B2B e-commerce is expected to hit $1.1 trillion by 2020. Based on this projection, many B2B merchants consider having an e-commerce website as an absolute necessity.
When it comes to choosing an e-commerce solution, a lot of things must be considered. With so many existing e-commerce platforms in the market, identifying one that meets all your needs might not be as easy as it may sound. So, what are some of the features and functionalities which you should consider when doing your search?
A cloud-based platform means that you do not have to worry about the hosting and data infrastructure of your site. Also, you do not have to spend a significant amount of money upfront on purchasing hardware which you can use to run your e-commerce platform. Other things which you should not worry about include the general expense of maintaining your server and generally the security of your data and client information.
Many people use mobile devices during the B2B purchasing processes. As a B2B e-commerce trader, you basically should create an outstanding user experience for buyers who use such tools to research and make orders. Ideally, your platform should be optimized for mobile user experience by having features like click-to-call, auto-fill services and by and large a mobile-optimized layout.
Coming up with a make-shift e-commerce website and using it to promote your products and brand might save you some bucks. However, you will end up paying the price much later. As your business grows, traffic to your website will increase and soon you will start registering high purchasing volumes. As this takes place, your make-shift e-commerce website might easily cost you customers and money, especially if it has a slow load time. Thus, you should consider going for an option that is stable and able to grow with you.
Your e-commerce platform should allow your clients to do more than just taking orders. It should allow them to manage their accounts easily, find useful information, e.g. their purchase history, track different laws that they may have made, communicate with you using a simple chat box and most importantly, track their payments. An e-commerce website with such an option will easily help increase your customer base since many people prefer carrying such functions on their own and only seek help when need be.