B2B eCommerce Platforms Compared [2021 Guide]

Top 10 B2B eCommerce Platforms for 2019
David Abbou
  • David Abbou
  • March 11, 2021

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eCommerce sales reached $3.53 trillion in 2019. And in 2020, sales grew 40%, surpassing the 16% growth projected[*], driven by an increase in online shopping in response to COVID-19

From established retail brands like ASOS, massive online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba, and independent direct-to-consumer brands like Dollar Shave Club, eCommerce has levelled the playing field for B2C brands. 

But B2B eCommerce is still a wild frontier. 

Recently, Amazon has made initial probings into the B2B space. However, it is still a fragmented space with no clear dominating platform.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t several B2B eCommerce platforms to choose from. In fact, the industry’s fragmented nature has meant there is a plethora of available B2B eCommerce platforms.

The Modern B2B eCommerce Platform Explained
9 Comparison Criteria for B2B eCommerce Platforms
Top 10 B2B eCommerce Platforms of 2021
Build Brand Loyalty with Your B2B eCommerce Platform

With such a large and available variety of eCommerce software solutions picking the right one for your needs can be difficult. We’re here to help:

The Modern B2B eCommerce Platform Explained

Amazon Business is pushing its way into the B2B space in a very similar strategy they successfully employed for B2C: act as a platform for buyers and sellers to learn, compare, and sell/buy. 

Same caveats too: Amazon takes a cut and sellers have very limited control over the buyer journey and lifecycle, which could mean diminished sales and customer lifetime value. B2B marketing comes with its own set of challenges that are unlike those of B2C companies. 

This is where dedicated B2B eCommerce platforms come into play

More and more companies are realizing the importance of setting up their own online infrastructure to launch and promote their services. The additional marketing cost is proving to be worthwhile in order to establish a direct channel with customers, improve conversion rates, and increase brand awareness and customer lifetime value.

B2B ecommerce sales will be worth around $6.7 trillion and will account for over a quarter (27%) of all B2B sales by 2021. Click To Tweet

9 Comparison Criteria for B2B eCommerce Platform

Choices are a good thing but can also create (good) problems. 

When standing in front of the smorgasbord of B2B eCommerce solutions at your disposal, here’s how to evaluate the options:

  1. Marketing Functionality – Your eCommerce platform should be able to support and connect with your marketing tech stack. Some platforms have robust native apps, and you’ll need the freedom to also work with savvy marketing software (like Intent-Based Promotions). With more and more online searches being made via web and mobile, SEO-optimized eCommerce platforms boost your visibility. Also look for easy lead generation, integration with paid acquisition platforms, and seamless MarTech integration. 
  2. Growth Potential – You need a B2B platform that you can grow into. If you choose one that has limited growth potential, you’ll end up having to spend valuable resources on re-platforming when your needs outgrow the capability of a beginner platform. 
  3. Mobile Compatibility – More and more B2B decision-makers are using their mobile devices to search for solutions, and mobile optimization is an important UX signal and Google ranking factor. Not being mobile-friendly will prove costly today.
  4. Compliance – The platform should be able to accommodate GDPR and other mandatory user privacy guidelines that are in effect
  5. B2B Functionality – Your B2B eCommerce platform should ideally have eCommerce features directed at B2B buyers like bulk ordering and pricing, account management, and multiple shipping/payment capabilities.
  6. Optimal User Experience – The user should have customizable marketplace templates to choose from to create an intuitive and user-friendly experience, as well as support full customization.
  7. 24/7 Availability – Unlike the traditional methods where clients need to wait for your response, eCommerce platforms are always open for business.
  8. Staging environment – There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that humans are error-prone. Automated platforms offer a consistent sales solution.
  9. Journey Templates – Selling complex solutions can be challenging. Implementing a digital configurator makes life easier for all sides involved.
  10. Customer Communications – Not only does the client get an instant response, he can also select his desired product/s with just a few clicks.

Top 10 B2B eCommerce Platforms of 2021

Besides the obvious parameters such as pricing, support, and usability, we’ve heavily weighted the integration capabilities of these solutions. 

b2b ecommerce platforms comparisonEvery company has a complex software ecosystem and choosing a flexible eCommerce platform has become extremely important.

#1. Shopify Plus

Shopify_logo

Shopify is one of the fastest growing companies in the world, with most of the top online retail brands opting to use this eCommerce platform to power their digital stores.  

Shopify is also becoming better as a B2B solution. 

Citizen, Tesla, Motorola, Adidas and L’Oreal are just some of the globally recognized brands that are currently using Shopify Plus as their dedicated B2B business solution. 

Shopify is also well known as one of leading eCommerce B2C platforms, powering 1.7 million online shops. This proven track record is hard to argue with.

Compatibility:Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (N), CRM (Y), Marketing (Y), Emails (Y)

Pros: Good Integration, Good Customer Support, Fast Interface

Cons: Pricey

#2. BigCommerceB2b ecommerce platforms

 

 

BigCommerce is a popular eCommerce store builder for B2B purposes, providing you with a comprehensive set of eCommerce tools out-of-the-box. You can access your audience and integrate this platform with most of the solutions required to set up a comprehensive and effective B2B eCommerce ecosystem.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (N), CRM (Y), Marketing (Y), Emails (N)

Pros: Comprehensive Solution with Solid Functionality

Cons: Advanced Features Can Be Costly, Iffy Support

#3. Magento Commerce

B2b ecommerce platforms

 

 

This is an extremely popular B2B eCommerce platform which can be used in tandem with your B2C operations. Magento offers an easy-to-install and low maintenance product with good customer support

However, it does lack a few features on the integration side and can also prove to be too costly for small businesses.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (Y), CRM (N), Marketing (N), Emails (N)

Pros: Friendly User Interface, Good Customer Support

Cons: On the Expensive Side, Limited Integration Capabilities

#4. OpenCart B2B Marketplace

OpenCart, already a well known B2C eCommerce platform, is now offering a solution for B2B activities. There is even a free version with upgrades available in the form of extensions and add-ons, which may require some technical knowhow to install. However, this is a small price to pay for such a comprehensive solution.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (Y), CRM (Y), Marketing (Y), Emails (Y)

Pros: Easy to Use, Strong Community, Good for Small Businesses

Cons: Requires Technical Knowhow, Iffy Customer Support

#5. Pepperi

B2b ecommerce platforms

 

 

Pepperi is a globally recognized eCommerce brand with the latest product information on hand (inventory, specs, multiple views, videos, etc.), allowing you to match your offering to your customer by using the information you are presented. The customer support has been rumored to fall a bit short sometimes.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (Y), CRM (Y), Marketing (Y), Emails (Y)

Pros: Industry Leading Visibility, Good Integration Capabilities

Cons: Not Cheap, Slow Customer Support, Suited for Enterprise Customers

#6. PrestaShop

B2b ecommerce platforms

 

 

 

PrestaShop is open source eCommerce platform and enables high level of customization. With PrestaShop, you can enjoy a selection of professional eCommerce themes, over 50 world-class payment solutions and gateways, integrated customer service tools and quick install features.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (N), CRM (Y), Marketing (N), Emails (Y)

Pros: Value for Money, Good Functionality

Cons: Iffy Support, Cumbersome Installation/Maintenance

#7. InsiteCommerce

insite logo

InsiteCommerce is a multipurpose and out-of-the-box B2B eCommerce platform. It helps manufacturers and distributors by offering them endless possibilities and vast functionality. It delivers unique eCommerce user experiences that make it easier for your customers to understand your product and do business with you.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (Y), CRM (Y), Marketing (N), Emails (Y)

Pros: Solid Integration Capabilities, Solid Customer Support

Cons: Complex Customization, Not Cost Friendly

#8. NetSuite

netsuite-logo

NetSuite is one of the world’s leading B2B eCommerce platforms that offers a modern and scalable platform. NetSuite allows businesses to automate operations, decrease IT costs and improve real time visibility by providing a one-size-fits-all solution. You also get built-in business intelligence, reporting, and real-time visibility.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (N), CRM (Y), Marketing (N), Emails (Y)

Pros: Comprehensive Offering, High Visibility, Good Integration

Cons: Steep Learning Curve, Not Pocket Friendly

#9. SAP Hybris

sap hybris logo

Hybris is an innovative B2B eCommerce solution built for the modern-day requirements of the B2B industry. You can now use it to integrate your web service with ERP solutions. Hybris platform offers seamless integration with marketing tools and supports multiple languages and currencies for a great global reach.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (Y), CRM (N), Marketing (Y), Emails (Y)

Pros: Great Integration Capabilities, Highly Customizable

Cons: Not for Small Businesses, Pricey, Iffy Support

#10. GoEcart

go ecart

This widely-used B2B eCommerce platform centralizes all order and inventory information across multiple sales channels into a single interface. GoEcart offers a seamless reporting system that helps in knowing information on performing products, customer preferences, demands peaks and more. SEO tools are also built in.

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (Y), CRM (Y), Marketing (N), Emails (N)

Pros: High Visibility / Lots of Insights, Effective CRM Capabilities

Cons: Not Pocket Friendly, Can Overwhelm Newbies

top 10 ecommerce b2b platforms comparison

Build Brand Loyalty with Your B2B eCommerce Platform

With businesses increasingly realizing that Amazon Business is solely focused on turning inventory over quickly, there is a visible shift towards private B2B eCommerce platforms to build lasting relationships with clients. 

Amazon Business still has its advantages (easy, zero maintenance, traffic), but provides diminished returns in the long run.

Amazon simply cannot provide customers with a quality user experience, which is important to convey the company vision and product’s advantages to potential customers. The Top-10 list we have provided should help you pick the right B2B eCommerce platform and start bringing in clients for the long term.