Are you looking for a B2B eCommerce platform suitable for use in the UK market? Or are you bewildered by the abundance of available solutions and unsure which one to choose?
If so, we have good news for you because this article will help you sort the wheat from the chaff by showing you some of the best B2B eCommerce platforms suitable for use in the UK market and further afield.
What Are B2B eCommerce Platforms?
Everyone is familiar with Amazon, but few people realise it is just one huge B2C marketplace for selling goods. Everyone loves the convenience it brings, which has changed how we shop forever. No longer are people prepared to put up with the inconvenience of going to physical stores – they want to shop from the palm of their hands wherever they happen to be and regardless of the time of day.
Such purchasing habits are increasingly spilling over into B2B transactions also. In fact, research conducted by the software giant, Salesforce, shows that 48% of B2B businesses are already selling their products online. Moreover, they forecast that figure will reach a massive 88% over the coming three years.
Being latecomers to the eCommerce table, many B2B businesses still lag behind B2C in transitioning from traditional to electronic commerce. However, those hoping to survive realise that they must catch up fast and that their customers now demand the same excellent online experiences enjoyed by B2C customers.
Therefore, to future-proof their businesses, those companies are now grabbing their share of the expanding online market by transitioning online. Mercifully, this is relatively easy and cost-effective to do, thanks to proprietary B2B eCommerce platforms.
Our Suggested B2B eCommerce Platforms
Unfortunately, many companies still find change difficult to implement. That is particularly true with businesses that have operated using traditional commerce methods for a long time. The bewildering choice of available B2B eCommerce platforms can feel overwhelming for those firms.
To make finding the right one for your business easier, we’ve hand-picked seven of the best B2B eCommerce platforms, all of which can be used in the UK or further afield.
Although relatively new to the UK market, OroCommerce has been producing robust eCommerce solutions globally since 2012, focussing mainly on medium to large enterprises.
Based on the robust and well-supported Symfony PHP framework, OroCommerce is open-source and developer-friendly. In simple terms, that means deep customisations and modifications are possible, ensuring the platform fits the needs of your business perfectly. Moreover, it continues to evolve, drawing input and experience from a global network of customers, developers and other partners. The result? A B2B eCommerce platform that is being continually updated and aligned with current market demands and trends.
OroCommerce does not skimp on features, boasting tools like multiple pricing lists, flexible workflows, user and inventory management, etc. Moreover, it is possible to integrate the platform with a wide range of third-party apps, including OroCRM, a multi-channel customer relationship management tool.
2. Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud
With its acquisition of CloudCraze in 2018, the Salesforce Commerce Cloud product range expanded to include B2B alongside the B2C eCommerce platforms.
Thanks to a large arsenal of eCommerce and CRM tools, Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud is particularly suited to businesses with complex price lists and discount structures across various industries. Your customers will enjoy a seamless, self-service online experience giving them all the functionality they need, thereby helping generate quality leads and create solid business relationships with current and future clients.
3. Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)
Previously known as Magento – which started life originally as a B2C solution – Adobe Commerce is now also a familiar face in the world of B2B marketplaces both in the UK and globally.
What makes Adobe Commerce unique is how it evolved. At its core, it is still essentially a B2C platform. However, over recent years, various extensions and add-ons have been developed that enable it to be used in B2B applications also.
As a result, Adobe Commerce is very flexible, with a wide range of customisation possibilities. Moreover, its modular design means the platform can easily scale in line with your business’ growth. However, the flip side is that depending on the options selected, the costs can quickly add up, which can be problematic for smaller companies with limited budgets.
4. BigCommerce B2B Edition
If you are not particularly tech-savvy or modern technology scares you, BigCommerce B2B Edition could be your ideal solution. Why? Because it is refreshingly simple to implement and use, with a range of integral themes that makes building an online store fast and effortless.
One handy feature of BigCommerce B2B
Edition is the ability to sell on both B2B and B2C via a single platform. You can also integrate it with many of your existing systems, thereby offering plenty of business automation possibilities.
While you may think there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is, in fact, a free B2B eCommerce platform – nopCommerce.
nopCommerce is perfect for small businesses with no spare budget looking to enter the world of B2B eCommerce. The platform offers excellent security, while open-source code allows for virtually unlimited customisation and adaptation possibilities.
Despite its zero price tag, nopCommerce has many great features, such as multi-store and multi-vendor capability, multiple currencies and language support, adaptive storefronts, and plenty more. Moreover, nopCommerce is quick and easy to set up, and its feature set is extendable thanks to various optional extensions and themes.
6. Shopify Plus
The popular Shopify B2C eCommerce platform has existed since 2006 and currently drives around 3.76 million websites globally. Shopify Plus builds on the popularity of the Shopify platform, adding all the tools necessary to use it in B2B applications also.
Being fully hosted, Shopify Plus is a truly turnkey solution as you won’t need to worry about arranging web hosting, installing or updating software, SSL certificates, etc. That means setting up a B2B marketplace is fast and simple, while an extensive feature list makes managing your online business equally straightforward.
Optimizely spawned from a series of acquisitions and rebrands of CMS (content management system) developer, Episerver. The result is a range of eCommerce solutions predominantly targeted toward enterprise-grade B2C businesses but configurable for use in B2B applications.
Optimizely’s B2B offerings include all the tools you need to establish a robust B2B eCommerce presence, including online quotations with customer-specific pricing, list management, inventory and order management, and much more. Moreover, a range of additional modules is available to expand the platform’s capabilities further.
Some Final Thoughts
As society becomes increasingly digitalised, many businesses now depend on a solid online presence that meets client expectations and desires.
While switching from traditional commerce to eCommerce might be challenging, there are now several B2B eCommerce platforms that make it much more straightforward. As a result, businesses can swiftly secure their portion of the online market while staying within their available budget.
Why not check out the platforms we have listed? Many of them provide free trials or demonstrations, so go ahead and discover what they can achieve for your company.