What Makes A Great B2B Web Store?

Whether you’re a manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler, every B2B seller needs a web store or ecommerce presence. A digital presence is table stakes for staying relevant and competitive in today’s market.

But what goes into a great B2B web store?

Here’s what we’ve seen in 14 years of helping SAP companies evolve their customer experience.

1. A great B2B web store should launch fast

B2B web stores were important before the pandemic, but COVID disruption only made them more critical. The pressure increased on manufacturers and distributors to launch fast and iterate as customer expectations evolved.

Now here’s a stat that may surprise you: 85% of B2B buyers will ditch a supplier who offers a lackluster digital experience.

Given the stakes, B2B sellers should look for solutions that launch fast. It’s better to get up and running, delighting customers, than to wait for long custom projects to come to fruition.

This is why Corevist Commerce includes a template-based UX (user experience) that’s designed around 15 years of B2B user data. A templatized approach offers the UX that B2B buyers expect—and saves you from reinventing the wheel.

2. A great B2B web store should support your complexity

Unless you’re a B2C retailer, chances are, you’ve got some complex business processes.

From stock releasing in the packaging industry, to federal regulation in food or pharmaceuticals, B2B sellers face complexity.

Maybe your customers have unique, personalized pricing rules.

Maybe you offer them personalized inventory through ATP (available to promise).

Perhaps some customers can only buy certain SKUs, while others have wider access to your catalog.

Chances are, all this complexity lives in your SAP ERP system. (Or it should live there. If it lives in sticky notes and tribal knowledge, you may have a larger problem with data governance. If that’s the case, an SAP-integrated B2B web store can act as a needed catalyst to clean things up.)

With SAP ERP acting as the system of record for complex data and logic, your B2B web store will need to integrate deeply with SAP.

But that’s a tall order for your IT team.

3. A great B2B web store shouldn’t create more work for IT

Huge, multinational conglomerates may have the IT resources to build and maintain a custom integration to SAP to support your B2B web store.

Smaller companies typically can’t spare these resources. Their IT team has enough on their plates already—just supporting SAP and other essential systems.

In these scenarios, you should look for a B2B web store solution that includes deep integration to SAP ERP.

This is why Corevist Commerce doesn’t store any business data. Rather, our platform reads and writes SAP data in real time. This lean architecture cuts out the bloat and risk associated with middleware and iPaaS (integration platform as a service) solutions. Read more about our architecture and our deep SAP integration.

4. A B2B web store should come with a great team

A full-stack solution, i.e. one that includes B2B ecommerce and ERP integration, shouldn’t leave you on your own after launch.

It should come with an expert team upgrading, managing, and supporting your solution. Not only the customer-facing technology, but also the SAP integration.

Hint: This is why all Corevist solutions are managed and cloud-hosted. You get our team of SAP experts watching over your solution.

Some organizations don’t realize how big this responsibility is. They may decide a homegrown solution offers more flexibility and lower cost. While every scenario is different, the homegrown approach comes with certain risks regardless of the organization’s capabilities. Read more here: Understanding The Responsibilities Of DIY B2B Ecommerce.

5. A great B2B web store should support your journey

Every B2B seller has different needs for customer interaction and business processes.

Some organizations need an Amazon-style experience with product catalogs, rich content for products, recommended products, and so on.

Others just need a self-service portal where customers can track orders and invoices without calling customer service.

Some organizations would love to automate their handling of email orders.

Others need all of the above.

The key is to find a web store platform that allows you to start with your most essential functionality today—then expand when you’re ready.

That’s the thinking behind Corevist Commerce. You can launch with a portal for tracking orders and invoices, then add online ordering, add product catalogs, and payments.

You can even start with email order automation through Corevist BuyBot, then add a customer-facing portal or B2B web store on the same SAP integration infrastructure. The choice is yours.

The takeaway: Choose a flexible B2B web store platform that supports your complexity

B2B sellers shouldn’t have to compromise to fit their unique business data and logic in SAP. Your business lives in the ERP, so your web store should follow suit.

That’s why Corevist Commerce includes deep, prebuilt integration to SAP ERP—in a managed, cloud-hosted platform.

The Corevist Platform | Full SAP Integration Included | Corevist, Inc.

Want to become Easier To Do Business With?

Check out the Corevist Platform.

Managed B2B web stores with prebuilt integration for ECC and S/4HANA.

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About Author

George Anderson

George serves as content marketing manager. A blogger and journalist with a passion for B2B ecommerce, he has written for the Magento blog, Digitalcommerce360, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, ERPgenie, and others.