Home Virto Commerce blog A Comprehensive Guide to Leading UK B2B eCommerce Platforms and Companies 

A Comprehensive Guide to Leading UK B2B eCommerce Platforms and Companies 

Dec 29, 2023 • 3 min
We all know that the biggest B2B ecommerce market¹ is China (52% of sales), followed by the USA (19% of sales). But other markets are still important, and market number three is the United Kingdom, making around 5% of all B2B ecommerce sales worldwide. Let's discover the state of ecommerce in the UK and B2B ecommerce trends, find out which ecommerce platforms and companies form its landscape, and how to choose ecommerce platform. If you are a business owner or a development manager of a business heading to the UK market, this article is the thing you were looking for.

The Dynamics of the UK B2B eCommerce Market

How big is the B2B eCommerce market in the UK? Today, B2B ecommerce in the UK grows at the same pace as the USA B2B ecommerce. Valued at USD 371 billion in 2021, the modern UK B2B eCommerce Market size aims to reach¹ USD 2,364 billion by 2030, with an amazing CAGR of 22.9%.

Most of the key players in this market are the same global companies playing a top role in other countries: Alibaba, Global Sources, Amazon, Korean ECPlaza Network Inc., eBay, and so on. How many B2B companies are there in the UK in general? More than 5,000, and 1,354¹ of them are B2B.  

So, how big is the UK eCommerce industry? Though we cannot compare it to the USA or China, it is the biggest B2B ecommerce market in Europe and is definitely worth considering when you are moving to new regions. And it is particularly important if you are heading to Europe. 

Navigating Distinctive Facets: B2B eCommerce Dynamics in the UK

To run your B2B ecommerce business in the UK and open up the UK B2B ecommerce platform in London, you will need a deep understanding of the regional nuances. Each distinctive feature plays a crucial role in the landscape. Let’s see what to care about first when heading to this market. 

  • Business culture 

The unique UK business communication style and professional etiquette are paramount. To ensure smooth and effective interactions, you have to take courtesy, politeness, discipline, and punctuality as your new normal. Personal relationships are not as important as they could be here. Nevertheless, UK businesses are searching for a long-term relationship and trust those who aim for the same. 

  • Regulations and laws 

Diverse ecommerce regulations and legal frameworks characterize the UK, as most of the European laws come from here. It is vital to learn all the peculiarities related to your business to avoid risks and develop faster. 

  • Technological infrastructure 

The UK is the headliner of European digitalization. To work with UK companies, you have to adopt the latest technologies that can enable you to outrun competitors abroad. 

  • Logistics and transport 

As the UK is a European logistics hub for international businesses between the USA and Europe, they offer the finest logistics globally. All you have to do is to choose the software that can support these movements. 

  • National payment systems 

The UK has various popular electronic payment methods that you should integrate into your B2B eCommerce. However, it has strict tax laws and regulations to care about. 

  • Internal and external market competition 

The degree of competition varies across the UK. In reality, it depends on the industry and the region. Provide a comprehensive analysis of the market before launching your business. 

The perfect UK B2B eCommerce Platform for European Market — the Comprehensive Overview

  • The first one is scalability. The system must smoothly and cost-effectively expand its resources and capabilities, ensuring preparedness for any spontaneous business growth.  
  • Modularity must enable the system to effortlessly incorporate new entities, functionalities, and algorithms into the product. In Virto, for instance, business logic is split into distinct modules within the platform.   
  • Open code. Open-source systems facilitate the easy development of new B2B ecommerce features, reduce dependency on the provider, and enhance flexibility.  
  • Headless architecture approach. Headless architecture is ideal for creating and maintaining multiple websites with ease as it separates frontends from the backend.   
  • API-first framework. In an API-based system, external systems can support any functionality, such as catalogs and pricing. Moreover, it effortlessly connects new channels, like third-party platforms and diverse stores, to the platform.   
  • Adaptability and readiness for upgrades. A flexible architecture, like Virto Atomic Architecture™, ensures readiness for any modification. Valuable, regular updates from the vendor must be seamlessly installed. Modern solutions enable upgrading key features without disrupting other processes. 

What is a B2B marketplace? Read Virto Insight!

Popular B2B Platforms in the United Kingdom

Talking about the market of solutions for B2B ecommerce, we can highlight several globally popular systems and ecommerce software for the UK. Let's see what the difference between them is.  

1. Magento or Adobe Commerce. It is an open-source platform for medium to large enterprises that is pretty useful for B2B ecommerce companies. Still, it is challenging in the process of utilization and is slow in scaling. Such a solution provides certain innovation capabilities at the beginning of a journey, but they become more and more complicated as the price continuously grows.  

2. Shopify Plus. This one provides powerful tools for B2B ecommerce of a small and medium size. It is excellent for beginners, but it wouldn't help you to grow at a high pace. While Shopify Plus lets developers build storefronts simply and easily, its price is too high for many smaller businesses. Additionally, it doesn't support many B2B features needed.  

3. BigCommerce. This solution offers a flexible and customizable environment, supports multi-channel selling, and more. However, it might be costly for businesses with limited resources. Moreover, it is not too customizable and requires a significant effort to change anything.  

4. SAP Commerce Cloud. While already pricey but having a vast feature set, SAP provides extra capabilities for high costs. Any innovation requires new developers, so it only fits large businesses that are not afraid of disruption at all but need many OOTB features.   

5. Virto Commerce. A B2B ecommerce platform is tailored to offer a wide range of features and tools to support complex B2B needs. Here, we can mention some of the Virto's benefits:   

Customizable modular architecture with extensive customization options.  

API-driven approach for easy integrations and greater customer experience.   

Custom pricing and discounts, advanced product configuration, multi-level customer hierarchies, and complex order management — everything to provide a B2C-like experience for B2B users.  

High extensibility due to cloud-native architecture.  

Popular integration protocols like REST and GraphQL for smoother integration.  

The headless architecture allows more maneuvering and greater results. 

Virto enterprise B2B ecommerce platform was designed for all levels of businesses: the ones beginning their digital commerce, can start with the basic options, and then move forward and grow without the need for replatforming. You can find plenty of examples in the collection of Virto success stories.   

Read a comprehensive review of the top 14 B2B ecommerce platforms (UK) for Business!

UK eCommerce Sites and Success Stories

Let's look at the examples of businesses and ecommerce companies in the UK that achieved success. All of them are well-known top ecommerce companies the UK is proud of, and that could find their way to become market leaders. 

  • RS Components. One of the biggest distributors of electronic components and popular UK ecommerce sites. This is a global vendor of electronics. The company became a leader due to its urge for innovation and constant development.  
  • Wolseley. This example is a company from the plumbing industry. This supplier of plumbing and heating products has become a go-to source for industry professionals due to its customer-centered approach.  
  • Lyreco. The company from the office and Work Solutions industry provides everything from office supplies to personal protective equipment. The business focuses on sustainability and efficiency and earned recognition thanks to its flexible approach to customers.  
  • Grainger is an industrial supplies marketplace. The supplier of a wide range of maintenance, repair, and operating products. In the UK, they provide quick delivery aimed at customer success.  
  • DHgate UK. Another example of a successful company offering a great software for B2B marketplace. DHgate UK is part of a global online wholesale. They connect UK businesses with international manufacturers and suppliers. 

All of these companies and UK ecommerce sites are targeted at the better customer experience and the use of the best B2B ecommerce platforms ready for innovation and growth. 


Looking at top ecommerce companies in the UK, we can clearly see that the B2B ecommerce market keeps developing and growing. The data collected by the top analytics agencies show that the UK takes third place on the list of top world ecommerce players. With this in mind, we consider this country to be the perfect entrance to the European market for those who aim to move online and grow internationally.  

Everything that you need for success and beating challenges of B2B ecommerce is following the best practices like caring about customer experience and choosing modern innovation-ready B2B ecommerce platform in London like Virto. In case you are still unsure of how Virto Commerce can change your future in disrupting the UK market, reach out to our team, and Virto experts will display you the solution capabilities in the context of your real needs. 

Useful links

1. — The biggest B2B ecommerce market is China (52% of sales), followed by the USA (19% of sales). — Statista

2. — The modern UK B2B eCommerce Market size aims to reach USD 2,364 billion by 2030, with an amazing CAGR of 22.9%. — Straitsresearch

3. — More than 5,000 of B2B companies are there in the UK, and 1,354 of them are B2B. — Crunchbase.

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