How to Find the Best B2B Ecommerce Platform
We may be biased, but we think we have the best B2B ecommerce platform. However, it is important that you find the one that works best for your specific needs. To ensure you invest in the top B2B ecommerce platforms for your organisation, we’ve put together a number of points to consider.
Read on to discover the B2B ecommerce questions you should be asking potential system providers.
6 Questions to Ask When Choosing a B2B Ecommerce Platform
When it comes to selecting from the top ecommerce platforms of the moment, there are a number of elements to consider, including:
1) Does it allow users to answer their own queries?
> 51% of customers now expect a business to be available 24/7
> 75% think 2 minutes is too long to wait to reach a live response
Although your ecommerce platform may be accessible 24/7, you won’t be. Therefore, helping your customers answer their own queries or find information online should be a priority. Real-time account statements, viewing invoices online, order tracking and a single customer order history list of all offline and online transactions can all be extremely useful, cutting costs and time
2) Is the design responsive?
Desktop, laptop, MacBook, smartphone, tablet; there are dozens of ways a user can access a platform, and your system should be just as well-presented and functional on one as on another. A responsive design will ensure a page adapts to devices’ different screen sizes and help customers make purchasing decisions.
Although mobile browsing has now overtaken desktop as the most popular internet browsing device, this is especially important as the majority of business users still tend to make B2B purchases via desktops. Therefore, a consistent experience throughout the long purchase journey is key.
3) Does it offer reliable search functionality?
Most B2B buyers will come to you knowing what they want or need and if you offer hundreds or even thousands of products they may struggle to find their desired items. Therefore, an option to search the product catalogue can come in handy.
A reliable search function will allow users to search and find what they want in just seconds, whereas previous purchasers can easily find recently selected products in personalised order pad lists to reorder at a click of a button.
However, when you offer a number of products that are largely similar, a basic search system may be redundant. We would recommend looking for an advanced alternative with a fully-featured search option and comprehensive product attributes to ensure best performance coupled with the ability to hide products the customer does not want their staff to purchase.
4) Does it integrate with your other systems?
For reduced admin and simple processing, an ecommerce platform should offer rapid integration with existing CRM systems and ERP solutions, such as SAP, Oracle and Sage. This will ensure your systems for accounts, warehouse management, order processing and inventory control all communicate seamlessly and are connected with your ecommerce website to give your customers real-time, accurate information.
When analysing the best ecommerce B2B platforms, we’d suggest asking the provider if their system has in depth integration with your business systems as this is an area that it so often overlooked and can be the most common cause for projects to fail.
5) Does it offer customer specific pricing?
Do you reward loyal clients with discounts? Or, perhaps entice new purchasers with a first-time offer? Well, an ecommerce platform with dynamic pricing will not only allow you to set pricing which reflects your unique relationships with your customers but offer promotions for a set period of time too.
A system with dynamic pricing will allow you to automate pricing for different groups and variables, setting minimum and maximum values and make reviewing negotiations straight-forward. Keep an eye out for an ecommerce platform that also offers quantity-based pricing – these encourage customers to purchase bigger quantities, less often, meaning you will can expect higher average order values and keep your customers happy.
6) Does it allow you to customise your catalogue for each customer?
If your customers have more than one member of staff logging in to order from you, they may want each member of staff to see just the products they are allowed to purchase or perhaps allow them to see your entire catalogue of products but trigger an approval process when certain thresholds are exceeded.
This functionality could prevent unnecessary purchases saving you both time and money whilst providing your customer with an improved level of control over their staff purchases. We would recommend looking for a B2B ecommerce system which also offers additional checkout password protection for a second level defence.
Why TrueCommerce Netalogue Should Be Your B2B Commerce Platform of Choice
The TrueCommerce Netalogue™ B2B platform is designed with business in mind. Whether you’re a manufacturer, distributor or a wholesaler, our agile platform is engineered for rapid development, with rich functionality and simple scalability.
Our ecommerce platform comes with more than 300 highly configurable features, including promotions, rich product media support, full data management, and site personalisation abilities.
Try it for Yourself!