Digital commerce is the future of B2B commerce, yet many B2B businesses are still significantly behind their digital commerce strategy.
With B2B eCommerce sales in the United States projected to hit the $2 trillion mark by 2023, now is the time to prepare yourself for the digital age.
According to research by Salesforce, almost half (48%) of B2B businesses sell products online, and 88% say they will sell online within the next five years.
This is the time to appeal to business buyers who are looking for convenience, and exceed their online purchasing expectations.
Growing eCommerce demands means there are many B2B eCommerce vendors and solutions out there.
With such a large variety of software solutions to choose from, selecting the right one can be difficult. With this post, we’re making it easier.
What to compare in a B2B eCommerce platform?
Choose a solution that matches your growth plans, resources and budget. An open-source solution gives businesses much more options in terms of flexibility, customization and integration.
For some companies, hiring developers and technology consultants make sense. Others prefer a hands-off approach where the vendor controls the development process but great for companies that don’t want to deal with developers.
Business buyers, just like consumers, search for products and purchase from many different devices. For example, they may check their phone for product availability and complete an order on a tablet.
Other businesses may work exclusively off desktops. It should be easy for your customers to get clear information on prices, shipping, quote requests, or product availability on the device of their choice.
Unlike in the past, the majority of today’s business buyers prefer not to interact with a sales representative.
A self-service B2B sales strategy free up sales reps from menial tasks and makes the sales process more convenient for the customer at the same time.
Look for a B2B eCommerce platform that gives your customers all the browsing, ordering, shipping and order tracking functions that improve their shopping experience.
Businesses require purchase options that match their business structures and accounting requirements.
For example, some businesses may prefer to pay by paper check, ACH, or wire transfer. Others may require net-60 or net-90 payment terms.
Others may want to arrange prepayment, pay in installments, unique discounts or negotiate their own prices for certain orders.
In either case, your B2B eCommerce system must be able to accommodate all payment options and terms that your business clients may demand of you.
Your B2B eCommerce platform must integrate with all your backend systems. It must supply and retrieve important information surrounding customer data, orders and inventory information.
Integrating with fulfilment services that consolidate and lower shipping costs, offering businesses the best possible pricing on large orders.
Most enterprises rely on ERP systems, so look for a solution that is able handle information to and from the system. Examples of this include inventory, order history, as well as accounting and financial information.
Best B2B eCommerce Platforms List in 2020
In order to select the platform that’s right for you, reading reviews on G2 or studying Gartner’s Magic Quadrant won’t help you.
You need to carefully match your organization’s needs to the features and capabilities of the solution you choose. In our enterprise B2B eCommerce platform comparison, we’ll take a look at the leading solutions for enterprise needs.
These include OroCommerce, Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Insetesoft, and IBM WebSphere. Hopefully, this will help you pick out the best b2b eCommerce solution for your business.
OroCommerce is an eCommerce platform built for all types of B2B businesses. Since it’s built by the people who developed Magento, it is a robust and reliable solution designed for the needs of enterprise.
It’s available for both on-premise and cloud deployment, and features a powerful API and a powerful ecosystem of plugins, extensions and independent developers.
OroCommerce’s strengths include a full feature set for B2B, D2C and B2C web stores or marketplaces.
It features extensive product catalog options, pricing engine, and 24/7 support and simple pricing.
OroCommerce also offers a built-in CRM integration and it’s ideal for manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and business resellers.
Magento is a popular open source eCommerce platform with one of the largest libraries of extensions, plugins, consultants and integrators.
It’s ideal for enterprises that require heavy customization options and a stable eCommerce platform. Magento, however, is not an ideal solution for businesses that look for B2B-specific features out of the box.
Magento’s strengths include scalability and great customer support. It’s ideal for enterprises that want more control over their eCommerce experience.
At the same time, adding lots of integrations and plugins can get costly and lead to a bloated eCommerce platform that’s difficult to upgrade or switch from.
Magento customers range from retail, distribution and governments.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is built on the Salesforce platform, which means an integration to the Salesforce CRM plus its ecosystem of marketing and sales tools.
It supports enterprises in numerous verticals and business models with tools for any business need.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is ideally suited for enterprises in retail, hospitality, manufacturing or distribution – especially if they use the Salesforce family of products such as the CRM.
The downside is that only the cloud option is available and it’s not for the budget-conscious with costly implementation, maintenance and consulting.
Insite is a B2B eCommerce system designed with enterprise in mind. It includes features such as saved carts, personalization, and payment methods relevant to businesses.
It’s popular among retail, distribution and manufacturing and includes product management and marketing features.
Insite’s strength is an out-of-the-box experience for B2B customers, including features like list-to-order approval, guest user account, and multichannel, multi-industry targeting.
There are also marketing features for A/B testing, product recommendations, and personalized cart and checkout experiences.
Hybris has many B2B eCommerce features that enterprises desire. SAP is known for its powerful ERP and CRM solutions and offers seamless integration with marketing tools in the SAP family.
Its offerings can be deployed in the cloud, on premise, or in a combination of the two.
SAP’s strengths lie in its strong multichannel capabilities, as well as its content, catalog, and product management systems.
It is perfect for enterprises with large document bases and processes that necessitate staying with SAP. Its clients range from manufacturing, distribution and hospitality multinationals.
IBM WebSphere is for those on IBM cloud, operating systems and infrastructure.
It is ideal for large B2B businesses that have high transactional volumes and reliance on enterprise databases. It’s not suitable for smaller businesses due to its complexity and costs.
WepSphere is strong in content templates, and offers many content management features including segment targeting.
It also features strong integration with Oracle and IBM databases, complete with strong payment options specific to B2B businesses.
A new contender that made its place to our list of the best B2B eCommerce platforms is 3dcart.
It is feature rich and goes some extra miles to take care of your online store’s marketing and SEO.
With its almost 200 built-in features and 50 free themes you have quite a variety to choose from.
If you are looking for a reliable and customizeable B2B platform then it can surely be your ultimate choice.
Making the right B2B eCommerce platform decision
Deciding on the best B2B eCommerce software takes lots of research, patience, and time.
You must analyze your own capabilities and requirements, and understand what you’re looking for from your vendor.
Whichever option you choose, your B2B eCommerce system should fit your business and customer requirements like a glove.
Every single feature should not only make it easier for your target audience to shop online and purchase more from you, it should also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your business.