Within the last five years, the rise of eCommerce platforms has been phenomenal such that every second we are bombarded by different products. Nevertheless, it will be wrong to assume that everything about online shopping lies in business-to-customer (B2C) platforms alone. Recent studies from Forrester Research show that the United States business-to-business eCommerce industry will reach over $1.3 trillion over the next five years. In other words, this figure will double the B2C market size.
Therefore, to acquire a B2B buyer, you need to provide a seamless and customized shopping experience that comes with automation. To up your game and win in this ever-competitive industry, you need to provide a self-service option for B2B buyers. To do that, you need to consider the enterprise eCommerce platform you would use.
What is a B2B eCommerce Platform?
Business to business eCommerce is an online platform where the parties involved are businesses. What facilitates the transaction is the eCommerce platform, which is a software-based solution. The software is responsible for presenting and providing relevant information to increase sales.
What to consider for enterprise eCommerce Platform?
The first thing to consider is the cost of acquiring the platform because a hosted solution will cost more. It comes with the software fees, development costs, maintenance cost of hosting the platform, and the IT team costs. Furthermore, Paas or SaaS platform often requires monthly fees for support, hosting, maintenance, and security. You need to consider these as they will help you determine the overall cost of operating the software.
Security of the eCommerce platform must be top-notch. Today, the rise of online theft and hacking is on the rise, and you need a platform that offers security for your business. Here, you have to consider if it is your responsibility or a third-party team to maintain the security of your platform. Most cloud-based platforms offer client security since the data is on their servers. It means they are responsible for managing your security.
What maintenance features does the eCommerce platform offer? Here, you have to consider if it performs routine check out on the platform or you have to schedule maintenance on the system manually
Features, add-ons, integrations
Integration is an important thing to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform. It should effectively integrate the platform with other systems to enable it to work both online and offline. If you have a well-integrated platform, it will allow you to deliver a better customer experience. When analyzing different platforms, you need to check if the platform can work with POS or ERP systems.
Most eCommerce platforms have a trial period that you should take the most advantage of. Moreover, don’t miss out on maximizing efficiency for your stores. Try our automation apps for free: BigCommerce Automation, Shopify Automation.
Customization allows you to customers various aspects of the platform. You can enable you to customer business units, product lists, and individual customers or buyers. Analysis shows that over 75% of business-to-business brands increase sales when they provide a customizable customer experience.
Most times, eCommerce stores fail because of their rigidity and decision to depend on a particular template. However, there is no one size fits all solution to meeting the needs of customers for any business. Therefore, when choosing an eCommerce platform, ensure it allows customizable experienced instead of using an already-made template.
Further reading: Comparing top B2B eCommerce platforms.