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Tips for Choosing the Best E-Commerce Platform for your Online Store

The increasing market of B2B online shopping is creating a great opportunity for both vendors and customers. One report claims that the B2B eCommerce market in the US will reach $1.8 trillion by 2023, accounting for 17% of all B2B purchases nationwide.

The B2B eCommerce marketplace is growing with tremendous momentum. Amazon Business, a platform from Amazon, is largely responsible for these tremendous gains, with it surpassing $10 billion in 2018 and reaching a revenue of $31 billion by 2023 through RBC Capital Markets.

A survey of 276 B2B suppliers found that only 60 percent of them operate on any eCommerce website. This is a great time to build an eCommerce marketplace-only 7.2 percent of total B2B sales come through an eCommerce site, and the average small business spends a lot more money online than they realize.

With Amazon and other online marketplaces dominating the retail industry, many B2B sellers are realizing the importance of an online marketplace.

What is a B2B Multi-vendor eCommerce Marketplace?

A B2B eCommerce marketplace platform is often a commercial website where vendors sell products to other businesses. The term “eCommerce marketplace” is similar to the B2B version of the consumer-oriented Amazon or eBay, which sell diverse products and sometimes allow vendors to create their own storefronts.

Businesses typically complete transactions by exchanging money with one another, but there are also exchanges of goods and services, such as in the case of Alibaba and Amazon Business ecosystems.

B2B eCommerce Business Ideas

B2B business owners can use a marketplace to easily sell their products. A multi-directional revenue model makes it possible for Amazon business owners to keep their margins high and profit from every aspect of sales, from online orders to offline sales.

Entrepreneurs have found success in the online world by setting up marketplaces. They have inspired the next generations of entrepreneurs to take advantage of all that digital marketing has to offer.

B2B eCommerce has been growing, and it’s no wonder why. The B2B sales model varies depending on what product your company focuses on, so it’s important to choose the right one for you.

Let’s take a look at different B2B models:

  • Supplier-Oriented Model

As the name suggests, Supplier-oriented Marketplace provides access to businesses through a B2B eCommerce marketplace. That way, suppliers can establish and sell goods/services directly to several businesses without having to worry about where these businesses are based.

Here, the supplier sets their own rates based on what buyers can reasonably pay, and this is searchable through the offered products. Cisco Connection Online is an example of a popular supplier-oriented model.

  • Buyer-Oriented Model

One of the many business models in B2B ecommerce is by replacing individual sellers with larger corporations, which often requires careful analysis to decide which vendor quote best fits the company needs. With an eCommerce portal based on a buyer-oriented model, these selling opportunities are made available to suppliers while managing administrative costs.

  • Intermediary-Oriented Model

An intermediary-oriented model of a marketplace includes both sellers and buyers who can connect from either side of the market to make transactions. Alibaba, for example, primarily serves as a go-between for manufacturers in China and overseas buyers. It acts as a profit center for the two parties through such associations.

Essential Features of a B2B multi vendor marketplace from Admin Perspective

  • Multilingual & Multi-Currency

With over 50% of all Google searches being in non-English languages, multilingual functionality is crucial for an online business. It improves user experience and helps the business to connect with a wider audience from different regions. Multi-currency is also a popular integration that allows buyers to change currency on the website for any purchase through one simple click, opening up new opportunities for global sales.

There are about 164 different currencies around the world that need to be incorporated in order to have a successful eCommerce marketplace.

  • Multiple Payment Gateways

The most important goal of an eCommerce site is to keep its buyers happy. This means having a seller-friendly interface that ensures each transaction runs smoothly and seamlessly. There’s a number of payment gateways available out there to suit the needs of your business, such as credit cards, e-wallets, and COD payments. You can also even integrate more through customization in a multi-seller eCommerce software.

  • Product Management Features (Adding Products/ Product Review Management etc)

To avoid the risk of having incorrect product descriptions, attributes, or poor quality images, you need a reliable system that can manage product data. This will allow you to create an omnichannel shopping experience with uniform product data across all your channels. As well, properly managing customer reviews is essential on a B2B eCommerce marketplace.

According to Statista, nearly 57% of buyers find product reviews as an important factor on Amazon purchases. The product management features make it easy for sellers to establish the credibility of their products and promote brand value.

  • Vendor Subscription Plan

In the end, the admin wants to earn revenue from a marketplace platform. Charging a subscription plan for vendors would be an ideal source of revenue. An annual or monthly subscription might work well for this. This can be another must-have feature from an admin perspective.

  • Streamlined Shipping Management

Better shipping and fulfillment features allow an admin to streamline the delivery process and minimize abandonment rates. Working with vendors for preferential shipping options allows an eCommerce store to increase sales and stay profitable. Features like creating labels, retrieving rates and order management can improve your storefront’s success.

  • Tax Exemption Management

When it comes to selling online, there’s a lot of complications – from sales tax to shipping and development. To help eCommerce sellers navigate the US market, Tax Exemption Management securely connects sellers with their states’ exemption regulations. This saves them from charging customers when there is not appropriate state sales tax for the sale.

  • Escrow Payments

The escrow payment function in a multi-seller marketplace allows the administrator to hold payments from being released automatically for the vendors. The admin can set a withdrawal threshold period (in days) and minimum withdrawal limit for any vendor that is sending a request for a payment. Please note that automated payment systems do not offer an option for an escrow payment feature.

  • Warehouse Management

We offer several different multi vendor features to help you make your eCommerce business work harder. One of these features is our warehouse management system, which lets you manage how much of your inventory is at each warehouse location and what tasks are assigned to each facility. If you’re someone that needs an easy-to-use management platform, then this is the one for you!

  • Restricted User Access

If you’re running a store with multiple merchants, you can choose to share limited access. This unique option will allow your admins to limit open access to particular merchants or their settings. It’s especially useful in scenarios where a vendor, for example, sells software that doesn’t require shipping options. Here, you can disable shipping options for specific vendors.

Essential Features of a B2B marketplace from Vendor Perspective

Easy Vendor Listing/Registration

B2B e-commerce platforms like Vendor Marketplace allow third party vendors to easily create product listings that can be shared directly with customers. They require a central hub where each vendor can showcase their listings to the customer so that they know exactly what’s available and what you have in your store. This is an essential addition to any B2B eCommerce platform.

Real-Time Inventory Updates

Real-time inventory updates are a must-have feature for a successful B2B marketplace. This way, vendors can keep track of the current stock and make adjustments as needed to better manage their listings. Most multi-seller marketplaces provide this feature to vendors.

Separate Vendor Store

An eCommerce marketplace must allow for a separate vendor store with a unique URL on one domain. This allows vendors to easily manage products, change featured images, and more. It’s a must-have feature for B2B multi-vendor marketplaces.

Bulk Price Discounts & Minimum Order Discounts

When you have a high inventory, the best way to encourage more high-volume buying is by providing discounts such as bulk pricing, minimum order value set by the seller and others. They both greatly help increase the price visibility of your products.

Tax Management

Different sales tax rates in different regions call for better management of tax. With tax management features, B2B eCommerce marketplace platforms allow sellers to input correct, current tax information and product taxes in a streamlined manner. For example, there are pre-integrated, easy-to-integrate APIs that come with many multi-seller eCommerce software programs.

Customer Segmentation And Associated Product Price

Market segmentation means dividing potential customers into discrete groups, with similar needs or buying characteristics. Approximately 60% of UK’s B2B eCommerce businesses in 2013 segmented online customers by their historic spend.

For example, in the B2B marketplaces, vendors are able to set pricing for variations of their products. This lets sellers sell variations at different prices from the base product. For example, let’s say a vendor is selling a single product for $44 and offers two variations for the same price of $44. With associated product price setting features in place, the vendor can charge $33 instead of $44 on one of the sales.

Minimum Order Quantity & Amount

Buying in bulk can help you maintain a profit margin and make more money. It helps you purchase products at higher quantities which means that you’ll be purchasing enough items to create a significant amount of revenue.

Ordering Process/Workflows

A multi-seller eCommerce platform offers buyers a common product catalog where hundreds of individual vendors have their products listed. It’s easy for buyers to purchase these products with a simple order or workflow.

RFQ- eCommerce marketplaces function off of an RFQ process which allows buyers to send the same inquiry to different sellers. In fact, the admin can set a minimum order quantity here before vendors have any knowledge of this inquiry.

RFP- There are many different ways to approach selling your product on an eCommerce marketplace. RFPs are one type of way. Sending a proposal to a potential buyer is a common but essential part of the process in eCommerce among any B2B enterprise.

 Auction– Vendors can start an auction with an attractive offer to attract multiple buyers. In doing so, it accelerates the sale and upsells underlying stocks. They stay competitive in a B2B eCommerce marketplace platform.

Bidding – Bidding is what buyers do on products added for an auction by their respective vendors. With the auction, bidding becomes an important part of looking more profitable in your marketplace.

Order negotiations – buying and selling are complex activities that require a lot of conversation building.

Top B2B eCommerce Software For Multi-Vendor Marketplaces

Yo!Kart

Yo!kart is a self-hosted digital marketplace solution that can be implemented quickly and without interruption to start or enhance your business. Working with Yo!kart, you can build both simple and complex sales channels to reach your customers, whenever and wherever you need.

Yo!Kart is a turnkey solution that’s easy to customize and scalable, making it equally suitable for small businesses as well as large enterprises. We’ve been developed from the ground up, perfected, and backed by Agile teams with the expertise you need to make it a reality. Our technology has been trusted since inception – so you know your data will be safe and secure, with no worry of downtime or hacks. These features make Yo!Kart perfect for use by Fortune 500 companies like UNI Diamonds – Israel’s biggest B2B diamond distributor – as well as many others across the world. Our mission is to help small businesses succeed and thrive faster than ever before.

Features– Yo!Kart B2B marketplace software provides essential features that enable B2B success 一 like integrations with 3rd party solution providers for buying and selling, inventory management, competitive analytics, international payment collection and more.

If you’re looking to find a B2B solution that has an in-built RFQ module, look no further than Yo!Kart. This innovative feature helps sellers become more competitive by offering potential buyers the chance to submit a quote for the product they want. The sellers can accept or reject quotes they receive, while admin control of this feature is handed over to them.

The marketplace solution allows sellers to optimize their shopping experience. It has a range of functionalities, such as personalized vendor storefronts and automated shipping management, as well as minimum order quantity for products on sale, bulk ordering with the option to add discounts, and more.

The intuitive solution has been created to offer end-user experiences that are satisfying. The most notable features include the ability to log in with a single click, check out multiple products on one screen and much more.

To help you scale your business and make more money, we’ve made it easy for our marketplace owners to build successful businesses with a platform that’s custom-made for the power-user. It includes features like PWA compliance, ease of business operations with pre-integrated business APIs, option to hide prices at admin and seller level, measuring business health with detailed reporting and analytics, multiple revenue streams including subscription fee, commission fee, PPC, and more.

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Pricing: B2B-specific versions of the multi-vendor platform starts from $1499.

Customizations can be made with the support of an Agile team. Different packages come with different customization options. Yo!Kart’s charges are fair and over and above what you pay for the package. Our lifetime ownership guarantee makes it easy for you to rebrand your website without recurring fees.

Yo!Kart offers honest software reviews and ratings that allow you to rely on unbiased data. It’s a simple, straightforward way of comparing features and functionality in order to find the right ecommerce platform for your business. It also has excellent support, being highly rated by Capterra at 4.2 out of five stars.

BigCommerce Enterprise

BigCommerce is an app-based, software as a service platform that helps you get your eCommerce business off the ground with ease. Founded in 2009, BigCommerce enables you to customize and build sleek design features with customers and price segmentation. You’ll be able to easily plug existing projects into BigJazz with just one click.

In this competitive market, it can be tough for businesses to find a way to stand out in the crowd. If you’re searching for a great eCommerce platform, BigCommerce is a good option. With customizable design themes and other great features, it’s a highly valuable tool for any online marketplace.

BigCommerce is an affordable subscription-based platform with a monthly membership starting at $29.95. Its Plus plan costs $79.95/month, while its Pro plan comes at $249.95/month and offers a free trial to users. For pricing information on its enterprise plan, contact the BigCommerce team.

Software Reviews and Ratings – You can use this platform to launch your eCommerce store. However, most of the reviews found on BigCommerce’s website are negative for a couple of reasons. Themes are pretty similar and there is a limit on annual sales, which can be frustrating for some people who want to upgrade their store.

Magento

With the open source eCommerce platform Magento, you can easily customize your website. You don’t have to worry about problems with integration and customization, since there are tons of third-party integrations that you can use.

Ma g enter o offers features like customizable coupons, SEO management, product review promotion, and more. It’s also PCI-DSS compliant.

Magento Pricing – While the open-source version is free to download, Magento Commerce starts at $1988/month. A free demo is also available.

One of the drawbacks to Magento is how difficult it can be to use and customize. Additionally, there are many security issues surrounding this platform. With Capterra’s 4.3 rating, businesses saw it fit to switch to other platforms.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is a free, open-source eCommerce software that’s available to anyone with the right expertise in charge of it. Established in 2007, the software empowers retailers to create fully-formed online stores quickly and with minimal cost. The software is easy to customize and supports dozens of integrations, as well as a thriving user community.

With its free-forever pricing and impressive features, PrestaShop is one of the leading eCommerce solutions. What sets it apart from other platforms is its fantastic in-built SEO tools that make your store’s visibility much better.

PrestaShop is 100% free software with no hidden fees associated with sales. However, the software does come at a steep price and it’s difficult to integrate with other options without spending extra money. It might initially be free, but you’ll take on hosting costs or hire developers which could make it more costly than even self-hosted options.

As software developers, we often love extensions that create more features and flexibility like the default theme. However, the ones that rely on the PrestaShop engine are generally expensive. People often complain about how difficult it is to customize them as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is B2B eCommerce?

If you’re a business looking to sell goods or services online, B2B eCommerce can be a beneficial strategy. There are three types of B2B eCommerce:

B2B2C: Businesses are able to reach consumers directly through their website.

Wholesale B2B: They’re able to purchase products in bulk and at a lower price than other retailers. Buying wholesale helps them save more money when they need it, while providing exceptional value and service to their customers.

Manufacturer B2B – A manufacturer that sells products to other manufacturers, for example a fuel pump manufacturer selling to an automotive company.

Q2. What is a multi-vendor b2b marketplace?

A multi-vendor B2B marketplace is the one through which multiple B2B sellers can register and sell their products or services to potential B2B buyers. It can also be described as a B2B trading platform, a B2B procurement website, a B2B catalog & directory, and more depending upon the nature of the business.

Q3. What are the top 5 B2B marketplace sites?

Amazon Business, Alibaba, Rakuten, IndiaMart, and Global Sources are the top five B2B eCommerce marketplaces across the globe. While Alibaba dominates China with a 30% share in retail sales followed by Global Sources; Rakuten, IndiaMart, and Amazon are the largest B2B platforms in Japan and USA.

Q4. How do I choose a B2B marketplace software?

Some of the questions you should ask yourself before purchasing B2B marketplace software include:

A Readymade solution is one that comes fully loaded with what your business needs to succeed. Integrations and features like bulk discounts, payment methods, subscription plans, and more are all delivered out of the box thanks to a turnkey multi-vendor platform.

B2B eCommerce platforms with competitive pricing give business owners all the features they need to manage their company and grow it. They can start out small and grow into a more robust, flexible solution as their needs expand.

A customizable platform that can be personalized to cater to your business requirements is important. Since not every solution allows customization, it’s imperative to choose the right eCommerce platform.

The ability to handle system processing demands either by modifying an existing module or by integrating a new one is called scaling. Business growth is vital for most companies, and that’s why scalability is so important.

Ecommerce shopping software should come with built-in marketing tools, including email marketing, real-time analytics and in-built SEO support. These tools are essential for building a successful digital marketing strategy.

Q5. Which is the best B2B eCommerce multi-vendor platform?

You can use Yo!Kart for your B2B eCommerce needs and experience a full luxury product. With built in features such as shipping, tax, sale, inventory control, order management and more, this platform offers a complete package to open your online store up. You’ll also enjoy free technical support for 1 year.