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B2B eCommerce is becoming more and more important for B2B distributors and manufacturers. Despite its obvious importance most companies in B2B struggle to get a quality website working for their customers to order online. If you look at most B2B eCommerce sites they look years behind the average business to consumer site in terms of user experience.

Why is that? Well for one it’s just simply harder to build a B2B eCommerce site. It requires generally more product data, complex integrations, and the companies culture and talent is typically not suited for eCommerce.

Here are the most common problems we see in B2B eCommerce:

Product Data – B2B companies are not used to having product data ready for eCommerce. It’s either in a catalog format for print or in an ERP that is not suited for customer use.

No eCommerce Manager – They often have no one qualified to manage an eCommerce platform like Magento or BigCommerce and lack any process to improve the website in a smart way.

No Real-Time ERP Integration – Most of the key data like pricing and inventory is in an ERP. Customers want this data in real time. If this sync once a week or is too slow etc they wont purchase online because they can just call in and find out real time data.

Non Customer Specific Pricing – B2B customers expect better pricing. If you are buying in volume you should get a better deal. If your eCommerce site doesn’t offer this people just won’t buy.

No Alignment With Sales Teams – The sales team should see the website as a tool to help them sell to more customers and more volume per customer. If there isn’t alignment here the website just won’t succeed in B2B.

Bad User Experience – If it’s hard to find products or get to what you want you won’t use it. It should be easy to find products, buy products, reorder, and checkout etc. You don’t need a fancy design, just a simple design that works.

Inability to Ship Quickly – If your shipping process is super slow people won’t buy online and they might call in or simply go to a competitor to try and get better shipping.

Bad Operations – eCommerce is all about operations. You need excellent operational processes to make eCommerce run well in B2B. This requires all departments working in unison!

For help with this please contact us and we will help you work through these common issues!

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