Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the B2B ecommerce market has experienced tremendous growth and shows no signs of slowing down.
According to the 2022 US B2B Ecommerce Market Report, online sales on B2B ecommerce sites grew nearly 18% — 1.17 times faster than the growth of total US manufacturing and distributor sales.
As consumer trends shift towards more traditional B2C sales methods, B2B companies can no longer afford to ignore the important role ecommerce plays in their ability to compete in today’s marketplace.
Where to start? To meet the needs of today’s B2B buyers, every B2B or wholesale brand needs an ecommerce site that provides an exceptional shopping experience.
The B2B ecommerce market has grown significantly over the past decade. However, as buyer expectations have changed — and as customers have come to expect more — the B2B business of the past has shifted to become more like B2C.
To compete, it is increasingly essential that B2B organizations modernize by placing a great emphasis on the customer experience. You can accomplish this through many methods, including the following:
If you have historically worked outside of B2B — as a B2C or wholesale provider — people may not know that you have pivoted to B2B. To help out your B2B sales reps, it is vital to signal to potential customers that your technology speaks the language they are used to working in.
This can be accomplished through various methods, from quote buttons and credit application links to a distributor/wholesale signup page.
A well-designed, easy-to-use website will do wonders to enhance your company's user experience and discoverability.
Through the use of streamlined, thought-out UI/UX features, you can make your website a pleasure to browse and drive customers to checkout — and ultimately the shopping cart.
For those unfamiliar with building out a successful UI/UX interface, many ecommerce platforms provide B2B-specific themes to start you on the right track, helping to automate the design process and simplifying things on your backend.
Instead of building a site from the ground up, you can begin your journey with a head start.
Even if you have a well-thought-out website — with all of the bells and whistles attached — if it isn’t responsive, it’ll only frustrate your customer needs.
With how important mobile accessibility is to the modern B2B business model, it is also imperative that your website is mobile-friendly for all platforms, from Android to Apple IOS. Many of your customers will likely find your website on their phones — making life easier for them will only result in more sales.
Having a secure site is critical for your long-term business prospects and the comfort of your customers — not surprising considering how many data breaches have occurred over the last decade.
By ensuring your website is compliant with the latest PCI DSS requirements and protected with an SSL certificate, you can help authorize and process B2B payment options safely.
There are few things more frustrating than attempting to navigate a slow, cumbersome website. This feeling is nearly universal, with almost 70% of consumers admitting that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.
For the modern B2B website, speed is imperative to your ultimate success and whatever you can to improve page load times can only help you.
To accomplish this, many online services use a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver images, files and other static web content efficiently. This improves site speed, which Google and other search engines use as a ranking signal for search results.
The CDN simultaneously hosts copies of commonly used files at data centers worldwide. Files are delivered by the node closest to the shopper, which decreases the distance data needs to travel, enabling the site to load faster.
At no additional charge, BigCommerce’s ecommerce hosting includes the industry-leading CDN, Cloudflare, which operates over 250 PoPs across the globe.
A quality on-site search and real-time filtering system is invaluable. Make sure your website is a breeze to browse and that its core functionality allows customers to move quickly from page to page.
Through the use of features such as faceted filtering and navigation, your customers should be able to find what they are looking for with exact details and filter out unnecessary distractions. Finding the right product page or solutions shouldn't be challenging.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to maintaining and growing a modern B2B website and business. It attracts customers to your website and elevates your rankings on each Google page.
With the latest and greatest marketing tools available, you can help boost your brand awareness, increase conversion rates and promote your product catalog and services on Google.
Customization is a critical component to setting your website apart from your competitors. It allows you to tweak and modify each aspect of your site to garner the most traffic possible, whether you’re looking to set up bulk ordering or establish self-service checkouts.
When reviewing which platform to choose or how to set up your website, ensuring it is customizable will give you the greatest flexibility as the market shifts and trends change.
One of the best ways to highlight the capabilities of your business and product is to show off what your current customers think of it.
Consider larger ecommerce companies such as Amazon and Alibaba. Customer reviews and recommendations are a critical component to their success.
By including reviews on your site — and promoting them on social media — you will increase your credibility and make your ecommerce business more attractive to potential customers.
If your business is looking to grow internationally, you should ensure that your B2B site is available in multiple languages and currencies.
Additionally, when moving into new locales, ensure that your security standards are up to par. For example, if you’re selling into Europe, their GDPR requirements can shift your sales strategies and change your marketing techniques.
Making sure you’re compliant and up to date can prevent significant headaches down the road.
From larger brands like PayPal and Avery Dennison to smaller brands like Good Start Packaging and Harbor City Supply, many B2B companies have built world-class ecommerce sites that are attracting and converting B2B buyers.
A few of our favorites include:
A family-run operation since 1938, Berlin Packaging is one of the largest packaging companies in the nation.
In building out their ecommerce store, they prioritized features such as:
Specialized item attributes.
Custom inputs to improve workflows.
An interface that co-exists with their pre-existing ERP.
Custom shipping and handling capabilities for their customers.
Their built-out online store is now a marvel, displaying functionalities from faceted search to an easily-accessible consultation tab. A streamlined drop-down menu allows companies to find what services work best for them in no time, while their trending items highlight their successes in different markets.
Allure Bridals is an industry leader for bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses, along with formal wear for both men and women.
Upon accessing their landing page, you will immediately come across clips and images of their gowns and formal wear, informing you of what they’re selling and as to the quality of their products.
Their smooth scroll design and faceted search/filtering options allows potential customers to view the various styles of clothing, accessories and literature that they offer. For the interested bride-to-be, everything you’re looking for is right at your fingertips.
Founded in 2005, Theo Chocolate has quickly become one of the nation's most prominent organic chocolate companies through its familial, customer-focused approach.
This approach is evident as soon as their homepage loads, with bright, inviting colors throughout the website. Their mission statement and company practices are highlighted, displaying to potential customers the nature of their business and just where their priorities lie.
Additionally, their highly-detail product pages dive into each aspect of their pieces of chocolate, from the ingredients to where the cocoa beans themselves were sourced.
By bringing customers along the product journey, their messaging successfully makes you feel as if you're only one step away from becoming part of the Theo family.
With the ecommerce share of total B2B sales projected to reach 17% by 2023, B2B brands can’t afford to ignore ecommerce if they expect to compete — and this starts with the website.
Every B2B brand needs a B2B ecommerce solution that meets their customers’ online shopping needs, especially considering that 51% of business buyers come to a B2B ecommerce site because an excellent user experience attracts them.
As the sales and consumer world grows more digital, B2B businesses will need to take the final step in building a high-quality, feature-rich ecommerce website.
Business-to-business (B2B) websites focus on sales transactions between businesses, while business-to-customers (B2C) focuses on — you guessed it — the selling of goods from businesses to individual customers.
While this gap has historically been significant, the lines between B2B and B2C have blurred over the last decade as B2B companies have been impacted by consumer trends towards increased customer engagement and the overall growth of online sales.
There are many B2B ecommerce platforms available that can get the job done and help your business increase its online presence.
However, there is one company that stands alone — and that is BigCommerce.
BigCommerce is one of the leading open SaaS ecommerce platforms, internationally known for its low total cost of ownership and highly flexible APIs.
BigCommerce offers customers a multitude of B2B features and add-ons not found in competing for software solutions to deliver a modern, frictionless ecommerce experience.
The BigCommerce platform also makes it easy for hybrid businesses with B2B and B2C customers to offer different price lists or catalogs to customer groups with a centralized inventory management system. In other words, you can provide for both B2B and B2C in one unified solution.
With the help of a dedicated ecommerce B2B platform, you can easily transform your B2C website into one dedicated to B2B.
BigCommerce is one of those companies, offering the ability to create B2C experiences for your B2B customers. In fact, BigCommerce includes naitive B2B functionality for merchants on Plus, Pro and Enterprise plans.
Even if you’re looking to become a hybrid business with both B2B and B2C customers, the BigCommerce platform makes it easy for you to offer different price lists or catalogs to customer groups.
As stated above, your B2B business will need a website to survive and be able to compete with modern, digital commerce.
As stated above, according to the 2022 U.S. B2B Ecommerce Market Report, 51% of business buyers come to a B2B ecommerce site attracted by an excellent user experience.
Ultimately, with ecommerce sales estimated to reach $3 trillion in 2027 according to Forrester — 24% of total US B2B sales — by not having a dedicated ecommerce website, you are missing out on a significant opportunity.