Top 10 Essential Features for a B2B Ecommerce Platform

Jul 27, 2023, 16:05 PM by User Not Found
Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce has some unique challenges and qualities to it that often aren’t found in business-to-customer (B2C) transactions. In order to meet the needs required for B2B ecommerce, your platform will need certain features in order to serve and build trust with your clientele. Today, we’ll go over the top ten essential features of a successful B2B ecommerce platform to have.

1. Search and Navigation

B2B ecommerce can be a complex field to navigate, but you don’t want this complexity to be felt by your customers. One of the ways to make your online catalog more user-friendly is by adding a search and filter feature. This will allow your users to more quickly and precisely find the exact product they’re looking for, saving them time and aggravation. 

Additionally, adding filters and refining options allows customers to personalize their shopping experience if they’re not looking for a specific product but rather products that fall in a category. Consistent tagging and categorization will ensure that these filters are accurate and that there are no products your customers are missing.

2. Customer Personalized Pricing and Products

Because of the nature of B2B ecommerce, you may have some clients with specialized products or pricing that differ from what would normally be available. Many B2B clients will want to have this personalization, so you’ll want to incorporate account-specific pricing and products on your ecommerce platform. Your customers will be able to easily see and order products unique to them (for example, a specific line of equipment with their logo pre-printed) without any hassle. By far, the easiest way to manage this personalization is to include real-time connectivity to your ERP.

3. Easy Reordering

Often with B2B ecommerce, customers will place the same order multiple times as they work with you. One of the ways to simplify and streamline their experience is to add quick and easy reordering options. You can do this by saving their past carts from purchases and allowing them to press an “Add to Cart” button. Another feature to add to increase your user’s personalized experience is having a “recommended products” section with items frequently bought by the customer, so they can quickly re-add these items to their cart.

4. Order Management and Tracking

Much like a B2C ecommerce platform, your customers will want to be able to manage their orders and get up-to-date tracking information. Since you’ll be working with businesses and not individuals, you’ll want to allow your customers to have multiple people on one account with different permissions regarding order management.

Accurate tracking information will instill trust in your customers and give them peace of mind, knowing exactly when to expect their order. You should also display any delays that may occur, so your customer is aware of the issue and doesn’t feel blindsided.

5. Request a Quote

In B2B business, you may run into a situation where your clients need something specific that is not available in your catalog, or they want to request a bid for a large or special order. In this situation, the client would want to be able to request a quote. Being able to request a quote online bridges the gap, so your customers can start a quote process for their unique situations and needs. Many customers expect to be able to request a quote, so having a feature that allows them to do so online will elevate their user experience and make the ordering process faster.

6. Real-Time Inventory Information

You want all the information on your website to be as accurate as possible, but this is especially important for your inventory. Having live, up-to-date inventory information allows your customers to accurately plan ahead and determine how much they should order. Having non-accurate inventory information can cause a lot of confusion and frustration if your customers see something is available online, but then are unable to buy it or buy the quantity they were expecting. Keep your customers satisfied by integrating live inventory information on your ecommerce website.

7. Minimum Order Quantity 

As most B2B ecommerce transactions are bulk orders, you’ll want to have the ability for you and any other merchants to set a minimum order quantity. Having a minimum order quantity will save you time and money from shipping small orders that may not be profitable for you. If you decide to set a minimum order quantity, make sure you make it clear on the product so that your customers are aware of the minimum they need to purchase for an item before adding it to their cart.

8. Detailed Product Catalog

Your product catalog is what most customers are going to spend the most time looking at and searching within. To really elevate their customer experience, create detailed, visual product descriptions for them. Allow them to know exactly what they're buying—whether that means giving dimensions, materials used, Safety Data Sheets (SDS), or adding a series of photos on the product. Photos will put you a step ahead of many B2B ecommerce platforms, making your site more visually appealing and providing valuable information to your customers to help them decide what works best for them.

9. Restricted Access

Most of your customers will expect that your ecommerce site is password protected. Having restricted access to your ecommerce site allows you to carefully vet who can purchase from you and see your prices. This protects you from your competitors seeing your prices, and it protects your customers from their buyers seeing the prices they are purchasing their products for.

10 Flexible Payment Options

B2B transactions are often more involved than B2C transactions. Because of this intricacy, you’ll want to offer multiple, flexible payment options for your customers to choose from. You want to have both online and offline options available to cover all possible situations. Some offline options include: 

  • Checks
  • Cash 
  • Corporate accounts

Online options include:

  • Wire transfers/ACH/EFT
  • Credit/Debit Cards/P-Cards
  • Digital payment platforms such as Venmo or PayPal 

Make sure you also add security for online payments and account for credit limits and overdraft protection with such large purchases.

Manage Your JD Edwards Integrated B2B Ecommerce Platform with SmarterCommerce

At SmarterCommerce, we can help you launch a JD Edwards integrated B2B ecommerce platform with the features we went over today. We provide a variety of B2B products and services to best serve your business and its needs. From ordering to management to administration, we have you covered. Download our ecommerce datasheet today to learn just how SmarterCommerce can help you.