What to Look For in a B2B Demo For an Ecommerce Platform

No modern ecommerce solution is complete without comprehensive B2B support—here's what to look for.

By Vanessa Loughty | March 6, 2023 | 3 minute read
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If you already sell traditional wholesale, or want to expand your current online channels to include B2B ecommerce, it's important to think about showcasing your products and services in a way that attracts and engages this very specific type of selling—that’s why exploring a full B2B demo is a crucial part of shopping for an ecommerce platform. 

Tremendous advances in ecommerce automation over recent years have made it easier than ever for sellers to take their wholesale businesses online and integrate them into modern, easy-to-control ecommerce platforms. To really make your products stand out in the wholesale market, you need to create a store that is specifically catered to selling in the wholesale space. Don’t settle for the cookie cutter approach—it’s best to find out if an ecommerce solution can be customized to sell to your specific customers, no matter what channels you prefer. Here are several important B2B ecommerce features and benefits to take for a “test drive” when you are scheduling that next demo. 

Make Sure The B2B Platform Has All The Bells and Whistles of B2C

It’s becoming quite retro to think that only B2C businesses need to have a user-friendly website. B2B customers are just as savvy when comparing content online, and spend just as much time browsing as other kinds of buyers. So of course these shoppers need an easy-to-use, great looking, engaging shopping interface as well. If a wholesale customer can't easily browse and purchase items on your site, they may go elsewhere. A modern wholesale ecommerce platform must offer all the bells and whistles of a B2C site, making it easy and appealing for wholesale customers to find what they need and place orders. 

When exploring any B2B demo, it’s essential to examine a platform from the perspective of a future wholesale buyer. Ask yourself if you would be engaged and excited as you move through a buying process. Are products displayed in a dynamic and interesting way? Is relevant data like product info and pricing easy to understand? Is the total B2B buying experience compelling and memorable? Can the process be totally customized to how your specific shoppers prefer to do business? These are all very important factors to consider when shopping for an ecommerce platform. If you already sell direct to consumers, think about how you could employ those same ecommerce techniques for your wholesale audience.

Look for Functionality That Lets You Combine B2B and B2C Sales in One Website

A modern ecommerce platform also allows businesses to combine both B2B and B2C sales in one website, and manage all operations from a unified control panel. This can streamline the process for businesses that have both retail and wholesale customers. A combined wholesale/retail site can also help to increase sales, as it provides more opportunities for a broader range of customers to purchase from your business. 

Here are some key benefits to combining B2B and B2C sales on one ecommerce platform: 

  • Increased visibility for your products and services 
  • Cross-selling opportunities between retail and wholesale customers 
  • Improved customer experience by having all products in one place 
  • Reduced website management costs by having one website instead of two 

When you are looking at B2B demos for ecommerce platforms, think about the ways you would like to make it easier for both retail and wholesale customers to find what they need when they visit your online store. 

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Investigate the B2B Customer Checkout Experience

When merchants consider all the exciting features that a modern B2B ecommerce platform can provide, they tend to breeze past what is still the most effective tool in any online wholesaler’s arsenal: great B2B checkout. 

One of the biggest pain points for wholesale customers—whether online or in store—is a complicated and time-consuming checkout process. Customers want to be able to quickly and easily purchase items, order in bulk, repeat or update orders, adjust timelines, get access to negotiated rates/discounts, and manage fast delivery, all without having to jump through hoops. No buyer wants to have to repeat entering any of this information again and again. B2B shoppers need processes to be fast, easy, and intuitive when they are checking out. This is especially important for B2B customers, who are often purchasing larger quantities of items from a variety of vendors. 

A modern ecommerce platform offers a streamlined checkout process, making it easy for customers to complete their purchases in the method that works best for them. Features such as saved payment and shipping information, one-click reordering, and customizable checkout forms can all improve the customer experience and increase conversions for this type of buyer. 

6 Questions to Ask On a B2B Ecommerce Demo

Seeing is believing. Requesting a full B2B demo tailored to your unique business will help make it clear how an ecommerce platform can provide a better checkout experience for your wholesale customers. Elements to look at include: 

  • Is there a simplified ordering process? 
  • Can I offer quick reordering? 
  • Are checkout forms customizable? 
  • Can I securely save payment and shipping information? 
  • Can I integrate multiple payment and shipping options? 
  • Can I provide accurate price quotes at checkout? 

These features can make a big difference in the customer experience, leading to more conversions and ultimately, more sales.  

Bottom line: with a streamlined checkout process and the ability to combine B2B and B2C sales in one website, your business can increase sales and improve the customer experience. Taking the time to research and request a B2B demo for a modern ecommerce platform is important for exploring how your business can benefit from this kind of user-friendly site. If a platform does not offer excellent B2B-specific features, move on to one that does. Succeeding in the wholesale space is essential for great ecommerce, and it takes specialized tools. Don't miss out on the opportunity to showcase your products and services to a B2B audience, in a way that really connects. 

Whitepaper Download: 5 Essential Best Practices for Online B2B Sales Quoting

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Vanessa Loughty

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