A checklist for selecting the best B2B Ecommerce platform.

So you have plans to move your B2B business into the digital space. The first step you would have to take is identifying a platform that will suit your business model. Unlike traditional ecommerce shops, B2B is an entirely different ball game, and there is probably no “one fits all” platform available in the market today.

As the business model differs from customer to customer so does the platforms features and capabilities. To ensure you have the right fit model for your business we have compiled a to-do checklist, featuring the essentials for any B2B platform. You can use it to ensure that you have identified all the requirements before moving to build you store.

We have compiled this check list on two parts- from a customer usability perspective (Front end website) and an admin perspective (backend admin tools), taking into consideration the following features which we believe are essential for any B2B commerce.

Customer usability (Front End Interface)

Design & Customisation:

The basics have to be done right for any Ecommerce business – Design, UI, customizations & personalisation forms the fundamentals of an ecommerce portal & defines a user’s willingness to engage on the platform.

 You might be running a B2B portal with complex functionalities, but is it masked by a simple, intuitive & neat UI that gives the consumer a familiar ‘B2C like’ experience with familiar shopping screens?
 Does customization offer the ability to personalise UI for different clients including real-time, tailored catalogue views, suggested products, personalised discounts, Geo-targeted product listing and available products for individual customers, contracts, brands and territories.

Also Read:
The essential Admin Tools On Succesful B2B Ecommerce platforms
Trending Ecommerce Concepts that are Shaking the World- Part 1
The Best Shipping Providers in India for e-commerce start-ups

Intuitive Buying process:

The interfaces presented for the buying process on an ecommerce platform is what primarily makes a consumer return to your portal.

 Does your platform support multiple users/logins per client?
 Is your B2B platform following a standard purchase pattern for ecommerce – customer can browse, add to cart & purchase.

Does it address the following, in case of anomalies to the purchase pattern?

 If the product isn’t available or out of stock can the customer create and add it to a Wishlist with    ability to add comments, sent the requirement to a seller and be able to be notified when the   product is in stock?
 If the consumer abandons the process after adding the product to cart, is your B2B platform able  to generate an abandoned cart report using which you can personalise and target such consumers?
 Does your B2B platform show “similar products” to consumers during their purchase process.
 Does your B2B platform have capabilities to up-sell, cross-sell, and provide suggested or related products to customers after making a purchase?
 Is your B2B platform capable of catalogue personalisation, or providing customised product list for different/specific customers?

 

ecommerce-marketplace-728_90

 

Localisation features:

An important element to be considered if you have international buyers or you have plans to reach out to international markets.

 If the product isn’t available or out of stock can the customer create and add it to a Wishlist with ability to add comments, sent the requirement to a seller and be able to be notified when the product is in stock?
 If the consumer abandons the process after adding the product to cart, is your B2B platform able to generate an abandoned cart report using which you can personalise and target such consumers?
 Does your B2B platform show “similar products” to consumers during their purchase process.
 Does your B2B platform have capabilities to up-sell, cross-sell, and provide suggested or related products to customers after making a purchase?
 Is your B2B platform capable of catalogue personalisation, or providing customised product list for different/specific customers?

Responsiveness, Scalability and customizability:

Responsiveness is an important factor not just from a consumer focus but for SEO as well. Scalability and customizability to meet your business needs are vital personal choices that you have to make based on your vision for the business in the immediate and longer future. Ideally a platform should be built on a scalable architecture with provisions to customize, if not on the platform itself, at least through extensions or third party integrations, so that you would not have to go about hunting for developers or other platforms a couple of years down the line.

 Is your platform light, fast, and flexible with a powerful backend admin module?
 Does your platform maintain extensions to provide additional functionality that isn’t available out of the box or does it custom build one for your need?
 Have you checked the load times and responsiveness of the platform on different devices for your product as well as check out pages?

Social proof:

Social proof is an important customer engagement as well as growth hacking tool, a digital equivalent of word of mouth publicity and hence should be a necessary element in any ecommerce portal.

 Does your platform allow clients to leave a social proof such as reviews, comments, likes, etc for their experience on the site?
 IIs your platform capable of sharing products, reviews etc. to social media sites?

The above list may not be complete checklist or a necessary to do list for your business needs, but an analysis of the list will help you understand whether you have missed out on important considerations for your B2B ecommerce portal.

Read the second part in this series to ensure that you have all the essential admin features for a B2B commerce.

If you believe you have all the requirements for setting up your B2B business or think we have missed out on important details that you require, do let us know. Our experts will guide you through the process of setting up the best B2b Ecommerce portal for your business.

Contact Us Now For A Free Consultation.