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Why Your B2B eCommerce Platform is Not Attracting B2B Buyers Plus 6 Ways To Fix It.

Why Your B2B eCommerce Platform is Not Attracting B2B Buyers Plus 6 Ways To Fix It.

b2b ecommerce

If you are a B2B who has a B2B ecommerce platform then you are already a step ahead - but you will be making a huge mistake if you stop there. Why? With today’s young workforce who has grown up online, simply having an ecommerce storefront is not enough- it’s time to step up your game and make your B2B ecommerce site as B2C as possible- wait what!? Yep, you read that correctly.

The workforce is packed full of millennial’s, Gen Y-ers, young kids, whippersnapper’s, whatever you want to call them, the fact remains that these are your new B2B buyers, your new customers. These young professionals have grown up using B2C shopping sites like Amazon or eBay- why would they expect anything different in the B2B world?

A recent study from the Acquity Group stated that B2B buyers under the age of 35 are 131% more likely to make their corporate purchases online than those over 35 years old. The problem is that many B2B ecommerce platforms are not set up to accommodate the needs and demands of this younger group of buyers; this oversight has the potential to ruin those big ecommerce plans you had. The study found that 90% of B2B buyers between 18 & 35 will make their purchases online, 45% of those aged 45-60 would purchase online, leaving 29% of B2B buyers 61+ will make their purchases online—convinced yet?

If not, here are a few more stats from the study that might get you thinking:

  • 45% of respondents used Amazon Supply to make a purchase in the last year because their current supplier does not have a B2B ecommerce platform.
  • 25% of respondents who used Amazon Supply make purchases on a regular basis. 
  • 70% of B2B buyers surveyed said they would spend more of their budgets online if their suppliers' B2B ecommerce websites were easier and more convenient use.

If you’re convinced that it is worth the time and effort to either juice up your current storefront or switch to a new B2B ecommerce platform with more B2C-like functionality, here is what you need to give your ecommerce site the look and feel that B2B buyers will flock to.

  1. Personalized information when your buyer logs in such as customized product recommendations based on past purchases, one-click re-ordering, or best-sellers list. 
  2. Advanced Search capabilities are a must! As a B2B seller you probably have THOUSANDS of products in your catalog- B2B buyers do not want to tediously sift through all of that.
  3. In B2C, online retailers give buyers the ability to narrow their search down to cut through everything they do not want, your B2B ecommerce site needs to do the same. Allow your shoppers to drill down much further than basic SKU based searches, give them the opportunity to filter by product detail, price, and availability as well.
  4. Mobile integration. You are on the go all the time, and so are your B2B buyers. Mobile integration enables customers to place and manage orders from anywhere with their phones, tablet, or laptop.
  5. Be Visual! Would you buy a car without at least seeing a picture first? Your B2B customers probably feel the same way about their purchases. Through the use of images, video and CAD integration, customers can get a full view of the product which allows them to feel confident in their purchasing.
  6. Do your customers need to customize certain purchases? Give them the option to evaluate the product details, availability, and pricing for customization of your product offerings.
  7. Make check-out easy and painless. Have you ever been shopping online and could not find the checkout! I have, and I more than likely left the website, was very annoyed, had to start all over, and never went back to the original site again. Granted, B2B’s do not have the freedom to find what they need all over the internet- but you do have competition out there and if your site is making things difficult, your customers will leave you for them.

A few things to consider during your checkout process:

    • Make the cart easy to access
    • Do not make them fill out unnecessary forms
    • Keep the number of screens in the process minimal
    • Put a tracking bar at the top indicating how close the customer is to the end of the checkout process
    • Give them the option to save their payment information to their profile so they do not have to enter it in every time

I could go on and on but this is getting to be a very lengthy article so I am going to stop here.

The long and short of it is this: Your customers use B2C sites constantly and have become accustom to a certain level of ease when it comes to buying online. Deep down we all know how different B2B purchasing is from B2C, but when your customers visit your site they are comparing their experience on your B2B ecommerce platform to their most recent experience on eBay.

About e2b teknologies:

e2b teknologies operates three business units – e2b anytime apps , e2b enterprise, and e2b calibration. e2b enterprise develops custom cloud-based business applications and resells leading ERP accounting software, CRM, HRMS, and other enterprise business software applications from Sage Software, Epicor, Intacct, SugarCRM, and other publishers. e2b anytime is the publisher of , Anytime Commerce B2B ecommerce platform, Anytime Collect, Anytime Assets, Anytime 500, and related Anytime brand products. e2b calibration is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration and repair laboratory providing a full scope of services (traceable to NIST) for most popular calibration, test, and measurement instruments.

Follow us on twitter @e2bteknologies
we are also on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+

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