What is the best B2B ecommerce platform? There are hundreds of options available on the market of ecommerce platforms without a single “best ecommerce platform” to stand out because they all vary in functionality, features, usability and offer many different choices of building a website, accounting for your personal needs, resources and preferences.
Some of the universal features that the best ecommerce platforms would have are:
- Availability of listing and displaying products, with the ability of comparison between them
- Allowing your buyers to put products into the “Shopping cart”
- Allowing your customers to place an order from their cart later
- Collecting payments and offering multiple payment options for the orders
- Providing the store owner and the customer with information about the order
- Allowing the customer to place feedback or a review
And these useful features of the best online store platform do not stop there. Some of the top ecommerce platforms will provide you with certain eccentricities like unique design features, additional security options, marketing tools and so on. With all of that in mind, the best way to go is to choose a digital commerce platform that offers the maximum output for your business and provides you with the most
Questions to ask yourself while choosing the best online store platform for your business
When selecting the right ecommerce platform for you, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Stock size. What is the size of your inventory? Try to find the ecommerce platform where you can create flexible product catalogs to list thousands of product items without losing website performance.
- Physical or digital. Do you provide online services or physical products? Think about the shipping costs and the ways your product will be delivered to your customer. There are ecommerce platforms that are specifically tied to physical or digital goods sales.
- Payment methods. Not all online store platforms choose third-party payment methods, and you need to consider this as well. PayPal is usually a good option easy to use in making arrangements with the best ecommerce platforms. Stripe is also the “must-have” for the platform in 2018.
- Self-hosted or hosted by the online store platform. The option of self-hosting a website is to control the source code of your online store and modify it regularly. Platform-hosted solutions save your time taking care of server management and system administration.
Now let’s move from the topic of questions you ask yourself to the topic of questions you ask your potential ecommerce platform.
There are quite a lot of different B2B ecommerce platforms, with their own unique capabilities and differences. That is why it is good to cover the “select one” part a bit more thoroughly.
First, the most obvious points of comparison would are the most basic ones, like pricing, third-party application support, overall design and customization capabilities, flexibility, scalability, platform’s popularity and reputation, and so much more. More specific requests are bound to happen for each market, of course.
Moving to the topic of specific questions that you should ask when choosing a platform – any platform provider should be able to incorporate all of the different functions in one platform-sized package. The most important groups of features include:
- Customer support
- Order management
- Promotion and pricing controls
- Easy reporting and analytics
- Content management system
However, because of your specific business needs or your specific market, you might ask different questions within each category. To simplify the choice, you must submit an RFP (Request for proposal).
An RFP is usually used to approach several different ecommerce platforms with the same exact question and the ability to directly compare their answers afterwards. The fact that you create this request for yourself means you can automatically include and prioritize everything in the exact way your business needs. However, it is not an easy solution. An RFP for ecommerce might include hundreds of questions and creating them can be more difficult than answering them.
On the other hand, the overall method of RFP’s work allows you to at least segregate all of your questions you want to ask into several categories, like:
- General questions
- Site’s UI/UX questions
- Hosting questions
- Administration questions
- Questions regarding analytics
- Checkout questions
- Promotion questions
- SEO-related questions
- Questions about products and catalogs
- Platform’s customer support questions, and more
Segregating all of your questions into categories might make it easier to determine which of all the listed ecommerce platforms you need and simplify the overall process. Most of these categories are pretty straightforward and each one of them can consist of a lot of questions. As an example, “Site’s UI/UX questions” category would include questions like:
- Is there an option to install and use custom web forms?
- Can we make the shopping cart persistent across multiple devices?
- Is there any kind of mobile-optimized checkout already available?
- Can you expand the number of features in our themes?
- Is there a preview option for themes we haven’t bought yet?
- How much of the customization can be done with the tools available within a standard desktop browser?
Other categories are working like that, too. Creating your own personalized list of questions in regards to your needs when it comes to the subject of your future ecommerce platform might help you a lot with choosing the correct one since you can answer most of those questions without even addressing the company itself.
Considering that choosing a B2B ecommerce platform can be challenging and daunting, in this article, we wanted to review the top ecommerce platforms that will match your needs and provide you with a perfect solution for your business.