The buying cycle in B2B eCommerce is typically complex and long. Plus, the decision-making process involves multiple stakeholders.
Their purchase decisions are heavily influenced by detailed research, sourcing recommendations, and budgets. Although many parameters govern their purchases, these customers expect a high level of service.
Designing an intuitive website is the first step to crafting a successful B2B eCommerce selling process.
In this post, we look into the top 12 features that a B2B eCommerce website must have to stand out amidst the competition.
Top Features Every B2B Ecommerce Website Must-Have
Whatever your B2B eCommerce website sells, make sure it includes these 12 features.
1. Customer Registration and Access
The first crucial feature that is a must for a B2B eCommerce website is customer registration and access.
As your customer base consists of wholesalers, manufacturers, resellers, or corporates, it’s a good idea to verify their information before providing them access to your portal. This will help in keeping spam registrations, unauthorized customers, and others at bay to secure your B2B eCommerce store.
Further, configure your eCommerce website to offer role-based permissions to the customers. As multiple team members are involved in the B2B buying process, allocating each team member a specific role will ensure a streamlined purchasing workflow.
For example, if a company purchases office stationery from a B2B eCommerce platform, every team can log in to the company account to check the products. However, the permission to place the orders would be available only to the HR team, who has admin permissions.
Similarly, the teams may be allowed permission to select and add the products to the cart. But, the checkout process can be initiated only after the admin user reviews the cart and approves the purchase request.
2. Advanced Product Search
Make it easy for your customers to find the products they want by investing in advanced product search technology for your B2B eCommerce website.
This will streamline your product discoverability and visibility and help customers find the products they are looking for without navigating through the entire product list.
Intuitive product search can be configured in the following ways to deliver a seamless customer experience.
- Autocomplete search strings with likely product suggestions in a drop-down box helping the customers to save time
- Identify common typos or misspellings and suggest relevant products allowing customers to find the products they seek.
- Interpret long-tailed search terms and suggest relevant products from the catalog.
- Showcase images along with the product names in the search suggestions. For example, print-on-demand jewelry sites must offer customers the flexibility to search for ‘necklace with green beads’ instead of asking them to scroll through the entire necklace catalog to find the desired product.
- Display the product availability as a label in the suggestions drop-down box or the search results page.
- Share the right message when a customer searches for a term that yields no results.
3. Automated Billing
Automated billing is a great feature to have on a B2B eCommerce site. It not just ensures invoicing accuracy and consistency but also saves time for customers.
This allows them to pay their bills through automated systems, hugely enhancing user experience and reducing churn.
Moreover, automated billing offers a secure payment option for B2B buyers, protecting them from fraudulent activities.
As a B2B eCommerce solution, the easier you make it for customers to pay, the more customers will stick with you and pay for your product and services. This is why automated billing is such a useful feature to include on your B2B eCommerce website, as it offers more flexibility and convenience to buyers during the purchase process.
4. Sample Product Ordering
Most customers prefer to check the quality of the products before placing their bulk orders. Offering sample products to the customers gives them a first-hand experience of the products. It helps them test out the product and feel confident about their purchase.
Design your eCommerce website to allow customers to order samples of the products before ordering them in bulk quantity without any hassles. Ensure that these products are delivered on time to ensure great customer satisfaction with a reliable order fulfillment system.
5. Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ)
Most B2B businesses sell products in wholesale quantities. Setting a minimum order quantity for products helps you manage your inventory, reduce manufacturing costs, and increase profit margins.
Doing so helps you foster strong customer relationships by offering them discounts on bulk purchases, helping them make better profits. It will also reduce the occurrences of cart abandonment during checkouts.
MOQ inform customers of the number of products they will have to purchase in one order from you. Display the MOQ directly on the product pages on your eCommerce website based on their types. Set either a minimum order quantity for a particular product or a minimum order amount for order eligibility, depending on the nature of your business.
For instance, SwagUp is a company that designs high-quality branded items, such as notebooks, branded planners, sweatshirts, and more for businesses. Check out the screenshot below that showcases the preset packs. Each card clearly states the minimum quantity required for the order.
6. Bulk Discounts
As most B2B customers make bulk purchases, offering exciting discounts is a great way to encourage more orders for your business.
Bulk discount pricing is a win-win strategy for you and your customers. While your customers take advantage of the quantity discounts and optimize their costs, you can reduce your inventory and make profits.
Set up discounts for individual products or create product bundles to encourage customers to buy goods in bulk or larger quantities. Follow one of the below-mentioned bulk discount pricing models.
- Set a direct discount on the cost of the product within a particular range. For instance, a customer ordering 50 units of a product (originally priced at $100) can purchase it for $80 each. Similarly, the customers can purchase the product for $60 each if the quantity increases to 100 units.
- Offer a certain discount percentage if the product quantity falls in a particular pricing tier. Simply put, the discount offered increases as the number of units in the order increases. For example, offer a 10% discount when the product quantity falls between 50-99 and a 20% discount if the quantity falls between 100-200.
Structure your discounted pricing based on the number of products ordered to ensure you do not lose out on the profits. Display the bulk pricing structure on your product pages, notifying customers about the offers and driving in more sales.
7. ‘Request for a Quote’ Functionality
‘Request a quote’ functionality is a useful feature of a B2B eCommerce website mainly because customers might want to inquire more about the product or its pricing. They might also have questions about the bulk discounts or promotional offers that you are running on your website.
Add a quick form or an inquiry button that lets the customers share their queries or quotation requests without any hassles. Design your quote form in a way that customers can easily specify the quantity of the product they want. They should also be able to add queries about other products from your product catalog without any hassles.
You can integrate this functionality into your website in two ways.
- Place a direct ‘Request for a quote’ button on the website header, footer, or top-performing website pages.
- Add a ‘request for a quote’ button next to the ‘add to cart’ button on the product pages.
This will streamline the inquiry process and let you seamlessly track, connect, and engage with your leads.
8. Flexible Payment Options
As B2B customers deal with large volumes of orders, they opt for various payment models to complete the transaction. The orders are sometimes processed on credit, depending on the relationship between the business and its customer. So, offering multiple flexible payment options is good practice for B2B eCommerce businesses.
By allowing flexible payment options on your website, you ensure that the customers can choose a payment medium that suits their convenience. It streamlines the checkout experience by ensuring customers do not encounter any payment-related hurdles while placing orders.
9. Live Customer Support
Most customers have numerous questions regarding product details, pricing information, shipping process, and more when placing their orders. These queries must be addressed on time to ensure customers stay engaged and complete their orders.
Although having a contact page or an FAQ page on the website helps, B2B customers usually look for additional communication methods to connect with you. They seek answers to their questions in real time. This is why implementing live customer support, such as live chat on, your website is ideal for the success of your B2B eCommerce business.
Live chat helps you resolve the customers’ queries on time and provide instant service, making it the best way to engage inquisitive customers and capture sales.
- Install a live chat widget on your website to allow customers to reach out to you without interrupting their buying experience.
- Deliver a highly personalized service to the customers by leveraging information, such as purchase history, buying behavior, contact details, and more.
- Configure a chatbot messenger to send automated welcome messages, shipment information, and more to serve your customers even when you are offline.
10. Checkout Process
Did you know that the average cart abandonment rate is 70%? According to the study conducted by Baymard Institute, 17% of the surveyed customers abandoned their shopping carts because of the complicated checkout process.
So, you must design your eCommerce website in a way that offers a seamless checkout experience to the customers.
Streamline your checkout process by following these tips.
- Allows customers to enable order approval workflows in case the team members require approval from higher authorities to make purchases.
- Set up quick order or reorder functionality on your website for customers wishing to reorder the products and make the repeat purchasing process easy.
- Leverage upselling and cross-selling sales techniques to show intelligent product recommendations and elevate the customer experience without being too pushy.
- Be transparent about the shipping costs by displaying the same on the checkout page.
- Provide customers with various packaging options, shipping partners, and payment gateways, including credit, to help them with faster checkouts.
11. ERP System Integration
Manage your day-to-day activities, such as accounting, invoicing, supply chain management, human resources, and more, on a single platform and boost the efficiency of your business processes.
Integrating your eCommerce store with an ERP system simplifies major business-related tasks that must be completed with utmost precision. Some of the areas where such integration can prove to be fruitful are:
- Data exchange – Manage and transfer important business data in real time without any manual intervention.
- Process workflow – Define and monitor the entire business workflow to ensure smooth operations.
- Insights and reports – Generate intelligent reports and monitor all the activities for making important business-related decisions.
12. Real-Time Inventory Updates
The real-time inventory updates provide you with a quick snapshot of the overall inventory and help you manage your business operations efficiently.
On the other hand, having strong skills in inventory management can greatly benefit businesses when it comes to real-time inventory updates. By effectively managing inventory levels, businesses can ensure that they always have the right amount of stock on hand to meet customer demand.
As for the customers, these updates offer accurate information about the availability of the products.
Imagine informing your customers that the products they wish to purchase are not in stock at the time of checkout. Such a situation will surely lead to unhappy customers and decrease their trust in your company. This is why sharing real-time inventory updates on the product pages is necessary to eliminate the risk of disappointing them.
Add an ‘in-stock’ label or share the updated item count on the product page, thereby informing customers about the product availability in advance.
For example, Microfiber Wholesale, a company selling high-quality microfiber items to B2B businesses, uses an ‘In Stock’ label to notify the customers about the availability of the products.
Frequently Asked Questions About B2B Ecommerce Websites
Who will be your ideal customers for selling B2B online?
The ideal customers for your business would be B2B, B2C, and B2B2C companies, such as wholesalers, distributors, resellers, dropshipping businesses, and more.
Which is the best platform for your B2B eCommerce business?
There are many eCommerce website development platforms, such as Wishpond, Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and more. You can choose the one that fits your business requirements and your budget.
How can you ensure your B2B eCommerce website works well on mobile devices?
You will have to design a mobile-friendly responsive website that offers a seamless experience to the customers. Alternatively, you can invest in building a mobile app if you have the required budget for the same.
The features we mentioned in this post are some of the critical features that can help your B2B eCommerce website stand out from the crowd. Design your website by including all these features to craft the best online experiences that cater to the needs of the customers and grow your business.___
Written by our guest writer Lucy Manole, a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and all things to SaaS. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking, and traveling.