With a huge variety of B2B eCommerce platforms available, it can feel overwhelming when deciding which would be best suited to your business and customers.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve curated a guide to some of the best eCommerce platforms for B2B stores. In this article, we’ll explore the key features and benefits of four leading platforms: BigCommerce, Shopify/Shopify Plus, Adobe Commerce (Magento) and WooCommerce.
Whether you run a mid-sized eCommerce store with a limited product line or larger scale enterprise store that sells items in bulk to businesses across the globe, these platforms have a huge range of features to help you achieve your sales goals and keep customers coming back for more.
BigCommerce is a robust SaaS eCommerce platform that caters to both B2B and B2C businesses, as well as hybrid businesses.
BigCommerce’s B2B Edition has recently introduced new features to appeal to B2B eCommerce businesses, including multi-storefront capabilities, a buyer portal which can be personalised for both merchants and buyers, and headless functionality (beta).
B2B Edition also offers the following:
- Customer Groups: segment your customers into different groups, making it easier to set up customised pricing (down to the SKU level), discounts and promotions.
- Customisable Catalogues: you can create tailored product catalogues for different customer segments, ensuring a personalised experience.
- Set Buyer Roles and Permissions: customers can create a complete corporate account profile and set up multiple tiers of buyers with different levels of access.
- Payment and Shipping Options: a wide range of payment and shipping options, allowing customers to select their preferred methods. Payment methods, such as purchase order and credit card, can be edited or hidden.
- Invoice Portal and Customer Requested Quotes: shopping lists can be converted into quotes and customers can manage and pay invoices online through the invoice portal.
- Easy-To-Reorder Functionality: users can view and quickly reorder based on quotes, lists or previously purchased products.
- Fast Order Entering: the Quick Order Pad enables merchants to enter SKU numbers or upload orders in bulk.
- Integration: BigCommerce integrates with a variety of marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, as well as social media channels. The platform also connects with other essential business software, including CRM systems and accounting tools.
B2B on Shopify (Shopify Plus) is an all-in-one store that enables eCommerce businesses to sell B2B and B2C from a single SaaS platform.
The Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel (PWC) is a separate password-protected storefront tailored to wholesale customers. With B2B on Shopify, you can manage all integrations in one place but with PWC, you can’t connect to third-party apps and there is only one option for storefront themes.
Here are a few key features of B2B on Shopify:
- Company Profiles: connect multiple buyers and company locations, with built-in fields for customer information, to include fields for price lists, assigned payment terms, contact permissions and tax exemptions.
- Tailored Product Catalogues: create product catalogues that are assigned to specific buyers or locations, enabling you to offer a curated buying experience.
- Price Lists: create customer-specific pricing, via percentage-off or fixed-price discounts. Currency and exchange rates can be changed for international buyers and multiple price lists can be applied to an individual customer.
- Assigned Payment Terms: the payments term feature automates the process of adding payment terms to orders, allowing sellers to track, sort and collect payments as they become due. You can assign payment terms directly on the company location profile and automatically add them to customer orders at checkout.
- Quantity Rules: create conditional rules for products and variants, including minimums and maximums, case packs, and increments. Set volume-based pricing and enforce minimum order quantities to increase sales and profitability.
- B2B Checkout: Shopify’s checkout enables customers to access specific payment terms, methods, discounts and prices. It also integrates location-specific information.
- Customer Control: B2B customers can self-serve with the customer accounts feature, allowing them to edit their buyer information, view and filter their order history and select the company location for which they’re placing an order, reducing the need for back-and-forth emails and calls.
- Personalisation: with a large variety of free and premium themes with simple editing tools, you can design your storefront to represent your brand. B2B merchants can also customise store themes, email templates and branding for each customer.
Adobe Commerce (Magento)
Adobe Commerce is a flexible and integrated B2B eCommerce platform that enables customers to self-manage company accounts. With an extensive library of verified third-party extensions, sellers can develop their store, test and enable different features, and integrate with existing business systems and tools.
We’ve listed a few more key features of the platform:
- Multistore Functionality: handle multiple stores in one admin panel, i.e B2B and B2C, multiple brands or different stores for different countries, allowing you to view and manage all sales, customers and products in one place. Elements such as payment methods, homepages and languages can be tailored to different regions and customers.
- Complex Product Types: configurable products, bundles, memberships, subscriptions and more, Adobe Commerce enables businesses to sell a wide range of product types.
- B2B Company Registration: register and approve companies that have applied to be part of your B2B wholesale system.
- Roles & Permissions: set up different roles and different approval processes for managers and employees to use the system. For example, sales reps and finance teams might need access to reports and expenditure. You can also set up organisational groups for customers – wholesalers can be given different permissions and approval processes as they place large orders.
- Shared Catalogs: create gated shared catalogs with bespoke pricing for different companies. When using this feature, the primary catalog is still accessible, but only the default public shared catalog is visible on the storefront. Custom catalogs, visible solely to specific company account members, can also be established. The shared catalogs function includes filters and action controls for ease of use.
- Requisition Lists: customers can create a requisition list for easy access to reordering items that are regularly bought from a wholesaler.
- Quote Request: customers can request quotes which may differ depending on order size or type of customer. Administrators are notified to offer the quote which the customer can accept or negotiate a discount.
- Order via CSV Files: customers can save time by uploading a CSV file for large orders of varying products and quantities.
- Different Payment Options: customised payment methods for different customer groups, for example, wholesalers and international businesses.
- Built-in Sales Representative Commissions: view commission of sales reps working on different accounts.
WooCommerce is an all-in-one eCommerce plugin for WordPress with extensive features that can be used for B2B wholesale stores or hybrid B2C and B2B. WooCommerce can be used to sell services, as well as physical and digital products.
Rather than installing multiple plugins for different purposes, WooCommerce incorporates the following tools into one solution.
- Customer Groups: customers can be segmented into groups, based on criteria such as location, industry or order history and assigned rules to manage them.
- B2B and Wholesale Pricing: pricing, payment methods and tax options can be personalised by customer group and discounted prices can be offered by cart quantity. There are also functions to allow customers to checkout without immediate payment or entering a purchase order number.
- Product Categories Visibility: entire product categories can be hidden or just a single product, based on the customer group.
- Quotations/Offers System: customers can make quote requests or custom offers and manage them.
- Guest Access Restriction: prevent access to shop pages and visibility of prices to unregistered customers.
- Shipping Methods: shipping methods can be enabled or disabled according to customer group.
- Live Search: allows customers to find items quickly and search by SKU. The search function can feature images of products with an add to cart button.
- Admin Bulk Actions: one-click multiple customer groups assignment, bulk editing and one-click enable/disable customer account.
Both Adobe Commerce and WooCommerce are open-source platforms so the code can be fully customised, allowing for flexibility with design and content.
We have highlighted the key features for each platform but they are not exhaustive lists. If you want to learn about these platforms in greater detail before choosing one for your B2B eCommerce store then we’re here to help.
Get in touch with us and we’ll help with any queries or questions about any of the platforms mentioned, or if you’d like to get the ball rolling with creating your B2B online store. Alternatively, sign up for our upcoming webinar on B2B eCommerce success where our experts explore the top tools that empower eCommerce businesses to successfully thrive in the B2B space.