“How may I help you, sir?”
“Nothing right now, thanks, I’m just browsing.”
Two minutes later, your customer turns around to ask a question and finds no salesperson in sight!
How often have you faced a situation like this? As a B2B seller, you may prefer traditional sales channels. However, salespeople aren’t available 24×7 and don’t always have all the facts at their fingertips. You may opt for real-world stores across cities with personal sales and account management. After all, you deal with complex products that require technical expertise to sell – and to buy, too. You have hundreds of SKUs. The specification differences between them seem minor but are significant.
B2B eCommerce, even for a highly technical product range, is not complex any more. The US B2B eCommerce market saw significant growth in 2020, reaching $6.7 trillion. This is more than double the $3.2 trillion market value registered just a decade ago. The market is projected to continue to boom, reaching $26.59 trillion by 2030! This growth potential may encourage you to move to B2B eCommerce.
Platforms such as BigCommerce’s new B2B edition are making it easy for you to piggyback on this growth.
Challenges to moving online
One of our B2B eCommerce customers shared that their biggest challenge to moving online lay in uploading SKUs. It took time to set up their online store and create multiple product pages, with all options and pricing, as well as custom price lists. The objective of the website was to empower their sales team, not make them redundant.
Here at Ziffity, we work with a number of B2B eCommerce platforms to make online store development easier.
In this blog, we’re exploring the features, uses and benefits of BigCommerce B2B Edition.
Why should you opt for BigCommerce B2B Edition?
The B2B Edition combines BigCommerce Enterprise and the B2B Edition app to deliver enterprise-level B2B functionality to businesses.
Design custom buying experiences: You can create unique functionalities and features specific to your buyers. You can define custom account hierarchies and design responsive, mobile-friendly sites. This can give your buyers a personalized and seamless purchasing journey.
Empower sales teams: Your salespersons can generate custom quotes, apply discounts and even shop on behalf of customers. This helps close deals faster.
Adapt to market changes: The platform is scalable, flexible, and can be integrated with other systems. This lets you promptly adapt to market changes and be competitive.
Build multiple storefronts: Thanks to headless commerce, you can use different software for your online store’s front-end and back-end. This capability lets you create various storefronts, each with a unique design, functionality, and user experience, yet all managed from one dashboard. You can choose from six B2B-ready Stencil themes for the front-end. You can create your website using a Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress or Contentstack.
Minimize maintenance costs: Since BigCommerce handles the website’s technical maintenance and server management, you save time and money on these tasks. You can concentrate on core business activities instead.
Enhance the shopping experience: The platform offers advanced payment options, shared shopping lists, and buy-again capabilities. This provides convenience for loyal customers.
What are its features?
Let’s look at the features of BigCommerce B2B Edition that can help you simplify, manage and scale your B2B business, apart from bolstering your business portfolio.
Dynamic product filtering
Using the B2B Edition, you can categorize your products with up to 12 filters per page. These include category, brand, price, rating, free shipping, and more. You can also include product options and set custom filters based on size, color, and other special features. Furthermore, you can set a default filter for the entire storefront. This means that when your buyers first visit the store, the filters are set to help them find the most relevant products. Buyers can quickly find what they want, thanks to accurately categorized product ranges and filters.
Buyer roles and permissions
You can assign specific roles and permissions to your buyers, like company administrator, senior buyer, etc. For example, some people can place orders while others can only see the prices. Buyers can be assigned roles that grant them specific permissions, such as creating, approving, or managing orders from the storefront. You can create these roles from within the BigCommerce dashboard. You can also do so through an external tool like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. This way, you gain smooth account management and ensure buyers access only the information and features they need.
Integration with other systems
You can sync your online store with other systems. Using adaptable, fast API calls, you can link the store with ERP, CRM, and Product Information Management (PIM). The B2B Edition also includes POS integration, allowing you to seamlessly connect your online store with your point-of-sale (POS) systems. The easy integration process with a convenient 1-click integration saves you time and effort. These integrations help you manage inventory and orders, communicate with customers and salespeople, and keep product information up-to-date.
Compatibility with other ecosystems
BigCommerce B2B Edition provides strategic partnerships with Hubspot, TradeCentric, and Hawksearch. This offers better marketing support to engage customers, increase reach and manage online store and inventory. With these partnerships, you can enhance your marketing efforts, streamline eCommerce operations, and improve the overall user experience.
You need to track your business performance, identify areas for improvement, and make better business decisions. BigCommerce B2B Edition provides detailed sales, inventory, and customer data reports. With this data, you can analyze trends, monitor metrics, and evolve vibrant growth strategies.
Shared shopping lists
Buyers have access to their past orders and their current shopping lists. They can share these internally and easily repeat previous orders. This feature allows for efficient collaboration and simplifies purchasing by providing a convenient way to create and manage shopping lists.
Access to order history
Buyers can see past orders, enabling them to track previous purchases. The buyers (or salespersons assigned to them) can also create and store multiple purchase lists for repeat orders. This lets buyers get insights into their past buying behavior, make informed decisions, and streamline their buying process.
Sales rep masquerade
Your salespeople can log in for buyers. They can access the buyers’ shopping lists, add products to their cart, and even place orders. This allows sales reps to offer better customer service and get more sales.
With BigCommerce B2B Edition, the buying platform is easily accessible to your customers as it is a completely mobile-friendly interface. Your buyers can browse products, place orders, and complete transactions from anywhere.
Advanced pricing and tax management
The platform allows you to offer custom pricing, discounts, and tiered pricing for bulk orders. You can update the tariff via API for automated updates through ERP integrations.
The platform also provides multi-currency support. This ensures that the price is converted instantly into the buyer’s local currency. It automatically calculates taxes for the buyer based on their location. Buyers can see final product prices and buy in bulk, to improve their profit margins.
Quick order pad
This feature lets buyers upload a list of SKUs and quantities to their cart via a CSV file. It lets them use a predefined SKU list without navigating product pages. Apart from saving time, this reduces errors and ensures order accuracy.
Seller quotes and discounts
Buyers can seek quotes by selecting the items they want and adding them to the quote list. The salesperson can create custom quotes and extend additional discounts on top of pre-arranged pricing. They can change prices and discounts for different buyers as needed.
Dynamic shipping rate management
Your customers are spread far and wide. As such, every order attracts different transport costs. Manual shipping quotes can result in errors. You can customize shipping rates through BigCommerce’s native integration with ShipperHQ, a shipping rate rules engine.
Streamlined invoice portal
The invoice portal lets buyers view, track and pay invoices online. Buyers get flexible payment options, including paying multiple invoices together. This improves cash flow and reduces the risk of late payments.
The buyer portal is a BigCommerce B2B Edition feature that gives your customers their own account area with customization options. The portal offers buyers a streamlined and self-service experience, allowing them to automate administrative tasks. As a result, buyers will be more satisfied, leading to increased loyalty. This, in turn, can generate more sales for your business.
With the payment visibility control feature, you can manage approved payment options for your buyers. These options include purchase orders and credit cards, ensuring a seamless and convenient purchasing experience for your customers.
This feature lets you efficiently manage multiple storefronts and reach new customers across segments, regions, and verticals. You can personalize the purchasing experience of your buyers and increase brand loyalty.
Thanks to headless commerce, you can use different software for your online store’s front-end and back-end. Using MACH (microservices, API, Cloud, and Headless) architecture and advanced functionality, you can get seamless integration and personalized experiences through APIs.
Before making a decision, you need to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each B2B platform. If you’re looking at taking your B2B business online, talk to our experts at Ziffity. We’d love to help you make the best choice for your needs.