Five times as large as the B2C eCommerce industry, the worldwide B2B eCommerce market is valued at $14.9 trillion by Statista. Almost 80% of the total market share is held by markets in Asia and the Pacific.
Keep reading if you want to enter the business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce space but are unsure which marketplace platform to use. If you want to choose the best B2B marketplace platform for your company, you can rely on the practical and objective advice you’ll receive here.
What Is B2B ECommerce?
When two businesses exchange goods and services online, the transaction is known as business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce (B2C).
B2B eCommerce enables you to:
Promote your business to a hitherto untapped group of customers or businesses.
Profitability in business may be improved by enhancing the effectiveness of sales activities.
Big data may help your company in many ways, including increasing productivity.
What Is A B2B Marketplace Platform?
To put it simply, a B2B marketplace is an online platform specifically designed for business-to-business trade. Markets exist, and they supply both material and immaterial goods.
Like Upwork and Fiverr, Freelancer.com is a B2B service platform that connects businesses with independent contractors. Some well-known B2B eCommerce marketplaces include Amazon Business and Alibaba. Some B2B marketplace platforms are “hybrids,” or companies that sell both to consumers and other businesses.
Identifying The Perfect B2B ECommerce Platform
Whether you’re selling to a company or an individual, reaching out to your target market will require a proactive strategy. Social media advertising, email marketing software, and website landing page creation are all examples of this type of marketing investment.
In addition, a streamlined transaction system must be incorporated to give the client a worry-free experience while making a purchase. It is recommended that you select a B2B platform that features a safe shopping cart, shipping rate calculations, and stock management. When deciding whether or not to put money into B2B eCommerce, there are a number of crucial factors to consider. Examples include the following:
Are you selling on multiple channels?
You need to ensure that your eCommerce store can take orders from a wide variety of channels, especially social media if you plan to sell your products and services through more than one distribution channel.
Are you providing digital services?
If you want to start charging customers for digital services, you’ll need a B2B eCommerce platform that lets you use add-ons to handle file downloads and create membership plans for your customers.
Are you offering recurring subscriptions?
If your business sells items or services on a subscription basis, you should make it easy for your B2B clients to place new orders on a weekly or monthly basis.
Are you fulfilling wholesale offers?
Automatic systems make it simple to calculate bulk-buying savings and set fair shipping rates.
Are you offering quotes and consultations?
This necessitates the incorporation of a simple booking function on the website.
Comparison between Open-Source and Software-as-a-Service eCommerce Systems
SaaS, short for “software as a service,” refers to a licensing and distribution strategy for computer programs that operate similarly to a subscription service. On the other hand, open-source software permits users to access, modify, and share the program’s underlying source code.
The gist is that while open-source solutions provide you with complete access, they are more expensive to set up and maintain. Instead of worrying about meeting these requirements, you can focus on building up your back-end systems and user interfaces with the help of SaaS alternatives.
Features Of Open-Source B2B ECommerce Platforms
There is a lot of leeway in the B2B buying experience when using an open-source eCommerce platform. By changing the code, you may design powerful features that are specifically suited to your needs. Online clothing retailers that want to impress customers with cutting-edge features like virtual try-on rooms often favor open-source software.
Developers have more options when it comes to choosing the right tools while working with open-source systems because there is no vendor lock-in. If you’re interested in learning more about increasing the adaptability of your online shop and choosing the best technologies for the tech stack, you’ve come to the correct place.
Without the hassle of reusing and rewriting the code, an open-source B2B eCommerce platform allows businesses of all sizes to go from local operations to a global presence. Reasons for this include licences that permit alterations and the ease with which one may get the source code. Hence, B2B eCommerce platforms are able to significantly reduce their software development costs.
Most B2B open-source platforms are designed to keep the server’s workload stable despite the presence of other processes working in parallel with it. Also, open-source B2B eCommerce systems seldom get out-of-date since the source code is constantly improved by contributors. The eCommerce framework is explained in further detail at this link.
More than a third of all worldwide hacking occurs in the e-commerce sector. This demonstrates the importance of robust security measures for business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platforms, both for the protection of B2B clients and their customers.
When it comes to protecting yourself from cybercriminals, open-source B2B eCommerce systems are the way to go. In addition, several open-source software vendors provide security-focused variants of their platforms, which check the distribution’s integrity by analysing file sizes and looking for other telltale signals that the code hasn’t been tampered with before being released to the public.
The needs of the developer are often prioritised over the needs of the user while creating open-source goods. Hence, modifying open-source code so that non-technical people may utilize it takes a high level of technical competence.
Several open-source online storefronts also require technical assistance. The importance of sustaining a robust open-source ecosystem is frequently overlooked by companies as they prioritise fixing bugs and adding new features. For clients to get the most out of their eCommerce platform, it is crucial that they have access to technical support that can help them solve any problems they have.
Due to open-source development, B2B platforms may be relied upon for consistent performance. The code’s creators have no intention of abandoning the project or letting it become obsolete, so users may rest easy. It also offers open application programming interfaces (APIs), allowing it to communicate with any other system currently in use. This is feasible because of how simple it is to develop, connect, and move APIs.
Another feature of open-source stability is that the Internet’s core infrastructure was built using open-source technology. For instance, Linux controls the operation of Web servers, while the Apache Web server application handles data transfer between the global server architecture and individual devices.
Top 8 Open-Source B2B ECommerce Platforms
With more than 300,000 users throughout the world, the open-source edition of Magento 2, also known as the Community Edition, is a top open-source platform for B2B eCommerce firms. In 2007, the first public beta was made available. Magento 2, which began as a rather basic eCommerce platform, has now expanded into a thriving open-source ecosystem that currently controls more than 30% of the market for open-source eCommerce systems.
Magento 2 is a useful platform extension for B2B e-commerce businesses. It makes it simpler for a local shop to expand into a multi-product eCommerce powerhouse. Because Magento 2 works with so many other shopping carts, you can easily add new features by connecting it to other programs (PIM). In order to learn how Magento may help your online store, please click here.
There have been almost 800,000 downloads of Shopware 5, the version before this one. The foundation for this platform was laid in Germany in 2000, and it is powered by Symfony and Vue.js. The latest version of Shopware, 6, is compatible with Twig and Bootstrap. Shopware comes in a few different flavors, one of which is a free self-hosted community edition. There are additional “professional” and “enterprise” levels available.
When it comes to creating cutting-edge, cutting-edge online businesses that prioritize user experience throughout the purchasing process, Shopware is the platform to employ. Shopware is a great platform for creating outstanding user experiences because of its adaptability and user-friendliness. Shopware is great because it allows you to start selling online without having to learn a lot about web design and programming.
OroCommerce is a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform tailored to the unique needs of enterprises of this type. With OroCommerce, you may boost your company’s worth by establishing a strong presence on the web. Its cutting-edge software system gives you access to anything you’ll ever need, including a convenient online store.
OroCommerce incorporates a customer relationship management system, which aids business owners in streamlining sales pipelines and anticipating future marketing and sales results. As an added bonus, you may serve both business-to-business and business-to-consumer customers from the same site. In addition to all of that, you get to tap into a helpful group of people and a solid open-source environment.
One of the greatest B2B eCommerce systems is WooCommerce if WordPress is your preferred content management system. WooCommerce is a plugin for the WordPress content management system that aims to simplify the process of opening and running an online store.
There are several choices for hosting and upkeep, in addition to numerous plugins and themes to use. WooCommerce is loaded with features that can help you improve your site’s visibility in search engines and boost your sales. WooCommerce’s full-featured platform for business-to-business e-commerce is simple to extend as your company develops.
One of the most adaptable open-source eCommerce platforms, Drupal Commerce first saw the light of day on January 15, 2001. The open-source Drupal Commerce platform supports several languages and currencies. These benefits make it a top pick for high-traffic business-to-business e-commerce sites.
Drupal is compatible with a wide range of other programs, and its users may take advantage of a number of ecosystem-specific tools. With Drupal Commerce, merchants, and webmasters have access to helpful resources and instructions. Also available on the Drupal Commerce website is a video library and a Q&A forum for users.
With PrestaShop, an open-source eCommerce platform, you can create a shop that is uniquely yours. Over fifty different payment options, a large number of well designed themes, and a wide variety of configuration options are all available to businesses using PrestaShop. Many choices for quick setup and helpful resources for customers are also available.
If you need a solution that will enable you to create your B2B store from scratch as quickly and efficiently as possible, PrestaShop is what you need. Modules like client registration and membership choices are offered in this fantastic solution to help you improve your business-to-business operations. Billing, tax invoicing, and a VAT1 dual display are all available in PrestaShop.
The Pimcore platform is suitable for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business online shops. The platform is API-driven, which means it may incorporate a wide variety of complex pricing and product frameworks, such as various catalogs, individualized checkout processes, front-end applications, different currencies, and specialized product presentations. There are many editions to pick from, including the open-source Community Edition at no cost and the paid Enterprise membership.
Pimcore provides a centralized hub for all of your eCommerce publishing and data needs across many channels. Pimcore’s Web-to-print capabilities are relied on by a wide range of marketers for tasks including data publication, catalog creation, and content management.
On-Demand Open Object, abbreviated as “Odoo,” is an open-source business application. Odoo is only a collection of many business-related software applications and modules, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, accounting software, order and inventory management, production management, human resources management, sales, eCommerce, logistics management, etc. ERP stands for enterprise resource planning and includes all of these features.
More than 14,000 additional applications and plugins may be found in Odoo’s app store on top of these core features. Odoo’s user base is growing rapidly since the software is widely considered as one of the best enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for businesses of all sizes.
The Bottom Line
Almost 83% of B2B buyers, according to Gartner, like using eCommerce platforms when making purchases. In today’s digital era, it’s easier than ever to launch your own B2B marketplace. A few short years ago, businesses needed to spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on lengthy and complicated infrastructure investments. Nevertheless, things are very different now, as you can use internet marketplace platforms to accomplish the same goals in a lot less time and with much less hassle.
It’s great that there are a variety of options for running an online store, but picking the best one may be a challenge. Jameson is here to help you make that all-important platform decision. Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll help you choose which platform is best for your company.
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