Simply put, B2B e-Commerce, also called wholesale eCommerce, is a Commerce between independent business consumers, rather than between a large commercial organization and a single consumer (B2C). The advantages of B2B eCommerce sites provide many advantages to sellers, including the ability to tap into a whole new subset of consumers (independent business consumers), streamline your overall sales processes to enable greater efficiency, and reduce costs. If you’re looking into venturing into B2B e-commerce, you must take a few moments to understand what it takes to operate these sites, and what it takes to ensure that they are successful. This short guide will go over some of the key elements of B2B eCommerce, which will hopefully prove to be useful to you and your efforts.
Popular Partial Integration Services
To operate a b2b eCommerce platform, you need a robust integrated enterprise solution. There are two types of integration to look out for when evaluating merchant account providers. These include full integration, where each type of service is integrated (typically by way of an application programming interface or ap exchange), and partial integration, whereby one service (such as the conversion of shipping rates from a specific provider to your own) is independent of the other. Some of the most popular partial integration services include Asana, Stripe, and Joomla.
One of the biggest advantages of b2b ecommerce platform is the wide range of products that they can support. However, for merchants to fully take advantage of their websites, it’s crucial to opt for the right kind of provider. Merchant accounts come in various forms, and some of the most popular are: free, open cart, private label, hosted, and third-party services. If you’re just starting, free accounts are an ideal option as they allow you to test the waters before investing in larger, more expensive options. Private label systems, on the other hand, are hosted by third parties, and although they offer greater control and functionality than free or open carts, the cost of maintaining these systems can prove to be quite high.
When selecting a b2b eCommerce software provider, it’s important to assess not only their technical capability but also their customer service, and commitment to your goals. Technical capability refers to their ability to meet your delivery deadlines and provide support. Customer service is critical as it allows you to get hold of the support personnel in case of any problems. Similarly, select platforms that have a wide range of add-ons that you can integrate into your website, as these tend to simplify the integration process.
Reducing business operations costs
The role of an e-commerce platform plays in reducing business operations costs, especially shipping and product pricing. Most b2b eCommerce software providers include a freight management system, which helps in warehousing and supply chain management. Some even include order fulfillment services that work closely with the suppliers and manufacturers to provide fast, secure, and hassle-free order fulfillment. This helps in cutting inventory costs and improving business operations.
It is always advisable to partner with a vendor who has extensive experience in your industry. You’ll get maximum value for your investment and can expect efficient customer support. eCommerce businesses require a lot of attention and flexibility from a vendor. They can’t be expected to maintain their hardware, incur extra inventory costs, and perform the due diligence required for sourcing products and services.