The world of B2B eCommerce is changing, and you need the right platform to keep up with the times. There are many things to consider when choosing a B2B eCommerce platform, including your budget, what features you want your new solution to have, and how well it integrates with other systems in your organization. If you’ve never used any e-commerce before or don’t know much about them yet, this blog post will give you all the information you need to decide which platform will work best for your unique business needs.
A brief history of B2B eCommerce platforms
If you’re new to B2B eCommerce, here’s what you need to know. The history of eCommerce is long and storied. It began in 1992 when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos decided he wanted to sell books online—but his plans were cut short by a lack of computing power and infrastructure.
So he started an online bookstore called Auctiva that would sell goods from other companies instead. In 1994, Bezos published an article arguing that “the internet will allow small companies to create global marketplaces with millions of customers” and “will change the rules for both consumers and producers” (Kline & Maloney). This is where the modern concept of B2B eCommerce platforms began.
In 1998, eBay was founded as an auction site where people could buy or sell items directly from each other. The idea was simple: buyers bid on goods until they reached their maximum price point; sellers accepted whatever amount was offered within 48 hours; payment was made via PayPal after delivery confirmation (Kline & Maloney).
How customer expectations are changing B2B eCommerce software
The B2B eCommerce platforms you choose to power your business profoundly impact customer experience. The best software will enable you to streamline processes, optimize how you interact with customers and give them more control over their purchases.
Customer expectations change drastically, meaning businesses must adapt quickly to stay ahead of the curve. As such, there’s been an increase in demand for:
- Personalization. Customers want relevant information at every step of their journey—whether they’re researching products or checking out after purchasing something from your store—and personalization gives them this by tailoring experiences based on what they’ve done before (and what other people like them do).
- Speed. People don’t like waiting around when it comes time for their shopping experience; if something takes too long or doesn’t work correctly, chances are good that they’ll just go elsewhere instead! This means that any slowdowns need fixing ASAP so users can get back into buying mode ASAP too.
The barriers and opportunities for B2B eCommerce in the future
So you’ve decided to jump into the world of B2B eCommerce. But what are the opportunities and barriers in this space? What are your options, and how do you know which is right for your business?
There’s no time like now to get into B2B eCommerce because it’s expected to grow faster than any other industry (and we mean any other). This means there will be plenty of room for new players in this space who want to make their mark or build up revenue streams from different avenues.
But even though there are plenty of opportunities here, finding the right platform for your business can still be challenging. Luckily, we’re here with some tips on how to pick out one that meets all your needs and takes advantage of business trends today—and tomorrow.
How to integrate a B2B eCommerce platform with your current ERP and accounting software.
Your B2B eCommerce platform should integrate easily with your current ERP and accounting software. After all, if it’s not easy for your team to manage orders from within the platform (and it isn’t!), you will have a hard time making sales.
Integration is vital because it allows you to sync inventory data between different systems and track order status more effectively. For instance, if you sell products through another website or shopping cart (such as Amazon), the integration will help you keep track of stock levels across all channels so that no one is selling items before they’ve been paid for. It’s also essential when integrating third-party software like payment gateways or shipping solutions that send notifications directly into the B2B eCommerce platform—this way, there’s no double work involved.
What to look for in a B2B eCommerce solution.
Before looking for a platform, knowing what you want from your B2B eCommerce solution is essential. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Look for solutions that are easy to use. You don’t want an expensive, complicated solution that takes years of training before you can start selling on your website. The last thing you need when running a business is more time spent learning software than running the business itself.
- Look for easy integration solutions with other technologies (like ERP systems or best-of-breed marketing tools). This will help save time and money by not having redundant processes across multiple platforms. In addition, this will help ensure consistency throughout all channels (website, social media channels, etc.) which builds trust among customers and keeps them coming back consistently.
Pick the right platform for your business goals, budget, and products.
Your objective is to grow. It’s as simple as that. So let’s discuss some of the things you should consider when choosing an eCommerce platform:
Know what growth trajectory you are looking at in terms of revenue or customers over time. (Hint: if it seems like an exponential curve, consider investing more heavily.) Also, be aware of your budget, so there aren’t any surprises later down the line!
In addition, understand what kind of product mix works best for your customers because most eCommerce platforms don’t offer many customization options out-of-the-box or through third-party vendors unless they are enterprise-level applications, which may or may not fit within your budget.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, but it all boils down to one thing: You must know how to pick the right platform for your business goals, budget, and products. This can be difficult if you aren’t familiar with all the different features and options available in today’s eCommerce solutions. However, by following the tips above and doing some research beforehand (such as reading reviews from experts like us!), you should be able to find an eCommerce platform that fits perfectly with your needs and budget.