You should avoid these 5 mistakes in B2B ecommerce

The digitalization of sales begins with choosing the appropriate e-commerce platform. But, all of those who have expanded their business to the online market know that a lot more work is required for a successful B2B ecommerce. Yes, many companies face various challenges before their B2B web shop is up and running. That’s why we’ve decided to highlight five of the most common mistakes in B2B ecommerce that lead to unexpected costs and delays, and also give advice on successfully avoiding them. They are:

  • Underestimating the amount of content that B2B buyers want to see
  • Focusing on sales instead of focusing on clients
  • Not involving all stakeholders in the planning of a B2B ecommerce project
  • Too many adaptations and extensions in a B2B web shop
  • Not defining the goals of a B2B web shop

Mistake #1 – Underestimating the amount of content that B2B buyers want to see

A successful B2B ecommerce isn’t just a new sales channel, but also a powerful tool for achieving a better user experience. Since your B2B buyers can’t test out a product in a B2B web shop, it has to be described as clearly as possible, in text and in image form. Also, information on your company, the process of online buying, delivery or returns of products should all be available to clients.

In order to optimize your B2B web shop for internet search engines, you have to also add textual content and metadata descriptions to categories and groups of products. Conclusion? You need to create and offer a lot of quality content before your B2B web shop is even operational. It is often a lot more than you think would be enough.

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That’s why you need quality employees or external associates for your B2B ecommerce, who are skilful and knowledgeable in content writing and SEO optimization of content. Let them start creating quality content that will separate your web shop from the competition.

Additional advice – if your B2B web shop is integrated with the ERP system, product descriptions and photos in the ERP system will automatically appear also in the web shop. That way, an integrated B2B ecommerce system significantly saves you time and money needed for the optimization of product descriptions.

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Mistake #2 – Focus on sales instead of clients

Ok, you maybe have a clear vision of how a successful B2B ecommerce is supposed to look like. However, is that what your buyers really want or expect?

B2B clients have very specific requests and expectations. Personalized offers, involvement with clients and communication at the delivery time, clearly defined prices according to product categories, available information on the agreed upon quantities or delivery dates, the possibility of adding comments with orders and live chat – all of these things are what your buyers expect to be provided with from a B2B web shop.

An integrated B2B ecommerce provides them precisely that, and an extra bonus is that B2B clients can track the whole process of delivery themselves and get accurate and prompt information regarding orders at any moment.

Furthermore, and integrated B2B ecommerce system tracks the behaviour of your clients and clearly offers them related or alternative products. This way you are saving time and money, and your clients are becoming much more pleased.

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Mistake #3 – The planning of a B2B ecommerce project

The rule is very simple. To avoid any misunderstandings or delays in the realisation process, you have to include all stakeholders in planning of all phases of a B2B ecommerce project, from the beginning.

Who does this relate to? First of all, to your ERP partner and then employees from all departments whose job is reflected by B2B ecommerce such as marketing and logistics. To have a successful B2B ecommerce you have to create a successful B2B ecommerce team that will openly communicate on all project phases and have available current information at any moment.

Additional advice – if you have any questions or unknowns, communicate them immediately with your ecommerce supplier. That way you will successfully avoid any kind of misunderstanding after the B2B web shop is already functional.

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Mistake #4 – Too many adjustments and additions in a B2B web shop

You have decided to start a B2B web shop that will offer clients a lot of functions and be completely adjusted to your brand. Sounds reasonable. However, practice has shown that it is much better to test, wait and then evaluate what your B2B web shop really needs.

Many companies aren’t even aware of al the options and functions their standard ecommerce has to offer. Only after using almost all of them, can you start thinking about upgrading your B2B web shop.

So, there is no need to rush in B2B ecommerce. Start your online wholesale and wait until buyers start buying in your B2B web shop. Only then will you be able to assess which extra functions it needs.

Additional advice – when choosing an ecommerce platform, pay special attention to what various standard ecommerce solutions have to offer. The more adjustments your ecommerce system needs, the more time and money you will have to spend on its upgrading in the future.


Mistake #5 – Not defining goals of a B2B web shop

Every project has to have clearly defined goals. Otherwise, you won’t be able to measure results once it’s completed. Sounds very logical, but it’s not uncommon for a B2B company to define its goal as “launching a B2B web shop”. Although this is an initiative to be welcomed for sure, it is extremely important to track the affect that B2B ecommerce has on the whole business of the company.

To attract a higher number of online buyers and realise a bigger sales income, here are some goals you can track and analyse;

  • The effect of an integrated B2B ecommerce system (which is directly linked to the ERP system) on managing orders
  • The impact of B2B ecommerce on the user support department (analyses of the user support’s disburdening)
  • Decreasing seasonal fluctuation in sales

Additional ecommerce advice – create clear and measurable goals which are inline with your expenditures. Also, in order to measure results and progress more easily, you can divide the path to the project goal in a few stages.

Every company and every ecommerce project have a specific structure that always needs to be considered. Ask your ecommerce supplier for a modified advice or a solution in any phase of the B2B ecommerce project where necessary. It is extremely important to know all the options and possibilities in advance so there is nothing to slow you down or create extra expenses on the road to a successful B2B ecommerce.

You are looking for a quality ecommerce platform that makes all of this even simpler? Then contact us today to be presented with the best solutions for pleased online buyers and a successful B2B web shop.