Forrester predicts that around 55% of the B2B purchases in the U.K. will be made via Ecommerce platforms in 2020.
As more B2B businesses make the transition to the online space, their customers begin to demand more, too:
- Ease of account management.
- A better user experience.
- Easier access to information.
- Personalised shopping recommendations.
- Real-time order tracking.
To be able to offer these whilst staying competitive, you need to make sure your B2B Ecommerce platform can help the process and allow you to scale quickly and cost-effectively.
Of course, not all B2B Ecommerce platforms are the same and in this article, ECOMSILVER deep-dives into the biggest vendors out there and evaluates the pros and cons of each.
So, whether you are starting your B2B Ecommerce journey or you want to reach new levels of digital selling capabilities, these platforms will help you achieve your business goals.
Comparison of the Top 6 B2B Ecommerce Platforms
1 – ECOMSILVER
We obviously had to start with this first!
To say that ECOMSILVER offers everything B2B online store owners will need to grow their business, wouldn’t be a stretch.
With more than 30 years in the Ecommerce industry, we provide specialised Ecommerce consultancy to help you scale your business.
ECOMSILVER offers a B2B Ecommerce platform that delivers security, flexibility and scalability required to sell online and achieve business goals easily.
ECOMSILVER Key Features
- WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor.
- Full web interface.
- eBay, Amazon and several omni-channel marketplace integrations.
- Display stock on hand for each product.
- Upload multiple products in one go.
- Live chat facility on the website.
- Weight-based shipping charges.
- Robust analytics reports.
- Integrated SEO tools.
- Multiple payment gateway options.
- Built-in multilingual support.
- It takes less than 0.3 seconds to search for products in an online store hosted at ECOMSILVER.
- From digital downloads to physical products to subscriptions, you can sell anything in ECOMSILVER.
- It enables you to track people who bounced back without purchasing so you can retarget them and increase your sales.
- When you use ECOMSILVER, you are entitled to receive expert advice on how you can boost your B2B business.
- You can integrate any back-office system in the platform.
- The easy-to-use interface ensures you don’t have to spend time learning about the tool.
- You get access to a wide range of marketing and SEO services that help you boost your online store’s visibility in search engines.
- ECOMSILVER allows you to create integrated invoicing for better revenue management.
- You can view site search reports to understand what most customers on your website are looking for.
- It has an in-built CDN (content delivery network) that ensures your site loads quickly from all the parts of the world.
- ECOMSILVER’s team is smaller than what you may find with Magento or Shopify Plus
Pricing of ECOMSILVER depends mainly on your business requirements. Please contact us via phone or email or better still, book a free demo to see how ECOMSILVER can help grow your brand.
2 – Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus is primarily designed for high-volume enterprise brands. With Shopify Plus, you get more control over your online store than with the standard version of Shopify.
It makes it easier to sell on all the major social media platforms and marketplaces.
Shopify Plus Key Features
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- 99.98% uptime.
- Fast servers.
- 70+ payment gateways.
- Powerful analytics.
- 24/7 customer support.
- 200 TB storage.
- Level 1 PCI DSS compliant.
- Dedicated account managers.
- Entirely customizable.
Shopify Plus Pros
- It provides unlimited bandwidth so your customers can enjoy a fast and seamless experience when shopping in your store.
- It allows you to automate your entire sales process from signup to checkout.
- You can create customised price-lists based on the number of items purchased.
- It makes it easier for you to offer percentage-based or volume-based discounts with simple purchase orders.
- It enables you to sell your products across the globe in different languages.
- The advanced reporting feature gives you deep insights into your store’s performance, customer data, and inventory.
- It can handle around ten thousand transactions per minute.
- You get access to 24/7 customer support through phone and email.
Shopify Plus Cons
- Shopify Plus isn’t very ideal for beginners and the learning curve can be a little steep for some
- You have to rely on apps to extend the back-end functionalities of your store. This can not only slow down your site speed, but also expands the data you share with anyone that shares that app. With an app update, you may find yourself having to spend money to update your site as a result.
Shopify Plus Pricing
Prices are tailored specifically for each business and its requirements and best thing to do is to contact Shopify to get a bespoke quote.
However, based on data available online, Shopify Plus charges start from £1,640 a month.
3 – Magento
Magento is typically designed for companies with a dedicated IT or development team so if your business doesn’t fall into this category then Magento may not be for you.
Magento Key Features
- Content segmentation and personalisation.
- Dynamic rule-based product relations.
- Create custom catalogs and price-lists.
- Manage multiple sites in one back-end.
- Advertise your products easily on Google Shopping Ads Channel.
- Build PWAs for your B2B Ecommerce store.
- Built-in SEO features.
- Analytics tool to analyze your ROI, conversion rate, and more.
- Inventory management across multiple physical locations.
- Smart order management.
- The basic version of Magento is free to use.
- It allows you to customise the URL structure and change the meta description for each page.
- You can choose from more than 4,600 extensions to extend your store’s functionality (such as reviews, customer attributes, search autocomplete & suggest, etc.)
- It enables you to manage multiple stores, locations, and currencies.
- As your business grows, you can scale your Magento plan accordingly.
- You can customise the entire product code and develop your own component.
- It lets you integrate various APIs and third-party systems, such as CRM, ERP, and more.
- The built-in IO (image optimisation) feature allows you to optimise the images for fast loading without affecting its quality.
- As mentioned above, it is not so user friendly for beginners and requires technical knowledge to get the most out of it.
- When compared to other platforms, Magento is a little expensive.
- It is difficult to switch from one Ecommerce platform to Magento.
- You need a dedicated server to host your Magento store.
You can download Magento for free. However, you will need to pay for web development, hosting, and other integration costs to launch and maintain your website.
These costs depend largely on your business needs. It starts from £15,000 a year and goes up to £25,000.
4 – WooCommerce
WooCommerce is as powerful as Shopify Plus, but it gives you more control over your Ecommerce store and there’s less IT infrastructure required.
Unlike other platforms in this list, WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress that offers powerful features to help you create, manage, and grow your Ecommerce store.
WooCommerce Key Features
- Add unlimited products and their variations.
- One hundred forty region-specific payment gateways to choose from.
- Real-time shipping rates from leading carriers.
- Get notifications for low and out of stock items.
- Add shop managers without making them an admin.
- Supports geo-location.
- Import and export products using a CSV file.
- Categories, tags, and attributes to make it easier to find products on your site.
- Offer guest checkout to streamline the buying process.
- If you are familiar with WordPress, using WooCommerce will be very easy for you.
- You get access to a vast selection of plugins and extensions to increase the functionalities of your Ecommerce store.
- There are tons of both free and paid themes available.
- WooCommerce is packed with in-built SEO features. Besides, you can also install external SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO.
- With WooCommerce, you can enable one-page checkout to streamline the B2B buying process.
- You can customise any part of your website, including the homepage layout and the buy button.
- It has built-in blogging features to help you publish great content and boost your visibility in the search engines.
- With WooCommerce, you can detect the location of the customer automatically and calculate the tax and shipping costs instantly.
- WooCommerce’s analytics isn’t as powerful as other Ecommerce platforms.
- There’s no phone support available, only email. Besides, there’s no central support – every theme, plugin, and hosting comes with different support channels.
- Costs of Ecommerce platforms built on WooCommerce can quickly spiral out of control as each plugin can have their own annual costs and when you consider that the average Ecommerce site can have as many as 20 plugins, this can make a significant cost impact to any business
- WooCommerce isn’t available on a standalone basis which means that you must have the base WordPress installation and that means that the kind of features and tools available to you is limited not just by WooCommerce but also WordPress
Just like Magento, WooCommerce is free to use, but you have to bear the cost of development, domain, hosting, support, etc. Bluehost offers exclusive price for WordPress + WooCommerce at £10.73 per month (£3.62 per month for new users for the first term) for 100 GB storage.
5 – BigCommerce
BigCommerce is a leading Ecommerce platform that offers a decent level of scalability to online store owners with more built-in sales tools in BigCommerce than any other Ecommerce platform.
However, many of these can be complex, making it difficult for beginners to use. So, if you’re new to Ecommerce or don’t have the technical knowledge, you BigCommerce may not be for you.
BigCommerce Key Features
- Unlimited staff accounts.
- Automated image optimisation.
- More than 65 integrated payment gateways.
- WordPress Integration.
- Headless Commerce APIs to customise your merchandising.
- Quote management.
- Global CDN.
- Multilingual support through third-party APIs.
- Several built-in features for sales and marketing.
- You get access to over 600 apps to choose from the BigCommerce app store to extend the functionality of your website.
- BigCommerce offers 24/7 phone, email, and live chat support.
- It allows you to customise the URL, edit robots.txt, and Metadata to improve your site’s ranking in the SERPs.
- You can segment your customers for pricing, product access, and promotions in a single site.
- It lets you give B2B customers a B2C level experience with custom pricing at the SKU level. You can even customise bulk pricing for individual customers.
- It comes with an in-built blog so you can take advantage of content marketing without any third-party app or tool.
- The complexity of the platform makes it unsuitable for beginners.
- There’s a limit on annual online sales on each plan.
BigCommerce offers a 15-day free trial post which you have to pay monthly. BigCommerce offers four plans.
- Standard Plan – £23.03 per month – £40,000 annual sales limit.
- Plus Plan – £55.33 per month – £120,000 annual sales limit.
- Pro Plan – £172.98 per month – £320,000 annual sales limit.
- Enterprise Plan – It has custom pricing and is available on request.
If you exceed the annual sales limit, you’ll be forced to upgrade the plan to continue accepting more orders. Therefore, make sure to choose a plan based on your annual sales revenue.
6 – Mobisoft
Mobisoft is an Ecommerce platform that makes it easier for B2B business owners to sell in the most efficient way. Mobisoft’s unique value proposition is that it’s designed with mobile first in mind so if you’re the kind of user who is on the go quite a bit, Mobisoft can be a suitable option for your B2B Ecommerce platform.
- Push notifications.
- A direct communication channel between your brand and your customers.
- Real-time personalisation.
- Integrated ERP.
- Different order templates to streamline the buying process.
- Powerful Analytics.
- Built-in marketing tools.
- It allows you to integrate YouTube videos on your site easily. This helps in increasing the dwell time, thereby boosting your SEO.
- You get complete control over how your website looks.
- The smart algorithms of Mobisoft allow you to offer the right products to the right customers at the right time using their browsing behavior and past purchase history.
- You can create order templates for your customers so your customers can just select the quantity to order the product.
- Mobisoft enables you to define your minimum order quantity for each product.
- You can set credit limits for each customer.
- The 24/7 support system ensures your business doesn’t suffer due to any issue.
- There is no in-built feature for blogging.
- It isn’t as feature-rich as other platforms.
Varies from business to business – best thing to do is to get in touch for a bespoke quote.
4 Essential B2B Ecommerce Features You Should Look For
1 – Powerful Restriction Options
B2B businesses can have some unique and individual requirements and may not wish to make all product or pricing data available to everyone.
For example, you might want to:
- Hide your bulk pricing.
- Hide certain products from non-registered members.
- Restrict certain products as per the geo-location.
Because of this, you would want the Ecommerce platform to give you the option to allow or restrict access to some parts of your website on an individual basis.
2 – Customizable Transactional System
You need to make sure that the B2B platform you choose allows for transactional options in one unified solution. Why? Because it helps in offering dynamic prices based on the order size or membership tier.
It also means giving lines of credit to high-value customers and offering B2B credit is a proven way to boost your sales.
However, you will need to identify responsible purchasers and you might want to offer special price or delivery options to your best clients depending on their location, purchase order or some other factor.
So having these kinds of customisable transactional capabilities is a huge bonus.
3 – Enhanced UI/UX With Optimisation Options
When it comes to user experience, B2B clients have similar expectations as B2C customers – They want easy navigation, a clear user interface, and personalised recommendations.
Having a powerful search feature is a must and advanced search capabilities for any Ecommerce site is likely going to be a growing B2B Ecommerce trend for 2020.
Additionally, your Ecommerce platform should offer a search button that allows your customers to find a product of their choice within microseconds.
4 – High-Level Security
With the rise in cyberattacks in online selling, security is one of the biggest concerns of every Ecommerce store owner and your online store should meet all the necessary security standards.
The PCI (Payment Card Industry) has set compliance standards that every organisation (that is accepting online payments) must follow. It ensures that the businesses handle the credit card information and payments of their customers securely.
If your business is not PCI compliant, you’re at risk of losing your merchant account. This means you won’t be able to accept credit card payments at all.
Therefore, it is important to verify whether the Ecommerce platform you choose offers features like PCI compliance, fraud detection, and additional security (such as SSL).
We hope you find this 2020 guide on choosing a B2B Ecommerce platform useful. If there’s anything that ECOMSILVER can help you with please get in touch and we’ll be happy to assist!