might incorporate tracking solutions to bring visibility and increase trust from their partners.
B2B eCommerce Marketing and Sales Strategies
Most eCommerce strategies that help increase sales for B2C companies are quite suitable in the B2B sector. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important ones:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This trick is what helps you to follow the instructions of Bill Gates mentioned at the beginning. With properly optimized content, your business will be visible in search engines. The bigger the visibility is, the more chance to approach other businesses.
- Social Media
Top B2B2C companies never neglect the possibility of approaching potential customers via the most convenient communication channel. So should you. Being active on social media is a shortcut to the top competition.
- Email Marketing
Communication is always a key. To have effective ties with other businesses, your company should give a word about itself. Promote your services directly to those who might need them.
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The key goal of eCommerce marketing is to convert traffic into real sales. Work on CRO to make it possible.
- Website design optimization
Visual matters. Not only do customers want to get everything conveniently and clearly. Other businesses want to get familiar with you as quickly as possible. Work on your website because it’s your business’ face in the world of eCommerce.
Top B2B eCommerce Platforms
In the dynamic realm of eCommerce B2B trends, several platforms stand out, each offering unique features to cater to diverse business needs. Choosing the right B2B eCommerce platform depends on the specific needs and scale of the business. Whether prioritizing customization, user-friendliness, scalability, or integration capabilities, these platforms offer a spectrum of solutions to navigate the intricate landscape of B2B commerce successfully.
Renowned for its flexibility and scalability, Magento empowers B2B businesses with a customizable and robust solution. Its open-source nature allows extensive customization, making it suitable for enterprises seeking tailored eCommerce experiences. Magento excels in handling large catalogs, intricate pricing structures, and complex product configurations.
Shopify Plus is a powerhouse designed for high-growth businesses. Its user-friendly interface and extensive app ecosystem simplify B2B operations. With features like multi-channel selling and automated workflows, Shopify Plus streamlines processes, making it an ideal choice for businesses seeking a balance between ease of use and advanced functionality.
BigCommerce combines flexibility and efficiency, offering a comprehensive suite for B2B eCommerce. Its robust features include multi-currency support, flexible shipping options, and advanced SEO capabilities. BigCommerce is a preferred choice for businesses wanting a scalable platform with built-in features to enhance customer experience and drive growth.
PrestaShop, an open-source solution, is favored for its affordability and extensive customization options. Ideal for small to medium-sized B2B enterprises, PrestaShop offers a modular approach, allowing businesses to choose and integrate specific features based on their requirements. Its active community and broad range of themes enhance its appeal.
Tailored for larger enterprises, Oracle SuiteCommerce seamlessly integrates with Oracle's broader suite of business applications. It excels in managing complex B2B transactions, providing a unified platform for eCommerce, order management, and customer service. The platform's strength lies in its ability to handle intricate B2B processes and deliver a cohesive experience.
B2B eCommerce Trends in 2024
Trends in B2B e Commerce change together with the evolution of technologies, marketing strategies, business models, etc. Here are some tendencies we find relevant in 2024:
Manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors don’t have to look for other businesses to sell their products in 2024. They can do this on their own using the best tool to approach customers. Social commerce stands as an important instrument in B2B business scaling. And when you consider that nearly 40% of online buyers shop through social media, you’ll realize the importance of being present on those platforms.
What is personalization in terms of B2B ties? It means that you have to make your partners think they’re special. Work on the discount and special offer policies. Learn more about their needs and see which of your services can cover them most effectively for both parties. Never forget that commercial cooperation is about efficient interaction.
Why not take advantage of new technologies to provide a more immersive buyer experience? This approach boosts product visibility and helps it demonstrate more natively. As a result, conversion and sales might rise. Also, this might create a memorable impression. This can motivate buyers to return for products one more time or recommend them to others.
Providing subscription services to your B2B partners executes two important functions.
- It enables the automation of cooperation.
- It gives a B2C experience.
Automation is a way to make partner organizations free from processing repetitive tasks. Additionally, you make your business more focused on their time and needs. This leads to a long-time cooperation in eCommerce.
Sustainable and Ethical Shopping Practices
Modern business isn’t just about money and revenue. Any company bears social responsibility for its actions. It might impact its operations and success. That’s why B2B companies are recommended to consider their environment impact and implement strategies that will make the manufacturing and distribution process more sustainable.
How to Succeed in B2B eCommerce?
Summing it all up, B2B eCommerce for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors is a potential new revenue channel. How to become successful in it? Here are some tips:
- Work on your brand in all possible ways;
- Study your target market and explore competitors;
- Develop a well-thought-out and strategic marketing plan;
- Stay tuned to important events in the social life;
- Simplify access to your products and services;
- Stay reliable and transparent.
These are 6 general steps but keeping up with them is crucial for B2B companies. Follow them and work hard to establish your business in the eCommerce world!
Ready to elevate your B2B eCommerce game? Discover how our B2B eCommerce solutions can transform your business operations and help you tap into new markets. Contact us today to get started on your path to digital success in the B2B realm.