Find the best B2B ecommerce platform for your business
If you’re looking for a new B2B ecommerce platform to streamline the buying process for your organization, you know there are a lot of options out there — and choosing the best one can feel overwhelming.
Selecting the right B2B ecommerce platform is a major decision, so you want insight into the top choices and what they can do in order to narrow down your search.
In this article, we’ve gathered the cream of the crop and will walk you through each of the solutions to give you a better sense of whether the platform would be a good fit for your business. We’ll also cover what to look for and how to get started with actually picking a platform.
Specifically, this post will cover:
- What B2B ecommerce is
- Key features to look for
- The best B2B ecommerce platforms
- Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)
- Sana Commerce
- How to choose the right ecommerce platform for you
What is B2B ecommerce?
Business-to-business electronic commerce, or B2B ecommerce, refers to the practice of selling goods or services to other businesses via online transactions. All types of B2B sellers benefit from the flexibility and frictionless nature of online transactions.
B2B ecommerce platforms facilitate these transactions. However, each B2B ecommerce solution features a specific suite of tools and capabilities. It’s vital that you know precisely which features will deliver the most value for your business.
Key features to look for when identifying B2B ecommerce platforms
On the surface, the premise of a B2B ecommerce platform is relatively straightforward. These platforms allow B2B organizations, like distributors, wholesalers, and others, to conduct transactions with their clients. But the needs of every business are unique. With that in mind, it’s critical that you find a product that offers the features your organization needs to serve its clients adequately.
When creating your wishlist of features in your ideal B2B ecommerce platform, you should consider the following factors.
- What your product actually is. Companies that sell digital services will need a platform that offers a secure delivery platform. The B2B solution must also integrate with the digital service’s interface so that clients can seamlessly transition from purchasing a product to actually using their new software. Alternatively, businesses that sell physical goods need a platform that properly integrates with their fulfillment and inventory management technologies.
- How many channels you sell on. If you sell your products or services through multiple channels — for example, social media platforms as well as your website — you need a B2B ecommerce platform that can support them. Such a solution will allow you to integrate auxiliary sales channels with your online store, giving you superior insights into the client journey to help streamline the purchasing experience.
- Whether you want to sell wholesale. Businesses that sell wholesale need a B2B ecommerce platform that facilitates this type of transaction. For example, the technology could feature discounting tools so that businesses can apply discounts or price reductions for bulk orders.
- Whether you sell internationally. If you sell internationally, you know firsthand how complex it can be. A great B2B ecommerce platform simplifies the process by applying currency conversions and taxes to orders automatically. It also displays product or transaction data in the appropriate language for your international clients.
The best B2B ecommerce platforms
Now that you know which features to look for, let’s see what options are out there for your business. Here is a list of the seven best B2B ecommerce platforms.
1. Adobe Commerce
Adobe Commerce — formerly known as Magento — is a dynamic and flexible ecommerce platform. A technology solution that gives you the power to deliver customized, engaging shopping experiences to every type of customer, it’s built for enterprise on a scalable, open-source platform with unparalleled security, premium performance, and a low total cost of ownership. Thanks to its agility, Commerce is suitable for any client that engages in B2B, B2C, and B2B2C sales, and businesses of all sizes can use it to reach customers wherever they are, across devices and marketplaces.
Adobe Commerce is one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly B2B ecommerce solutions on the market. It includes every tool, feature, and functionality you need to oversee the customer journey and manage your B2B ecommerce business. It’s powerful and versatile enough to support your company whether you sell domestically or internationally.
From the client portal, customers can leverage a broad range of self-service tools. You can review your order history, reorder previously purchased goods, track quotes, and more.
Adobe Commerce also allows you to build customized pages for different audiences using a drag-and-drop framework, which ensures that you can provide everyone with a personalized experience.
Shopify has been embraced by thousands of small to medium-sized businesses, as well as online pop-up shops. Its most popular feature is its user-friendly interface that allows business owners to effortlessly set up their online store and begin processing payments.
While Shopify was designed for B2C businesses, the platform has since expanded to support B2B ecommerce organizations. Known as Shopify B2B ecommerce, this new iteration of the platform includes tools and features specifically designed for business-to-business transactions. Like the B2C version, Shopify B2B ecommerce is easy to set up, customize, and deploy.
Shopify is most useful for businesses that sell physical goods domestically, though it can be customized for B2B digital service sales as well.
Whereas Shopify is geared toward small and medium-sized businesses, BigCommerce B2B Edition is designed for enterprises and midmarket organizations. This technology suite includes a robust set of tools and capabilities, making it versatile enough to meet the needs of a multitude of B2B industries.
BigCommerce B2B Edition makes the list thanks to its reputation for seamlessly integrating with other systems, such as users’ enterprise resource planning software. BigCommerce B2B Edition facilitates these integrations via its lineup of application programming interfaces (APIs). All of these APIs are available to BigCommerce clients at no additional cost.
BigCommerce B2B Edition can deliver value for distributors, manufacturers, and wholesalers. It can also be a good asset for B2B2C organizations.
OroCommerce is unique from some of the other options on this list in that it was developed solely for B2B ecommerce. As such, it exhibits exceptional flexibility and a very user-friendly interface. It has the capabilities and tools needed to serve B2B businesses of all sizes, though it’s particularly useful for enterprise-level organizations.
Businesses that engage in multichannel sales can easily integrate their preferred channels with OroCommerce. The platform can meet the needs of suppliers, wholesalers, and distributors. One downfall is that it’s not suitable for businesses that engage in both B2C and B2B sales.
OroCommerce does, however, support international sales. It can process exchanges for multiple currencies and automatically add relevant taxes or fees to transactions. The developer also offers cloud hosting services via its OroCloud platform.
5. Sana Commerce
Sana Commerce acquires clients through two key value propositions. First, Sana Commerce provides B2B customers with a buying experience that’s fast, reliable, and frictionless. Offering clients an effortless purchasing experience is critical to developing loyalty and earning repeat business.
Second, Sana Commerce was designed to integrate with two of the most popular enterprise resource planning solutions (ERPs) on the market, SAP ERP and Microsoft Dynamics. Although other B2B ecommerce platforms can also integrate with these ERP solutions, the fact that Sana Commerce was tailor-made to share information with them can be quite appealing to B2B businesses.
Additionally, Sana Commerce is highly scalable. It can grow with businesses as they progress from a midmarket entity to an enterprise-sized organization. This attribute of Sana Commerce provides B2B businesses and their clients with stability and a consistent sales experience.
OpenCart is an open-source B2B ecommerce platform that’s free to download and highly customizable. This makes it incredibly appealing to small and emerging B2B businesses that have limited technology budgets.
While OpenCart’s core offering is free, its supplemental technology is not. Although some B2C companies could facilitate online sales while relying solely on the developers’ $0 cost offering, its primary add-on — OpenCart B2B Multi Vendor Marketplace — includes essential tools for B2B businesses. Therefore, OpenCart isn’t truly free for B2B businesses.
The OpenCart status as open-source software is a double-edged sword for businesses. Open-source software is highly customizable by nature, but fully achieving a meaningful level of customization requires extensive software development knowledge. For businesses, this often means bringing in a third-party development agency or hiring a full-time dev team if there isn’t already one in place.
Like OpenCart, PrestaShop is available at zero cost to businesses. This affordability makes it an incredibly appealing solution for small and midsized businesses. Also, like OpenCart, PrestaShop was originally developed for B2C organizations.
The good news is that B2B businesses can easily modify the interface to suit their needs simply by activating “B2B Mode.” At the click of a button, B2B users can add company information to customer profiles, create invoices, and prevent clients from viewing prices until they log in to the interface.
PrestaShop users can also engage in international sales. The platform is compatible with more than 195 languages and includes 60 different payment modules. While the languages are free to access, payment modules, shop themes, and some other features are not.
What’s next? Choosing the right B2B ecommerce platform for your business
Each of the entries on our list of the best B2B ecommerce platforms has some great features and capabilities.
Now that you have a better sense of the top solutions and some key considerations when making a selection, it’s time to start exploring your options more deeply. The best way to accomplish this is to schedule a demo of the world’s leading digital commerce solution for merchants and brands. That solution is Adobe Commerce.
With Commerce, you can build dynamic shopping experiences for your B2B clients. You can do the same for B2C and B2B2C clients as well. Adobe Commerce is more than a flexible shopping cart system. It’s the building block for business growth.