What is a B2B eCommerce Business Model?

| Updated on March 21, 2024

Frequently, people wonder what is B2B eCommerce, and often picture it as a B2C environment. However, eCommerce B2B is designed for business-to-business transactions. Many types serve multiple industries. If you’re interested in learning more about B2B eCommerce models and trends, this is the blog for you.

What is B2B eCommerce? 

B2B eCommerce is providing a marketplace where both the buyer and seller are businesses. B2B can encompass multiple industries from accounting to farm equipment to office products to mobile devices to electronics and more. Further, the B2B digital eCommerce market is valued at 6 times more than the B2C market.

As COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation across all industries, the B2B eCommerce is here to stay and will only get bigger in the near future. Further, these are the trends we will see more of in the next 5-to-10-years:

  • Hyper-personalization
  • Omnichannel
  • Mobile growth
  • Data analytics
  • Conversational commerce
  • Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

What is the Difference Between B2B and B2C? 

A B2C seller would be a brand like Nordstrom, Walmart, or Home Depot. On the other hand, B2B sellers focus on selling products to businesses such as selling medical supplies to a private clinic or lab.

  • More formal and hierarchical relationships
  • Longer buying cycles
  • Personalized products and prices
  • Multiple decision-makers
  • Corporate accounts and roles
  • Complex payment options

What are the Benefits of B2B eCommerce?

By leveraging B2B eCommerce, companies can reach a far larger audience and underserved markets across borders, countries, and continents and offer an always-on marketplace. Relative to onsite shopping, B2B eCommerce helps to decrease costs, improve operational efficiencies, automate many redundant and manual tasks, and reach B2B audiences where they are. Here are several other benefits we ended to mention:

  • Sell over multiple channels and sites
  • Personalize website experiences
  • Automate workflows and processes
  • Create purchasing workflows
  • Scale and future-proof your business
  • Use key integrations to centralize data

What Types of Businesses Does B2B eCommerce Help?

Worldwide, online B2B marketplaces are the fastest-growing in the eCommerce space. Multiple businesses shop from B2B marketplaces, including:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Wholesalers
  • B2M Brands
  • D2C (Directly-to-consumer) Brands
  • Multi-channel Brands

Who are the Stakeholders Who Shop with B2B eCommerce Marketplaces?

Since B2B eCommerce caters to businesses, these are the types of department heads who make and approve purchases for their respective companies:

  • Executive leadership
  • CMOs and marketing executives
  • VP sales and sales executives
  • CTOs and IT

Are There Various Types of B2B eCommerce?

B2B eCommerce business models do vary. You can determine the right model for your organization based on your location, what you sell, your industry, your business type, and your future growth plans. As you can see, B2B eCommerce models are wide-ranging, including:

  • B2B2B (business to business to business) eCommerce
  • B2B2C (business to business to customer)
  • D2C (direct to customer) eCommerce model 
  • B2M (business to many) eCommerce
  • B2E (business to employee) eCommerce
  • B2G (business to government) eCommerce 

How Do You Know It’s Time for a B2B eCommerce Solution?

If any of the points below feel relevant to your situation, then it’s time to look for a B2B eCommerce platform:

  • You don’t have a digital presence currently and do not have experience with eCommerce.
  • You are unable to address your customer’s expectations around user experience, purchasing, and workflows.
  • You run multiple brands, in multiple markets with multiple languages, or across various industry verticals but only have one storefront. 
  • Your data is stuck in silos, and integration seems foreign. 
  • Your systems for producing product data, ordering, pricing, checkout, and customer segmentation are highly complicated, convoluted, and sometimes, outdated.
  • You can’t scale without causing significant performance issues.
  • You can’t follow and optimize the customer journey for mobile, localization, and personalization. 
  • Your current systems and processes aren’t integrated with your eCommerce platform. 
  • Your current eCommerce solution is expensive to maintain and does not address your customers’ expectations.

How Do You Execute a Successful B2B eCommerce Initiative? 

While every business is unique, and strategies that work for your organization may not work as well for others, here are the primary components for an effective B2B eCommerce deployment: 

  • Define your B2B needs.
  • Define your shoppers’ needs.
  • Select a team or department to head your initiative.
  • Modify associated processes to work with the platform.
  • Determine your B2B eCommerce MVP.
  • Create content and product descriptions.
  • Work on a timeline for implementation.

Fortunately, open-source B2B eCommerce platforms such as OroCommerce provide the ability to automate time-consuming processes using low code. Right out of the box, OroCommerce comes with the features needed to support any B2B eCommerce model, from B2B2C to D2C and more. Further, it is a flexible and agile platform including an API that ensures you can create a custom B2B eCommerce marketplace that can scale with your business.

Why Choose OroCommerce B2B eCommerce?

OroCommerce is not a one-size-fits-all B2C solution, it is tailored for B2B eCommerce right out of the box with support for sellers, customers, resellers, partners, brokers, and stakeholders. It also provides a back-end admin to help you maintain long-term business-to-business relationships.

In addition, you can count on the ability to manage data, inventory, multiple websites, and vendor portals from a centralized portal. As your single source of truth, OroCommerce ensures you only need to enter data around products, inventory, and pricing into one system.  

OroCommerce also supports self-service and intuitive UX experiences for your customers, along with options for personalization to drive trust and loyalty. Since it is open-source, you can count on continuous improvements backed by a robust ecosystem of developers and end-users. 

You can build your B2B eCommerce marketplace from the ground up rapidly and deploy in the cloud based business intelligence or on-premises complete with integrations and PWAs for headless eCommerce. OroCommerce also comes with a built-in CRM system to ensure you never lose track of your sales pipelines, projections, forecasting, and marketing. Additionally, OroCommerce provides the ability to launch a completely functional storefront, ready to sell, quickly. Therefore, you can focus less on road mapping and more on getting started on your ROI.

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John M. Flood

John is a crypto enthusiast, Fintech writer, and stock trader. His writings provide guides to perform your best in the crypto world and stock planet. He is a B-Tech graduate from Stanford University and also holds a certification in creative writing. John also has 5 years of experience in exploring and understanding better about the FinTech industry. Over time, he gained experience and expertise by implementing his customized strategies to play in the crypto market.

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