Most eCommerce Software packages have been developed around the needs of business to consumer (B2C) organisations. Datasite is one of the first packages to focus on the needs of the business to business user.
Detailed below are the main differences between software developed for B2B users and software for B2C users
1. B2B Customers are companies made up of multiple users rather than individual users - you need a company database.
2. Increased User Control - B2B companies have less customers but all users are linked to a company so you need more data on users and more controls.
3. Demand for Increased Users Functionality - you need more options for users to carry out tasks themselves such as create new users, manage addresses, cost centres, projects & budgets.
4. More Repeat Transactions - so you must make it easier for customers to order with order forms and re-order from previous orders.
5. More Complex Order Management Processes - so you need extra fields for order numbers, cost centres and instructions. You also need more rules for approvals. buying limits and budgets etc
6. Higher Value Orders - orders are generally for higher transaction values so you may need to provide the users with more information about the products they are purchasing as they are making bigger purchasing decisions
7. Payment Methods - often 'On Account' rather than by credit card so need to consider credit control and multiple payment methods.
8. Multiple Price Lists - you often have different prices for different customers or even different prices dependant on the volume purchased
9. Punch Out - larger organisations often want to transfer data to/from their systems automatically or integrate with their customer systems
10.Customer Information Requirement - customers want more information such as buying history, quotes, technical data and reports.
Despite the differences identified above there are still many areas where B2B organisations can learn from B2C organisations, especially in marketing. Consumer Marketing tends to focus more on products.
- Using My Favourites/ Enquiries.to allow users to create their own wish lists
- Cross Selling - building the order value online with related products and custom order forms
- Gift Certificates - encourages the use of the online store by using gift certificates for customer & staff incemtives
- Dropship - expanding the product range by adding extra products despatched from other locations
To learn more about how datasite could help your business develop an effective ebusiness solution for B2B why not visit our website project management page, complete a website requirements checklist or visit our business consultancy section