Skip to main content Skip to footer


Key Commercial Features For B2B Ecommerce Websites

Business to business customer relationships are often very different to the B2C world. With regular purchases of high values and volumes, you may well offer different payment terms, prices and contractual structures to different customers. This requires functionality that wouldn’t be thought of on a B2C website, but can be crucial to winning and retaining business.

The Power of Contract Pricing and Catalogues

Modern B2B is more than just online transactions; it’s about building and maintaining fruitful business relationships. The sophisticated use of contract pricing, custom catalogues, and flexible pricing strategies can provide businesses with a competitive edge in today’s challenging B2B eCommerce market

Contract Pricing in B2B Ecommerce

In a B2B eCommerce environment, contract pricing refers to the special prices negotiated between businesses and specific customers. It's a key differentiator in the B2B eCommerce space where most business transactions are based on pre-negotiated and often complex contracts. These prices are usually exclusive, offered to specific customers based on their business volume, loyalty, or long-term associations.

Such pricing model provides businesses customisable and flexible pricing strategies that can align with the unique requirements of each customer. As a result, businesses maintain a balance between profitability and customer satisfaction, fostering long-term relationships and loyalty.

However, implementing contract pricing requires advanced eCommerce platforms capable of handling numerous unique contracts without causing confusion or errors in transactions. The ideal tool should integrate seamlessly with back-office systems and provide real-time access to the agreed contract prices during the checkout process. It should also ensure the contract's restrictions, like duration and quantity limits, are met.

Why Contract Pricing Matters:

  • Rewarding Loyal Customers: Contract pricing rewards loyal customers by giving them the best prices. It acknowledges their commitment to the business.

  • Flexible Pricing Structures: B2B companies negotiate contract pricing and terms based on the frequency and size of orders, as well as who will pay for shipping.

  • Personalised Deals: Custom pricing allows businesses to offer personalised deals to individual buyers or specific buyer segments.

Specialised Product Catalogues

Another critical aspect of B2B eCommerce websites is the provision of specialised product catalogues. Like contract pricing, these catalogues are custom designed, taking into consideration the specific needs of different buyer segments.

The purpose of a specialised catalogue goes beyond merely listing products. It strategically positions products tailored to specific customers, helping businesses deliver personalised shopping experiences. Consequently, it helps in driving customer acquisition, boosting sales, and fostering customer retention.

For instance, a business could offer a range of industrial equipment to a general audience but may want to showcase a selected set of specialised machines to businesses operating within the heavy machinery sector. Segments may include industries, company sizes, geographic regions, or buyer roles (e.g. procurement managers or engineers).

Implementing these custom catalogues requires sophisticated eCommerce platforms. These platforms should enable the creation, management, and presentation of multiple catalogues, each tailored to a specific customer segment.

Moreover, it’s crucial for these catalogues to be dynamic, that is, they should update in real-time, reflecting the latest prices (including contract prices), availability, promotions, and product information.

Managing Pricing Tiers, Volume Discounts and Customer-Specific Rates

Modern B2B eCommerce platforms also offer capabilities to manage multiple pricing tiers, provide volume discounts, and customise prices for specific customers.

Pricing Tiers - This strategy involves setting different price levels for different customer groups. The tiers may be based on the volume of the product purchased, the customer's loyalty status, or other specific criteria. This model motivates customers to upscale their purchase in order to unlock higher discounts.

Volume Discounts - Businesses can incentivise B2B buyers to purchase more items at once by offering discounts tied to the purchase volume. This pricing model can substantially increase average order value and boost overall revenue.

Customer-Specific Rates - While pricing tiers and volume discounts aim at larger customer segments, customer-specific rates target individual customers or businesses. These bespoke pricing deals, often a result of negotiation, are unique to a specific customer, primarily aimed at fostering business relationships. Factors include historical spending, contract terms, and strategic importance.

Overall, managing pricing tiers, volume discounts, and customer-specific rates precisely requires an eCommerce solution with robust pricing management capabilities. Such solutions should also integrate efficiently with CRM systems to align sales goals with customer relationships.

Mastering Bulk Ordering and Wholesale Purchases

The handling of bulk orders and wholesale purchases in B2B ecommerce offers a significant advantage to both the suppliers and buyers. Ensuring efficient handling of large orders, streamlining workflows for bulk purchases, and introducing quick reordering options for frequently ordered items can make a big difference to conversion rates and customer retention.

Efficient Handling of Large Orders

In the B2B eCommerce landscape, businesses often deal with significantly larger quantities and higher values when compared to B2C transactions. Hence, it's crucial for B2B eCommerce platforms to be capable of efficiently managing large orders.

When you have a system that can handle bulk orders seamlessly, it improves the purchasing experience for customers, making it easier for them to place substantial orders without bottlenecks. Handling bulk orders efficiently involves a robust order management system that can promptly process high-volume orders while managing the intermediary steps, including the account's credit limit check and real-time inventory update.

Moreover, a capable eCommerce platform also needs to automate the invoicing process for large orders, offer split shipments if necessary, and provide real-time updates on the shipment status. Transparency, accuracy, and speed are of utmost importance in handling large orders to protect the trust and satisfaction of B2B customers.

Streamlined Workflows for Bulk Purchases

Streamlining the workflow for bulk purchases can define a seamless B2B buying experience. Bulk buyers expect a swift, straightforward process that is less time-consuming and requires minimum effort. This includes a simple interface for selecting and ordering items in bulk, user-friendly modification features, and instantaneous order confirmation.

One such feature that significantly streamlines the bulk purchase process is the 'Quick Order' option. This tool lets customers enter the SKU or product names and the desired quantities directly into the order form, bypassing the traditional browsing and searching processes. For pre-planned bulk purchases, this feature saves ample time and brings convenience to the ordering process.

Another example is the provision for uploading CSV files with product SKUs and quantities. Customers can maintain their own spreadsheets of frequently ordered products and simply upload these spreadsheets to their cart to streamline reordering.

Quick Reordering Options for Frequently Ordered Items

Given that B2B purchases often involve repeated orders of the same items, adding quick reordering options for frequently ordered items makes the buying process much more efficient.

The feature to reorder with a click can hugely improve the customer experience by simplifying the process and saving time. An advanced B2B eCommerce platform should provide a list of previously ordered items, with all the relevant details such as quantity, SKU, and price. This allows customers to review their past purchases, select the products they want to reorder, adjust the quantities if needed, and place the order instantaneously.

Moreover, 'Order Templates' or 'Lists' that save a selection of products frequently ordered together can also enhance the reordering process. Customers can create and save multiple such lists based on their requirements, product types, seasonal demands, locations, etc., allowing for a more systematic and efficient reordering experience.

Streamlining Business with Quote Management

In the complex landscape of B2B ecommerce, the ability to accurately manage quotes for custom orders, negotiate pricing, and seamlessly convert those quotes into orders is a critical aspect of driving successful business relationships. Quote management, increasingly integrated into B2B ecommerce platforms, can greatly simplify these processes, save time, increase accuracy, and scale business operations.

Requesting and Managing Quotes for Custom Orders

B2B transactions often involve custom orders that do not fit a standard pricing model - think bulk purchases, custom-made products, or negotiated discounts. In this context, quote management tools are becoming indispensable. Here's how they improve the process:

  • Centralised Quote Requests: With a quote management feature, customers can directly submit quote requests through the ecommerce platform. This direct approach speeds up the process and eliminates the need for emails or phone calls.

  • Improved Tracking: Quote management tools allow sellers to systematically track and manage all quote requests in one place. This holistic view helps eliminate errors, prevent request duplication, and ensure timely response.

  • Standardised Responses: These tools often come with templates for sellers to respond to quote requests. This standardisation doesn’t just save time; it also ensures professional and consistent communication.

Negotiating Pricing and Terms

Price negotiation is an integral part of B2B ecommerce, and quote management seamlessly facilitates this:

  • Transparent Negotiation Process: Quote management systems allow for centralised price negotiations, where the seller and buyer can go back and forth on terms and conditions until an agreement is reached. This immediate, transparent communication can drastically speed up negotiations.

  • Version Tracking: During negotiations, multiple versions of a quote might be created. Quote management tools track these versions, making it easy to reference past terms or revert to older versions if needed.

  • Direct Integration with Inventory and Pricing: Many quote management solutions integrate directly with a company's inventory management and pricing systems. This ensures the latest, most accurate information is always available during negotiations.

Converting Quotes into Orders Seamlessly

Perhaps the most significant value-add of quote management is the seamless conversion of quotes into orders:

  • One-Click Conversion: Once a quote has been agreed upon, it can be converted into an order with just a click. This prevents data entry errors and speeds up the ordering process.

  • Customer Accessibility: Once a quote is converted to an order, the customer can immediately view their order details in the customer portal. They can track the order, review the final agreed-upon terms, and even reorder in the future with ease.

  • Data Integration: The quote-to-order process is logged in the system, integrating directly with other business systems such as CRM, ERP, or accounting software. This means that sales data is always up to date, and teams across the organisation have access to the latest information.

Whatever the commercial variables and requirements for your B2B ecommerce platform, Wired In can provide you with the expertise and development skills you need. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

Ecommerce Sites From Wired In

How we use cookies

Learn more about how we use cookies to improve your experience.