How to set up a b2b eCommerce website

Surya SK
October 9, 2021

Modern-day tech has pushed B2B companies to migrate to the phase of online business, which ensures the growth and development of a smooth functioning website. But, unfortunately, there are a lot of challenges that the best B2B eCommerce websites face and pose as a challenge to even capable developers.

Table of contents

1. Pre-implementation

2. Progress post-implementation

3. Post-launching of eCommerce website

Why do you need a b2b eCommerce website?

Words can lie, but numbers don't, and there is no shortage of accurate stats to back the market and potential of B2B e-commerce. Here are some compelling stats showcased:

Why do you need a b2b eCommerce website


These stats prove that there is an increasing demand from consumers for B2B marketplaces. 

Guide to building a B2B online website

1. Pre-implementation

Do Market Research And Define Your Niche before you begin the development of a B2B eCommerce website, store owners must decide what type of product or service they are going to provide to the market. This is based on their resources in hand and the demands of the market. However, without understanding the need for wholesalers, all your effort into starting a website would amount to nothing. 

  • View trending Products

People are always intrigued by products that are trending at the moment. A safe way to flow your business is to run it along with the products that are receiving high demands. For example, given the pandemic situation, selling masks of different types could attract more traffic as masks are essential, and people keep changing them. 

However, you can also attack a market that is yet to be exploited. There are always demands for products or services that haven't been met by any or have few suppliers. If you can potentially tap into this niche, your B2B eCommerce website can thrive with ease.

  • Mind Your Resources And Budgets

Try to stick with a niche within your budget and resources or expand your resources to accommodate your niche. For example, you might find a product/service that is intriguing, but if it doesn't fit within your resource or budget, then shelf the product for business for the time being.  

Why do you need a b2b eCommerce website

  • Arrange Crucial Data For B2B Web development

a. Resource Arrangement- It's necessary to plan and acquire enough resources to make sure you allow your B2B eCommerce website to develop. Outsourcing is a great way for acquiring resources.

b. Budget- Store owners can paint huge ambitions, but you still need to function a site within your budget limitations. Prior preparation will help you negate unwanted additional fees in the process of web development. Additionally, when you optimize your budget efficiently and invest in powerful tools, your B2b eCommerce business will potentially generate higher sales.

c. Competitor analysis- Take a look at and study the people who have been in the industry for a while and the people who are beginning with you. Analyze their websites' functioning, overall performance, engagement with customers, marketing and sales events, etc.

  • Know your Target audience

It would give you a kickstart if you begin your B2B eCommerce website in a domain where you can understand your customers well. Try to understand your customers better to engage more with them. Define your target audience and their tendencies and develop your business based upon their habits. This allows you to customize the functioning of your website to match the demands of your customer. The needs can be related to the user interface, visuality, professional ethics, website design, content, etc. 

Know your Target audience

  • Pick the right Platform For Your B2B ECommerce Development

Many platforms come with various functionalities, and a wide range of prices appear on the market to suit even the super-rigid budgets. Platforms like Shopify and Growmax have a $29 basic plan, while platforms like Pepperi and CS-cart have the basic plan from $500 and $399  respectively. You just have to acknowledge what type of business you are and compare their functionalities to see what you need and go for it. 


2. Progress post-implementation

  • Buy A Domain Name & Server Hosting

A domain name is an ID to attest to your website's existence. You can purchase a domain at various price points from different suppliers on the market. The same theory can be imposed on the hosting service too. It would be great if you had a place to store essential material for the website, such as systems, images, and videos. You can't use your PC, as off-beat access to the Internet will change the IP address, which is why you require hosting to protect the site's content. Also, it allows users to access your B2B website whenever and wherever they want.

  • Form A Team Of Web Developers

A web developer is needed to develop a website, and it's as simple as that. A web developer is going to help you sculpt your website to be aesthetic and functional to its best. Now, whether you hire a freelance developer, agency, or form your team depends upon your funds in hand and resources.  

Form A Team Of Web Developers‍

  • Use A B2B Theme Matching Your Business motive

The layout of the website is probably the first thing that customers glance at when they visit your website. Unfortunately, a sub-par aesthetic is never inviting and has never drawn the attention of customers, which ultimately doesn't translate to higher sales. Therefore, keep your layout aesthetic. Your B2B eCommerce website template should convey what you're trying to sell precisely and let your brand voice be known from the moment customers visit your site. 

  • Include Essential Elements For A Website

A website must hold the following functionalities to make sure you get the highest customer satisfaction and conversion rates. 

a. Arrange based on your Purchasing Flow - Arrange your web pages on the website and make your mind on the categories that you want to keep. This will ensure an organized website. Every online retail store has a homepage that is linked to the different products on that page. However, how you arrange these product pages is what matters, as it allows the customers to locate the products they want with ease.
b. Create A Convenient Search Bar- Your site's search bar is the navigator for your customers as it helps them land on the right products and pages that they want. The search bar is incredibly convenient when your target audience is companies who place orders in bulk, as they need a quick and accurate search tool to locate their items.

c. Use Secure Firewalls- You can strengthen your brand image and latch on to customer's preferences by implementing security protocols and PCI compliance. 

d. Fasten Page Loading Speed- In B2B websites where large transactions occur, website loading speed and transition between pages are essential. In addition, B2B customers have a lot of tasks at hand and can't deal with webpage lags. Thus, aim to increase the speed of your website to deliver a hassle-free shopping experience and smooth navigation for customers.

e. Use SSL To Protect Your Customers- 'Secure Sockets Layer' known commonly as SSL, is a worldwide technology security standard that integrates between the web server and the web browser. This interlink makes sure that all the data transferred and exchanged between the web server and the browser is safe and secure.

f. Improve Website Security- Conducting business online needs an increased standard of data security. The bare minimum plan is to secure your website with the help of SSL certificates and provide user authentications. 

  • Infuse Your Online Store With B2B Features

If you want to build an elite website that can showcase your professionalism and brand image, then make sure your online store is filled with B2B features. 

a. Quote management- Merchants usually go through a negotiation process to closeout deals. Few products and categories won't showcase their prices, which pressures the B2B customers to give out a quotation. The admin users will, in turn, approve, renegotiate or reject the quotation depending upon their will. The data is sent back to the customers' dashboard, and this process continues until the desired deal is made.

b. MOA- Setting an MOA (Minimum order amount) is essential to increase your bottom line. Running an eCommerce site requires you to manage a large quantity of stock that is sold on a day-to-day ground. Shop owners will have to check in regular intervals and estimate a valid minimum order quantity based upon their ROI and target customers.

c. Instant bulk & reorder facility- To accelerate the process of purchasing, a quick order form would be the go-to option. Link your store with a choice to place orders under a form so that you don't have to navigate to every individual product page. It would be best if you also kept an eye out for repeated orders because the return rate of B2B transactions is tremendously huge. It would be easier if the customer dashboard could store the list of items that are ordered to aid with future potential repurchases. This can and will help with product recommendations which will help you to suggest products to every individual customer based on their previous browsing habits and purchases. 

d. Secure payment portals- Payment modes like credit cards and Paypal are compatible in a B2C set-up, but for B2B eCommerce sites, you'll have to give your clients multiple payment options to allow them to pay any way they wish to. As a B2B company, you tend to cater to the customers of various groups situated in multiple countries and regions around the world. You definitely do not want to limit your shipping and payment options to a specific group of customers alone.

  • Test Your B2B Website Before You Go Live

Before you release any product formally, it's essential to see where your website stands among its competitors in terms of performance. Testing your website gives store owners a chance to view your site from the customer's viewpoint and then make necessary amendments if there are any. You will need certified testers to check the performance of your website in the best and worst cases. Here are few points to keep in check:

a. Make your website user-friendly for everyone to use with ease.

b. Please find out the reasons for customers to abandon carts after adding the products to their shopping carts.

c. Double-check your website to spot grammatical and spelling mistakes. This can spoil credibility. 

d. Check if your website is easy for customers to navigate through. 

e. Your website must be compatible with all devices to gain maximum traction and traffic.

f. Last but not least, make sure there are no broken links. 

g. Debug the bugs in your website

  • Go Live

After checking your website's performance, it's time to go live now to understand your customers better and gain more insights into their wants and needs. Therefore, attracting more potential customers.  

3. Post-launching of eCommerce website

  • Leverage Digital Marketing

Take leverage of digital marketing. Start maintaining blogs, write more content to inform customers about your purpose, and make use of other simple strategies like SEO and email marketing. Once your customers subscribe to your mailing list, you can work with your email marketing strategies.

Leverage Digital Marketing‍

  • Evaluate Website Performance

Here are a few points to check when evaluating your website's performance. 

a. Check your monthly traffic and sources, including search engine searches, social channel engagement, paid ads, and more.

b. Check your conversion to customer visit ratio.

c. Analyze the Product sales volume of your products.

d. Analyze your average order value, return on advertising spend, average time spent by a customer on-page, bounce, and cart abandonment rate.

  • Maintain And Upgrade B2B Website Performance

Once you reach a plateau where you can implement more features on your B2B site and can't meet the current requirements as well as scalability, then you'll have to maintain and upgrade your services. This has few key benefits, as follows:

a. No security issues and loopholes

b. The smooth operation of business and management

c. Flawless user experience


How can Growmax eCommerce help your business?

Growmax eCommerce has endless benefits and functionalities to boost your business to where it needs to be and here are some of the key features that might draw you in:

  • Better conversion rates

The B2B model of Growmax eCommerce boosts supply chain management processes. This will eventually help increase customer loyalty due to improved convenience and better facilitation of workflow, which translates to better sales and conversion value. The Sales rep app makes it easy to take orders online, check on inventory, and sync orders to the ERP automatically. With the help of the sales rep app, you can allow your reps to run a seamless sales process and produce a top-notch customer experience with the utmost efficiency.

  • Flexible pricing

Automating processes like sales, purchasing, inventory can bring about some flexible pricing strategies, i.e., prices automatically adjusted to your volume of sales and history of the order, meaning that the cost can vary from customer to customer. Such transparent fees reduce the possibility of errors and thus prevent the business from unwanted expenditures.

  • Long-term partnerships

Relationships in B2B eCommerce platforms are more like partnerships whereas, in B2C, relationships are classified more like traditional "buyer-seller." So, B2b companies in these partnerships maintain long-term relationships as it is crucial for the success of both parties. In addition, companies that make B2B products, services, or software can develop these relationships via eCommerce because of efficiency.

Long-term partnerships

  • Better market stability

B2B model has a more predictable and stable market when compared to other business strategies, so it has fewer unforeseen issues. The consistent growth of B2B can help companies align with the constantly changing market conditions, establish their presence online, and generate more clients. Well-built eCommerce platforms don't have to depend on salespeople to be profitable. You can keep a stable flow of qualified leads with an optimized site.

  • Opportunity to enter international grounds

Modern-day technology such as Artificial intelligence chatbots ensures the 24/7 presence of digital sales channels in B2B. Such availability makes sure to eliminate time zone differences. In addition, it allows a company to sell its products and services in almost any country and region of the world, significantly scaling and expanding the business's target customers.

  • 99% availability & hosted on AWS cloud

Growmax ensures that the platform will run at all times without any form of downfall. You don’t have to worry about server downtime. The eCommerce platform is available at all times for its customers and functional for its vendors and visitors. 

  • Built-in PWA Mobile app

With the progressive web app (PWA), the business owners and the customers can install Growmax on desktop or mobile devices just like native apps. You can install the app directly from the website without the need for app store distribution or approval.

Built-in PWA Mobile app‍

  • Provides complete quotation and order management

Avoid any form of unwanted dependencies. Enable your customers to select items they prefer and place orders instantly without any external help or hassles. Customers have the opportunity to reorder the previously ordered item in their account history via a single click.

Conclusion

The motive of your website should be to provide B2B services with all of the functionalities that a B2C shopper would expect and want, from special discounts, custom offers to product recommendations, and the capability to browse through multiple products. 

You can't expect to be the favorites by just creating a B2B website. Even the best B2B websites don’t become successful on their own.

Even with all the aesthetics and functionalities of your website, marketing and promotion are what helps in bringing in traction. If your website is interactive, engaging and fully stocked with all of the services & functions your customers need — then you're good to begin your B2B journey! Good luck!