Evaluating B2B eCommerce Solutions: Core Functionality

Technology and solutions for B2B and wholesale eCommerce businesses continue to rapidly evolve. As such it can be difficult to know what’s available off the shelf to strengthen your business and make it effective for all your stakeholders.

To help merchants as they work through their next store and what they require, Zoey has developed a checklist that can help merchants identify what B2B eCommerce solutions and features will be most important, and make it easier to compare solutions.

In this blog we look at many of the core features B2B and wholesale businesses tell us they need to function online, the sorts of basic features that most businesses need to leverage today.

If you’re considering your next move, we encourage you to think about which of these features are most important, and make sure you ask a provider if they can satisfy these requirements.

Wholesale Registration Capability

An electronic registration form linked to a B2B eCommerce solution is still a bit of a novelty – many businesses capture interest via submission forms or even Google Drive, instead of letting their potential buyers simply register.

Such registration flows can incorporate steps like submitting the required documentation to be a buyer (such as licenses or tax exemption certificates) to avoid rounds of back and forth to get a potential buyer in the system.

Leverage a Public B2B eCommerce Catalog…

For some, their catalog can be valuable for Search Engine Optimization by making information about what you sell available. This doesn’t mean you have to reveal everything, though: You can hide your pricing to guests and logged out visitors. And you can disable the ability to add an item to the cart for those who aren’t logged in as well.

…Or Require a Login to View the Site

The alternative is requiring your buyers to login to see your catalog, information and pricing. This take on an order portal format in functionality, and can make it easier to protect proprietary information. In addition, most buyers don’t expect a heavily designed experience when using an order portal.

Advanced eCommerce Analytics

Data remains important for B2B eCommerce businesses, and that includes the ability to see ordering frequency, what items commonly sell together, customer segmentation and types of buyers, and so on. It can help identify which buyers are overdue to order, see the evolution of how and when orders are placed, and more.

Quick Order Functionality

B2B eCommerce is about being able to order quickly. For businesses where your buyers know and commonly order specific SKUs, the ability to quickly add SKUs and quantities in a list and bulk apply to the cart, or even paste in a CSV data of such information, can make such a process simpler for your buyers.

Table/Catalog Shopping View for B2B eCommerce

Similar to what buyers would encounter in a print catalog, a table view can convey a lot of helpful information about a product category or line in a single screen. And, it can allow for adding multiple related SKUs into the cart at the same time.

Robust Catalog Search

Finding the right item in more complicated catalogs can be challenging for buyers. So a strong search capability can be quite supportive in their search for the right items and allowing a sale to proceed. A couple of aspects can be critical:

  • Fuzzy search: Perfect spelling shouldn’t be a mandate to find the right item. Fuzzy search can forgive the occasional typo and still yield results that line up with what the buyer intended to search.
  • Faceted search: Being able to search by various data attributes, whether as it relates to the product or data attached to it (such as parts that works for these specific products), can help your buyers zoom in on exactly the item they require.

Get Organized Around B2B eCommerce Solutions

To see the entire list of features, organized helpfully by category to help you plan for your next site, download our checklist:

Get Your Copy Now!

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