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In the fast-paced world of modern commerce, where efficiency and convenience are paramount, B2B eCommerce websites have emerged as a strategic solution for business enterprises seeking to enhance their operations and maximize growth potential. Forrester predicts that B2B eCommerce will reach $3 trillion dollars in the US by 2027, a spike from $1.7 trillion in 2021 while offline B2B sales are projected to remain flat. 

A Gartner survey from 2021 estimated that an astounding 83% of B2B buyers prefer ordering and paying for products through digital channels. Needless to say, any retailer looking to grow and flourish has no real choice but to capitalize on B2B eCommerce websites and trends to gain a competitive edge, stay relevant in this digital revolution, and continue to provide value to customers through its products and services.

Smart Solutions specializes in the unique needs of B2B buying and B2B business processes and has years of experience providing consulting, website design, and development services tailored to the distinctive needs of B2B businesses. In this article, we’ll delve into the myriad of benefits that B2B eCommerce offers, drawing insights from industry research, thought leaders, and our real-world experience.

How does B2B eCommerce work?

B2B (Business-to-Business) eCommerce refers to the transaction of goods and services between two businesses. This is different from B2C (Business-to-Consumer) eCommerce where the buying and selling of goods takes place between a business and the end consumer.  

B2B eCommerce includes an exchange between a manufacturer or a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and retailer, typically via an online portal. These businesses also work with large retailers, schools, non-profit organizations, and resellers, among other B2B players. 

What does a B2B buyer expect from a B2B eCommerce website?  

  • Robust product information and pricing that offers detailed analysis 
  • Ability to customize orders according to their unique requirements 
  • Account-specific pricing rules and promotions 
  • Comprehensive order history to maintain a record of decision-making and for the ability to easily reorder
  • Ability to manage invoicing and payments to keep a check on transparent financial transactions
  • Capability to search for and be presented with specific products personalized to their expectations
  • Ability to manage buyers and approval hierarchies within their organization

B2B eCommerce is a must in today's business environment and can benefit organizations of all sizes. If you’re a B2B business then online commerce should already be in place.  The current B2B buying audience expects a robust and personalized user journey. They expect what they experience during their retail buying experience, and THEN SOME. 

Retailers who invest in a dedicated B2B eCommerce buying experience are more likely to experience customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and increased sales. Organizations taking advantage of online commerce to create faster, more efficient, and personalized customer experiences stand a greater chance to dominate sales than their competition. 

Since we are discussing audience and specific scope, it is also important to discuss the different types of B2B eCommerce. 

  1. Manufacturers - Manufacturers utilize raw materials to mass-produce goods on a grand scale. In B2B eCommerce, manufacturers run an online interface, typically a website, allowing other businesses to purchase their products. These customers consist of wholesale distributors and other manufacturers. For instance, a car manufacturer sources individual car parts from various manufacturers within the automotive industry. This B2B connection culminates in producing cars for end consumers.
  2. Distributors - As a mediator between manufacturers and other businesses, distributors play a pivotal role in the supply chain. By procuring products in bulk and selling to manufacturers or retailers, distributors help boost the visibility of goods and drive B2B sales. Their extensive buyer's network proves advantageous for B2B enterprises aiming to establish an online presence.
  3. Wholesalers - Wholesalers obtain goods in bulk quantities from distributors or manufacturers and subsequently sell them to retailers for a profit. They achieve this by purchasing the goods at a lower cost and selling them at retail prices. Wholesale B2B businesses are commonly established in various industries like construction, food service, medical supply, and retail. They serve both large franchised companies and small businesses alike.
  4. B2B2C - B2B2C refers to business-to-business-to-consumer and involves one business collaborating with another intermediary business to sell products or services to consumers. Although the B2B2C business directly reaches consumers, most of its sales are managed by the intermediary company with a stronger business-to-consumer relationship. 

This partnership allows the lesser-known business to access consumers by leveraging the reputation of its partner. A classic example of a B2B2C business model is food delivery services that rely on the reputation of partner restaurants to deliver their services and generate revenue.

Benefits of B2B eCommerce Websites 

2- Benefits of B2B eCommerce Websites

The world has gone digital. If you’re a business, chances are that your research for the right raw materials and other goods begins on the Internet. Considering that in 2023, about 17% of B2B sales will be generated digitally, as per Statista, your target audience is very likely to buy products online. This is exactly why an eCommerce website is no longer an option. If your business doesn’t sell online, consider yourself a ghost. Offline sales are set to experience a dip, while online sales are projected to increase steadily. Now is the time to leverage the power of a B2B eCommerce website. 

Regardless of your industry or niche, here’s a rundown of some key benefits of implementing a B2B eCommerce website.

  1. Improve Brand Awareness
  2. Leverage Customer Insights and Analytics
  3. Provide User-Centric Customer Experiences
  4. Increase Order Value and Volume
  5. Attract the New Purchasing Decision Makers
  6. Streamline Business Operations for Increased Efficiency
  7. Improve Support with Better Customer Service
  8. Remain Competitive
  9. Improve Scalability
  10. Increase Customer Loyalty for Predictable Revenue
  11. Reduce Operational Costs
  12. Provide Self-Service Capabilities

Improve Brand Awareness


In our online economy, consumers have become more informed. Rather than believing a company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) at face value, today’s consumers research, ask, compare, learn, and re-learn, before making a buying decision. Most of the information they get is found online. Your target audience lives on search engines like Google, social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and online forums like Reddit. Above all, it’s the search engines that hold the most sway.

A strategically designed B2B eCommerce site is a powerful branding tool on the World Wide Web. It provides a platform to showcase your company's USP, products, and services to a wider audience. Through a website, you can share your brand’s story, testimonials, products, achievements, and more, to create a lasting impression on your audience, compelling them to buy from you. Through seamless user experiences and visually appealing interfaces, your brand can foster trust and credibility.

Leverage Customer Insights and Analytics


We’ve come to see that data is THE most valuable resource and can provide unprecedented insights about your customers. Data-driven decision-making is the cornerstone of successful B2B enterprises. eCommerce sites empower businesses with real-time customer insights and analytics, enabling them to identify purchasing trends, preferences, and behavior. This invaluable data can drive strategic planning, targeted marketing campaigns, and personalized offerings that resonate with your clients.

Provide User-Centric Customer Experiences


In the realm of B2B, customer experience reigns supreme. eCommerce platforms enable businesses to create tailored user journeys, simplifying complex purchasing processes. As per Gartner, by 2023, about 80% of B2B sales interactions between buyers and suppliers will happen through digital channels. This is why you need a user-friendly website that provides a personalized and tailored buying experience.

With customer-specific catalogs, contract pricing, segmented landing pages, personalized product recommendations, and industry-based content, you’ll ensure that every interaction with your site is frictionless and user-centric. B2B eCommerce personalization can inspire customer trust and help make buying decisions uncomplicated. The outcome is more sales and an increase in nurtured sales-qualified leads, increased conversions, customer retention, and brand loyalty.

Increase Order Value and Volume


B2B eCommerce websites possess the potential to significantly boost or reduce Average Order Value (AOV) and volume, depending upon how you leverage it. By implementing techniques like upselling, cross-selling, and bundling, you can encourage clients to explore additional products or higher quantities, thereby increasing AOV. This is a far easier task to accomplish on a website than by any other means since you can present your product catalog in a more seamless and personalized manner. 

Attract the New Purchasing Decision Makers


The landscape of B2B buying is evolving with new decision-makers entering the fold. These new decision-makers include millennial buyers, who are more informed than the last generation. The new B2B buyers use the internet as their first source of information and research for just about everything, including purchasing decisions. eCommerce sites offer a digital gateway for these emerging influencers, meeting their preferences for online research, self-service, and efficient procurement processes. 

Streamline Business Operations for Increased Efficiency


Efficiency is the heartbeat of B2B enterprises. eCommerce solutions streamline order processing, inventory management, and procurement, reducing manual tasks and minimizing errors. Customers can order products and services through a website, make payments, and get updates on their orders, leading to improved customer experience. Automating these processes enhances operational efficiency and can free up sales representative resources for more strategic business endeavors. 

Improve Support with Better Customer Service


B2B buyers expect prompt and effective support. eCommerce sites can integrate customer service functionalities such as live chat, 24/7 self-help portals, and order tracking, offering seamless assistance throughout the buying journey and post-sale interactions. When your customers know that help is just a call or chat away, they’ll be more likely to stick with your brand, leading to increased brand loyalty and repeat purchases. 

Remain Competitive


In the ever-evolving business landscape, staying competitive is non-negotiable. B2B eCommerce sites position your enterprise at the forefront of digital transformation, demonstrating your commitment to adopting innovative solutions that meet the demands of modern business. B2B eCommerce websites harness the power of data-driven insights, employing analytics to refine strategies, optimize SEO, and tailor offerings to individual preferences. B2B websites also empower you to remain relevant and competitive. With online marketplaces becoming the norm, not having and regularly updating your eCommerce website means handing your customers over to your competitors on a silver platter. The way to gain a competitive edge is to make buying from you easy for your customers, and an online eCommerce site is the only way, no alternative. 

Improve Scalability


Scaling operations is a key goal for any growing B2B business. An eCommerce website provides the flexibility to accommodate increased demand without compromising performance. Whether expanding your product range or targeting new markets, your online presence can scale seamlessly. Thanks to streamlined processes, flexible infrastructure, modular design, efficient database management, and load balancers, your enterprise is much more likely to jazz up its strategy to keep up with the latest trends and remain relevant over time. 

Increase Customer Loyalty for Predictable Revenue


Long-term customer relationships are essential for stable revenue streams. eCommerce sites foster loyalty by offering personalized experiences, targeted promotions, and easy reordering processes, solidifying your position as a trusted partner. By providing tailored user experiences and personalized recommendations, an eCommerce website creates a sense of value and understanding that resonates with each client's unique needs. Transparent communication, responsive customer support, and efficient order processing build trust over time. Loyalty programs, exclusive offers, and personalized discounts further incentivize repeat business. As B2B websites consistently deliver quality products and services, they cultivate lasting relationships that transform one-time buyers into loyal, recurring customers, ensuring a steady and predictable revenue stream for the long term.

Reduce Operational Costs


B2B eCommerce sites can substantially reduce operational costs by automating repetitive tasks, optimizing inventory management, and minimizing errors associated with manual processes. Through streamlined order processing, automated fulfillment processes, and self-service portals, an eCommerce website can minimize the need for manual intervention, cutting down on labor expenses. Digital catalogs and online purchasing reduce the costs associated with traditional print catalogs and paper-based transactions. Real-time data insights and analytics allow for informed decision-making, optimizing inventory levels, and reducing excess stock. Additionally, online communication tools enhance collaboration and reduce the need for extensive travel, slashing associated costs. By embracing technology and digital solutions, B2B eCommerce websites can lead to leaner operations and substantial cost savings across various aspects of a business.

Provide Self-Service Capabilities


Today's B2B buyers value self-service options that empower them to make informed decisions and manage orders, re-orders, and payments independently. eCommerce websites can offer self-service features such as account management, real-time inventory checks, and transparent pricing, catering to the preferences of modern purchasers. By offering intuitive interfaces, detailed product information, and easy-to-navigate product catalogs, an eCommerce website can enable buyers to explore and select products on their terms. Robust search functionality and filters can facilitate quick and precise product discovery. Self-service tools give customers control over their transactions and reduce reliance on customer support for routine questions and support issues. This convenience leads to increased efficiency for buyers, freeing up their time and allowing them to make informed decisions independently. Effective B2B eCommerce websites provide self-service capabilities that cater to the modern B2B buyer's preference for autonomy and convenience.


The benefits of B2B eCommerce sites are extensive and transformative. From enhancing brand awareness to improving scalability and reducing operational costs, eCommerce websites empower businesses to thrive in a competitive landscape. By leveraging the capabilities of B2B eCommerce, businesses can open new sales funnels, unlock new growth opportunities, and elevate their operations to unprecedented heights.

Whether you're looking to gain valuable customer insights, speed up delivery processes, or boost sales and revenue with mobile technology, Smart Solutions can help you do it all. With our experience and expertise in eCommerce platforms that support B2B buying, we can help you unlock the growth potential in B2B online commerce. Contact us to learn more about a  customized eCommerce solution that will drive online growth, elevate client experiences, and create a distinct competitive edge.


What is B2B eCommerce and what are its advantages?

15- What is B2B eCommerce and what are its advantages

Business-to-business (B2B) is a type of commerce transaction between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and a wholesaler or a wholesaler and a retailer. B2B can be conducted in several ways, including online marketplaces, electronic data interchange (EDI), and traditional paper transactions like purchase orders or contracts.

Some of the advantages of B2B eCommerce are:

  1. Greater Efficiency
  2. Improved Communication
  3. Increased Reach
  4. Cost Savings
  5. Increased Profitability
  6. Improved Relationships
  7. Data Analysis
  8. Access to New Markets 
  9. Improved Security
  10. Scalability

What are the benefits of B2B eCommerce?

16- What are the benefits of B2B eCommerce

B2B eCommerce websites offer a variety of benefits, such as increased efficiency and cost savings resulting from economies of scale. B2B businesses also have the potential to reach a larger customer base with their ability to tap into specialized industry and product knowledge. Additionally, B2B businesses are more likely to offer long-term contracts, which can provide stability and predictability to both buyers and sellers. Finally, B2B businesses often have more competitively priced products due to their larger buying power, providing customers greater value. Here is a rundown of all the benefits of B2B eCommerce; 

  • Improve Brand Awareness
  • Leverage Customer Insights and Analytics
  • Provide User Centric Customer Experiences
  • Increase Order Value and Volume
  • Attract the New Purchasing Decision Makers
  • Streamline Business Operations for Increased Efficiency
  • Improve Support with Better Customer Service
  • Stay Competitive
  • Improve Scalability
  • Increase Customer Loyalty for Predictable Revenue
  • Reduce Operational Costs
  • Provide Self-Service Capabilities

What are some features of B2B eCommerce?

17- What are some features of B2B eCommerce

B2B eCommerce has many features that make it more efficient and effective for businesses. Some of these features are outlined below.

  • Programmatic Buying – This allows businesses to automate ordering processes, meaning orders can be placed and approved without manual intervention. With programmatic buying, a business can save time by streamlining the ordering process and increasing efficiency with automated pricing.
  • Customized Product Catalogues – B2B eCommerce allows businesses to customize their product catalogs by creating custom categories, pricing, discounts, and other features. This helps to better tailor products to the needs of distinct customer segments.
  • Flexible Payment Options – B2B eCommerce typically provides a variety of payment options. Flexible eCommerce payment options blend traditional methods of payment processing (like cash on delivery, checks, and ACH transfers) with modern digital counterparts (like mobile wallets, third-party financing, and cryptocurrency). By supporting multiple B2B payment methods, your business opens itself up to the diverse options potential customers require. 
  • Automated Order Fulfilment – B2B eCommerce platforms allow businesses to automate order fulfillment, meaning orders can be placed and shipped without manual intervention. This streamlines the process of getting products out to customers quickly and efficiently.
  • Data and Systems Integration – B2B eCommerce platforms can integrate with other data sources such as customer databases, accounting systems, or inventory management software. This helps businesses keep track of their customers and manage inventory more effectively via a single source of truth for corporate product data, pricing, and customer information.
  • Analytics – B2B eCommerce platforms can provide invaluable insights into customer behavior, allowing businesses to target their marketing efforts better and optimize their products or services for maximum impact. These features make B2B eCommerce a powerful tool for businesses looking to improve their operations and grow their business. With the right eCommerce platform, businesses can use these features to increase operational efficiencies and boost sales.

What are the main objectives of a B2B website?


B2B websites serve various purposes. Key objectives are outlined below. 


1. Facilitating Efficient Transactions and Relationships

At its essence, the primary objective of a B2B eCommerce website is to facilitate efficient transactions and foster meaningful relationships between businesses. Unlike B2C transactions, where consumers make individual purchasing decisions, B2B transactions involve complex negotiations, collaborations, and long-term partnerships. A B2B eCommerce website acts as a digital bridge, connecting suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and other business entities in a seamless manner.


2. Showcasing Products and Services

One of the fundamental functions of a B2B eCommerce website is to showcase products and services offered. It serves as a comprehensive catalog, allowing potential clients to explore the range of offerings and relevant information to find products that meet their specifications. However, it goes beyond a mere display; a well-designed B2B eCommerce website strategically presents products and services in a manner that resonates with the target audience's needs and pain points.


3. Providing Information and Education

B2B transactions are driven by well-informed decisions. Therefore, another key objective of a B2B eCommerce website is to provide valuable information and education. This can include detailed product specifications, technical data sheets, whitepapers, case studies, and industry insights. By becoming a source of knowledge, a B2B eCommerce website positions a business as an authority in its field, building trust and credibility.


4. Streamlining the Purchasing Process

Complex purchasing processes can hinder B2B transactions. A B2B eCommerce website addresses this challenge by streamlining the purchasing journey. It offers features like quick and accurate pricing information, automated quotes, easy reordering, and personalized account management. By simplifying the steps involved in procurement, a B2B eCommerce website enhances efficiency and reduces friction in the buying journey.


5. Generating Leads and Nurturing Relationships

Lead generation is a cornerstone of B2B marketing, and a website plays a pivotal role. Through strategic placement of call-to-action buttons, contact forms, and downloadable resources, a B2B eCommerce website captures valuable leads. Moreover, it enables businesses to nurture these leads through targeted content and personalized communication, eventually converting leads into buyers and loyal customers.


6. Supporting Customer Service and Engagement

Customer service remains a crucial element of B2B interactions. A B2B eCommerce website can extend customer service beyond traditional channels by offering features like live chat, FAQs, and self-service portals. This not only provides immediate support but also enhances customer engagement by empowering clients to find solutions independently and on their own time.

What are some of the characteristics of the B2B buying process?

19- What are some of the characteristics of the B2B buying process

B2B describes a business relationship where one company provides goods or services to another. B2Bs typically involve multiple stakeholders and often longer buying cycles. As such, B2B relationships have several distinct characteristics that differentiate them from other types of business relationships:

  1. Longer buying cycle: As B2B relationships usually involve multiple stakeholders, the buying process can sometimes be much longer than traditional Business-to-Consumer (B2C) buying.
  2. Higher complexity: The products and services provided in a B2B relationship are often highly complex and B2B buyers typically have to consult with many individuals and departments before making a purchasing decision. This is unlike B2C, where a buyer only has to consider themselves and their own personal needs. 
  3. Long-term commitment: B2B agreements generally have longer-term commitments from both parties, including ongoing support and maintenance.
  4. Strategic partnerships: B2B partnerships are often strategic and involve deeper levels of trust and collaboration, which allows both companies to benefit from the relationship. It can provide both parties access to new markets, complementary resources, risk mitigation, innovation, cost savings, enhanced brand and reputation, customer retention, competitive advantage, market insights, regulatory and compliance support, and long-term sustainability. 
  5. Higher order values: B2B products and services, due to the higher quality, complexity, order volumes, and risk, typically lead to higher order values than those offered in other business relationships.