What is B2B eCommerce?
In short – “the sale of goods or services between businesses via an online sales portal. In general, it is used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s sales efforts.”
Why is B2B eCommerce important?
We have all seen a massive shift to online shopping over the past few years, and even more so as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the 2021 B2B Ecommerce Market Report, sales on B2B ecommerce sites grew by 10% in 2021 to $1.39 trillion, up from $1.26 trillion in 2019 (Source).
Recent shifts in B2B buying behavior has forced businesses to evolve and invest in long-term digital commerce strategies. Some of the key B2B consumer trends we’re seeing today include:
- Online shopping is here to stay and customers are showing preferences for digital self-service
- Mobile commerce is on the rise
- B2B marketplaces are growing in popularity and are expected to continue to grow
- B2B buyers expect personalization experiences and are even willing to pay more
- Consumers are looking for convenience in their ecommerce experience - fast and free shipping
While the B2C market is changing at a fast pace to keep up with customer demand, the B2B market, is also shifting in needs and feature desires.
“If you are in the B2B space, now is the time to take a serious look at your ecommerce channel and online presence and evaluate if your organization is ready for the upcoming B2B digital revolution.”
– Carla Gonzales (B2B ecommerce: start with a plan)
Just like B2C, eCommerce adoption will become inevitable even for those in the B2B space. “According to 2020 research by McKinsey & Company, more than 75% of B2B buyers and sellers say that they prefer purchasing online and prefer remote interactions with sales reps over the traditional in-person sales interactions. Whereas only 20% of B2B buyers say they want traditional in-person sales in return.”
As our founder Harry Chemko stated back in 2018 – B2B will look more like B2C. Just like B2C business models, it will be critical for B2B companies to create immersive, contextual commerce experiences. (Commerce Trends: Personalization in B2B)
So where do you start? That’s where this blog is here to help – we will take a look at an example of ten B2B eCommerce websites, that are following on trend, and reaching more customers in the new digital era.
B2B ECommerce Website Best Practices:
- Give your customers the ability to virtually configure and bundle complex products on their own
- Offer consumers the ability to create a quote digitally or easily request a quote and connect with your team
- Make it easy for customers to create and manage product orders, order in bulk, or re-order. You could also offer the ability to save shopping carts or lists
- Provide multiple payment options for B2B buyers such as the ability to pay with a credit card or via a purchase order
- Keep your website clean, simple, and easy to navigate.
- Ensure your website loads quickly. Web performance is vital for both the end user experience and also Google’s search algorithm.
- Leverage website content (blogs, articles, product pages, videos) to answer customer-centric questions focused on your core personas like the following:
- How are you different from your competitors?
- What are your goals and how will your website help you attain those?
- What are your core product features and functionality?
- What do your products cost and how can I buy?
- What doesn’t your service or product provide?
- When would I receive your product? What do others think? (reviews, case studies, etc)
- How do I contact you? If you are providing a service, how does someone cancel?
- Ensure your website is providing a clear company vision and consistent brand messaging so your customers will perceive your business is best in brand and the one they want to align themselves with.
10 of the Best B2B Ecommerce Website Designs
Magnetica.com is an Australian-based manufacturer of MRI systems and technologies that was founded in 2005.
What makes their website stand out to me is their clean, easy to read, and fantastic color tone for their home page. There is zero confusion on where to go for the information you are looking for.
Key takeaways Magnetica does well:
- Cohesive Color Scheme
- Easy to use homepage and product categorization
- Clear descriptions of products Integrated CTA
- Easy contact us option
Alibaba.com is the largest ecommerce company in the world and provides the largest B2B online marketplace.
Key takeaways Alibaba does well:
- Provides support for many different languages
- Easy to use product catalog
- Ranked products highlighted
- Company to consumer messaging
- Offer bundles
Grammarly.com is a cloud-based writing assistant that checks for grammar, spelling, punctuation and more. Their site does a fantastic job of showing their prospective consumers what they offer and in an easy-to-understand approach.
Key takeaways Grammarly does well:
- Clean and simple
- Easy to digest information without the distractions
- Example of product in use
- Fast load times
Keysight Technologies is an American manufacturing company that develops electronic test and measurement equipment and software. They are dedicated to “Enabling customers to connect and secure the world with their innovations.
Key takeaways Keysight does well:
- Easy to utilize support options
- Save cart/shopping list
Read our case study on Keysight here.
In need of a back-end B2B ecommerce solution?
Elastic Path can help you deliver seamless, unique customers experiences by powering core, backend ecommerce functionality designed to fit any website UI you want.Learn more
If you are looking to hire a candidate or are the one searching for an opportunity checkout Hirelevel.com
Key takeaways Hirelevel does well:
- Easy to navigate
- Clear message from the homepage
- Clearly drives individuals to correct services
- Fantastic blog content
- Appealing and welcoming visuals and layout
Rollpark.us helps to create customizable parking areas for commercial vehicles.
Key takeaways Rollpark does well:
- Video of product in action
- CTA Linked case studies
- Quote option
- Timeline of installation and outlined process
- Easy to digest specs page
Bio-techne.com develops, manufactures, and sells life science reagents, instruments and services for the research, diagnostic and bioprocessing markets.
Key takeaways Bio-techne does well:
- Live chat
- Services and products outlined in an easy to digest manner
- Visually pleasing colors and graphics
- Easy to use header
Read more on Bio-techne in our Case Study: https://www.elasticpath.com/case-studies/bio-techne
Amazon.com is a globally recognized B2B and B2C platform, which for the most part, houses every product you could think of.
Key takeaways Amazon does well:
- Saved shopping carts
- Useful filters to better sort products
- Multi sellers offer bargains for shoppers
- Multi language
- Customer chat
- Easy returns
SnapDeal.com is another B2B ecommerce marketplace that has gone above its primarily electronic catalog it first started with in 2010.
Key takeaways SnapDeal does well:
- Optimized filters
- Easy to use interface
- Order tracking app
- Pin code to check for fastest delivery options
Acme.com provides industrial solutions for their customers.
Key takeaways Acme does well:
- Minimalist approach
- High quality photos of products in use
- Easy to digest pages
- Easy to distinguish between products and services
- Detailed specs
- Contact us information
In conclusion what the above websites have taken into consideration are the buyers journey. By keeping things accessible, convenient and decluttered you takeaway any hurdles that may keep buyers from using your platform and or service. In a world of many, make sure you take time to tell your story, and what sets you apart from the rest. What makes your company and the way you offer your products stand out.
If you would like to find out more on how Elastic Path can help scale your B2B platform read more here on our new pre-composed solutions for B2B Commerce.