B2B E-commerce Development: 7 Features Worth Buying

Authored by chintan on July 11, 2021

Traditional B2B retail has changed, buyers are moving online to search for the best B2B order procurement deals. And B2B e-commerce development has changed from a retail trend to a survival tool.

When we look at the statistics,

74% of B2B buyers report having searched over half of their B2B deals online.

Moreover, B2B marketers believe that the rising B2B e-commerce trend is going to proliferate at an even greater CAGR in the coming years. They suggest that within the next 5 years, 75% of the B2B procurement will be done through B2B e-commerce platforms.

Today, a significant amount of B2B businesses are led by millennials. This generation has seen the evolution of the e-commerce sector and is well aware of the perks e-commerce brings to shoppers. And therefore, today only 6% of B2B buyers are reluctant in procuring B2B products online.

Having said that, B2B e-commerce development is on the rise and the traditional B2B retail businesses are gearing up to shift a considerable part of their operations online.

However, a significant part of the B2B market is dominated by B2B marketplaces and other industry leaders. And hence, if you wish to gain good visibility amidst the break-neck competition, you must ensure that your B2B e-commerce platform offers an unmatched shopping experience to the buyers.

So, to help you out with your B2B e-commerce growth, here we bring:

7 B2B E-commerce Features that are Crucial to your B2B Success

1. Comprehensive E-commerce Shopping Experience Features

As aforementioned, 73% of B2B purchase decisions are led by millennials. And this generation is not willing to occupy the middle ground when it comes to the shopping experience. Instead, they wouldn’t mind switching to a new platform for a better experience.

And so, your B2B e-commerce software must offer all the essential front-end features that your B2B buyers require for a wholesome shopping experience.

Some of these important features include:

  • Secure and seamless registration as a buyer
  • Authorized buyer profiles
  • Secure one-click access to the e-commerce platform
  • Dynamic search feature with detailed filters and sorting options
  • One-click ordering functionality with
  • Secure payment with popular merchant payment gateways and mobile wallets
  • The real-time order tracking feature
  • Feature to add shipping instructions
  • A prompt Help & Support feature
  • Feature to check past orders and one-click repeat ordering
  • Order Cancellation and Book a Return feature (with T&C)
  • Transparent customer loyalty and referral program to boost repeat purchase

Several outdated e-commerce software fail to offer some of these crucial features and it translates into a loss of sales and customers for B2B businesses.

Businesses must understand that B2B e-commerce is the future of the retail industry. And this trend is more likely to dominate the entire retail sector. Therefore, the faster you employ or upgrade to a feature-rich B2B e-commerce platform, the more sales and exposure you get in the B2B universe. 

So, if you are still reluctant to give up on your makeshift e-commerce arrangements, you are likely to give your competitors a leading edge over your business. 

2. Mobile Platform Compatibility Feature

As per a survey, 60% of B2B businesses witnessed significant B2B sales through mobile platforms in 2020. 

Another statistics report, that the leading B2B e-commerce platforms attract 40% of their total sales via mobile platforms (app & mobile site). 

All things considered, the mobile platform has the potential to significantly grow your B2B e-commerce revenue (and to significantly reduce the overall revenue). 

Alibaba B2B e-commerce development mobile app

Moreover, if we consider the increased mobile penetration rate post-COVID, the mobile platform is likely to dominate the B2B e-commerce sales within 5 years. 

Therefore, you must make sure that your B2B e-commerce site is mobile-friendly. 

A majority of outdated e-commerce solutions still fail to deliver an impressive mobile e-commerce experience. And the surest way to resolve this issue is to switch to an advanced e-commerce solution. 

The right e-commerce software will offer excellent support for the mobile platform. You can expect purely responsive and mobile-compatible e-commerce sites. And this software shows seamless compatibility for mobile e-commerce apps. 

Moreover, B2B businesses have started moving a step ahead with omnichannel sales. This helps them increase the reach and visibility of their B2B retail business. 

Moreover, customers prefer to purchase from brands that offer multi-channel shopping experiences. Though, ensure you are offering consistent multi-channel experience, as inconsistent experience is offputting for B2B buyers and they can even abandon your brand. 

 Do take note that the B2B e-commerce software you choose must offer omnichannel sales support. This means that it should be compatible with multiple channels and also integrate seamlessly with omnichannel e-commerce marketing tools. 

If your B2B current e-commerce software lacks mobile or omnichannel compatibility, consider upgrading it or switching to new e-commerce software. 

3. In-built Data Analytics Feature

Another feature crucial for B2B e-commerce development is the data analytics feature. 

Today, you cannot compete against the leading B2B e-commerce marketplaces and brands unless you are not willing to analyse your performance and optimize your e-commerce strategy. And here is where data analytics puts in an appearance. 

The traditional e-commerce software failed to offer a defined analytics feature and so the businesses resorted to using 3rd party analytics tools. However, including the 3rd party tools can increase your operations cost and can challenge your e-commerce security. Moreover, some 3rd party e-commerce tools fail to deliver you real-time data analysis and reporting. 

Therefore, it is advisable to employ a B2B e-commerce software that has in-built analytics features. A good e-commerce software can help you generate important data metrics like: 

  • Monthly or annual revenue and month-to-month changes in revenue
  • Your most valuable B2B buyers with the highest orders
  • Your best performing product series
  • The avg. conversion rate on your e-commerce platform
  • Inventory turns
  • The pages with the highest bounce rate and the most common exit pages
  • The rate of repeat ordering
  • The increase or decrease in customer loyalty and repeat sales
  • The demand and supply gap for performing products
  • The cart abandonment rate and cancelled orders  
  • Product categories with least demand and sales
  • The overall order fulfilment rate
  • The overall shipping management cost
  • The number of new sellers registered per month
  • The deals offering the highest conversions
  • Upsells & cross-sell offers that increase the average order value
  • Overall annual and monthly profit ratio

These types of data metrics can help you analyse each inefficiency in your e-commerce strategy. You can then optimize your strategies and grow your B2B sales revenue accordingly. 

The inbuilt analytics tools also offer you reports to take a 360-degree view of your e-commerce performance. 

4. Superior B2B E-commerce Management Features

A significant part of your e-commerce success depends upon the efficiency of your e-commerce operations. 

A majority of the traditional e-commerce software fail to offer support for optimized backend technology. And the businesses using this software generally settle down for manual backend operations. These operations are inefficient, outdated, and often inaccurate owing to the large dependency on paperwork. 

As per a survey,

57% of B2B executives today feel that efficient backend technology is crucial for B2B e-commerce growth and it must be a part of e-commerce integration. 

An ideal B2B e-commerce solution offers you various backend management features like:

  • Intuitive buyer onboarding and KYC management feature
  • Automated inventory management feature with notifications
  • Buyer payment records management features
  • Delivery and shipping management features
  • Real-time order tracking features
  • Buyers contract management
  • Supply and demand management
  • Rewards and customer loyalty management
  • Deals and offer management

The use of these backend features can reduce or eliminate the dependency on paperwork. This increases the efficiency and accuracy of backend operations. 

Moreover, advanced B2B e-commerce software allows automation for various tasks like inventory management, supply chain management, etc. Automation reduces manual work significantly. 

You can now invest more efforts in optimizing your e-commerce strategy and growing your B2B sales instead of managing your e-commerce backend operations. 

5. Inventory and Supply Chain Management Capabilities

b2b e-commerce development

A majority of B2B businesses fail to optimize the inefficiencies in their supply chain management processes. These inefficiencies have a significant impact on the sales of a business and also increases the operations cost considerably. 

The traditional e-commerce software generally does not offer supply chain management features and this makes the B2B businesses rely on manual supply chain management processes. 

The inefficiencies in the manual supply chain management processes translate into:

  • Inefficient inventory management (off-putting “Out of Stock” notifications) 
  • Increased time and labour for supply chain management 
  • Slow and off-putting shipping management 
  • Increased shipping cost
  • Inaccuracies in order fulfilment 

43% of executives who manage the supply chain operations in the B2B businesses believe that inefficiencies in the supply chain are a crucial reason for increased shipping costs

Moreover, today, B2B buyers expect a faster order fulfilment rate and reduced shipping costs. If you fail to offer these perks, they are most likely to switch to your competitors. 

The surest way to bring these perks to your business is by employing advanced e-commerce software that offers dedicated supply chain management features. 

Some of the main features you must look out for: 

  • Automated inventory management
  • Automated task allocation to supply chain executives
  • Shipment tracking and notifications
  • Automated shipping records management
  • Easier and accurate shipping invoice management

You must look out for these features when opting for B2B e-commerce development. 

These features accelerate the supply chain management processes and also increase the accuracy of operations. With reduced manual efforts and a reduction in the size of supply chain staff, you can expect a significant reduction in the shipping cost.  

It will become easier for you to offer faster delivery to your buyers and at a reduced shipping cost. This will grow your B2B e-commerce sales and customer loyalty. 

6. Support for Personalization 

Over the past five years, consumer trends have evolved significantly. Today we are selling to smart buyers who prefer a personalized buying experience. 

In fact, 50% of B2B buyers research for B2B sellers that are willing to offer personalized shopping experiences. 

And a survey stated that the leading B2B e-commerce brands invest a considerable amount of their marketing budget in employing personalization. 

Personalized shopping experiences not only attract buyers, but it increases the repeat orders and also increases the average order value. 

However, some businesses are still reluctant in optimizing for personalization.

The right way to employ personalization for your B2B e-commerce website is by:

Employing AI-based tools for content personalization 

These tools use AI technology to utilize the buyer’s data and dynamically change the content of the page for him. 

The tool works better for B2B as compared to B2B, as the platform already has access to the buyers’ information. And therefore, the content is more relevant for the visitor. 

Offering personalized upsell and cross-sell deals via AI-based tools

Several upselling & cross-selling tools utilize AI and machine learning technology to promote personalized offers to buyers. These tools utilize the visitors buying habits, interests, previous orders information, and buyer profile data to offer highly relevant and valuable deals. 

Personalized upselling and cross-selling deals generally have high conversion potential. And these deals work the best for existing customers. 

Personalization is an important factor in B2B e-commerce development. And you must make sure that your B2B e-commerce software allows integration with the personalization tools. 

If your tool has an integrated data analytics feature, you can feed the user-metrics data and buying behaviour data to the AI-based tools. Based on the data, these tools can offer personalized content and offers to buyers for a high conversion rate. 

7. Seamless Integration with E-commerce Marketing Tools

So, if you are planning for B2B e-commerce development, you probably have your marketing strategy in place. If not plan it today. 

The relentless competition in the B2B e-commerce sector makes it evident that you need the right marketing strategy to establish good visibility online. 

And for that, you need to employ the right set of marketing tools. 

However, the first step is to ensure that the e-commerce platform you choose easily integrates with the advanced e-commerce marketing toolkit. 

This e-commerce marketing toolkit can include basic tools like: 

  • Email marketing tools for setting up automated emails offers, remarketing offers, etc. 
  • Upselling and cross-selling tools to promote personalized deals and increase the average order value
  • Social media marketing tools for social media promotions
  • SEO plugins and tools for better e-commerce SEO and higher visibility in the SERPs
  • Analytics tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, etc. 

These e-commerce marketing tools help you find the right exposure for your B2B business and can significantly grow your sales. 

However, several outdated e-commerce software offers little to no support for crucial e-commerce marketing tools. And it is advisable to upgrade your e-commerce software or employ a custom B2B e-commerce software for your business. 

Summing Up

The pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the B2B e-commerce landscape and you need the right arms to battle the tough competition in this sector. 

Therefore, take a look at the above 7 B2B e-commerce features and scrutinize your existing e-commerce software for these features. If your software falls short of some major B2B features you are most likely to lose important sales. And this might be the reason for your bland e-commerce performance.

So, consider upgrading to a more competent e-commerce software that offers all these essential features.

Moreover, if you are planning to start with B2B e-commerce development, you must look for a B2B e-commerce software that doesn’t just offer the above features but offers a custom-tailored solution for your business. 

It is advisable to consider B2B e-commerce as the future of B2B retail and replace your makeshift e-commerce arrangements with comprehensive B2B e-commerce software. 

If you think there are some other crucial B2B e-commerce features that are not covered in this write-up, let us know through the query form below.

Further, if you wish to know how to choose the best e-commerce software, you can connect with our e-commerce expert for a free consultation. 

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