Online shopping started off with the B2C segment and is now operating at full capacity. The B2B segment was slow to enter the ecommerce industry but is now finally catching up. The B2C platform took off because at the end of every touch point there is a human that is emotion driven. This point was used by B2C platforms for many years to evolve to where they are today.
The B2B platform used to be just another extension to the B2C segment but now it follows an independente-commerce business model.
When people thing B2B the first thing that comes to mind is equipment and machinery. This is not a wrong observation as the e-commerce platform was quite niche when it started out but nowadays, they have moved into jewellery, clothes, cosmetics and even food.
The B2B industry has a complex pricing strategy. Keep this in mind when creating a b2b ecommerce platform. So, when compared to the B2C segment no two orders are the same. Different customers receive different unit prices so final order prices can vary. Pricing of each customer depends on the type of products, frequency of order and difference in geographical locations.
A b2b ecommerce website should be able to handle different pricing models.
Bulk Discounts and Promotions
This is part of the B2C segment too but is more prevalent with B2B customers. Providing discounts and promotions increases customer loyalty and also allow bulk orders.
When you have promotions going on your website must be able to handle big customer loads. The site should also be adaptive to segment different types of customers to which the promotions apply.
Minimum Order Value
Most stores that serve the B2B sector have minimum order values. So, to make sure that you can manage your margins and make a profit while selling in bulk it a must have feature to include a minimum order value.
You should also be able to change this threshold value for different products.
Every e-commerce platform should be able to handle tax related issues. However, a B2B platform should be able to handle tax exemptions as well because some items are not taxed.
This is one of the primary features that every e-commerce platform should have. Having an user registration function will allow you get more information about the customer and allow you personalize your catalogue.
Flexible Payment Plans
This is one of the main features of the B2B segment and it is now gaining traction in the B2C sector as well. B2B websites should have both online and offline methods.
Credit methods should also be available because when buying in bulk it is general practice to pay in credit.
Reports and Complaints
This is another essential feature of any ecommerce website. Dissatisfied customers are your worst enemy, so it is important to have a feature to handle all positive and negative comments.
You should also allow customers to rate sellers so that trust can be built between the buyers and customers.
With the B2B online platform taking off you must have these features to stay relevant and competitive. Coming late into the party is completely fine as long as you catch up.