How can I start the B2B business online

Top 10 B2B Ecommerce Solutions for 2021

B2B e-commerce in the US is set to hit $ 1.8 trillion by 2023, and grow 5% annually for the next 10 years, Forrester.

And it is obvious: modern business people want to easily buy products for their companies and pay fair prices. B2B ecommerce stores are great places for entrepreneurs to shop, modern online stores offer a great shopping experience.

In this article, we are going to give you a brief overview of the most popular B2B ecommerce platforms for developing a B2B online store. If you are planning to start a B2B web store, save this pick list to test each wholesale ecommerce platform and choose the one that exactly suits your needs.

Popular B2B e-commerce platforms

1. CS-Cart B2B & B2C

CS-Cart B2B & B2C is self-hosted B2B e-commerce software for wholesalers and manufacturers of small and large businesses. Over 35,000 B2C and B2B e-commerce websites use this platform worldwide. The main disadvantages of CS-Cart are functionality and simplicity.

CS-Cart B2B is a wholesale e-commerce platform. It has all of the above features and brings a true B2C shopping experience to B2B buyers. Thanks to its powerful API, CS-Cart can be integrated with all third-party CRM, ERP, accounting and analysis systems.

CS-Cart is a self-hosted B2B ecommerce script - you need to install it on your server. This means that the installation process may require minimal technical knowledge. For this reason, CS-Cart provides detailed instructions on how to install, use and maintain. The self-hosting of CS-Cart gives you full control over your B2B e-commerce shop. You can activate and deactivate each function, play with settings, optimize the server and edit the code.

CS-Cart users love the simplicity of the software and the fair price. They appreciate the clean architecture and the open source code.

A big advantage of CS-Cart B2B & B2C is the unlimited number of storefronts that can be set up independently of each other. You are free to open B2B and B2C storefronts that work and look different and manage them from a single admin panel.

On the bottom:

There are some complaints about a complicated upgrade process when the store is heavily modified or the server is not meeting the requirements. Users also say that the default storefront design is out of date.


2. 3DCart

3dcart is a cloud-based e-commerce solution. It's really easy to start an ecommerce website, but it can be difficult to modify and adapt to meet your business goals. The company offers B2C and B2B solutions.

Since 3dcart is a cloud-based solution, it's easy to open and set up a shop. You don't have to worry about the installation or the server. But it has the same limitations as other SaaS platforms: it doesn't give you the same freedom and scalability as self-hosted shopping cart solutions.

3dcart is quite feature-rich: it offers almost all of the features for B2B customers mentioned at the beginning of the article, with the exception of several storefronts and advanced features for managing price lists.

On the bottom:

There are many complaints about 3dcart customer service and some users say that they even lost money due to 3dcart's unqualified support staff.


3. X-Cart

X-Cart the first PHP Shopping cart software on the market. The company offers cloud and self-hosted solutions.

X-Cart is suitable for both B2C and B2B companies. Unfortunately, there is no clear division into B2C and B2B functionality. The solution has a powerful supplier management system, promotions, verification system, payment distribution and other functions of a proper online store.

The main disadvantage of X-Cart is that it doesn't have enough B2B-specific features and multiple storefronts for independent B2C and B2B websites. This software needs to be customized to be used for a complex B2B ecommerce website.

On the bottom:

User reviews are good, however, some customers don't like this tech support. Sometimes they cannot help solve the problems, the complexities of the software and the lack of important functions.


4. Magento

Magento is one of the most popular shopping cart systems in the world, yet one of the most complicated in terms of usage and development.

Magento is very versatile software - you can customize it to your liking. You can make your Magento-based B2B shop extremely flexible and feature-rich. Unfortunately, in order to start and maintain a Magento B2B store, you have to get a good Magento hosting, a team of programmers who understand Magento and know how to work with its architecture. This means more spending.

On the bottom:

Magento for B2B has almost all of the must-have features mentioned above, but unfortunately there have been complaints from users about the complexity of the user interface. People say Magento takes some time to be configured before you can use it live.


5. TradeGecko

TradeGecko is a B2B ecommerce script that focuses on the simplicity and automation of B2B sales. It is aimed at high-growth wholesalers, distributors, e-commerce brands and manufacturers. TradeGecko is a SaaS product: fewer technical problems, but also less control.

TradeGecko has it all: custom pricing, the ability to hide products and prices from unauthorized users, custom price lists, warehouses, promotions, easy ordering and re-ordering, and so on. Users are satisfied with TradeGecko and love the ease of use and good customer support.

This solution has built-in reporting and analysis tools that you can use to better understand your processes and adapt them if necessary. The only thing that doesn't seem to be included is a fully functional multi-store feature to run B2B and B2C websites independently.

On the bottom:

Some users complain of slowdowns, the lack of specific functions, frequent changes to the layout of the administration area, and high prices.


6. Contalog

Contalog is intended for sales across multiple channels: You can easily adapt your B2B and B2C business to web and mobile channels. Contalog has numerous B2B functions such as: central inventory, order and product information management across multiple sales and other tools for effective sales to companies.

The Contalog B2B e-commerce platform is a cloud-based solution. You can access your store from any computer or mobile device. This B2B ecommerce software allows you to add products manually, upload them from a spreadsheet, or import them from your existing shopping page. Unfortunately, you cannot enter by serial number or scan the barcodes.

There are several plans to choose from, each with a different price. The simplest plan is free and suitable for small businesses that only have 100 orders per month. Different plans can process more orders and you can also expand the basic software. Contalog B2B e-commerce software integrates with your e-commerce platform so that your inventory can be automatically updated when customers shop with you. You can also receive low stock notifications from this software.

On the bottom:

Although Contalog has great support and is easy to use, users say it took a while to get used to the user interface.


7. InsiteCommerce

InsiteCommerce is a B2B e-commerce software for medium to large manufacturers and retailers. This is a cloud platform: it is easy to deploy and maintain. The company offers you your own server and installs the store for you. However, customizing and scaling can be tricky as you never have full control of the cloud.

InsiteCommerce is based on a flexible API for integration with third-party CRM and ERP systems. This B2B e-commerce script offers some useful B2B functions such as an advanced order management system with invoicing, quick reorders and order status, the “Quotes” function and integrated shipping options.

Unfortunately, this platform doesn't have all of the major B2B features mentioned at the beginning of this article. Therefore, you may need to customize them by adding custom functions. Hopefully its “integration architecture” will allow some scaling.

On the bottom:

There aren't that many reviews for InsiteCommerce on the web. The testimonials are okay, but users complain of a very long learning curve, costly upgrades, and reliance on third-party partners.


8. Pepperi

Pepperi is a B2B sales platform for large companies. It is a SaaS B2B e-commerce system. As mentioned above, the SaaS ecommerce website is always easier to deploy and support, but you are never in full control of it.

Pepperi offers native mobile apps for Android and iOS with offline data support. This means that if you are connected to the Internet now, you can manage your catalog. Users love Pepperi's web and mobile interfaces.

Pepperi is an omnichannel B2B solution that can be easily integrated into CRM and ERP systems via a powerful API. It has many built-in features that give wholesale customers a B2C-like experience: great catalog design, convenient payment and shipping methods, custom pricing for user groups, price list management, notifications, and more.

On the bottom:

Users are generally happy with Pepperi, but some report terrible customer support unavailable on Friday and Saturday and lagged user interface (though nice).


9. Handshake

Handshake is intended for manufacturers and distributors who sell to retail stores or other business customers. It's a powerful, easy-to-use platform for building a website and mobile app for your B2B customers.

For customer orders, Handshake offers a modern B2B e-commerce experience for easy online ordering and a mobile app for ordering on the shelf side when your customers are on the go.

For sales reps ordering, Handshake has a dedicated sales reps app that provides the customer, product, price, and inventory information they need. Orders can be formed quickly and submitted immediately.

On the bottom:

Users are happy with Handshake, but some say the app crashes from time to time. Also, users report some synchronization errors.


10. OROCommerce

OROCommerce is a B2B e-commerce script that supports both B2B and B2C business models. B2X scenarios are also supported. This software is intended for large wholesale companies and businesses.

OROCommerce can be natively integrated into your own CRM system OROCRM, with which you can organize customer contacts and organize the workflow for customer interaction.

OROCommerce is one of the most flexible B2B e-commerce solutions on the market today. This solution includes company accounts, administrative roles, multiple price lists, a good API for integration with business systems, a robust promotion system, buyer-specific catalogs and prices.

On the bottom:

Users say they likely need training to get used to OROCommerce and developers complain about the lack of development documentation. The platform is extremely flexible and complex, which means it can be difficult to use in the beginning.


Which functions should B2B eCommerce Script have?

B2B e-shop should have special functions to automate the buying process for companies. This means that a B2B e-commerce solution must have certain features that B2C shopping software cannot. Make sure that a B2B ecommerce platform you choose has the following capabilities:

Easy to order products in bulk

True B2B e-commerce software should provide a convenient interface for ordering products in bulk. Imagine: you need to put 50 televisions and 20 boilers of 3 different types in the shopping cart. If a store doesn't have a convenient interface to do this, you can spend hours filling the shopping cart. Nobody likes to waste time, especially business people.

Organizations in a B2B e-commerce business

Typically, the buying process in companies involves more than one person. You need a feature that can bring users across organizations together. In this way, the owner of the organization of the in-store organization can add other users: managers, marketers, accountants. And all of them could work as different users in one account.

Flexible pricing tools

The B2B ecommerce script should support groups of users with different discounts, permissions, and discounts based on how much a buyer has already spent in your store. Businesses typically buy a large number of products at the same time, and they buy regularly. It is important to offer volume discounts and custom discounts to your buyers based on their levels (tiers).

Multiple shop windows

If you want to sell to both businesses and individuals, the multi-store feature is a must for your online shop. You should be able to configure your storefronts independently, as if you were running multiple stores.

Integrations with third party services

Modern CRM, ERP, accounting and analytics services can greatly improve your business performance. Make sure your future B2B e-commerce script has a powerful API and is integrated with third-party business services.

Easy to reorder

What if a company purchases supplies from you on a regular basis? Don't let them order every time they shop on your ecommerce website. The company should be able to reorder the same products with the same number of items with just one click.

Easy download of the price list

Before ordering, a manager must obtain approval for the list of products and prices from their supervisor. So the manager should be able to quickly download the price list with the current prices.

Convenient placing of orders

Some entrepreneurs are simply not used to buying products for their companies via the webshop interface. They usually call and order over the phone. In such cases, your manager creates an order in the admin area. And it is important that he or she is able to speak to the customer on the phone quickly.

Close the storefront for unauthorized users

You should be able to hide the catalog from prying eyes and manually review each registered buyer. This will protect you from the nefarious activities of your competitors and improve the moderation of new buyers.

Finally

There is no perfect platform for your B2B ecommerce website. You have to customize any software more or less to suit your business processes and goals. Before you go for the B2B CMS, reach out to each vendor on this list, request a demo, and make sure you can customize and scale the platform.


About the author: Yan Kulakov

Yan Kulakov is a content and marketing specialist at an e-commerce software development company CS-Cart. He is passionate about creating visual content and loves to share it with the world. Yan can explain complicated things in simple terms, so he runs the company blog and creates content for other e-commerce and marketing blogs. Connect with Yan Facebook and Instagram.

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This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.

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