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Anna Lysenko
Written by
Anna Lysenko
Partnerships & Account Manager at Gepard
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B2B eCommerce eCommerce eCommerce Strategy

Starting A B2B ECommerce Platform: TOP 4 Mistakes

8 min read
November 1, 2021

If you are thinking about creating your B2B eCommerce platform, you have to be aware of the common mistakes newly-made entrepreneurs make. Our new article highlights the four main mistakes in implementing a B2B eCommerce solution

What Is B2B eCommerce Platform

Business to business eCommerce platform is an online space or software solution that facilitates the sales and transactions are made by the parties, both of which are considered businesses. 

Nowadays there are four types of B2B eCommerce platforms: business-to-customer, business-to-business, customer-to-customer, and customer-to-business. Using eCommerce platforms helps to reduce spending on marketing and sales departments.

Successful B2B ECommerce Platform Examples

Here are some growing B2B eCommerce examples and their key features overview to help you better understand how these platforms work and if they meet your business requirements.

1. BigCommerce. It’s an eCommerce platform for small and medium businesses. 

Positive sides of BigCommerce:

  • Has a free trial. A good option to understand the pros and cons of the platform;
  • SEO automatic site maps. It’s a blueprint of a website that helps search machines to find it;
  • Sitewide HTTPS. BigCommerce encrypts all pages, not only ones with secure information.

This eCommerce platform also offers:

  • 65 payment integrations;
  • virtual training for newbie users;
  • PageBuilder;
  • 24/7 technical support;
  • inventory managing.

2. Salesforce Commerce Cloud. It is a cloud-based eCommerce solution with an open commerce Application Programming Interface.

Clients like this platform because of:

  • Product management. From the very beginning to the end;
  • One-touch payment. No more clicks and payment links;
  • Pricing management. It’s an information integrating process that makes possible optimal pricing decisions;
  • Customer segmentation. Helps you to find familiarity among customer groups.

3. Mirakl. The platform works on a B2B and B2C basis, provides a high level of data security, and also has customization features for clients. 

The main characteristics of the platform are:

  • product synchronization;
  • seller synchronization;
  • simple export and import of file; 
  • 24/7 technical support. The team of professionals helps you to solve problems with the platform and answers all your questions.

4. Gepard. With its user-friendly interface and intelligent mapping techniques, Gepard helps brands and retailers automatically optimize and exchange product content.

The key features of the platform are:

  • Data syndication. Helps you to regularly optimize the product data flow and adjust it to the retailer’s requirements. 
  • Data validation. With this feature, you can check the important data attributes to guarantee content compliance for your business. 
  • Content collection automation. The built-in mapping algorithms facilitate flawless data collection and enrichment without manual work with the spreadsheets. 
  • Data standardization. Automatically adopt product content to the universal data standards, eliminate data errors, and comply with the consistent set of standards. 

TOP Four Mistakes When Starting A B2B eCommerce Business

Main Mistakes When Starting A B2B eCommerce PlatformAccording to Business Insider,  the number of small businesses in the US has dropped by 29% since January and revenue has plunged by 31.9% over the same period. Often these numbers can be explained by mistakes made by newbie entrepreneurs. 

Creating a B2B eCommerce platform means tons of proper market research. You can’t create a liveable business model without a solid knowledge base.  Ignoring this fact can destroy your business at the very start. Read about this and other eCommerce mistakes below. 

Mistake #1: Launching Without Proper Market Research

Launching an eCommerce platform without conducting proper research brings about plenty of problems in the future. 

The cons of such step:

  • Choosing the wrong business model leads to the possibility of never acquiring customers. Be assured about what you sell, what problems your product or service solves, and who can be your target audience. It’s a base for creating a strong business plan and staying in the same line as your competitors do.
  • Ignoring competitors and their actions on the market cancels out your value proposition. It includes both newbies-competitors and experienced ones. Both types of competitors can set up new trends in your industry, create new product standards, or just attract your clients. 
  • Not researching and understanding your customers will make your business non-customer-centric. It’s a mistake to think that B2B doesn’t have to be customer-centric. It helps to optimize the omnichannel experiences for every customer by high-quality interaction on every level.
  • Not learning about the technologies that could fit your business needs leads to lost time and budget. This includes automation, information, analytic, social, and research technologies. But it is also necessary to choose technologies wisely, without unreasonable trends following.

Mistake #2: Poor Investment In Sales & Marketing

Unfortunately, owning a business doesn’t mean you know every single aspect of running it.

That’s why it’s needed to involve specialists to:

  • create eCommerce platform marketing strategies;
  • optimize your platform for search engines;
  • make sales; 
  • analyze customer needs.

Mistake #3: Providing Poor Product Information 

Delivering the necessary product data to your potential customer is crucial. Here’s the basic product information to provide your target audience with:

  • Model or part number;
  • UPC, or similar;
  • Price;
  • Case pack / Weight / Cube value;
  • Freight class;
  • Documentation;
  • Availability;
  • Visually appealing photography.

Providing additional information about the product is also about a customer-centric approach, and includes at least:  

  • Product content enrichment;
  • Providing customer-specific pricing options.

A better practice is to add to basic information:

  • video outlook;
  • use cases;
  • comparison with similar products.

Mistake #4: Having No Integrations/Connectors To Other Platforms

Add more connections to your platform to solve this problem and create a better experience for every target client. eCommerce business integrations are important to everybody who wants to delegate back-end tasks to professionals. It’s a good investment into an online business that will save you money and time. As a result, you’ll have a good-working online shop that covers customer’s needs in a fast, modern, and holistic shopping space. 

Gepard saves your team’s time by solving one of the biggest and time consuming problems — managing product information. Gepard PIM system provides smooth integration with eCommerce platforms and automates product data validation, standardization and data push to various marketplaces. 

Here are some examples of effective integrations of efficient B2B eCommerce software:

  • Payment integrations. It makes online transactions possible and stimulates sales processes;
  • Analytic integrations. Makes tracking customer behavior on the website easier. 
  • SEO integrations. Created to attract new leads via the blog and SEO-optimized content.

In a time of Covid, avoiding those eCommerce mistakes can save your business from failure. Facing such eCommerce challenges as poor product information or bad marketing with the right approach also makes your clients feel like you do care about them, which grows your business loyalty and helps to retain customers

B2B eCommerce Best Practices

eCommerce now is the number one business-to-business tool, yet, the poor online shopping experience results in lost customer trust and brand loyalty, increased customer churn, and shopping cart abandonment rates that brings much more far-reaching implications.

How to succeed in starting a B2B eCommerce business? We narrowed down a few tips.

Treat B2B Ecommerce Clients The Same As You Serve B2C Customers

B2B eCommerce solutions should be just as comfortable for clients, as B2C websites. Businesses, as your clients, also expect:

  • High-quality product images and videos

Make sure to provide your potential customers with top-notch visual content. Create effective and highly engaging product images such as 360-degree product reviews, and high-resolution videos (guides & video instructions) to increase customer confidence and leave a lasting impression on your potential clients.
Flexible payment and shipping options

Your B2B eCommerce website should provide multiple payment options, to increase the chances of purchase and decrease the shopping cart abandonment rate. Since B2B eCommerce involve businesses as participants in a sales process that entails large qualities of products and much higher bills, your payment options should be extremely secure. Business owners are usually very cautious about the right clearance choice.
Some of the most common options for B2B payments are paper checks, wire payments, ACH payments, and credit card payments. Offering recurring B2B online payments, such as subscriptions is an important part of business-to-business sales.

  • Real-time products availability

Having a B2B platform with the ability of real-time product updates is just as essential for business-to-business eCommerce, as for business-to-consumer. Real-time inventory updates throughout all the sales channels increase the chances of customer satisfaction and increased sales. Up-to-date inventory information is especially vital for B2B, as not providing fresh product data may expose the buyer’s plans on production at risk and result in slow time-to-market for businesses that purchase products.

  • Enhance Your B2B eCommerce Platform Search Possibilities

Understanding B2B eCommerce website search mechanisms is the key to successful business-to-business online sales. When enabling the search engine for B2B eCommerce, it should be taken into consideration that the search functionality is made for enterprises, which means that the amounts of products and SKU are much bigger than in the case of B2C sales. Keeping in mind the B2B search patterns is important for enabling the right search engine.

Make sure to provide the business clients with the following information in a matter of seconds after the search inquiry:

  • Part number;
  • Manufacturer/brand;
  • Product title;
  • Item details and more.

Your B2B platform should have an option of searching by concrete keywords and synonyms, searching by business pain points, features, and descriptors lookup. A sensible search logic, implemented along with the rich product descriptions is a guarantee that the clients will be able to access what they are looking for in no time, without switching to the competitor’s sales platform.

Improve The Convenience Of Wholesale Options

Your wholesale platform should be available also for B2B clients. Every customer, including enterprises, should be granted access to the top-notch digital version of your website with easily accessible wholesale options. Do not make your B2B clients send you an inquiry about your product stock, and then deal with Excel datasheets.

B2B wholesale platform with a chance to buy in bulk online increase the chances of purchase and reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate.

B2B eCommerce Solutions FAQ 

We prepared brief answers to the most common questions about B2B eCommerce solutions. It will give you a better understanding of what B2B eCommerce looks like nowadays. 

What Are the eCommerce Trends in 2022?

B2B eCommerce Trends

Here are some important trends that B2B eCommerce platforms should keep up with in 2022: 

  • AR. It’s a virtual reality that involves overlaying sensory effects onto the world. Now it’s used to show products to customers. This technology gives more ways to understand the product.  The better customer understands what he or she is buying, the more likely the item will be returned to the shop. It saves the business time, money, and reputation.   
  • Voice search via the website. According to Google,  20% of searches in the Google app are now made by voice. The respondents said they were using it mostly while working remotely or being alone in the office, yet a surprising 40% use voice search in the presence of colleagues and other people, which shows how fast this trend is growing. It certainly is going to change the way buyers interact with computers/mobile devices and the way their customer journey evolves. 
  • Sustainability. In simple words, it’s creating material things and providing services without negatively affecting nature. People want to know where, how, from what materials, and by whom their sneakers and other everyday life things are made. Make sure your products and platform are sustainable, constantly check if you are following the eco-trends and how your competitors manage to establish sustainability.   
  • Customizable products. This B2B eCommerce trend is connected with the previous one. People like the possibility to buy unique products that suit them the best. Omnichannel delivery is one of the ways to provide a personalized buying experience, increase the customer base and retain the existing customers. 

What Are ECommerce Product Trends in the Near Future?   

One of the most noticeable B2B eCommerce trends of the nearest future is drone delivery. This technology could cover a pretty big part of all deliveries, which is going to develop for the hard-to-reach regions of the planet.  Also, selling on social networks will grow as a trend, so adding social media channels as sales channels is definitely worth the effort. Visual eCommerce is another growing trend that will incorporate interactive product data, user-generated content, and engaging rich content. 

Selling On Social Networks Trend

What Is a B2B eCommerce Platform Connector?

It’s software that helps businesses to integrate into the back-end systems and sales channels. Integrations with various eCommerce channels bring more opportunities for sales growth, customer acquisition, and retention and grows customer satisfaction.

What’s Next?

Ready to start up an eCommerce platform without spending hours on manual data-related work? Then the product information management solution is the answer.

Gepard automates a lot of content-related processes and enables you to automatically connect to various marketplaces, easily integrate with retailers and partners, without having to manually adjust product data to numerous ever-changing requirements of online sales platforms. 

If you need examples of how it works, view the Gepard cases about successful integrations of B2B eCommerce platforms with other services. 

How To Start A B2B eCommerce Platform

Anna Lysenko
Written by Anna Lysenko
Partnerships & Account Manager at Gepard
8 years of expertise in B2B sales, as well as account management. Passionate about supporting clients in meeting their strategic goals by delivering the projects that are aimed at easing their business processes, driving sales, digitalizing workflows, and growing profits while scaling the share in the market. My main goal is the client's success.

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