B2B ecommerce refers to the sales of goods and services between two businesses via a set web portal. Since orders are processed digitally, buying efficiency is improved for manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and many more B2B sellers.
B2B ecommerce store is a website where customers or other businesses can browse their product catalogue and make an order. For a B2B ecommerce store to be successful, the website needs to compliment the business model effectively. It should deliver buying and engagement options that go beyond catalogue printing and voice call ordering. Below are ten essential features of a successful B2B ecommerce website.
Segmentation with customer groups and profiles. In B2C, customers are handled similarly. But for B2B deals with orders that vary from customer to customer; hence it needs strict group designations for segmenting its clients. Therefore, B2B should categorize customers into different groups. This helps it in setting prices, minimum order requirements and group-specific content for each segment.
B2B Customers Can Be Grouped Based On Their Profiles, including:
- Geographic location.
- Order size.
- Catalogue Choice.
- Reorder regularity.
- Products ordered.
1. Employ SSL security to Ensure Secure Connection on Your Store
When visitors visit your website to browse and ultimately make a purchase, you wouldn’t want them to leave simply because of a lack of trust and security factor. Any informed customer will first look for the HTTPS sign before the URL and the grey padlock sign. To deploy the same, we suggest going for the right kind of SSL cert for your business website. If you run a web shop that has multiple first level subdomains under the main domain, installing a wildcard SSL cert is your best bet. While making a purchase ensure that you buy your cert from reliable CAs. RapidSSL, Comodo SSL certificate, AlphaSSL, GeoTrust Certificate, Thawte SSL, DigiCert SSL Certificates etc. are some of the trusted names in the cybersecurity market that have gained a standing of trust and reliability in the market over the years.
2. Catalogue and pricing
B2B ecommerce stores can sell at different prices based on the customer type or group. Segmenting the customers personalizes their shopping experience and makes it possible to offer special product pricing to the more demanding clients.
B2B ecommerce stores depending on customer groups set the price of any product. A customer-specific product catalogue makes it possible to have customer-specific pricing. B2B ecommerce stores need a very complex product catalogue pricing structure so unique that it cannot be built into existing products; you will only be required to create new products specific to the customer group.
3. Bulk Discounts
Bulk discount is a common feature of B2B business. It is useful in encouraging a high number of orders and creating customers’ loyalty. Bulk discounts can be given based on purchase quantity or purchase amount. Discounts can be varying and can be utilized for all products available in the store located globally. Also, you should specify different discount levels based on the customer groups.
4. Minimum Order Quantity
A Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) refers to the low quantity ordered for selling purposes. If the customer cannot meet the minimum requirement of the order, he/she cannot place the order. Therefore, a B2B ecommerce platform should set minimum order quantities per product. Minimum order quantities are often essential for managing margins and ensuring that a business remains profitable.
5. Customer Registration
Customer Registration is an essential feature for every B2B ecommerce store, but its functionality should be specific for a business that sells to other businesses. This makes it possible to personalize product pricing, minimum order quantities, payment terms, discounts and shipping options based on customer groups or individual customers.
6. Reorder Earlier Purchased products
Registered customers should be able to log in to their accounts page and view a list of past orders and reorder a specific order with a single click – One-click reorder. This saves them a lot of time searching the whole store catalogue for a specific product and grows customer loyalty.
7. Flexible Payment Options
B2B ordering process or checkout is done online, but not every order can or should have payment processed for online products. To accommodate the needs of B2B customers, one should integrate offline payment methods purchase orders, checks corporate accounts and many more.
An ecommerce platform should include the ability to configure multiple payment options while customizing them for specific customer groups, order amounts or locations.
8. Real-time Inventory Updates
To offer the latest inventory information, there should be real-time inventory information. For example, you don’t want your customer to order 200 pieces of mugs to find out on checkout that only 50 mugs are available.
A centralized database for the ecommerce system makes it possible to integrate many sales like Point of Sale(POS) and ERP. This will make sure that the system is displaying the correct inventory position.
9. Order StatusTracking
Order tracking is key to success in all different types of supply chain models. For example, B2B ecommerce store should be able to show a detailed order status to its customers. An online tracker showing each step of the order process and its current progress (like order received or not, confirmation sent, order approved, paid in full, in production, shipped and delivered) can be incredibly useful for the stakeholders at your customer`s company.
10. Bulk Order
For B2B customers placing large orders, especially for catalogue orders or products order by part Number or SKUs, instead of having them search or browse products one-by-one, a bulk order form can enhance the overall shopping experience by adding a simple, intuitive way to place large orders. A bulk order form can use product Number or SKU plus the required quantity and directly to checkout hence a simple ordering process for your customers.
Many people argue that blogs and forms should be considered, while others prefer brand presence. However, both point of views is correct. If you wish to generate leads through your B2B platform, these two aspects should be tandem. However, a strong platform and user experience are useful components of your B2B eCommerce store or website.
Source@techsaa: Read more at: Technology Week Blog