• Divya Dhomne

B2B E-commerce Explained

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

B2B E-commerce has been gaining popularity in the startup ecosystem for a while. It is not just about the price, especially when it involves serving end-users. Businesses rely on these purchases to drive efficiencies which are not just direct cost-saving, but it also includes time-saving, transparency, vendor consolidation & less paperwork.

No Current Technology Solution Like B2C

B2B E-commerce is about 10 times larger than the size of B2C E-commerce based on market volume. To place an order, most buyers need multiple quotes to satisfy their internal approval process. The sales completion times are often lengthy for B2B E-commerce transactions compared to B2C sales because when it comes to business, most of them require several decision-makers to complete the process. A platform that combines e-commerce with purchase management software is much needed to solve this as it will help manage the purchase flow with all the concerned stakeholders.

Goods Being Purchased to Create Value

Buyers are often purchasing goods/services which act as inputs or are used as tools to supply the ultimate final product, which makes it important to articulate the outcomes and benefits of the merchandise. For instance, if you're selling a costlier product than your competitor, what proportion will the customer save in reduced downtime? The b2b decision-makers are more sophisticated than ever before and are insightful. It's imperative to supply quality & genuine products alongside adequate after-sales service to survive within the B2B market.

Repeatability & Predictability

Business purchases are planned & repetitive, which means that the same product would be required after some time interval, this could be as short as a week. It becomes important for the buyer to make the right decision when choosing the product as it has a long term impact given the high repeatability & predictability. B2B E-commerce companies provide customers with options where they can have staggered & planned deliveries, this helps them with lean inventory & working capital efficiency.

Fulfilment in Tier 3 & 4 Locations

Manufacturing companies & factories have their setups in Tier 3 & 4 locations, where often delivery is ignored by many companies. It is vital that the orders reach such clients as well and on time. To solve this problem, E-commerce companies affiliate with good and reliable delivery companies. Alongside partnerships with logistics companies, they develop a supplier base across India to cater to customer demands. A lot of B2B shipments happen are bulky and it is necessary to have multiple stock points.

Payment Challenge

It is a typical practice for B2B buyers to avail trade credit and volume-level pricing, among other discounts, and these expectations have carried over into their e-commerce stores. As such, online B2B, unlike the B2C, don't require customers to enter their payment information once they are done shopping. Payments are automatically tracked down, send reminders, and check customer credit. All of this gives the B2B customer the experience they want, alongside the speed and convenience of a web store. Partnership with fintech businesses customises a product that mimics offline behaviour.

Price-focused businesses are leaving value on the table. Price is certainly important, but prices & discounts don’t determine who succeeds within the B2B e-commerce market. An entire technology-enabled solution that encapsulates commerce, supply chain & financing is required to serve the B2B buyer.

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