In recent years, the business-to-business model has gained tremendous momentum as more and more merchants go online. Intending to improve efficiency, these wholesale companies seek out web-based, automated solutions. But this kind of B2B online is tricky to set up. The ordering process is more complex, the back-end processes are intricate, and it has a large collection of features to keep the show running. Thus, the business goals and working model of a B2C business are vastly different. A B2C company has a diverse group of customers with smaller ticket sizes and single or multiple purchases. Those who purchase in B2B businesses tend to be fewer, and they place larger orders.
With such a small clientele, maintaining a strong relationship with clients is essential to a wholesale business’ success. In other words, for any enterprise company looking to convert its business into an online store, it’s imperative to think about how convenient it will be for their clients. The best way to achieve this is to choose an e-commerce solution that ensures a seamless buying experience. A good online store must also be user-friendly, as that will ultimately attract a large number of customers.
Unlike B2C sales, wholesale purchases are more rational, fact-based, and done in large quantities while following a well-planned strategy. The purpose of a business-to-business website is therefore to facilitate the decision-making process of its clients by providing them with some unique features.
Take a look at the top 5 engaging tools and features that will ensure your B2B website’s success.
5 Key Features That Will Help Your B2B Website to Succeed
1. Smooth User Experience
Ensure that’s your top priority! Whatever platform you choose for your customers – a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet, you need to make sure your website is responsive and optimized for a seamless shopping experience. In an offline mode of transaction, you will find a point of contact for both the buying and selling parties, i.e. a manager who acts as an intermediary. Negotiations and discounts are handled by him before the final deal is negotiated. It is a standard practice among enterprise buyers.
When these customers are operating online, they require a similar if not a superior user experience. The customer experience must be seamless, effortless, and straightforward. They will feel right at home!
2. Multiple Payment Channels
In a B2B setting, larger payment volumes, more frequent sales, and greater complexity mean that payment channels must be more effective than in a B2C setting. Cash flow is improved through swift issuing, receiving, and processing of payments. Effective payment solutions can help make all this possible.
Thus, merely offering multiple payment options isn’t enough. To effectively reach its intended audience, a wholesale setup should offer flexible payment options. Besides offering a variety of international and national payment gateways, B2B sites should also accept bank transfers, COD, offline payments, credit cards, and debit cards, etc. to provide clients with flexibility. Both parties benefit from such customized checkout flows and flexible payment modes, especially when bulk purchases are involved. Resources and time are saved. Pay attention to the fact that a website’s payment gateway needs to support the varied needs of all parties involved and should be easy to use and secure.
Virtual payments must be secured through strong and safe e-commerce gateways. In this way, vendors will be more confident when dealing with new and unidentified clients.
3. Personalized Pricing
Pricing is a key factor for the success of any business and it becomes even more important for a wholesale business. Given the nature of business, B2B pricing is not uniform for its clients as in the case of the B2C environment. The pricing in a business-to-business environment is sensitive, critical, and dynamic which is based on order volume, purchase frequency, relationship with any given client, perceived product value, economic environment, etc.
So, a successful wholesale online solution provider must offer personalized pricing. This feature will enable the enterprise business to adjust its pricing to offer special deals to each of its clients. However, it must keep in mind all the variable factors. Also, the e-commerce platform must have the feature of segment-based pricing. This will allow the wholesaler to offer special or customized pricing to a segmented customer group. For example, if a wholesaler wants to target a new foreign market, he may want to offer specific discounts to tap a potential client. The website must be equipped to handle such special situations.
Employing an effective pricing strategy in a B2B environment can be really complex. For a successful run, the wholesale business should also provide options for minimum order quantity, retail pricing, pricing overrides where price changes based on client login, and few other features for exclusive circumstances. A business-to-business platform that is equipped with features to tweak prices or provides flexible pricing configuration capabilities definitely gives a winning edge to your wholesale business.
4. Confidentiality and Security
Every business environment places a great deal of importance on keeping business secrets confidential. The order process for a B2B company is typically complex, unlike a B2C scenario. As a result, segregating one user group from the other is an important part of a wholesale environment. It is important to include features like reseller logins, business registration with the website, etc. for maintaining confidentiality.
Let’s imagine a scenario where a variety of roles have varying levels of access to a database for an online wholesale business. The solution provider should provide the security features necessary to implement granular user roles, audit logs, separate vendor dashboards (in case of a marketplace environment) so that it becomes easier to assign different roles to different user groups in this scenario. The whole database is secured in this way.
The B2B e-commerce industry also must incorporate a login-based access feature for its clients. Besides offering special pricing and deals to maintain confidentiality, this feature also allows customers to restrict purchases from unidentified clients and unknown locations that can pose a security and safety risk.
5. Multiple Shipping Channels
A hassle-free, simplified shipping process is crucial to the success of any e-commerce business, regardless of its nature, size, and type. Nevertheless, streamlined shipping can be challenging for wholesale businesses since they ship large volumes of goods to both their clients and to their warehouses located around the country.
The same levels of reliability and responsiveness are expected by wholesale customers also for freight transportation. By ensuring that products are delivered on time and without damage, businesses can increase their reliability. E-commerce platforms that integrate shipping should be considered by wholesale businesses wishing to sell domestically as well as internationally.
To facilitate bulk orders, shorten the time it takes to print labels, and ensure organized pick-ups, the shipping channel must be automated.
Consider offering discounts on shipping rates, flat shipping rates, and free shipping (if possible), as well as timely deliveries, comprehensive coverage, and a distribution center. Your wholesale business will benefit from these features since they enhance customer retention.
The quality and work ethic of your business is reflected in your website. It is important to build a trusting and long-lasting business relationship with your customers and website visitors by providing a seamless and positive experience. In addition, it inevitably increases conversions and increases business growth.
Due to the proliferation of B2B e-commerce platforms available in the market, it can sometimes be difficult to find a platform with all the required features. E-commerce platforms offer comprehensive solutions to help wholesaler businesses maximize their ROI by handling the differentiated needs of B2B websites.
Would you like to start your own website? Well, you need to search for a solution with the above-mentioned features. You should also opt for a free trial if you find these features on an e-commerce platform. It will give you a clear understanding of its functionality, as well as an opportunity to explore its features before making a final decision.