The eCommerce needs of B2B sellers are very different from B2C sellers.
It is because B2B transactions involve businesses that buy bulk shipments of supplies from another company. As a result, the orders tend to be larger and involve multiple parties, who have to negotiate prices, delivery dates, payment terms, etc.
B2C, on the other hand, purchases are often smaller individual orders for everyday items.
B2B eCommerce also would require personalization of the store experience to mirror specific needs while also offering discounts or other incentives based on order volume. Additionally, the transactions need to be automated through an EDI-compliant system where two separate systems can communicate autonomously without human intervention.
This should give you an idea that a regular eCommerce platform won’t be sufficient for B2B eCommerce needs.
This is where platforms like BigCommerce come in.
What is BigCommerce
BigCommerce is a leading eCommerce platform that allows sellers to create and manage an online store. It is a cloud-based solution that offers a wide range of features, including payment automation, bulk order processing, customizable templates, inventory management, and built-in SEO tools.
Advantages of BigCommerce for B2B eCommerce
The following are the reasons why Bigcommerce is preferred for B2B eCommerce:
Scalability is an essential aspect of any eCommerce platform, especially for B2B businesses that may experience rapid growth or seasonal fluctuations in demand. BigCommerce is known for its scalability, which allows businesses to easily handle a high volume of traffic, products, and customers. This can be particularly beneficial for B2B businesses that sell large quantities of products or have many customers.
One of the ways BigCommerce enables scalability is through its cloud-based infrastructure. This means that the platform is hosted on servers that can automatically adjust to handle increases in traffic and sales. This eliminates the need for businesses to invest in expensive hardware or worry about maintaining their own servers.
Another aspect of BigCommerce that contributes to scalability is its support for multiple languages and currencies. The platform allows businesses to expand their reach and sell to customers in different countries without having to worry about the added complexity of managing multiple websites or currencies.
For example, let’s say a B2B company that sells industrial equipment and parts started with a small online store with BigCommerce. As the company grew, so did the number of products, customers, and orders. With BigCommerce, the company can easily scale up its store to handle the increased traffic and sales without worrying about downtime or technical issues. Additionally, thanks to the support for multiple languages and currencies, the company can easily expand its market to other countries and regions, reaching new customers and increasing its sales.
Customizability is another critical aspect of a B2B eCommerce platform for businesses with specific design or functionality requirements. BigCommerce offers a high degree of customizability, which allows B2B sellers to tailor their online store to meet their unique needs.
One of the ways BigCommerce enables customizability is through its wide range of design templates. These templates can be easily customized using a drag-and-drop interface, making it simple for businesses to create a unique look and feel for their store. Additionally, the platform allows businesses to edit HTML and CSS code, providing even more flexibility in terms of design.
Another aspect of BigCommerce that contributes to customizability is its support for third-party apps and services. BigCommerce integrates with over 400 apps and services, including popular payment gateways, shipping providers, and marketing tools. This allows businesses to add additional functionality to their store, such as a loyalty program, live chat, or social media integration.
For example, let’s say a B2B company that specializes in selling custom-made products started with a BigCommerce store. The company needed to have a unique design for its store that reflects the brand image and allows customers to customize the products within the web interface, which is not possible with traditional templates. With BigCommerce, the company can easily customize their store’s design using HTML and CSS and also integrate with 3rd party apps that would help them to sell custom-made products.
3. Integration with Existing Systems
Another key advantage of using BigCommerce for B2B eCommerce is its ability to seamlessly integrate with other enterprise systems, such as ERP, Product Information Management (PIM), and CRM systems. This integration can be achieved using BigCommerce’s APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
APIs allow different systems to communicate with each other and exchange information. BigCommerce’s APIs are versatile and enable businesses to connect their eCommerce platform with a wide range of enterprise systems. This can be useful for B2B sellers that want to automate specific processes or share data across multiple systems.
For example, a B2B company that sells wholesale products may use a PIM system to manage its product information. By integrating BigCommerce with their PIM system through an API, they can easily transfer product information, such as images and descriptions, from their PIM system to their BigCommerce store. This can save time and reduce errors, as the company will not need to enter product information into its store manually.
Additionally, by integrating BigCommerce into its ERP, the business can automate order management, inventory tracking, and accounting processes; This eliminates the need for manual updates and improves efficiency.
4. Advanced Security Features
Security is a critical concern for any eCommerce business. But for B2B online retailers, it’s critical; because they handle sensitive information and large transactions. For this reason, BigCommerce offers a range of advanced security features that help protect businesses and their customers from cyber threats.
One of the key security features offered by BigCommerce is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. This technology encrypts sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and personal data. This helps to prevent hackers from intercepting the information and using it for fraudulent activities.
Another vital security feature provided by BigCommerce is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance. PCI compliance is a set of security standards businesses must adhere to accept credit card payments online. BigCommerce is PCI compliant, which means that businesses can accept credit card payments in their store without having to worry about compliance issues.
BigCommerce also provides various tools to help businesses protect their stores from fraud. For example, BigCommerce has built-in fraud detection and prevention tools that can help identify and prevent fraudulent transactions. Additionally, BigCommerce also supports 3D Secure, an added layer of security for online credit and debit card transactions; this helps to reduce the risk of fraud and chargebacks.
5. Strong Customer Support
Businesses can contact BigCommerce support at any time and receive assistance with technical issues, such as troubleshooting or resolving errors. This is particularly beneficial for B2B businesses that operate in different time zones or need help outside of regular business hours.
Another highlight of BigCommerce’s customer support is its comprehensive help center. The help center provides a wide range of resources, including guides, tutorials, and FAQs, that businesses can use to troubleshoot issues and learn about the platform’s features.
BigCommerce also offers various levels of support plans. The free plan provides the basics, such as access to the help center and email support, while the paid plans offer more advanced support, such as phone and priority email support, as well as access to a dedicated account manager. This allows businesses to choose the level of support that best suits their needs.
6. Built-In B2B Specific Features
BigCommerce offers several B2B eCommerce-specific features that you won’t find in every eCommerce platform. Here are some of the highlighted features:
- Wholesale pricing and customer groups: BigCommerce allows businesses to create different customer groups and assign specific pricing to each group. This can be useful for B2B companies that sell to different types of customers, such as retail customers and wholesale customers. For example, a B2B company can create a customer group for wholesale customers and assign them a different pricing structure.
- Customizable checkouts: BigCommerce allows businesses to customize the checkout process to suit their specific needs. This can be useful for B2B companies with additional requirements, such as adding custom fields or accepting purchase orders. For example, a B2B company can add a custom field to the checkout process to collect the customer’s tax ID number.
- Volume discounts: BigCommerce allows businesses to offer volume discounts to their customers. This can be useful for B2B companies that sell large quantities of products. For example, a B2B company can offer a discount for orders of over 100 units.
- B2B-specific apps: BigCommerce offers a variety of apps that are specifically designed for B2B companies. These apps can help businesses automate certain processes, such as inventory management or invoicing. For example, a B2B company can use an app to generate invoices and purchase orders based on customer orders automatically.
- Customizable product pages: BigCommerce allows businesses to customize the layout and content of their product pages to suit their specific needs. This can be useful for B2B companies that sell complex or technical products, as they can provide detailed information to their customers. For example, a B2B company can add detailed specifications or technical drawings to its product pages.
- Sales Representative Quoting: BigCommerce allows sales representatives to create quotes for their customers. This feature allows B2B eCommerce sellers to provide custom pricing and terms to their customers based on their specific needs. Sales representatives can use the quote feature to create custom pricing and terms for their customers, such as volume discounts, special payment terms, or custom shipping arrangements. This feature is especially useful for B2B eCommerce sellers that sell products or services that are not available for purchase online, such as custom-made products or large-scale projects.
7. Multi-Channel Selling
BigCommerce enables multi-channel selling for B2B eCommerce companies, which means businesses can sell their products and services on multiple online platforms. This feature allows businesses to expand their reach and increase their sales by reaching customers on different platforms, such as Amazon, eBay, and Facebook.
Multi-channel selling can help B2B eCommerce companies in several ways:
- Businesses can reach more customers and increase their visibility.
- They can increase their sales by reaching new customers and expanding their market.
- They can reduce their dependency on a single platform, which can help to mitigate the risk of platform-specific issues or changes.
- They can easily manage their inventory and orders, regardless of the platform they are sold on.
- They can generate more revenue with the same resources and effort.
Real-world Examples of B2B eCommerce Businesses Using BigCommerce
ResMed is an international enterprise that is focused on connected health and has more than nine million devices that track the condition of those they are caring for from a distance. Until they migrated to BigCommerce, they utilized an ordering process through email or phone and then kept a record of all orders using tables. This caused a multitude of operational problems.
When ResMed shifted to the BigCommerce platform, they got access to the wide range of capabilities their B2B enterprise needed without having to invest excessive hours in developing such complexities. The main advantage ResMed has now is that they are able to give exclusive login access to distributors, categorize customers and list prices for them, create deals, take care of stock easily, and extend store credit.
Berlin Packaging is an international provider of containers and packaging materials. As they built their eCommerce site, they wanted to ensure their customers had a great experience. Therefore, in addition to displaying products with clear pictures and comprehensive product information, they used a simplistic interface to make it easy for business customers to find what they need in the corporation’s expansive product catalog.
Thanks to BigCommerce’s customizable filtering capabilities, their customers can narrow down the search using a range of criteria such as the material, color, shape, capacity, purpose, and more.
Clarion Safety Systems
When Clarion Safety Systems shifted to a new BigCommerce platform, they improved their product categories’ organization so customers could easily navigate their catalog.
This was critical since the company offers almost 9,000 different items, and 75% of its total revenue is generated through customers using the internal search engine. Enhancing the functionality and simplifying product navigation gives customers a better experience, from searching for products to making a purchase.
In a nutshell, BigCommerce’s scalability allows B2B businesses to handle a high volume of traffic and sales, and its customizability enables businesses to tailor the design of their store to match their brand and product offerings. Additionally, BigCommerce’s integration options allow businesses to connect their store with various ERP, CRM, and shipping systems to automate their order management and shipping process.
BigCommerce also provides advanced security features to ensure that customer’s sensitive information is protected from cyber threats and offers reliable customer support to resolve any technical issues that may arise.
Given BigCommerce is an excellent option for B2B eCommerce businesses looking for a powerful and versatile eCommerce platform. If you’re looking to build your B2B eCommerce business on the BigCommerce platform, As a Bigcommerce Certified Company, we can help you take full advantage of the platform’s features and capabilities.