Online B2B (Business to Business) sales are one of the biggest areas of growth areas when it comes to ecommerce. Fortunately many of the top ecommerce platforms are now including b2b features in their software to help wholesalers and manufacturers.
And that is why I created this post, to list the platforms that offer the best b2b features.
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Option 1: ShopWired
ShopWired are one of the UK’s best ecommerce platforms, with over 8,500 customers, that includes large and small ecommerce stores, wholesalers, manufactures and some big names such as Wowcher, EDF Energy and Homeserve.
For b2b, you want to be looking at their Advanced package (£59.95 a month + vat) as a minimum, because this includes all of the b2b features that the platform offers for free. Talking of b2b features, with ShopWired you get:
- Bulk Discounts
- Minimum/Maximum Order Quantities
- Trade Accounts – allows you to set trade pricing and also create trade only products
- Set Custom VAT Rates
- Create Quotes for your customers
- Back Orders for out of stock products
When you add all of these features together with the brilliant core shopping cart, it gives you a great foundation on which to build a really good b2b ecommerce website. You also get access to ShopWired’s excellent UK based customer support, should you run into any problems.
The ShopWired platform is run on Amazon’s Web Hosting Service, which is one the best performing, reliable and secure hosting platforms in the world. From my testing of the ShopWired platform, their sites had an average load time of 1.44 seconds which is well under the 2 second mark that ecommerce websites should be aiming for.
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Option 2: EKM
The second option is the UK’s largest ecommerce platform EKM that have helped over 80,000 businesses start selling online, including retailers and wholesalers.
While much of the EKM platforms is focused on b2c ecommerce, they do also offer a couple of nice b2b features which are available on their Advanced Plan (£194.99 a month + vat) and they are:
- Bulk Pricing
- Trade Discounts – this allows you to apply custom discounts to trade customers and also require your trade customers to login before being able to see prices and place orders.
While you don’t get as many b2b features with EKM as you do with ShopWired, there is still enough there to enable you to create a very competent b2b ecommerce website. On top of these features, you will also get your own dedicated account manager and 24/7 UK based support, who are there to help with any issues that you may encounter.
Your site will also be run on EKM’s high performance servers with the Advanced Package and from my testing, they certainly do perform well with an average load time of 1.3 seconds.
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Option 3: Bluepark
To access all of the b2b features on the Bluepark platform, you will need to be on the Business Package (£39.99 a month + Vat). The b2b features include:
- Trade Accounts – allowing you to assign different pricing, discounts and product ranges to selected user groups
- Charge the Correct VAT
- Send Pro Forma Invoices
- Enable Password Protection on all of your b2b areas
These are a very comprehensive set of features that will allow you to easily build a good b2b ecommerce website. Included with all the Bluepark packages is their top quality UK support, who are there to help you keep your website up and running.
Your site will also be hosted on Bluepark’s very good servers that produced some of the best results when I tested out their platform, with an average load time of 0.76 seconds.
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So there it is, my selection of ecommerce platforms that offer a good selection of b2b features that will enable you to build a very good trade website for your business.
Many of the platforms offer very similar features but some offer something a little bit different such as Quotes (ShopWired) or Pro Forma Invoices (Bluepark) and will very much depend on your business as to which features that you need.
Before committing to any of them though, I would recommend giving the platforms a try first to not only see if they can do what you need but also to see if you find the platforms easy to use.