Frequently Asked Questions
Does a B2B ordering portal require ERP integration?
The answer depends on your needs. Wholesalers and distributors may not need as deep an integration if customers don’t have unique business rules (for example, the merchant offers the same pricing and inventory data to every customer). In these scenarios, a simple, B2C-style platform and architecture is often adequate. However, manufacturers typically need much deeper ERP integration in their B2B ordering portals. Typically, each customer has unique business rules governing pricing, SKU permissions, inventory/ATP availability, and more, all of which require an ERP integration that’s “always on” and up-to-date. In these scenarios, a B2B portal which includes ERP integration is often a better fit, as it avoids the cost and risk of middleware-based integration architecture.
How do you get personalized pricing in a B2B portal?
If your B2B customers have negotiated contract pricing for different SKUs, you should choose a B2B ordering platform that includes prebuilt ERP integration. This will give each customer their personalized pricing in the B2B web portal with the simplest possible backend architecture.
How do you get personalized inventory in a B2B portal?
If you need to show your B2B customers unique inventory quantities (for example, via ATP rules), you should choose a B2B online ordering solution which includes prebuilt ERP integration. This ensures that each customer gets their unique inventory availability in the B2B web portal with a minimum of backend complexity.
Do B2B portals show order history from all channels?
Without comprehensive ERP integration, a B2B portal solution typically shows only orders from the web portal. Some customer portal solutions, like Corevist, automatically show orders from all channels (e.g. EDI, phone, fax, email, and web). In the case of Corevist, any order in SAP will display in the web portal, as long as the user has permissions to view that order.
What is B2B online shopping?
B2B online shopping, also called B2B eCommerce, refers to business-to-business purchases of goods and services over the web. B2B eCommerce takes many forms, including Amazon-style browsing experiences, B2B order entry portals, and B2B account management portals. Many companies combine all of these into a flexible, scalable solution.
How do I start an online B2B business?
First, ask yourself: Do I already have customers who are ordering via phone, fax, and email? If you do, then the primary task is to launch a B2B ordering portal and incentivize your existing customers to use it rather than calling or emailing. If you don’t already have B2B customers, the challenge is much greater. You need to understand the problems which your target businesses face, develop an offering which meets their needs better than anything currently available, and choose a B2B web ordering solution which allows you to sell this offering easily online.
What is a B2B ordering platform?
A B2B ordering platform is a software solution which allows manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers to sell their products online. Also known as B2B eCommerce, a B2B ordering platform may look and feel like a B2C eCommerce solution, but it typically requires complex business logic behind the scenes to enforce things like customer-specific contract pricing, personalized inventory availability, personalized catalogs, real-time credit status, and more. This complex business logic usually lives in the ERP system. Ideally, the B2B ordering platform should include an ERP integration which brings these business rules to the web with minimal technical support required.
How can I sell B2B online?
There are 7 keys to successful online B2B selling: 1. Have a great product/market fit. 2. Communicate it with a simple value proposition. 3. Offer personalized pricing. 4. Provide photos, videos, and product descriptions. 5. Encourage customers to leave reviews for social proof. 6. Provide a fast, seamless web experience. 7. Use ERP integration to ensure an error-free checkout process.
What is the best B2B ordering platform?
The best B2B ordering platform looks different for every business. Distributors and wholesalers typically need a more B2C-style shopping experience, while manufacturers prioritize deep ERP integration to enforce customer-specific business rules and prevent order errors. For more information, check out our in-depth B2B eCommerce Platform Comparison chart.