As a small business owner, you know that your customers are increasingly turning to the internet for their shopping needs. According to The National Retail Federation, online sales reached $721 billion in 2018, and they’re expected to grow by another 15% by 2024. But as exciting as this growth is for retailers, managing an eCommerce operation on your own can be challenging. That’s why choosing one of the best eCommerce platforms for B2B that supports your business goals is essential.
Why use an eCommerce platform?
Using an eCommerce platform is a no-brainer if your business sells products online. It allows you to:
- Sell more products. If you’re only selling through one channel (e.g., Amazon) and want to expand into other channels such as eBay or Shopify, this won’t be easy without some eCommerce tool. Most platforms offer integrations with multiple marketplaces so that you can sell across all channels from one place – a huge time-saver.
- Reach a wider audience than ever before by making it easier for people around the world who aren’t familiar with your brand yet to find out about what you do and what sets your company apart from its competitors’ offerings in their local markets where they live or work abroad on holiday tours.
The main features of B2B eCommerce platforms
As a business owner, you’re looking at your eCommerce platform as the backbone of your entire operation. In other words, it needs to be strong and sturdy if you want it to last. Here are some things to consider when choosing what type of platform will work best for your company:
- Easy-to-use interface: The first thing that comes up when people think about B2B eCommerce platforms is how easy they are for non-technical users like yourself or other employees who aren’t tech experts but need access to data for their jobs at the company (like customer service reps) run smoothly. This means that whatever system you choose should be intuitive enough so that anyone can figure out how everything works without needing training sessions or extra help from IT staff members whenever they log in or make changes on their own accord.
- Good security: Another important aspect of any software program used by businesses today is whether or not it offers adequate protection against cyber threats such as viruses/malware attacks which could potentially harm computer networks/systems if left unchecked over time due to lackadaisical practices among users themselves.
Standard features of B2B eCommerce platforms
The most common features of B2B eCommerce platforms are:
- Multiple payment methods, including credit cards and electronic checks.
- Multiple languages, so you can reach customers who speak other languages.
- Customizable storefronts and product catalogs so that they reflect your brand and message. For example, an online clothing store would have a different look than an electronics or sporting goods store. Likewise, each item category might have its layout and description style (e.g., shirts vs. pants vs. dresses).
Features that can help you improve your bottom line
When it comes to features, you have a lot of options. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Customer experience: Your customers want an excellent shopping experience that is both easy and enjoyable. Features like product information management (PIM), product catalog management (PCM), search and discovery capabilities, personalization, and recommendation engines help your customers find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. In addition, if there are any issues with their order or payment method during checkout – such as incorrect billing information – your eCommerce platform should provide tools that allow you to address those problems before they become frustration points for your customer base.
- Product information/management: Your eCommerce platform should give merchants access to all their products in one place, so they don’t have to spend time searching through multiple systems just because one part of the business uses another type of software tool altogether (eBay vs. Shopify). The best eCommerce platforms will also offer powerful reporting capabilities so merchants can monitor trends in sales volume over time or compare performance across different categories based on factors such as price point or location where each item was sold within its respective category set up within each channel (website vs. mobile app).
Ease of user experience & design
One of the most important considerations when choosing a platform is the user experience. A good eCommerce site should be easy to use, navigate, understand, and access information on your products and services.
It should also make it simple for customers to buy your products or services and pay for them. The best eCommerce platforms have intuitive designs responsive across different devices (phones/tablets/laptops).
Support for multi-channel selling and omnichannel management
While most eCommerce platforms support multi-channel selling and omnichannel management, choosing a platform that can integrate with the other tools in your business is crucial. For example, if you’re already using a CRM and marketing automation software like HubSpot or Marketo, hundreds of integrations are available for those platforms. You’ll want an eCommerce solution that supports those integrations so your data can seamlessly be shared across all systems.
Security & Fraud Protection Features
Security and fraud protection features are essential to consider. You want to ensure that your eCommerce platform has the tools you need to prevent payment fraud, protect customer data, and ensure the overall security of your site.
- Fraud prevention: Many eCommerce platforms offer built-in tools that help you detect fraudulent activity (such as credit card skimming) on your site so you can take action before it becomes a problem.
- Security features: Look for an eCommerce solution with built-in encryption technology or other security measures that protect sensitive data from hackers and unauthorized access attempts by third parties who may attempt to gain access through brute force attacks or other means such as phishing emails sent by cybercriminals who try tricking customers into giving up their login credentials through fake sites designed to look like legitimate shopping sites but contain malware intended for stealing passwords and account information from unsuspecting shoppers
Mobile-friendly platform & responsive design
A mobile-friendly platform is vital for several reasons, including SEO and sales. The search engine ranking algorithm greatly values the user experience regarding mobile devices. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, Google will see that and rank you lower than other sites focusing on usability on every device (including desktops).
Similarly, if potential customers can’t easily find what they’re looking for on your eCommerce store or if it takes too long to load, then they’re likely going elsewhere–and this is especially true when we consider how many people now use their phones as their primary source of internet browsing.
The mobile-friendly design also plays a vital role in customer support: customers expect instant responses from brands, whether via email or social media platforms such as Twitter & Facebook Messenger; however, due to increased usage by consumers worldwide over recent years, there has been an increase in demand from consumers which means businesses must adapt quickly otherwise risk losing out altogether.
The best eCommerce platform for B2B allows you to create a website that sells products or services. The eCommerce platform should also be easy to use and integrate into your existing business systems.