B2B or „b2b“ (business-to-business) is often opposed to B2C (business-to-consumer).
In B2C e-commerce applications, the objective of the e-shop owner is to distribute products, services with their availability and prices to his target clientele and as many prospects as possible.
B2B e-commerce needs to provide many more sophisticated e-commerce requirements as B2B remains very specific in Cyprus.
B2B customers shop in the B2C online marketplace and expect and anticipate a smooth B2C-like (but more professional) experience when visiting B2B sites. Successful B2B e-commerce platforms use proven B2C e-commerce techniques.
B2B e-commerce should not come as a competing distribution channel to the existing sales force but as an additional sales tools. Top companies are leading the way by using e-commerce to benefit the direct business buyer experience — from enabling specific customer segments, to arming sales reps with online sales portals.
Importers and wholesalers most often have a defined portfolio of retail clients with specific conditions (pricing, payment, shipping) and a dedicated sales rep that follows his clients. This typical set-up in Cyprus needs to be respected by any e-commerce application:
- Hiding product prices and disabling of purchase
For the general public a B2B store may want to hide prices and make ordering them impossible, but display a minimum product layout without prices/availability.
- Purchase after login and identification
Only logged in and identified customers are authorized to order.
- Pricing per customer
In B2B often special pricing arrangements are made with individual customers.
- Individualized invoicing / payment
B2B clients most often enjoy special payment terms (30, 60, 90 days after invoicing) and will need a way to electronically transmit their order that the B2B seller will handle and invoice internally as usual. If pre-payment is required, the B2B client can use the integrated payement gateway of an e-commerce site and speed-up the order process.
- B2B clients need a built-in quotation process
Most business to business transactions follow this flow: 1. request for proposal, 2. Negotation, 3. a Quotation is made and sent to the requester, 4. the requester accepts the proposal.
Only in that last step a transaction usually occurs.
- Sales rep orders
A sales rep visting B2B clients must be able to input orders for the client onsite and be clearly identified as the responsible Rep for the client and order.
- Quick ordering based on product attributes
Often B2B customers are returning customers who know exactly their requirements. B2B e-commerce stores facilitate these customers by offering a quick order functionality usually through a form where SKU’s or other defining product attributes can be entered and submitted, immediately placing these products in the cart.
- ERP integration
Existing B2B sellers may have large existing systems to support their business processes, price discount rules, logistisc, etc. Integrations between ERP and any serious e-commerce platform will almost always be a custom project.
Eworks WSI can help you setting your B2B Ecommerce: Call us at +357-22675747