Modern young entrepreneurs want to purchase products for their companies hassle-free like they shop for themselves in B2C online stores. That’s why B2B eCommerce is becoming so popular. Forrester reports that B2B eCommerce in the US will reach $1.8 trillion by 2023. Wow, that’s something.
If you’re planning to build a B2B webshop, check out these 10 B2B eCommerce solutions. In this list, you will find both SaaS and self-hosted platforms with rich functionality. Make sure to choose the right one that fits your business philosophy.
When choosing a platform for your B2B online store, keep this list of must-have B2B features close at hand and remember: a proper B2B eCommerce script must have at least 90% of them:
- Flexible price formation tools. It’s important to offer your purchasers quantity discounts and individual discounts based on their levels (tiers). Companies usually buy a big number of products at once, and they buy regularly. The B2B eCommerce script should support user groups with different discounts and privileges and discounts that depend on how much a purchaser has already spent in your store.
- Organizations inside a B2B eCommerce store. Normally, the purchasing process in companies involves more than one person. You need a feature that allows uniting users in organizations. This way, the owner of the organization could add more users to the organization in the store: managers, marketers, accountants. And they all could work in one account as different users.
- Easy reordering. If a company buys consumables from you on a regular basis, don’t make them form the order every time they shop on your eCommerce site. The company should be able to reorder the same products with the same number of items in just one click.
- A convenient way of ordering products in bulk. A true B2B eCommerce software should offer a convenient interface for ordering products in bulk. Just imagine: you need to add 50 TV sets and 20 heating boilers of 3 different types to the cart. If a store doesn’t offer a convenient interface for this, you will spend hours just to fill the cart. Nobody likes wasting time, especially businessmen.
- Easy price list downloading. Before ordering, a manager needs to obtain approval for the list of products and prices from the supervisor. So, the manager should be able to quickly download the price list with current prices.
- Convenient order placement. Some entrepreneurs are just not used to purchasing products for their companies through the online store interface. They usually call and order via phone. In such cases, your manager creates an order in the admin panel. And it’s important that he or she can do it quickly talking to the customer on the phone.
- Multiple storefronts. If you’re going to sell both to companies and individuals, the multi-store feature is a must for your online store. You should be able to configure your storefronts independently as if you run several stores.
- Close storefront for unauthorized users. You should be able to hide the catalog from prying eyes and check every registered purchaser manually. This will protect you from the nefarious activities of your competitors and enhance the moderation of new purchasers.
- Integrations with third-party services. Modern CRM, ERP, accounting, and analytics services can greatly improve your business performance. Make sure your future B2B eCommerce script has a powerful API and integrates with third-party business services.
- Cloud-based database. Experts from SentryOne believe a strong cloud-based database is an essential part of E-commerce platforms and will provide security long into the future as databases move into the cloud and away from physical servers.
1. CS-Cart B2B&B2C (Rating: 4.6)
CS-Cart B2B & B2C powers over 35,000 B2C and B2B webshops in 170 countries. It’s a self-hosted solution, which means you install it on your own server and get the full control over your store.
CS-Cart wholesale eCommerce platform focuses on rich functionality and simplicity. It includes all the features from the “must-have list”, plus other B2C functions for a true B2C shopping experience.
Also, CS-Cart B2B&B2C ships with an unlimited number of additional storefronts that can be configured independently. It means you can open B2B and B2C storefronts that will work and look differently, and manage them via a single admin panel.
What users like: CS-Cart users appreciate the ease of use and a great price/functionality ratio. They love its clean architecture and open source code.
What users dislike: There are some complaints about a complicated upgrade process in case the store is heavily customized or the server doesn’t meet the requirements. Users also say that the default storefront design is a bit outdated.
2. TradeGecko (Rating: 4.4)
TradeGecko B2B eCommerce script focuses on simplicity and automation of the B2B sales. It’s a SaaS service, which means it is super easy to start a store but might be difficult to scale in the future.
TradeGecko has a great set of B2B features and covers almost all the functions from our “must-have list”: individual prices, custom price lists, the ability to hide products and prices from unauthorized users, easy ordering and reordering, warehouses, promotions, and more.
This solution has built-in reporting and analytics tools that allow you to better understand your processes and adjust them when necessary. The only thing that seems to be not included is a fully-functional multi-store feature for hybrid business models.
What users like: Most of the users are satisfied with TradeGecko and appreciate its simplicity and good customer support.
What users dislike: There are some complaints about episodic slowdowns (regardless it’s a SaaS solution), lack of features, frequent changes of the backend design, and high monthly payments.
3. InsiteCommerce (Rating: 4)
InsiteCommerce is a specialized SaaS B2B eCommerce software. It was released to the public in 1997 for medium and big-sized manufacturers and distributors.
This platform relies in its integration architecture: you can integrate it with third-party CRM, ERP, analytics, accounting, and other systems. Among other features are: fast reordering, advanced order management system with invoice generation and order statuses, the “Quotes” functionality, and built-in specific shipping methods.
InsiteCommerce doesn’t have all the B2B functions mentioned in the “must-have list”, so you will definitely need to add custom functionality. Hopefully, its “integration architecture” allows for some scaling.
What users like: Powerful API and the “integration architecture” are the most appreciated advantages of InsiteCommerce as they compensate for its cloud nature.
What users dislike: There are not so many user testimonials about InsiteCommerce on the web. They are mostly okay but users complain about a very long learning curve, costly upgrades, and dependence on third-party partners.
4. BigCommerce B2B Ecommerce (Rating: 4.3)
BigCommerce is another quite popular SaaS B2B solution. Although the platform is young, it has gained much popularity in the past several years.
The platform is cloud-based, which allows for quick deployment: you don’t need to worry about the installation and the server. BigCommerce has a powerful API for integrating with third-party business systems.
BigCommerce offers the ability to run a hybrid B2B and B2C business. You can create customer groups with different privileges dividing them into companies and individuals. But unlike CS-Cart, BigCommerce only lets you sell to both groups through the same storefront.
What users like: BigCommerce is easy to use and has a short learning curve. Rich documentation greatly helps beginners to learn the platform. Users also appreciate the platform’s feature richness.
What users dislike: On forums, people say that BigCommerce is an excellent solution only for beginners and small businesses. There are also lots of user complaints about bad customer service.
5. OROCommerce (Rating: 4.7)
The OROCommerce B2B eCommerce suits for building B2B, B2C, and B2X models. It’s a powerful and complex solution developed for big wholesalers and enterprises.
A great advantage of OROCommerce is that it ships with built-in CRM system created in-house: OROCRM. So, you won’t need to worry about integrating your B2B shop with some third-party CRM system. And you will definitely need CRM to organize the customer contacts and arrange the customer interaction workflow.
Overall, OROCommerce is one of the most robust B2B eCommerce solutions out there. It has all the B2B features from the “must-have list”: corporate accounts, administrator roles, price lists, a good API for integrating with business systems, a flexible promotion system, buyer-specific catalogs and prices.
What users like: Users appreciate rich functionality, flexibility, and good customer service.
What users dislike: The platform is super flexible and complex, so users say that you’ll probably need training to get used to OROCommerce. Developers complain about the lack of development documentation.
6. Virto Commerce (Rating: 5)
Virto Commerce is a scalable ecommerce B2B platform for fast growing and large companies. With Virto Commerce, you can build a highly customizable eCommerce website for businesses thanks to a set of powerful enterprise-class features.
Unlike many of the platforms from this review, Virto Commerce allows you to open multiple stores with centralized management. It also offers other must-have features for B2B: advanced promotion engines, dynamic content, as well as advanced product and price management.
What users like: Users love the platforms customizability, feature richness, and flexibility.
What users dislike: There are user complaints about difficulties with updating the platform and its modules. Some say that the price is too high.
7. Magento B2B eCommerce (Rating: 4.3)
Magento is a very flexible and versatile eCommerce system. You are free to modify its code because it’s open to all developers.
It’s flexibility is its pro and con at the same time. Magento is quite a complex platform and it is complicated in terms of development. So, to get your Magento B2B website up and running, you’ll probably need a tech-savvy team of coders familiar with the Magento architecture.
What users like: Flexibility, scalability, and feature richness.
What users dislike: There are user complaints about the interface complexity in Magento. People also say that Magento requires much time to configure before it can be used live.
8. Handshake (Rating: 4.5)
Handshake is developed for medium and big-sized manufacturers and distributors who sell to brick and mortar stores or companies. It’s a robust platform for building a B2B sales website and a mobile application for business-to-business clients.
Handshake provides a modern B2B eCommerce experience for easy online ordering and a mobile app for shelf-side orders. The platform also provides a special app for sales reps that provides them with all the necessary sales info: customer information, prices, inventory, and other. Sales reps can quickly form and submit orders.
The platform offers other must-have B2B features from our list, plus users mention that it’s an easy-to-use solution with a great look and feel.
What users like: Feature-richness and good customer support.
What users dislike: Customers report that sometimes the app crashes. Also, it has some sync errors.
9. X-Cart B2B eCommerce (Rating: 4.2)
X-Cart was released in 2000 and it was the very first shopping cart based on the PHP technology. The company offers a SaaS and a self-hosted solution, so you’ll have options to choose from.
X-Cart has a robust vendor management system, promotions, a rating system, a payment distribution system, and other must-have features for any eCommerce store. It is great for both B2B and B2C sales but there is no clear functionality division into these two segments.
The platform has a good API, which allows you to integrate your B2B store with third-party business systems: CRM, ERP, analytics, accounting, warehouses, and so on.
Unfortunately, it seems that you will have to customize the solution if you want to build a complex B2B eCommerce website. It just doesn’t have enough B2B-specific functionality.
What users like: Open source code, ability to integrate with other business systems.
What users dislike: Many customers don’t like the tech support that often can’t help with resolving the issues, the complexity of the software, and the lack of features and good customer service.
10. Apptino (Rating: 5 based on two reviews)
Apptino is a SaaS B2B eCommerce script for companies: distributors and manufacturers. It helps customers quickly establish a B2B sales channel for their businesses.
The platform has a great set of B2B features such as flexible catalog management, bulk product management, the “quotes” functionality, price list management, and other must-have features of a proper B2B sales website.
Unfortunately, most of the features are B2C-specific even though they greatly work for B2B. There are not many B2B-specific functions such as advanced storefront visibility management or flexible pricing formation tools.
What users like: There are not many customer reviews on the web. The good ones say that Apptino has a great working environment.
What users dislike: The lack of B2B-specific functionality.
What to do next?
Choosing eCommerce software for your business-to-business webshop is a very important step towards establishing a convenient and effective B2B eCommerce ecosystem. Choose the platform wisely and remember: there’s no perfect B2B CMS for your business—you’ll have to adapt the platform one way or another.
Before you decide, contact each vendor from this list, request a demo, and make sure you will be able to customize and scale the platform. Start with CS-Cart B2B & B2C demo and go down the list.