How to choose the right B2B eCommerce open source platform?

B2B sales in the United States are approaching $1 trillion. That dwarfs the size of the B2C eCommerce market. B2B eCommerce is still in its infancy as most organizations are still figuring out the basics of strategy and development but one thing is becoming evident that a platform to manage and scale sales operations is a necessity. As a matter of fact, this article will list out ways to help you choose the right B2B eCommerce open source platform.

Functionality

B2B selling is different from B2C. B2B businesses have certain complexities and requirements when selling to other businesses. Your platform is going to have to meet those special needs. Look at the platforms that can provide functionality like:

Responsive Design

Online customers shop across different devices. They might check prices on a phone or tablet, but then complete the purchase on a desktop. Your platform should be able to accommodate this common type of buyer. Your web-content should render properly across multiple devices as buyers are often busy during the day operating their store(s).

Allowing your best customers to conveniently order on the go after hours on any devices makes it easier for your buyers to browse and complete purchases so they can focus on why they got into business to begin with. To enjoy their life outside of work.

Self-Service

Buyers and sales associates on the floor want to be able to find information and solve problems themselves. Your eCommerce experience should give them the ability to do that.

Customers should be able to find shipping information, track orders, approve quotes, see real-time inventory availability, and manage their accounts when they need to. Again, being able to self-serve outside of your operating hours which can vary greatly from retail hours is critical to building confidence with your accounts and makes it easier for buyers to buy from you.

A retail sales associate may be reluctant to showroom and sell your products if they can’t see your available inventory to avoid disappointment and lost commission from a ready-to-buy consumer.

Customer Specific Pricing

A unique need of B2B eCommerce is being able to offer customer-specific pricing and items for sales. Unlike B2C, your price can vary by who the customer is. Your platform should give you the ability to list different prices for each of your customers and the availability of items to offer exclusivity to select accounts.

Payment Options

B2B buyers purchase differently from B2C customers. Businesses typically buy larger orders. The orders could also be recurring or whenever inventory is out. Buyers are increasingly gravitating towards using credit cards for payment plus the ability to extend terms also is important. Bottomline, you need flexible payment options that let your buyers reach their business goals.

Give your customers options to pay one or many of their invoices, or even just part of their payment.

Platforms

Hosted, On-Premise vs Cloud-based

A hosted, on-premise platform means that the software must be installed on-site. You’re in charge of finding and maintaining the servers that the software will run on and likely require technical internal resources.

A fully hosted, cloud-based Commerce platform is hosted by the service providers. You can access your web store from any web browser, as long as you have an internet connection. The difference in these platform types affects many areas such as customization, maintenance, PCI compliance, security, and costs.

To help their audience find what they need faster, they created the Project Tool App. This app assists tradespeople with project management, finding products online, and communicating with their team, no matter where they are.

Selco was able to see a gap in the market for something that would connect their customer base with what they needed, faster. By discovering new ways to invest in digital technologies, they were able to generate 600,000+ more website visits, sell more products online, and create an all-in-one solution for their customers.

Conclusion

Choosing the right B2B eCommerce open source platform for your business takes time and research. It’s an investment in your business. Your platform should help you achieve your strategy in both the short-term and long-term. Like B2C Commerce, just because you build it, doesn’t necessarily mean buyers will log in and place orders. Consider strategies on how you can make your B2B more compelling for buyers to visit as part of their regular workflow.

If you are a beginner and looking for a tool that involves some of these elements at the same time then check out Grit Global. A Magento b2b website that offers you multiple channels, flexibility in creating customizing catalogs, prices as well as Comprehensive Inventory Management Features. You will not have to worry and do tasks on your own with this genius invention. Let this be a part of your journey ahead. 


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