According to Statista, the value of the global B2B eCommerce market is $14.9 trillion, which is five times the value of the B2C eCommerce market. A majority of these markets are present in the Asian-Pacific region, possessing over 80% of the cumulative market share.
If you are someone who is looking to get into B2B eCommerce but isn’t sure which marketplace platform to choose, read until the end. You’ll get pragmatic and unbiased information on B2B marketplace platforms that’ll help you select the right platform for your business.
What Is B2B eCommerce?
B2B eCommerce is eCommerce or online trade between two business entities, contrary to the typical trade that takes place between a business and a customer (B2C).
B2B eCommerce enables you to:
- Reach out to a completely new segment of clients or companies
- Optimize your sales operations to increase the profitability of your company
- Make use of big data to boost the overall productivity of your organization
What Is a B2B Marketplace Platform?
A B2B marketplace is a medium where B2B buyers and sellers can find one another. There are marketplaces that provide a variety of tangible and intangible offerings.
For example, Freelancer.com, which helps businesses find freelancers, is a B2B service platform, similar to Upwork and Fiverr. There are other popular B2B eCommerce marketplaces, such as Amazon Business and Alibaba. A few of the B2B marketplace platforms are hybrid businesses, meaning they offer both B2C and B2B products and services.
Identifying the Perfect B2B eCommerce Platform
You will need a dynamic plan to connect with your target market, whether you’re selling to a business or a customer. This encompasses investing money in things like social media campaigns, automated email marketing, and landing page development.
Along with this, you’ll also need to integrate a seamless transaction system that ensures a smooth payment experience for the customer. Hence, you should go for a B2B platform that provides a secure checkout with shipping charges as well as inventory management. There are also some important questions you must take into account when investing in B2B eCommerce. Some of them are:
- Are you selling on multiple channels?
If you are looking to sell your offerings on multiple channels, you should make sure that your eCommerce shop can handle orders from diverse channels, and mainly from social media.
- Are you providing digital services?
If you’re thinking of providing digital services, you require a B2B eCommerce platform that permits you to access plugins to download things and also develop memberships for the clients.
- Are you offering recurring subscriptions?
If you are offering recurring subscriptions, then you should provide your B2B customers with a simple feature to reorder their products or services on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Are you fulfilling wholesale offers?
By opting for automated systems, it would be easy to figure out the discounts for large volumes of purchases and determine proper delivery charges.
- Are you offering quotes and consultations?
This implies that you must add a booking form to the webpage in addition to a hassle-free contact mechanism.
Open-Source vs. SaaS eCommerce Platforms
SaaS, or software as a service, is a software distribution model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis. On the flip side, open-source software allows users to view, change, and distribute their source code.
The crux here is that open-source solutions provide you with full access but cost more in installation and maintenance. SaaS alternatives take care of these necessities for you, while also enabling you to develop powerful back-end technologies and distinct front-end interfaces.
Features of Open-Source B2B eCommerce Platforms
Open-source B2B eCommerce platforms provide great freedom as far as the shopping experience is concerned. You can create robust features by rewriting the code, thus tailoring it for a customized experience. For instance, various fashion eCommerce organizations wish to provide advanced experiences like virtual fitting rooms, thus giving preference to open-source platforms.
Another benefit of open-source platforms is the lack of vendor lock-in, which gives developers more freedom to determine the type of tools to use. If you want to know more about improving the flexibility of your eCommerce store and how to select the right technologies for the tech stack click here.
An open-source B2B eCommerce platform helps organizations grow from a small startup to an international firm without making them jump through the hoops of repurposing and rewriting the code. This is due to the easy availability of the source code and the modifications that licenses usually allow. As a result, B2B eCommerce platforms succeed in saving a huge amount on software development.
A majority of the B2B open-source platforms are developed to maintain a poise in the server’s workload amongst other systems running in parallel to it. Also, the source code undergoes consistent improvisations made by the contributors, meaning that almost all the open-source B2B eCommerce platforms don’t endure outdatedness and are generally updated on a regular basis. You can learn more about the eCommerce architecture by clicking here.
- Database management
Over a third of the global hacking activities take place in the eCommerce sphere. This shows that B2B eCommerce platforms need the best security possible to safeguard their customers as well as their customers’ customers.
Open-source B2B eCommerce platforms allow B2B companies to be equipped with high security to be secure from hackers. Also, many open-source software providers offer security-focused versions of their platforms that access the distribution’s health, examine file sizes, and identify other signs to validate that the code hasn’t been altered and maliciously distributed.
- Technical expertise
Many open-source products are developed to cater to the goals of the developer without considering usability. Therefore, it requires a high level of technical expertise to modify open-source code such that non-technical individuals can use it.
Numerous open-source eCommerce platforms also need technical support. Since a large number of businesses tend to focus on correcting issues and introducing new features, the aspect of maintaining a strong open-source environment is sometimes disregarded. Technical assistance is essential because it takes care of all the technical challenges that may hinder customers from harnessing their eCommerce platform to the fullest.
As the source code is made available to the public through open-source, B2B platforms have a certain level of stability. Users won’t have to worry that the code’s writers would discontinue the project or allow it to become obsolete in the long run. Additionally, it provides open APIs that allow interoperability with any modern system. This is possible due to the ease with which new APIs can be created, linked, and transferred.
The fact that the fundamental components of the Internet are based on open-source technologies is another characteristic of open-source stability. For instance, the Apache Web server program deals with data flow between the global server architecture and personal devices, while the Linux operating system regulates the functioning of Web servers.
Top 8 Open-Source B2B eCommerce Platforms
- Magento 2
The Magento 2 open-source edition, also known as the Community Edition, is one of the leading open-source platforms for B2B eCommerce businesses, with over 300,000 global users. Its first public beta version was released in 2007. Subsequently, Magento 2 has developed from a simple eCommerce platform into an open-source ecosystem that accounts for over 30% of the market for open-source eCommerce platforms.
B2B eCommerce firms can augment their platform with Magento 2 as their business continues to grow. As a result, it is easier to develop from a small retailer with a fixed product offering to an enterprise eCommerce brand with a wide range of products. Since Magento 2 is designed to integrate with the majority of current eCommerce platforms, you can simply expand its capabilities using third-party applications like CRM, ERP, or product information management (PIM). Click here to know more about the different features of Magento that can boost your eCommerce business.
The previous version of Shopware, Shopware 5, has over 800,000 downloads. This platform was established in Germany in the year 2000 and is supported by Symfony and Vue.js. Twig and Bootstrap support Shopware 6, the most recent version. Shopware has a number of editions, including the self-hosted community edition, which is free. It also has starter, professional, and enterprise versions.
Shopware is a platform you can use to build cutting-edge, advanced online stores that emphasize user friendliness throughout the buying process. Due to its flexibility and ease of use, Shopware is the ideal tool for developing stellar user experiences. Another advantage of Shopware is that it doesn’t require a high level of expertise in web design and development.
OroCommerce is a B2B eCommerce platform that was created specifically to meet the requirements of B2B organizations. OroCommerce is for you if you are looking to increase the value of your business by building your online visibility. This future-ready software platform provides you with all the resources you need, along with an online shopping mechanism.
OroCommerce has a built-in CRM that helps entrepreneurs to streamline sales pipelines and predict the marketing and sales results they might see in the future. Moreover, you gain an edge of being able to cater to both B2B and B2C clients on the same platform. On top of everything else, you gain access to a supportive community and a reliable, open-source ecosystem.
If WordPress is your favorite CMS, then WooCommerce is one of the best B2B eCommerce platforms available to you. Because of its convenience and strong connection with the WordPress platform, WooCommerce makes it simple to create and maintain an online store.
There are excellent themes and plugins to check out, as well as specialized hosting and maintenance options. WooCommerce also has numerous tools to help you raise your search engine rankings and increase your revenue. For B2B eCommerce, WooCommerce includes a full-fledged platform that’s painless to expand as your business witnesses growth over time.
- Drupal Commerce
Drupal Commerce was released on January 15th, 2001, and is one of the most dynamic open-source eCommerce platforms. The Drupal Commerce open-source system has features like multilingual and multi-currency support. Features like these make it the ideal choice for B2B eCommerce platforms that have a high volume of traffic.
Drupal works with a broad variety of third-party apps and enables users to take advantage of several ecosystem-specific applications. For retailers and website developers, Drupal Commerce provides documentation and instructions. Plus, there is a user Q&A forum on the Drupal Commerce website, along with a video repository.
PrestaShop is an open-source eCommerce platform that enables you to build an entirely tailored store. With PrestaShop, businesses have access to over fifty payment alternatives, plenty of professional templates, and a diverse array of customizations. There are also fast installation options and a variety of customer support features.
PrestaShop is for you if you’re searching for something that will let you design your B2B shop from zero as rapidly and effectively as possible. Modules for boosting your B2B performance, like customer registration and membership options, are included in this incredible service. PrestaShop also has tax invoicing, VAT1 dual display, as well as billing options.
Pimcore is built for both B2C and B2B eCommerce websites. It is an API-driven platform that is able to integrate complicated pricing and product frameworks that include multiple catalogs, customized checkouts, front-end apps, currencies, product displays, and many other things. You can choose from various editions, not to mention the free open-source Community Edition or the Enterprise subscription.
Pimcore makes your eCommerce business highly manageable by offering multi-channel publishing and product information. Due to its Web-to-print functionality, Pimcore is used by a large number of marketers for updating and managing online content as well as for publishing data and making catalogs.
Odoo is an acronym for On-Demand Open Object. Odoo is nothing more than an amalgamation of business-related software programs and modules, including CRM, accounting software, order and inventory management, production management, human resources management, sales, eCommerce, logistics management, etc. The collective name for all of these components is ERP, or enterprise resource planning software.
In addition to these components, Odoo has over 14,000 third-party apps and plugins available in its app store. Odoo has an ever-increasing user base since it is regarded as one of the top ERPs for organizations of all sizes and offers a human-centered approach.
The Bottom Line
Gartner says that over 83% of B2B buyers prefer doing business through eCommerce platforms. Creating your own B2B marketplace in today’s digital age is simpler than ever. A few years ago, companies had to invest in time-consuming and expensive infrastructure projects that required tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. But today, the case is entirely different, as you can make use of online marketplace platforms to complete the same tasks far more quickly and conveniently.
It’s a good thing there are different platforms you can leverage for your eCommerce business, but choosing the right one can be a conundrum. If you are finding it difficult to decide which platform to choose, we at Jamersan are here for your rescue. Request a free consultation, and we’ll recommend a platform that’ll be the most suitable for your business.