B2B eCommerce is on its upheaval. Studies have shown that the people who are now responsible for purchasing for their businesses are Millennials – the generation that had become adapted to internet usage.
These people prefer the same convenience that they are so habituated with when buying something for themselves as consumers. When they want to purchase something for their business, they start searching online, and they prefer to complete their transactions without picking up the phone and sending emails.
These business buyers want the convenience of an online store, and so, it’s a perfect time to switch to B2B online selling.
But there is a problem! B2B has some unique challenges that you won’t find in B2C stores. So, how do you tackle those challenges? And which platform do you use to build your B2B store?
WooCommerce is a robust and flexible platform that can easily adapt to the needs of a B2B website.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should use WooCommerce for your B2B store.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, both of which are free, open-source software. If you talk about the initial cost of setting up the website, it only requires hosting cost, domain registration, and the cost of the theme you are using to build the site.
Though the website will incur a lot of other costs down the road like plugins and custom development, if needed, if you talk about the initial cost, it’s just that.
It’s Easy To Set Up
A WooCommerce B2B site is extremely easy to set up. There is tons of information available online that you can use to set up the site. Most WordPress themes come with drag and drop builders, which can be used to build attractive web pages.
WooCommerce is also extremely easy to use and doesn’t require any coding knowledge. Setting up product pages and managing store operations on WooCommerce is a breeze.
It’s Easy to Extend
While the functions listed above are the basic needs of a B2B store, you’ll need a lot of other things to make your store an efficient platform for your business buyers.
B2B stores have their unique challenges. And luckily, WooCommerce can be easily extended with additional plugins and extensions that can cater to the needs and demands of a B2B store.
Let’s look at some of the challenges faced by B2B stores and see how they can be tackled in WooCommerce.
Request for Quotation
A B2B store often faces the challenge to customize their checkout process. For example, instead of giving their customers the option of adding something to cart and proceed to checkout, the company might want to give the option to Request a Quote first.
B2B Request for Quote plugin enables store owners to add this feature on their site.
There are loads of other tools and plugins that can help you extend the functionality of your WooCommerce B2B store.
Unlike B2C, where all customers see the same pricing, B2B buyers are often quoted different prices based on their relationship with the business and the quantity they are ordering. B2B stores need to offer different pricing structures to different customers. Dynamic Pricing WooCommerce plugin can extend the functionality of your store and allow you to configure discounts based on quantity, categories, and user roles.
Many B2B stores need to restrict their site and especially their product pages to pre-registered clients and dealers. Some store owners also want to operate both B2B and B2C stores on the same site. And so, they need the functionality to password-protect their entire website or some portion of it.
B2B buyers are often repeat customers who know what they are looking for and want to place bulk orders in a quick and efficient way. Instead of making them jump through hoops and browse product pages one after the other, you can add a Quick Order form on your website which allows them to search the product they are looking for using product names or SKUs, specify quantities and add them to the cart right from the form.
Product Table for WooCommerce plugin allows you to deploy a bulk ordering form at any location on your website using a shortcode.
In a B2B company, you often need to treat your customers as company accounts instead of individual customers. B2B buyers have their own internal hierarchies and they need to assign roles and permissions to the members of their team. For example, the purchasing manager might need to limit access to the Add to Cart option for his subordinates who can browse the website and research what to buy but are not able to proceed to checkout.
Roles and Permissions for WooCommerce plugin allows you to add this feature on your B2B site and give your buyers the ability to assign roles and limit permissions for them.
It’s Widely Popular
WooCommerce powers 41% of all online stores, which translates to nearly 2 million websites. But how does its popularity make it a powerful contender for a B2B site? Here is why being popular is a good thing for WooCommerce.
Its popularity and growth have led to a powerful ecosystem evolving around it. It means you can choose from thousands of WooCommerce specific products and services like WooCommerce themes and plugins, WooCommerce specific hosting, and maintenance services.
Safe and Fully Tested
Every piece of software is prone to bugs. Since millions of people are using WooCommerce and reported, bugs are being monitored and fixed in real-time. It means your chance of being the first one to find a bug in the software is pretty slim, which is obviously a good thing!
Plenty of Help Available
Being popular also means there is plenty of help out there. Apart from tons of free resources and tutorials to help you do things yourself, there is a vast industry of WooCommerce specialists and experts who can help you develop your site and maintain it. You’ll never be left alone with a WooCommerce site!
While WooCommerce is not built specifically for B2B, it’s packed with features that can help you set up your B2B store and get up and running quickly. Out of the box, WooCommerce gives you the following features, which fulfill the basic demands of a B2B site.
- It lets you add millions of products.
- You can organize your products in an unlimited number of categories and subcategories.
- You can have online payment options as well as offline options like an invoice, cash on delivery, or check.
- You can configure your store’s tax settings and have different rates for different countries and cities.
- Your B2B customers can view products, add them to cart, checkout, and even create user accounts.
All of the above can be done through WooCommerce – straight out of the box!
If you are just starting up, it might be tempting to look at your short term goals. But that’s never a good strategy. Instead, you should always consider your long term goals when building a site. Will the platform be able to grow with your business?
WooCommerce is truly scalable. There is no limit to the number of products you can add. Its flexibility allows you to customize it in so many ways and optimize your site when your business grows. And if you want additional features, there are loads of off-the-shelf and bespoke plugins that can be used.
All in All…
There is a reason why WooCommerce is leading the market. It will help you set up your website quickly, save money, keep your processes simple and your website safe. With loads of WooCommerce plugins and extensions available, it will make it easy for you to extend the functionality of your site and add almost any feature you want on your site.