BlogB2B EcommerceThe Essential Features Of A Complete B2B Ecommerce Store

The Essential Features Of A Complete B2B Ecommerce Store

This year has proven that the E-commerce model is not only meant for online-only stores. It is now an essential cog in the wheel for Brick-and-Mortar retailers as well. 

While the figures are emphatic for B2C E-commerce uniform businesses, the figures are gradually rising for B2B businesses as well who are adopting the E-Commerce way. 

Although in its infancy, the rate at which B2B E-commerce sales are increasing indicates that B2B customers are growing more comfortable with E-commerce and online engagement. 

Consequently, B2B companies are being forced to fundamentally rethink how, when, and why they engage customers and support their needs with dynamic commerce infrastructure. 

Uniform industry research shows that B2B customers have substantially shifted their research and transaction activities online and onto their mobile devices. 

Selling B2B includes: 

  1. Wholesale 
  1. Distribution relationships with large or chain retailers. 
  1. Selling to organizations (schools, businesses, non-profits). 
  1. Supplier selling to resellers. 

This puts a lot at stake for a B2B uniform business owner. Their ideal uniform customer is much more valuable on a per-order value basis as compared to a B2C uniform customer. Losing a single customer will make a dent in the monthly sales report.  

For a B2B E-commerce store to be successful, the website needs to complement the business model effectively and should deliver buying and engagement options that go beyond print catalogs and voice call orders. 

Few must-have features for your B2B e-commerce store include: 

  1. Customer On-Boarding and Store Navigation 

B2B uniform customers today want to be treated as individuals, not as companies or account numbers. The B2B customer interface should treat them accordingly as well. 

Right from the moment they first land on the website until they check out, the customer experience should focus on making the ordering process as simplistic as possible. 

The following are a few features one should be aware of while setting up a B2B E-commerce customer experience. 

  • Detailed product information: 

In a B2B business model, discussing product quantities, descriptions, and variations is usually agreed upon over a phone call or business brunch. 

With E-commerce in the picture now, it is a lot easier to get the information through to the shopper. 

Yet, each minor or major detail of a product must be accessible on the website for the shopper. So, customers can know as much as there is to know about a product. 

For each product customers should have the option of downloading the following: 

  • Product Sheets: It will include the product variants, information, and description. 
  • Imprint template: It will show the measurement and the actual size of the products. 

Missing out on any of this will mean that they will seek it elsewhere. 

  • Handling shipping costs: 

As businesses order their products in bulk, they are much more concerned about the shipping costs. 

Displaying shipping costs for the deliverable upfront is not just an effective conversion tactic, but should be mandatory for B2B businesses. 

This allows merchants to fetch accurate shipping costs from the shipping providers which can be displayed to the user automatically based on the following parameters: 

  • Quantity 
  • Location 
  • Service type 
  • Product weight  
  • Ordering And Quotes 

Once bulk orders from businesses start coming in, the order management section of a B2B E-commerce store can become intimidating and difficult for the customers to work with. 

Ensuring a neat and minimal order management interface that is productive for your customers and yourself is a necessity. 

  1. Different base price

When you deal with multiple businesses as your customers, you might have to offer different sets of prices for different customers based on the customers’ history with your store. 

This applies to B2B deals happening on your E-commerce website as well. 

Merchants must have the ability to sell products at different base prices based on their customers. 

A tiered pricing structure that varies from customer to customer allows you to analyze the behavioral analytics of your potential buyers and what is being offered by your competitors as well to come up with a competitive price to stay ahead of the competition. 

A value-based discount strategy and effective execution of discounting policies can help a B2B business to prosper and stay ahead of the competition. 

Hence, having an easy-to-manage sales/discounts management system that either allows you to manually or automatically manage the sales value and duration is a norm for all B2B E-commerce stores. 

The discounts can be based on the cart value, cart quantity, or any other factor that suits the product niche; the gist is it should complement your B2B discount policy. 

  1. Product importing 

It is an essential feature of a B2B E-commerce website and usually consumes the most time once. 

Often, the product import will mean the store manager will have to create a CSV file with all the product information including product categories, attributes, and other relevant data. 

Not only does this process become slow due to the huge product listing of a B2B website but the chances of a pilot error also increase. 

However, if we can configure your E-commerce system to import the CSV data in multiple steps, it will substantially decrease the loading time as well as silly blunders during data entry. 

Here’s what we did for one of our B2B clients we divided the CSV upload process into three steps: 

Category import: Merchant can import categories or subcategories of their product in this section. 

Product import: Only products need to be imported here. 

Log file: Missing attributes and product details can be added here later. 

By dividing the import process into the above three steps it made the product upload process substantially quicker. 

  1. Real-time inventory data

You don’t want your B2B customer to order 1000 stationery items just to find out at the checkout page that you are 100 short of the desired quantity in your inventory. 

Hence, Keeping the inventory data transparent with the customers is essential. 

You can have a centralized database for your ecommerce website and integrate multiple sales channels like POS and ERP with it as well. 

This will not only make sure that you are always displaying the correct inventory values, but will also improve your forecasts for the next inventory refill. 

  1. Order status tracking  

In a B2B model, customers might have customers of their own.  This means the status of an order might be providing updates to other business processes. 

Order tracking is a key to success in all different types of supply chain models, whether it is a Just in time model or a Distribution model. 

B2B E-commerce websites should show detailed order statuses to their merchants. 

This can be effectively achieved by integrating a 3rd party CRM with your website and using it to effectively communicate the order status with your customers. 

  • Order received or not 
  • Confirmation sent 
  • Order approved 
  • Paid in full 
  • In production 
  • Shipped 
  • Delivered 

The Future of B2B Commerce is B2C-like Experiences 

Remember that your B2B clients are not faceless account numbers. They are, at their core, humans who are conditioned to expect seamless, personalized shopping experiences online. 

Deliver on those expectations (across all touch points and channels), and your business will enjoy greater process efficiency, lower cost of customer acquisition, and generally more satisfied customers. 

Here at UniformMarket powered by Sellers Commerce, we provide you with tools such as Uniform Program Management and Retail Commerce, which can connect you with the products and data you need for your employees or business. Whether you are a uniform retailer or an energy company needing to fit your employees with new uniforms and gear, we have the tools and services for you.  Contact us for a demo today