Top eCommerce Capabilities for Building Successful B2B Businesses
B2B ecommerce keeps evolving, and modern digital landscape requires it to grow rapidly. And the main challenge for B2B businesses is to always satisfy customers’ ever-growing expectations. B2B online businesses need something robust with all the capabilities enabling them to grow.
In this article, we will discover the core competencies of modern ecommerce. We will discuss how to make sure that your new ecommerce platform functionality is enough and look at the top ecommerce capabilities and features any modern ecommerce platform should provide.
- ECOMMERCE CAPABILITIES: ENHANCING ONLINE SHOPPING
- EXPLORING ECOMMERCE AND B2B CAPABILITIES
- ECOMMERCE CAPABILITIES VS. B2B FUNCTIONALITY
- THE EVOLUTION OF ECOMMERCE AND B2B CAPABILITIES
- B2B ECOMMERCE CAPABILITIES MEANING: BEYOND THE BASICS
- EMPOWERING BUSINESSES WITH VIRTO COMMERCE E-COMMERCE AND B2B CAPABILITIES
eCommerce Capabilities: Enhancing Online Shopping
CX and customer loyalty is a key to developing online sales today. And the ecommerce platform's core idea is to constantly enhance your CX and customer success. While many companies prefer starting with the exact critical features of ecommerce, we will begin with our expert view on what's important:
Innovations that beat the risk of disruption.
The first capability every B2B ecommerce platform should offer is readiness for innovation. Innovations push businesses development and enable online shoppers to have their best experience. Innovation is the first thing to do when you feel your competitors grow. To avoid market disruption and keep your position, you should always be ready to offer something new. And your B2B ecommerce platform should allow it.
The total cost should fit into the company’s budget.
Does it make sense if you purchase a part of a B2B platform? What if you purchase the whole platform but cannot use it after the implementation?
Though these questions might seem ridiculous, the reality is that the company budget matters. There is hardly one business owner who doesn't know this, so all businesses aim to purchase something cheaper. But the B2B platform costs can be tricky: if you aim to grow and develop your business continuously, you should first look at the cost of innovation. The implementation cost is not the most critical part of TCO anymore: what matters is how much you will need to spend after the implementation, not before it.
Physical platform capabilities.
Here, we move to our topic: the platform's built-in capabilities. The features and technological readiness of the B2B platform are the key. So, let's discuss them in detail.
Exploring eCommerce and B2B Capabilities
First of all, B2B ecommerce features are limited by technical ecommerce platform capabilities. This is why the most important part of the platform choice is to ensure it is technologically ready and can support all your needs. Key technological factors to consider are here:
- The platform should be scalable. The system must grow easily and cost-effectively, preparing for potential rapid expansion.
- Modularity. You should be able to add new components easily, Virto Atomic Architecture™ is a good example of how it works.
- Open code. Open source offers new feature creation, less vendor reliance, and high adaptability.
- It should be headless. Separate frontends and backend allow for easy website creation and maintenance.
- The system should easily integrate. API integration is preferable. The user must integrate functions and data with external systems effortlessly.
- Readiness to adapt and update. Platforms should be flexible for unexpected changes. Regular, non-disruptive updates from vendors are crucial.
- Simple and transparent customization. An intuitive interface and efficient workflows are key.
eCommerce Capabilities vs. B2B Functionality
Now that we know what to look at in technical terms let's turn to the top capabilities and features any B2B ecommerce platform should provide.
The first thing to say is that B2B ecommerce is very specific. Standard B2C ecommerce needs differ from B2B needs, leading to different capabilities needed.
Though they look very different, there are some overlapping features and synergies. Both need the following:
- Good platform design
- Secure payments
- Search capabilities
- Reviews and ratings
- Customer support
- Marketing and more.
This is why when ecommerce moved from B2C only to B2B, the new ecommerce businesses needed some new scenarios for the combined use of standard ecommerce and B2B capabilities, especially for a dedicated serving of business partners. Here, we describe the top capabilities modern ecommerce platforms need:
Serving business partners
To increase efficiency in B2B transactions and strengthen supplier-partner relationships, this block of B2B ecommercce functionality includes:
- Personalized contracts, pricing and quoting to ensure every part of the process gets their correct data.
- Inventory management to make bulk ordering possible.
- Integration with ERPs
- And more
Other key ecommerce features used in B2B
Of course, most of the ecommerce features are still used by B2B ecommerce. Here is a list of the top features modern ecommerce platforms should provide:
- Online catalogs supporting many SKUs with a separate listing for each.
- Secure payment capabilities.
- Shopping carts and configurable checkout.
- Personalization of user accounts
- Order tracking and notification capabilitie capabilities for for userss and supplieand suppliersRs
- Reviews, ratings and marketing
All these features enable companies to grow sales and revenue, expand to other markets, and improve CX.
The Evolution of eCommerce and B2B Capabilities
While B2C ecommerce is an important part of our everyday life, B2B ecommerce has undergone a significant transformation and becomes the same crucial lately. Here, we selected what made the most significant impact on the B2B ecommerce evolution lately:
- SaaS platforms, open-source and headless. The new software made it easier for businesses to set up and manage their businesses at a lower costs.
- Advanced analytics for meta-driven insights that could finally optimize businesses supply chains and improve their pricing strategies.
- Advancements in digital payment technologies. B2B transactions got smoother and more secure. Now they offer loads of options for different payment needs.
- Cloud Integration and cloud-native technologies. Operating ecommerce platforms on the cloud allows for more scalability and easy revenue growth.
- Impact of mobile commerce and responsive design. The growing number of mobile devices requires mobile-friendly platforms and responsive design.
B2B eCommerce Capabilities Meaning: Beyond the Basics
B2B ecommerce platform capabilities are not only an "internal" thing anymore: besides adding flexibility, spending less, and building transparent features, these capabilities directly impact which customer experience the company will provide, how many customers will stay loyal, and how much, in the long term, the company can earn.
Answering the question of how to choose an ecommerce platform, obviously, different industries require different capabilities. For example, a wholesaler is going to need a full-functioning B2B wholesale ecommerce platform. However, the tendency that ecommerce will affect all spheres of our lives is undoubtful. As Forbes claims, the main trends in all industries that need ecommerce are the growing importance of personalization, social commerce, and ethical shopping. The companies that will dive into these trends deeply will most probably win the market in the near future.
Empowering Businesses with Virto Commerce E-commerce and B2B Capabilities
All these considerations lead to the simple solution: modern B2B businesses that feel like their competitors are disrupting them must find their perfect B2B ecommerce platform. Virto Commerce is a robust, comprehensive choice that can cover it all either for sellers, distributors or wholesalers.
Virto stands out as an ideal B2B software due to its distinctive features:
- Open-source transparency: Virto's code can be openly accessed on GitHub.
- Swift Modular Atomic Design: Facilitates rapid innovation and feature development.
- API-centric design: It's a headless platform with all functions available through API channels, such as xAPI (GraphQL) and Rest API (OpenAPI).
In witness of Virto Commerce's high-level capabilities, world-known enterprise businesses have already joined this partnership and use the solution to grow continuously: see the B2B ecommerce examples of Heineken, Bosch, and more Virto customers on our website.
Though B2B ecommerce capabilities do not take the first place in a platform choice (the importance of innovation and cost of capabilities go first), the ability of the system to cover all business needs is exceptionally important. We will dive into each of these capabilities in our other materials step by step, providing more expert insights for better-informed decisions. However, if you are deciding right now and need help in realizing Virto Capabilities or needs of your business, you can always read our B2B ecommerce blog, find Virto Commerce team support in consultation or a free DEMO.