It should come as a surprise to no one that the B2B e-commerce industry is now substantially larger than the B2C market. E-commerce platforms provide greater efficiency and ease for businesses to interact with one another and achieve desired results. With so many out there, picking the one that satisfies your needs as a business may prove to be a challenge.
After all, choosing the right B2B platform may prove to be the difference between success and failure. But how to choose the right platform when almost all of them provide uniform features with minute variations? Luckily, there are ways to help identify the e-commerce platform that would best suit your business and allow it to expand in the long run.
1. Prioritize your Strategy
- Before setting out to find the best platform, take some time to prioritize what your strategy might be going forward.
- In simpler words, decide what you want to do first and which component of the e-commerce system would help you achieve it best.
- Of course, one strategy would take priority over another, for example, you might want to focus on increasing B2B sales as compared to controlling inventory levels.
2. Integrate your Systems
- Integration is absolutely necessary for achieving success in e-commerce.
- APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) play a crucial role here in integrating your back end and front end systems which in turn improves functionality.
- Poor integration leads to bad customer experience which can damage your reputation and cost you, clients.
- That is why customers need to feel a sense of continuity and connection while using platforms that are aware of their industry requirements and business model.
- At the end of the day, integration is all about how well your systems can handle simultaneous customer orders while creating an overall smooth customer experience.
3. Knowing your Platforms
- With hundreds of platforms available all over the internet, it is important to know where to look for the best ones.
- Once you’ve found the best platforms, it is time to assess them through comparison.
- Some platforms may focus more on pricing options while others specialize in order management.
- For example, Order circle can increase your B2B sales by offering sophisticated whole selling tools such as special pricing offers for particular customers, best suited to their business model and industry.
- In the end, it comes down to opportunity cost and which component of the B2B e-commerce system you are willing to put more effort into.
4. Research your Options
- A cloud-based B2B e-commerce solution isn’t your only option, where the service provider provides the server for the software.
- You can also opt for On-premise platforms where the software is installed at a localized site; however, you would have to bear the added responsibility of finding and maintaining servers on your own.
- This can affect security, costs, and maintenance in the long run, all of which play a vital role in choosing an e-commerce platform, to begin with. It all comes down to how much control and responsibility you are looking for.
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