In the past, B2B eCommerce platforms were a game for retailers. But now, it’s a must-have for any business that wants to be competitive. And with the costs of launching an online store dropping, more companies are going digital.
The result? There is more competition in every industry as IT departments look beyond their own properties and consider what they can sell to other businesses, including software, services, and other products they might not have considered before.
In this article we’ll help you understand what sets B2B eCommerce platforms apart and why they’re crucial to your success in 2023.
B2B eCommerce Platforms: How to Choose One in 2023
There are many B2B eCommerce platforms on the market, so choosing the right one for your business can take time and effort. Here are some essential things to consider:
- Why do you need a B2B eCommerce platform?
- What types of B2B eCommerce platforms are available?
- How can you evaluate each option and find the right one for your business?
Review Your Requirements
- List the types of requirements you need. Does your business require a platform that can handle multiple channels, shipping capabilities, and inventory management?
- List the specific requirements you need. What are the features necessary for your eCommerce platform? Do you want to offer free shipping on all products or only some? Are any specific integrations (with accounting software or order management systems) essential for your business model?
- List the requirements you don’t need. What features would be too complicated or unnecessary for your business model now? For example, if you run an online shop for handcrafted goods but don’t have much inventory—or if your store only sells one product—a platform with advanced warehousing functionality may not be necessary for now.
- List the requirements that are important to you (e.g., competitive pricing). Remember: it’s essential to ensure a vendor meets all of these basic criteria and ranks highly in terms of value-added benefits such as pricing model flexibility and ease of use (for non-technical users).
Consider Your Business Needs
- What do you need the platform to do?
- What are your business goals?
- What type of products and services do you sell?
- What are your current sales channels, and how many customers do you have?
- How much money are you willing to invest in building a new eCommerce website, compared with the amount of revenue it will generate for your business in the long term (in other words, what is your ROI)?
Identify the Top Vendors
Once you’ve identified your needs and reviewed your options, it’s time to choose a vendor. As with any other significant investment, it’s critical to research before making this decision. Once you have narrowed down the finalist vendors that meet or exceed all of your requirements and needs, ask yourself these questions:
- How will this platform help me provide value by delivering a personalized and tailored experience to each customer?
- What are the benefits of using this software over another solution on the market?
- Does the vendor offer free trials or free versions of their products so I can test drive before committing resources (time & money)?
Review the Pros and Cons of Each
Once you’ve narrowed down the field, it’s time to look for specific features and functionality to help your company meet its goals. Here are a few things to consider when reviewing vendor websites:
- Are there any demos available? If so, take advantage of them. This will allow you to see how the platform works from end to end and whether it meets your needs before signing on.
- What kind of customer references do they offer? Customer references can give you an idea of what other companies using this eCommerce solution have experienced with their software provider.
- Are there reviews online? Before making a decision based solely on what your sales representative is saying about the platform, check out what others are saying about it online—and pay attention if different buyers say different things.
Choose a Finalist and Test Their Software
Once you’ve narrowed your options to two or three platforms, it’s time for a thorough test.
- Test the software. How easy is it to use? Do their templates fit your brand? Does the user interface look modern and clean? Is there an app for that?
- Test the support. How fast does customer service respond? Are they available 24/7 or just during business hours? Do they offer email and phone support, with live chat and a ticketing system (an excellent way to ensure someone will be able to follow up on any questions you have)?
- Test the documentation. This can be a vital factor in choosing which platform works best for your company—if someone isn’t available at all times, then having clear instructions on how things work can make all the difference.
- Evaluate the ease of use: Does this platform require experience with design software like Adobe Muse or InDesign before getting started building websites? If so, what resources are provided so I don’t have to rely solely on Google searches while trying to figure out how everything works together.
- Look into integrations: Does this platform already have integrations with other apps like MailChimp or Zapier.
Determine If the B2B Platform Has Room to Grow With You
- Check the roadmap: If your business is growing and expanding, do they plan to support this?
- Check the tech stack: How new is the technology used on the network? Are they investing in new integrations or stuck in old-fashioned systems? Will this affect your ability to scale as a business?
- Make sure you can integrate with other systems easily: Is there a strong focus on connecting with external tools and tools from other companies via APIs, or does it seem like everything is designed for internal usage only?
Shopware is an open-source eCommerce platform with a large community of developers who can help you customize your store.
The Shopware eCommerce platform has over 100 integrations that work with the leading eCommerce platforms, including Magento and WooCommerce.
Shopware’s extensive feature set includes an online store builder, abandoned cart recovery tools, multi-currency support, and more.
Adobe Commerce is a comprehensive eCommerce platform that offers limitless possibilities for your business. Adobe Commerce is built on the Adobe Experience Cloud, which includes:
- Adobe Analytics—a data management platform (DMP) and analytics software
- Adobe Target—an ad server that can be used to manage campaigns across multiple devices
- Adobe Media Optimizer (AMO) and AMO Dynamic Advertising Exchange—advertising technologies that allow you to target specific audiences based on their interests by matching ads with relevant content.
OroCommerce is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that offers a modern B2B eCommerce platform for businesses to sell their products and services online.
OroCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform, which means that you can use the codebase to customize it for your own business. There are also commercial extensions available, including mobile apps and APIs.
OroCommerce is built on the Symfony framework and uses Laravel as its framework of choice for development operations.
A B2B eCommerce platform is an integral part of your business.
When choosing the right B2B eCommerce platform, you must consider your requirements, business needs, and budget.
Review the pros and cons of each platform so that you can make an informed decision about which one will work best for you. Choose a finalist and test their software until you find one that perfectly fits all of your criteria.
When looking for a B2B eCommerce platform, it’s important to research and ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. You don’t want to invest in something that is too expensive or needs more features for your business.
Once you have decided on a finalist, test the software with a free trial or demo version before committing to anything long-term.