B2B eCommerce in many ways is the ugly duckling of eCommerce during the holidays. When people think eCommerce they first think of a B2C shopping experience. Something akin to their experience with household brands like Amazon, Uber Eats and the like. The pattern of activity in B2B has been similar to B2C. There has been a boom in inactivity this year. However, B2B holiday patterns are quite different to B2C. One is that the end of the year usually represents a dip in business for many sectors of B2B business in general. Online or offline. This is due to the business closure for B2B during the holidays. Saying that, this does not apply to all B2B businesses. However, what remains certain is that this particular year would be more unpredictable than others. More so for B2B eCommerce.
There are currently record numbers of business closures all across North America. This is a global trend but the United States in particular is hit hard. Sales forecasting is fluid as business manages expectations. Regardless, this holiday season they must still ensure they have a digital infrastructure capable of handling this unpredictability. They must do this whilst planning for the coming year.
Order and Inventory
Like in any other time of the year B2B businesses must be very conscious of order and inventory management. Interestingly, the type of order management features required differ by business. From DigiCommerce experience it is not unusual for B2B eCommerce sites to need an extra level of customization or configuration. Sometimes the only way to achieve certain objects could require integration. B2B is rarely as straightforward as B2C.
The goal of the modern B2B eCommerce shopping experience is to replicate the successful B2B model propelled by the likes of Amazon. DigiCommerce partner BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform that has made B2B a priority. As required for B2B, it is very customizable and equipped to work within the existing digital technology. You can easily integrate BigCommerce into preexisting technology.
For their B2B clients BigCommerce chooses to focus on three appropriate features. The most important of which is advance search and punchout features. This faceted search is built from Elasticsearch in addition to custom field support for a more refined search. Quote management and bulk pricing is another key consideration for B2B clients. BigCommerce accommodated those clients CSR generated quote management and bulk pricing. Lastly, purchase orders and credit authorization. BigCommerce allows for a wide range of flexible payment methods and credit authorizations. It also enables approved customer payments by purchase.
In conclusion, this holiday season will be strange for B2B eCommerce. More so than others. But B2B in general is perhaps more equipped to deal with this year’s inconsistencies than B2C. Expectedly, most modern eCommerce platforms are AI enabled which improves the overall customer experience. This facilitates price segmentation, purchase orders and punch out capability of integrating with the best known ERP and CRM platforms in the industry.
B2B business must also look closely at the account management capabilities of their chosen eCommerce platforms. If the out of box capabilities are insufficient for business needs, digital agencies like DigiCommerce specialize in digital enhancement. These upgrades might include customizations or working with third party solutions to enhance clients eCommerce capabilities.