What is B2B Ecommerce?
B2B or Business to Business E-commerce is an online transaction where only two business parties are involved.
In other simple words, when two parties, both of them are businesses, are involved in the transaction, then that is called B2B E-commerce. Most importantly, the efficiency of wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers is improved, because the orders are placed and processed online.
Do you know?
The percentage of companies switching to E-Commerce is constantly going up. Also, new and latest e-commerce technologies are gradually reducing all kinds of barriers of entry to traditional and online businesses. That makes it easy for traditional businesses to switch to B2B e-commerce and vice versa.
Table of Content
- Kinds of B2B Ecommerce
- Merits of Using a B2B Ecommerce Platform
- Examples of B2B Ecommerce
- Some Of The Most Popular B2B eCommerce Platforms
Kinds of B2B Ecommerce
There are various types of business to business e-commerce. We are going to discuss the five most common types. They are as follows:
B2B2C is an acronym for Business to Business to Consumer E-commerce. This type of E-commerce generally eliminates the role of middlemen and puts the businesses in direct contact with consumers. It usually takes place between Business to Business and Business to Consumers.
It can be best known as the way manufacturers interact with traditional B2C and B2B models. In such cases, the manufacturer or wholesaler sends the goods to B2B, and then those goods are sold to the ultimate consumer.
Moreover, in the B2B2C model, the manufacturer or wholesaler directly sells its products to the final consumer. This can happen either by a partnership with B2B or by directly selling to final consumers. Also, all these transactions happen online, through e-commerce websites and applications.
Most businesses generally purchase the goods in bulk at a low price and then they sell them at retail value. The products or goods are directly bought from the distributors or wholesalers. This buying of goods at a low price from the distributors or manufacturers by other businesses is generally known as wholesale. It is one of the most popular forms of B2B e-commerce.
Furthermore, the B2B wholesale model is present in a lot of industries namely food service, retail, construction, medical, etc. In the past, B2B wholesale transactions took place via email, phone, or spreadsheets.
But with the advent of wholesale e-commerce, everything is digital or online. The best thing about digital Ecommerce is that wholesalers can show or display their goods to the world. This improves the buying experience.
Coming over to the third type of B2B e-commerce i.e., Manufacturers. The manufacturers or producers produce the finished products on a big scale by making use of raw materials, machines, and labor.
In this business model, the finished goods are sold to the wholesalers or other manufacturers.
Moreover, the automobile industry is a great example of this type of B2B model. The manufacturer of automobiles generally makes individual car parts like an engine and fuel pump. After that, manufacturers sell those parts to an automotive company. Then, that automotive company builds the whole car from those parts and sells it to the ultimate consumer.
A distributor is a person who works with the manufacturers. They display and sell the goods produced by manufacturers. Moreover, the ultimate goal of distributors is to increase sales.
In the Ecommerce model of business, the transactions happen online which increases the opportunities. Also, a lot of producers and manufacturers work with the distributors to expand their businesses.
Just like the other business models, distributors work with manufacturers just to reduce the time from sales to delivery. They also create a consumer experience that satisfies the consumers fully.
5. Turning Into Wholesale From Customer Focused Business
Do you know why the business to business e-commerce market is touching the sky? Yes, you guessed it right! They are expanding continuously because the "Business to Consumer" E-commerce model is switching to the "Business to Business" Model.
Though it's possible to make this change, it involves a small learning curve. The B2B transactions are generally larger than B2C transactions. Also, the sales of B2B e-commerce generally rely on the relationship with their sellers.
Merits of Using a B2B Ecommerce Platform
There are a lot of merits of using a B2B e-commerce platform, and they are very significant for the success of a business.
So, here are some of the reasons why B2B Ecommerce is advantageous:
1. Customer Reach
The first thing you should know about B2B e-commerce is, there is no limit or boundaries to the customer reach. Your business is exposed and displayed to a large number of customers and it indeed is a great thing.
Furthermore, an eCommerce website that has catalogs for public display reaches more customers than usual. By going digital, you can also make use of digital marketing strategies. Those proven will surely help in increasing the reach.
In addition to this, everyone prefers buying online now and this will continue in the future too. Now, the B2B buyers are also involved in buying the goods online. The reason behind this is the convenience. Buying goods digitally is way more efficient and easier than traditional buying.
2. Better Customers and Suppliers Management
B2B e-commerce offers good management of both customers and suppliers. Going online means you can make use of various business management software. This will help you in getting the exact data and pattern of purchases.
Also, you'll be able to utilise this vital information to be better and to create a more personalised experience for the consumers. Ultimately, the whole motive of this initiative is to benefit both parties.
3. Sell More To The Old Customers
You'll not only reach out to the new customers but e-commerce also allows you to implement automatic cross-sell to the old customers. This goes together with providing the buyers a more personalised experience. You'll be able to assist them in finding new products even when they'll not ask for them. Basically, it works much like a personal sales associate.
4. Improved Data Analytics
B2B e-commerce offers a perfect platform for a business to launch an extensive analytics campaign. Most importantly, with the help of analytics, various B2Bs can make great decisions.
Moreover, this feature is available for every B2B e-commerce platform that offers a detailed analysis of sales effectiveness. Also, you can create several types of reports to know about the progress of your business.
In addition to this, analytics will also help you in identifying what's good for your business and what's not. With the help of analytics, you can also find out the preferences and wishes of your customer. To conclude, this feature is the boss of everything else. It will play a significant role in the success of your business.
Examples of B2B Ecommerce
Almost every kind of business has adopted the B2B e-commerce model. Here are some examples of the businesses that have adopted B2B e-commerce.
1. Wholesale LED Lights
Wholesale LED lights is a lighting company situated in the center of Leicester city. They have been serving LED lights to the people of Ireland and the United Kingdom for years. The main reason behind their success is speedy service, good quality, and friendly customer services along with a guarantee.
Moreover, they offer a wide range of high quality and standard LED lights and other such products. Most importantly, all those products come up with a guarantee to save your money on bills.
- Help them increase their visitor rate
- Improved their overall conversion rate
- Reduction in bounce rate
2. Kensington Design
The next B2B e-commerce example is Kensington Design. They have been assisting their clients both internationally and locally redesign, refurbish and refresh their houses since 1984.
They offer the most comprehensive library of wallpapers, fabrics, and trimmings. Kensington Design offers the perfect tools to execute every project whether it's big or small. The reason behind this is their good relationship with the finest craftsmen.
Moreover, their main motive is customer satisfaction. They achieve this by giving proper care to the needs and wishes of their customers.
- Enhance their Searches
- Improved their overall website traffic
- Increase in trade enquiries
Some Of The Most Popular B2B eCommerce Platforms
1. Magento B2B e-Commerce
Let us introduce you to one of the most popular B2B eCommerce platforms that you can use with your B2C operations.
Magento B2B Commerce is crafted to fulfill the needs of Magento merchants or sellers. The customer base of such sellers is generally the companies with multiple users and a rigid organisational structure.
Magento offers low maintenance and easy to install products with great customer support. Nevertheless, it lacks some features regarding integration, and also it might prove expensive for small businesses.
Five Reasons Why Magento is Perfect For Your eCommerce Platform
- Single Stop Shop: Magento e-commerce offers all that you need to start your online business. You can offer several brands via key accounts and channel partners. Also, you can manage all the accounts seamlessly. Moreover, you can set up your Magento e-commerce website quickly and combine it with your CRM or ERP solution. Not only this, but you can also leverage the self-service facility to view the order history, track quotes and manage the credit online. Furthermore, it boosts the efficiency of your website by offering a great brand experience to the customers.
- Quick Order: Seems interesting, isn't it? Yes, you can order in just a matter of seconds. This will lead to an increase in sales. All the purchasers need to do is enter the SKUs, copy a previous order, and make use of requisition lists for a quick checkout. In addition to this, you can also help the purchasers by tracking quotes, creating orders for them, and by collating the discounts. This quick feature is specifically designed for the buyers who know what they want. They can skip the browsing step and place their order quickly.
- Customer Segmentation: Offering the same buying experience to every buyer is not a good business strategy. People are different and so are their businesses, what one likes, the other one dislikes. With Magento, you can execute customer segmentation. That means you can give different experiences to different groups of business or individuals. You can do this with the help of the history of the buyer, their preferences, wishlist, and total purchases.
- Credit Limit: B2B mainly depends on credit. By letting the buyers use their credit balance, you can build up trust. With Magento e-commerce, you can keep all your purchase and payment transactions, and issue the credit limit to all the credible buyers. At the time of check-out, the buyers can choose the "payment on account" option and pay whenever possible. Also, you can integrate credit limits with CRM or ERP systems.
- Standard Inventory Management: The smart inventory management system of Magento allows you to increase your operations. It also lets you manage all the orders effectively. Moreover, it happens on a real-time basis, so you can optimise the delivery time and cost conveniently and quickly. Also, it lets you display your inventory to the distributors, increase sales and deliver a good experience. seamlessly.
The next most popular eCommerce platform on our list is Salesforce. It lets you purchase the products online easily and it generates more revenue than usual.
Salesforce offers a seamless and self-service experience to its buyers, along with all the standard functions of B2B e-commerce.
Moreover, it empowers the buyers with the same and easy shopping experience. That is, customers can shop anytime they want and from anywhere.
Features of Salesforce
- Solves the Complexities of B2B e-commerce: The platform offers various features like account hierarchies, fast reorders, custom catalogs, contract pricing, and many more.
- Make B2B eCommerce Informal and Personal: The best thing about this platform is, you don't need any data scientist to perform the operations. You can personalise the purchasing recommendations in real-time.
- Permanent Customers: Develop customer loyalty quicker and ensure repeat transactions with a guided purchase experience that is efficient, quick, and personal.
- Get To Market Quicker: You can capture your share of opportunities of B2B e-commerce in just weeks and not years.
Moving on to the next popular eCommerce platform i.e., Shopify. It gives you the option to automate sales.
Shopify's wholesale channel offers the scaling brands a simple way to expand into the flourishing B2B market. You can integrate 3PL, ERP, CRM, Or OMS with your business.
Whether you're just trying to fulfill the demand of inbound wholesale order or actively involved in the B2B selling for the very first time. With the help of this platform, you can easily set up a wholesale store using your present branding. You know what, no development or coding is needed.
Features Of Shopify
- Easy Account Setup: The account setup in Shopify is so easy and quick. You can use your past inventory, product, or customer data to design a password secured store for your wholesale buyers in just a few minutes.
- Self-service Purchasing Experience: Provide the customers with services they expect with the personalised products, online payment, and pricing.
- Higher-Order Volume and Value: It allows you to sell directly to wholesale buyers such as retailers, resellers, and white labelers.
The last most popular eCommerce platform on the list is BigCommerce. It has everything that you need in one platform.
BigCommerce offers customisable and future technology that is mainly designed to work with the existing tools. It offers plenty of features third-party data syncing, buyer experience tools, and many more.
Wait, this isn't the end! It has a lot in store for you! We have described some of its features below.
Features of BigCommerce
- Meet Modern Buyer Experience Expectations: Traditional B2B businesses don't fulfill the expectations of B2B buyers. But BigCommerce encourages your team to design a sleek and user-friendly site. It includes pricing segmentation to the SKU level.
- More Features, fewer Excuses: BigCommerce offers plenty of features such as automated pricing and customer segmentation, purchase orders, punch out, payment terms, and user roles. Most importantly, it lets you integrate your business with major OMS, ERP, and CRM systems.
- Exceptional Services, Extraordinary Results: The customer service of BigCommerce is outstanding. To solve your most difficult eCommerce hurdles, their technical team is right there at your service.
Here we are at the end of this blog and we guess now you are aware of all the things that you wanted to know. It's a misbelief that an e-commerce world cannot keep up with the needs of the business to business brands and sellers.
To conclude, we would just say that you can allocate funds to your B2B e-commerce website launch. This includes work with partners and agencies too.
Although you need to make a big investment, the results you'll get will be much higher than the initial expenditure.
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To check what we can do with your business and eCommerce store, get in touch.