B2B e-commerce market is booming. It is expected that B2B e-сommerce in the United States will reach $1.8 trillion by 2023 (according to Forrester). This means that B2B e-сommerce will account for 17% of all B2B sales in the US. It will also grow by 10% annually over the next 5 years.
The Internet and the digital age have completely transformed the principle of doing business. Companies that are still not ready to sell online do not just risk losing customers — they are slowly fading away. B2B e-commerce is no longer an optional choice; now it is a necessity.
Modern businessmen don’t like to connect with dozens of suppliers, spend hours talking to them on the phone, and get buried under tons of accounting papers. They prefer process automation. B2B e-commerce solutions help to avoid this purchasing routine.
An effective B2B e-commerce platform allows wholesalers to research products and make purchases on their own terms — at that time and wherever they want. In this article, we will give you a brief review of the top-5 most popular B2B eCommerce platforms. Try each wholesale e-commerce platform and choose the one you like the most.
OROCommerce is an e-commerce platform currently built exclusively for the needs of B2B business.
OroCommerce takes into account all the features of B2B online trading, and therefore provides all the necessary functionality by default. It is one of the most flexible B2B e-commerce solutions on the market. It has all the must-have B2B features including corporate accounts, user roles, multiple price lists, a good API for integrating with business systems, a robust promotion system, buyer-specific catalogs and prices. You’ll be able to customize alternative payment scenarios depending on the order size and customer loyalty, to personalize the cost and entire catalogs of goods, and much more.
OROCommerce natively integrates with their own CRM system OROCRM that allows you to consolidate customer and sales information from several sources (for example, eBay and Amazon), including offline. Thus, the business owner will be able to get a complete picture of the path to buying their customers and use this data to develop their company.
OroCommerce software is good for mid-market B2B companies.
- Capterra users say that it is not an easy platform for a beginner developer because of the lack of development documentation.
- The platform it’s not very transparent to operate and develop.
- You’ll probably need training to get used to OROCommerce.
- There are no prices on the website. So you’ll have to contact managers of the company directly to estimate how much it will cost you to start a B2B store.
Capterra Rating: 4.7
CS-Cart B2B & B2C is a professional e-commerce platform for online stores. It is suitable for manufacturers and wholesale companies of any size. The platform was released to the public in 2005 and by this time 35,000 customers in 170 countries have chosen CS-Cart for their stores.
You can easily automate the process of purchasing and collaborating with customers using CS-Cart B2B e-commerce software. CS-Cart-based online stores have a large number of useful features and are easy to administer.
CS-Cart B2B & B2C has unlimited integration capabilities. So you can integrate CS-Cart with any third-party service: accounting systems, CRM, ERP, and other services. Due to third-party service integration and the platform’s flexible API, you can organize a clearly working B2B business system.
Using CS-Cart B2B & B2C you can create multiple storefronts and set them up for B2B and B2C. Storefronts are configured independently: design, settings, customers, products, prices, descriptions, and so on. In this case you can run both businesses at the same time.
You don’t need programming skills at all to set up your CS-Cart store because the admin panel is well-organized and full of tools.
CS-Cart is a self-hosted B2B e-commerce script. This means that the user even with basic technical knowledge will manage to install CS-Cart on the server. To make CS-Cart administration easier, there is a detailed documentation with installation instructions and server requirements. CS-Cart gives you complete control over your e-commerce online store.
The users note that CS-Cart B2B & B2C has an excellent balance of price, quality and functionality. They like its open-source code that allows them to customize the platform the way they need.
- Some users say that it is complicated to upgrade the platform in case the store is heavily customized or the server doesn’t meet the requirements.
- The default storefront design doesn’t meet modern standards according to some opinions.
Capterra Rating: 4.6
3dcart is a cloud-based e-commerce solution which was released in 2001. They offer both B2C and B2B e-commerce software.
Cloud-based means that it is easy to deploy, set up and doesn’t require technical skills. Though it has the same restrictions as other SaaS platforms: it can’t offer you the same freedom and scalability as hosted solutions such as CS-Cart. 3dcart has a set of features necessary for a B2B business.
- Cloud-based also means some difficulties in customization and adaptation to the business needs.
- There are no multiple storefronts and advanced price list management features.
- There are many complaints about 3dcart’s customer service. Some users even say they lost much money because of the unqualified 3dcart support.
Capterra Rating: 4.4
Magento is an open-source eCommerce software. Magento was founded in 2007 and now it is the leader among multi-channel eCommerce platforms for B2C and B2B markets worldwide. Magento is still to be the one of the most complex platforms.
Magento is an open-source solution and is supported in Community and Enterprise Edition versions, which makes it available for e-commerce projects of any size. Open-source platform allows you to customize it the way you want. So you can make your B2B store extremely flexible and feature-rich.
The platform has all must-have features for a B2B store including a large number of powerful marketing and SEO tools and broad integration options.
- At the same time open-source code forces you to have tech-competent developers and means more spendings.
- Magento has a complex interface. Some users say that Magento requires much time to install and configure.
Capterra Rating: 4.3
BigCommerce was founded in 2009 as a SaaS eCommerce solution.
The platform is based on cloud technology. As in the case of 3dcart, this has both pros and cons. The pros is that the platform is easy to deploy and get started. The cons is that this does not provide the user with a freedom in customization.
Using BigCommerce, you can combine B2B and B2C business: sell to companies and individuals through one site. You can create customer groups with different privileges dividing them into companies and individuals.
BigCommerce has complicated functionality, although it is simpler than Magento. There is comprehensive and clear documentation that will help beginners to understand the platform and learn to administer it.
- You will never get full control over your store because of the cloud technology. If there are problems in BigCommerce, you will have problems too.
- There are difficulties with customization.
- You cannot use multiple storefronts when combining different business types as, for example, in CS-Cart.
- Some users say that BigCommerce is an excellent solution only for beginners and small businesses and not suitable for large businesses.
- There are lots of user complaints about bad customer service.
Capterra Rating: 4.3
So if you are planning to enter the B2B e-commerce business, be sure to choose the best solution for creating your own online store. Choosing software is a very important objective to establish a convenient and effective B2B eCommerce business. To make the right decision you should review each developer from this top-5, request a demo version and try it.
You should know that there’s no ideal B2B platform. You will have to customize it anyway more or less so that it suits your business processes and goals. So please make sure that you will be able to upgrade and expand the platform.