As the world turns digital fist, B2B ecommerce businesses are experiencing surges in demand for their products and services.
Over here at DoneDone, many of our wholesale and manufacturing B2B clients use our tool for a range of tasks. From bug tracking, to project management, to managing customer support, DoneDone helps them get work done…so they can get back to what matters most: building a successful B2B ecommerce business.
One of the most critical aspects of setting your B2B ecommerce business up for success is selecting the best ecommerce platform. But where do you start and how do you compare what you need today, vs. what you might need tomorrow?
While trends aren’t fool-proof, they’re a great way to start when beginning your research on what platform you need.
B2B Ecommerce Trends
Here are three useful trends to consider in the B2B ecommerce space:
- The growth of online marketplaces. While these have been huge in the B2C arena for some time, it’s just a matter of time (in fact, maybe the time has already come for your industry) before B2B businesses start making use of online marketplaces to sell their products and services.
- Mobile-first buying. This is a no-brainer at this point, but it’s always worth the reminder: unless you’re optimizing your sales for mobile, you’re leaving money on the table. The ability to purchase with mobile devices is critical to customers…and your bottom line.
That means making sure the buyer’s journey is personalized based on previous purchase history, ensuring items are still in a customer’s cart when they come back, and more.
Top 3 B2B Ecommerce Platforms
Now with those three trends guiding us, let’s dig into an overview of the top 4 B2B ecommerce platforms on the market today.
CS-Cart B2B & B2C
Are you a wholesaler? A manufacturer? Then CS-Cart B2B & B2C checks all the boxes. With this platform, you can create an online marketplace for your uses to buy from you seamlessly online, using desktop or mobile. Even better? You can personalize pricing of particular products, depending on the customer. It’s often highly-rated for it’s customer service – if you need help with anything, they’re quite responsive and fast, which is a huge perk for the busy B2B ecommerce business owner.
BigCommerce is great for hybrid B2B/B2C businesses. It’s super customizable and offers a ton of personalization options. From personalized pricing down to the SKU, you can tailor almost anything to the visitor. It’s adaptable to all devices, from mobile to desktop and everything in between.
Magento is sometimes considered the Salesforce of the ecommerce world. It’s got everything you need, but it is quite a beast of a tool to get used to. It’s owned by eBay and offers almost all of the integrations and personalization options you can think of, plus it’s mobile-friendly.
It’s not reviewed on softwareadvice.com, but has a 4.3/5 on Capterra.
Project Management Principles for B2B Ecommerce Projects
B2B ecommerce projects require a deep level of project management. It makes sense – B2B ecommerce is usually a large-scale undertaking that involves tons of stakeholders, complex process flows and unique product requirements.
This can make things feel less-than-agile when you’re beginning to move your business from the real-world, online.
As you set out on your B2B Ecommerce project, here are three guiding principles to keep in mind:
- Define the project scope early and clearly
This doesn’t mean establishing high-level objectives and goals and calling it a day. No, instead this means outline the exact idea and then working from there to identify the requirements needed in order to achieve.
Here is where you think about personnel requirements (i.e. do you need to hire a project manager? Do you need a consultant to help identify the best tool and solution?) as well as the budget, timeline and equipment needs to take this project over the finish line.
Use project management software to build this plan into an actionable framework.
- Identify risks early
Like a lawyer getting ready to argue a case, you need to be prepared for as many hiccups, changes and curve-balls that will be thrown at you.
Most risks fall into the following areas:
- Outside Factors
Keep those in mind, and when you identify risks, make sure you describe not only what may happen, but also why, when and what the effect might be.
- Use lean project management techniques
In order to stay agile, following a lean project management framework is crucial. The core principles of lean methodology are:
- Specify customer value. It’s about answering what you’re making, why you’re making it and for whom. Do your research.
- Identify the value stream. From idea to end goal, create an outline of every single task, action, and to-do for how the process should unfold.
- Make value flow. As you go through your process, you’ll notice ways to optimize and make it more efficient.
- Use customer pull. In other words, always put the voice of the customer first.
- Continuously improve. Look for ways to make the user experience better and better.
Using these principles, follow an iterative process of creating your B2B ecommerce platform. That means using sprints, creating MVPs and prototypes. This helps you catch errors along the way and cut the excess.
DoneDone as Your B2B Ecommerce Project Management Solution
When it comes to B2B ecommerce projects in 2020, you’re only as good as the tool you have powering you. With complex projects, you need a project management solution that keeps things simple, agile and moving. That’s where DoneDone comes in.
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